In what amounts to a wholesale betrayal of its early work, the Southern Poverty Law Center1 (SPLC) has morphed into a racial nemesis2. It regularly stokes resentment with unnecessary and empty charges of discrimination and hate. Quilliam, which is headquartered in the UK and bills itself as “the world’s first counter-extremism organisation” with an emphasis on “promoting pluralism and inspiring change,” is just one of many groups that has been targeted by the hate-hustling SPLC.
Quilliam founder Maajid Nawaz, an Islamic reformist, was highlighted in the SPLC’s “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists” a few years ago. In response, a lawsuit was filed by Quilliam, the outcome of which was revealed this week. According to a Quilliam press release3, “The Southern Poverty Law Center, Inc. has apologized to Quilliam and its founder Maajid Nawaz for wrongly naming them in its controversial Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists.” The press release adds, “The SPLC also agreed to pay a $3.375 million settlement, which Quilliam and Nawaz intend to use to fund work fighting anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamist extremism.”
Of course, the $3.75 million figure is chump change relative to the SPLC’s $432.7 million endowment. It does, however, hopefully send a signal. How many more people and organizations stand on equally solid legal grounds to sue? Many, for sure. And a massive retaliation could theoretically bankrupt SPLC if litigation wasn’t so expensive. Sadly, money, not legitimacy, is at the heart of SPLC’s modern-day mission. As columnist Dennis Prager writes4, “Any organization that labels Ayaan Hirsi Ali — the extraordinary Somali-American woman who devotes her life to fighting for oppressed women, especially in the Islamic world — an ‘extremist,’ as the SPLC has done, is not a moral organization.” It is, for all intents and purposes, the Southern Poverty Lies Center.