Liberal Group Forced to Pay Millions to Anti-Islamist Activist

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Anti-Islamist activist Maajid Nawaz (Photo: John Phillips/Getty Images)
Anti-Islamist activist Maajid Nawaz (Photo: John Phillips/Getty Images)

The Southern Poverty Law Center will pay anti-Islamist activist Maajid Nawaz and his organization, the Quilliam Foundation, $3.375 million as part of a settlement agreement for wrongly including them on its list of anti-Muslim extremists. The group also issued a written and video apology.

The law center is a non-profit organization that bills itself as a human rights watchdog.

The list, called the “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Activists,” also included Clarion Project and our national security analyst Ryan Mauro. The group removed the list from its website in April.

The notorious list, which was offered as a guide for journalists and the like, became of a source of damage for those on it. This was due to the fact that not only the mainstream media used it, but also four of the world’s largest platforms partnered with the Southern Poverty Law Center in determining their designation of hate groups and hate speech.

According to an exclusive report by The Daily Caller, Facebook, Amazon, Google and Twitter “all work with or consult Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in policing their platforms.”

Amazon, in particular, gave the SPLC direct authority over its platform. “We remove organizations that the SPLC deems as ineligible,” an Amazon spokeswoman told The Daily Caller.

The SPLC was founded in 1971 and made a name for itself fighting against white supremacy groups such as the Klu Klux Klan. Over the years the group fought for women’s rights and for the rights of people with disabilities. According to a historical profile piece written about the organization, their modus operandi against the Klan and other white supremacy groups was to “sue for a single hate crime, then use damages to seize the group’s land and assets, driving it out of business.”

In the ’90s, the group launched its “Teaching Tolerance” program about diversity. But in 2000, the group came under scathing criticism by Harper’s magazine for its “slick fundraising and comparatively minimal spending on the cause.”

As of October 2017, SPLC’s endowment fund registered $432 million. Including it’s operating funds, its total assets were $477 million, representing a revenue gain of 35 percent from the previous year.



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