The Southern Poverty Law Center, which considers itself a “civil rights” organization, has, for far too long, been using their perceived authority as to what constitutes a “hate group” to unfairly characterize and demonize honest advocacy groups that are far from hateful based on their own blatant political biases.
Now, they’ve had to settle for $3.375 million in a defamation suit for labeling the British-based Quilliam Foundation as “anti-Muslim extremists.”
“SPLC claims its mission is to monitor ‘hate groups and other extremists,'” Life Site News explains. “But while it does identify some actual racist organizations on the fringes of American politics, many of its targets are mainstream Christian, pro-family, and conservative groups. It originally labeled Quilliam and [Quilliam founder Maajid] Nawaz as “anti-Muslim extremists” for criticizing specific Islamic groups and practices, but was forced to admit the group “condemn[s] both anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamist extremism.”
This is nothing new for SPLC, but it is new for them to finally have to answer for their incredibly partisan system of identifying “hate groups.”
And, if the Liberty Alliance has anything to do with it, it won’t be the last:
Following the news that the self-proclaimed “civil rights” watchdog had admitted defeat in a defamation suit brought by the British-based Quilliam Foundation, a group opposed to Muslim extremism, dozens of other organizations are reportedly considering legal action of their own.
“There are probably about 60 organizations that we’re talking to — there’s at least 60,” Mat Staver, founder and chairman of the pro-family legal nonprofit Liberty Counsel, told PJ Media. While Liberty Counsel itself has yet to file anything against SPLC, Staver noted that the left-wing group has “been doing to a lot of organizations exactly what they did to Maajid Nawaz that’s part of the settlement.”
Staver noted that the settlement was particularly significant because SPLC surrendered to a demand letter rather than forcing the case to be litigated.
The SPLC has been notorious for years for their extreme views, so much so that the FBI stopped relying on their data to identify hate groups in 2014.
Their resources, however, continue to be referenced by the mainstream media (go figure) and Floyd Lee Corkins, the man who stormed the Family Research Council headquarters in 2013, shooting a security guard on his way to kill FRC employees before he was stopped, said that he’d used the SPLC map to help him pick an “anti-gay” target for his violent rage.
Liberty Counsel itself has been labeled a “hate group” by the SPLC, not surprisingly, and they may have very well messed with the wrong law firm:
Though Liberty Counsel has yet to take legal action against SPLC directly, it has filed a federal lawsuit against GuideStar for labeling it a “hate group” on SPLC’s recommendation. “The only purpose of providing the SPLC false and dangerous ‘hate group’ label is to inflict reputational and financial harm to Liberty Counsel,” Staver said last year.
“The allegations that were at issue [with Quilliam] were very similar to the allegations against the other groups,” Staver told PJ Media. “The SPLC promotes false propaganda, demonizes and labels groups they disagree with, and that labeling has economic as well as physical consequences.”
This absolutely has to happen. Not only for the sake of peaceful, law-abiding, pro-family and pro-morality groups, but for the sake of civil rights and discourse across the political spectrum.
The SPLC should take note of the fable of the boy who cried wolf…if they label everyone a “hate group”, who will listen to them when they find a real one?