Q — What do you make of the labeling of Ayan Hirsi Ali and Maajid Nawaz as anti-Muslim “extremists”? Was it appropriate or overreach?
Q– One of Nawaz’s colleagues argued that by engaging with hardline opponents of Islam, Nawaz has been able to get people like Tommy Robinson of the English Defense League to moderate their critiques of Islam. Is there a possibility that the SPLC’s labels could shut down productive dialogue and further polarize society?
Q — What do you make of the addition of the Center for Immigration Studies to the “hate group” list? Was it appropriate or ovearreach?
A — The critical question is not whether a particular person deserves to be on SPLC’s Extremist list, but why SPLC has such a list at all for people who pose no threat of violence. For groups that do not threaten violence, the use of SPLC “hate group” or “extremist” designations frequently are exploited as an excuse to silence speech and speakers. It taints not only the group or person, but others who associate with them. Surely SPLC is aware of such chilling impact on political debate.
Q–In 2014, the FBI stopped linking to the SPLC’s hate group list as a resource. Was it appropriate for the FBI to stop endorsing the group?
A — Given SPLC’s obvious political bias against the political right-of-center, the FBI never should have relied upon SPLC in the first place.
While there may be other groups who compose lists of alleged hate groups, SPLC is by far the most prominent. Unfortunately, very often who gets placed on an SPLC hate list is very subjective and done from the perspective of SPLC’s liberal and Democratic leanings. For example. Dr. Ben Carson was once on the “extremist” list, but only was removed after my website called attention to it. Dr. Rand Paul also was once on an SPLC “extremist” list. That SPLC would put such mainstream conservatives and libertarians on its hate lists, but not similarly situated liberal or Democratic politicians, demonstrates an ideological bias.