Last year, after Islamic jihadis tried to murder Pamela Geller and me in Garland, Texas, “journalist” Cathy Young published not one, but two lengthy and mendacious rants attacking us (here and here) — and those followed several other broadsides against me over the years: Young is a determined and longtime apologist for jihad terror. Yet here she is outraged that the Southern Poverty Law Center, which she comically terms a “civil rights group” (here’s what it really is: a hard-Left smear agency for profit) has dared to include Ayaan Hirsi Ali and especially Maajid Nawaz on its latest hit list of “anti-Muslim extremists.”
Young doesn’t realize, or would never admit, that what the SPLC is doing now to Hirsi Ali and Nawaz (and thirteen others, including me) is exactly the same thing that she has done repeatedly to me, as well as to Pamela Geller, over the years. Young would doubtless insist that there is legitimate criticism of Islam and jihad terror on the one hand, and “anti-Muslim extremism” on the other, and the two things are not the same. Yet the SPLC has just shown that they make no such distinctions, and neither does the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) or any of the other purveyors of the “Islamophobia” myth. Young and Nawaz would claim that there is a difference between what he does and what those whom they think deserve to be on the list do, and that the SPLC, upstanding “civil rights group” that it is, has just missed it, but their only basis for this claim is the same kind of innuendo, half-truth, distortion and outright lie that the SPLC has now employed against Nawaz and Hirsi Ali. Geller and I and others on the SPLC’s list have been smeared and defamed for years by people such as…Cathy Young. Now the same tactics are being turned on their friends.
Pardon me if I do not shed a tear. This whole episode only illustrates what I’ve pointed out for years: no criticism of Islam or opposition to jihad terror, no matter how mild or carefully couched (or accurate), is acceptable to the Left (such as the SPLC) and its Islamic supremacist allies. Young and Nawaz and the others who are enraged about his inclusion on the list, but not about the list itself, may someday wake up to that. But I won’t be holding my breath.
“Civil rights group veers off course,” by Cathy Young, Newsday, November 1, 2016:
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group founded 45 years ago with a focus on combating hate and extremism, has often come under fire from conservatives who argue its classification of extremists and hate groups has a left-wing bias — mainly because of disputes over labeling traditionalist views of homosexuality as anti-gay hate. But now the center has done more to discredit itself than its worst enemies could by branding critics of radical Islamism — including a liberal Muslim reformer — as Muslim-hating bigots.
The center’s “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists,” released last week and compiled with Media Matters for America and two other left-of-center advocacy groups, includes 15 men and women. The report urges the media to treat them as “propagandists . . . far outside of the political mainstream” and their views as “toxic” and dangerous.
Some critics have taken issue with the entire list. However, the label fits some of the people on it — those who paint nearly all Muslims as potential terrorists and violent jihadists and even argue that Islam does not qualify for First Amendment protections.
One of the most notorious people on the list, anti-“Islamization” activist Pamela Geller of [location redacted], has compared a proposed Islamic center and mosque in downtown Manhattan with a Ku Klux Klan center and accused President Barack Obama of jihadist sympathies. Geller has voiced support for perpetrators of war crimes against Muslim civilians in the Balkans and relentlessly stoked Islamists-under-the-bed paranoia in America.
This is, of course, a highly tendentious mischaracterization in many ways, covered in the two rebuttals (here and here) to Young’s earlier hate screeds. But note that Young writes “Pamela Geller of” a certain location. Is she trying to signal to jihadists who may want to enforce the Islamic State’s death fatwa against Pamela Geller where they might find her? Is she trying to get Geller killed? Or just intimidate her into silence? Having signally failed to make her smears against Geller and me stick in the past, is Young moving to a new level of thuggery? No one else’s location is given in the article.
Other names on the list are questionable, to say the least….
But the most bizarre choice is the inclusion of Maajid Nawaz, a British Pakistani Muslim. An ex-radical turned reformer, Nawaz heads the Quilliam Foundation, which promotes moderate Islam. He has spoken out against anti-Muslim hate. His extremist crimes? Nawaz has warned that many mainstream Muslim organizations which reject terrorism nonetheless espouse Islamism (i.e. the imposition of authoritarian Islamic norms by political means). Also, he has tweeted a cartoon of Jesus and Muhammed “despite the fact that many Muslims see it as blasphemous to draw Muhammad.” Is violation of Islamic blasphemy laws now a form of hate?…
The report strips the center of all credibility as a voice against extremism. It also validates the perception of many on the right that “political correctness” makes it impossible to criticize modern Islam’s very real problem with radicalism. That perception helps fuel the truly toxic anti-Muslim and anti-liberal backlash exemplified by the rise of Donald Trump.