No fewer than 60 organizations branded “hate groups” or otherwise attacked by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) are considering legal action against the left-wing smear factory, a Christian legal nonprofit leader confirmed to PJ Media on Tuesday. He suggested that the $3 million settlement and apology the SPLC gave to Maajid Nawaz and his Quiliam Foundation on Monday would encourage further legal action.
“We haven’t filed anything against the SPLC, but I think a number of organizations have been considering filing lawsuits against the SPLC, because they have been doing to a lot of organizations exactly what they did to Maajid Nawaz that’s part of the settlement,” Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, told PJ Media on Tuesday.
Liberty Counsel filed a lawsuit against the charity navigation organization GuideStar for defamation, after GuideStar adopted the SPLC’s “hate group” list. That lawsuit is ongoing.
In 2016, the SPLC published its “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists,” listing Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz, a practicing Muslim, as one such extremist. The left-wing group listed various reasons for including him, changing the reasons every so often, and even at one point mentioning that he had gone to a strip club for his bachelor party.
On Monday, SPLC President Richard Cohen extended his group’s “sincerest apologies to Mr. Nawaz, Quilliam, and our readers for the error, and we wish Mr. Nawaz and Quilliam all the best.” In settling the suit, the SPLC paid Nawaz’s organization $3.375 million.
“This is a significant settlement,” Staver told PJ Media. “3.375 million dollars, and it did not even go to litigation, it was a result of a demand letter.”
Importantly, “the allegations that were at issue here were very similar to the allegations against the other groups,” the Liberty Counsel chairman explained. “The SPLC promotes false propaganda, demonizes and labels groups they disagree with, and that labeling has economic as well as physical consequences.”
Full article: pjmedia.com