Religious Freedom Group: ‘SPLC Puts People’s Lives In Danger’
First reported by PJ Media, several organizations are considering legal action against a non-profit that has labeled them “hate groups.”
Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel (LC), a Christian legal non-profit told Big League Politics that the threat of physical harm attached to an SPLC “hate group” listing is tangible. Staver’s organization could very well end up leading the charge against the SPLC.
“We had to install extra security cameras and codes all over the building,” Staver said. “We’ve had deaths threats, and suspicious things mailed to us. “SPLC puts people’s lives in danger. We’ve had our entire staff go through active shooter training.”
LC is an international non-profit public policy and litigation organization focused on religious freedom, sanctity of life, and sanctity of marriage.
Staver also said that the organization has been damaged in other ways. Prudential Life Insurance, for example, who used to partner with LC, ended their partnership due to the “hate group” listing. So did Amazon Smile, a charitable service provided by the online retail giant.
“You can go on and on with different situations like that,” Staver said.
The Quilliam Foundation, run by Maajid Nawaz, won a settlement against the SPLC on Monday after he sued them for labeling his organization as “extremist.” Nawaz is a former British politician whose organization fights radical Islam and educates about misinterpretations of the Koran that lead to jihadism. Quilliam was included in the SPLC’s “A Journalist’s Manual: Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists.”
“We would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Mr. Nawaz, Quilliam, and our readers for the error, and we wish Mr. Nawaz and Quilliam all the best,” said SPLC President Richard Cohen in a statement. “We would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Mr. Nawaz, Quilliam, and our readers for the error, and we wish Mr. Nawaz and Quilliam all the best.”
Staver said that many organizations are considering legal action as Quilliam did.
“There are 60 plus organizations that are on the list,” he said. “We have been in communication with them, and in fact with the PJ Media article, several organizations have communicated with me today because they’re in the same situation.”
Staver said he thinks the chances of a lawsuit are high, and that there was a strong desire for legal action among many of the other groups even before the Quilliam settlement.
Notoriously, the SPLC labels most groups that do not adhere to its radical leftist agenda as “hateful,” and is often cited by politicians and on mainstream news programs. The whole organization adds up to a legitimate-sounding propaganda machine.
“Anyone who relies on SPLC is complicit with the violence that false characterizations cause,” Staver finished. We need to have civil dialogue. We can disagree, but how many more people have to have their lives put in jeopardy?”