"The SPLC Defends Its Hate-Group Labeling” | Wall Street Journal

Morris Dees, the founder of SPLC, milks his registered
charity as does his CEO, Richard Cohen. (Source)

LETTER TO WALL STREET JOURNAL:

Richard Cohen, CEO of the SPLC, defends the Center for listing as "hate" groups various anti gay marriage organizations. ("The SPLC Defends Its Hate-Group Labeling"  ($) September 1-3). 
What about the much more dubious labeling of the individuals Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Wayback). Both are knowledgable critics of Islam. Nawaz is still a Muslim, Ali an ex Muslim. They are vastly experienced with the theory and practice of Islam. Today they are important voices trying to develop and amplify the voices of moderation in the Islamic world. To list them as "haters" does immeasurable harm to these endeavors. 
Many people from across the political spectrum have criticised their inclusion on SPLC's self-defined hate list. SPLC's defense of the listings reveals half-understandings of their views and arbitrary acceptance of out-of-context statements by them. 
On Hirsi-Ali, for example, Cohen has said that she called Islam a "death cult". Never mind that such a statement is defensible and at least debatable, there are Muslims themselves who make the claim ("we love death more than you love life").  In any case, it's certainly not "hate speech" no matter Cohen's blathering. 
Hirsi Ali already travels with armed security at all times. Nawaz has regular threats against his life. The bogus SPLC hate listing has made things worse for them both, these brave warriors trying to defang violent Islamism. 
Shame on Cohen and shame on the SPLC!
(230 words)
Yours, etc
pf

PS: what about dubious dealings of the SPLC.  Documented by Chicago University Professor Jerry Coyne (a left-liberal!) at "More on the sleazy behavior of the SPLC", on 2 September 2017. Some of SPLC's financial shenanigans are breathtaking.

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