The London-based Quilliam Foundation, which bills itself as the world's first counter-extremism organization, has announced that the Southern Poverty Law Center has apologized to the organization and its founder, Maajid Nawaz, for wrongly listing them in its Journalists' Manual: Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists.
In addition to the apology, SPLC has agreed to pay Quilliam more than $3.37 million in support of its efforts to combat anti-Muslim bigotry and extremism. "It was the right thing to do in light of our mistake and the right thing to do in light of the growing prejudice against the Muslim community on both sides of the Atlantic," SPLC said in a statement. "We will look to our insurance carrier to cover the cost of the settlement."
"With the help of everyone who contributed to our litigation fund, we were able to fight back against the Regressive Left and show them that moderate Muslims will not be silenced," said Nawaz. "We will continue to combat extremists by defying Muslim stereotypes, calling out fundamentalism in our own communities, and speaking out against anti-Muslim hate."
"[O]ne of the reasons Mr. Nawaz has said that he was so troubled by our listing was the fact that he had respected our work for many years," SPLC said in a statement. "Although we may have our differences with some of the positions that Mr. Nawaz and Quilliam have taken, we recognize that they have made important contributions to efforts to promote pluralism and that they are most certainly not anti-Muslim extremists."
(Photo credit: Eugene Regis)