If a liberal Christian were to voice opposition to right-wing Christian extremism, would this make that Christian an anti-Christian extremist? I only ask because there appears to be an absurdly bigoted double-standard among many western liberals when it comes to Islam. The debate in the west over Islam is intensely polarized between two equally emotive and equally ridiculous political camps, each employing their own unique brand of bigotry and both consistently conflating the belief with the believer, but only with regards to Muslims and Islam. The Right notoriously places collective blame on all Muslims for the atrocities committed by the few and the far left have made it their business to shelter Islamic extremism from even the mildest forms of criticism by smearing critics with the confused pejorative “Islamophobe”.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which does some very important and valuable work, seems to have been infected with the pseudo-liberalism of the Regressive Left. By placing ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali and liberal Muslim Maajid Nawaz on their list of anti-Muslim extremists, they have assisted in enforcing Islamic orthodoxy from beyond the confines of the Ummah. Leaving aside the absurdity of labelling a Muslim an anti-Muslim, it is important to highlight the way in which the Regressive Left continues to act as an electric fence for secular Muslims and ex-Muslims who face intense persecution and oppression within their own communities. The acute suffering imposed upon ex-Muslims was exposed in Deeyah Khan’s brilliant and heartbreaking documentary, Islam’s Non-Believers, and I would highly recommend this film to the members of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Regressive Left in general; those who assist conservative imams and mullahs by zealously enforcing Islamic orthodoxy and discouraging apostasy by relentlessly attacking, smearing and shaming liberal Muslims and vocal ex-Muslims like Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Maajid Nawaz.
Returning to my initial question: If a liberal Christian were to voice opposition to right-wing Christian extremism, would this make that Christian an anti-Christian extremist? If so, then we would most certainly have to place the Southern Poverty Law Center on a list of anti-Christian extremist organizations. The Southern Poverty Law Center has published scathing reports on Christian extremist groups such as Christian Identity and the Ku Klux Klan, and I’m not saying this is a bad thing, it is a great thing, but it is exactly what Maajid Nawaz’s Quilliam Foundation has been doing, and this is, essentially, the reason Maajid was placed on the SPLC’s anti-Muslim extremist list. The SPLC have not merely tackled Christian extremist groups, they have also rightly spoken out against Christianity’s non-violent “Islamists”, the very charge they laid against Maajid. So, why aren’t Muslims allowed to criticize problematic doctrines and extremist elements within their own religion without being labelled extremists by well-meaning yet extremely bigoted western liberals? I think this question is a very important one, which many well-meaning liberals should take the time to contemplate and reflect upon.
Aside from the ludicrous irony of labelling anti-extremists “extremists”, the Southern Poverty Law Center has fallen prey to the regressive bigotry of the Regressive Left and in so doing, they have, for all intents and purposes, issued a very dangerous fatwa against two brave individuals who have selflessly dedicated their lives to combating dangerous extremism.
Please sign and share this petition: Remove Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali from the SPLC’s list of anti-Muslim extremists