Last week, the White House announced a new assistant to National Security Advisor John Bolton. Like clockwork, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) published an attack on the new employee three days later. Both Bolton and Charles M. Kupperman, the new assistant to the president, have worked for the Center for Security Policy (CSP), a group the SPLC has falsely labeled an “anti-Muslim hate group.”
“It seems there’s just a determined effort by the Left and the mainstream media to smear anyone who works for the Trump administration,” Fred Fleitz, CSP senior vice president for policy and programs and former chief of staff of Trump’s National Security Council (NSC), told PJ Media on Wednesday. Fleitz blasted the SPLC label, explaining that the Center for Security Policy is against radical Islam, not Islam itself.
“I just want to say definitively that Muslims are an important part of our society,” Fleitz said. “They are our friends and neighbors, doctors and lawyers, they deserve to live in peace without harassment. We’re lucky to have them.”
“I think that we have a proud record of standing up against radical Islam, but to say we have prejudice against Muslim people is absolutely false,” the CSP senior vp said. “Muslims are part of our country and our society, this is a good thing. But what we don’t welcome is the radical ideology that promotes violence.”
Fleitz decried “the radical ideology that has inspired radical Islamist attacks in Orlando, San Bernardino, at the Boston Marathon. This is not an issue of being against a religion, but being against an ideology.”
“Radical Islam is a bigger threat to Muslims in the world than non-Muslims. What’s unfortunate is that the Left simply refuses to look at this,” the former NSC chief of staff explained. “They tar anyone who attacks radical Islam as an ‘Islamophobe’ and a ‘hater.’ For some reason, they refuse to acknowledge the nature of this threat.”
Indeed, women across the Muslim world face honor killings, genital mutilation, forced dress codes, bans on driving, and more. Gay people have been thrown off of buildings.
Last month, a large coalition of women who fled the Middle East after experiencing horrific sexual tortures under radical Islam endorsed President Donald Trump for re-election in 2020.
“I feel safe right now, even though I receive death threats, because we have a president who dares speak the truth,” Rabia Kazan, a best-selling author and president of the Middle Eastern Women’s Coalition, told PJ Media at the time. Kazan grew up in Turkey and spent years undercover investigating the abuse of women in Iran.
Kazan bitterly accused former President Barack Obama and the Democrats of intimidating whistleblowers like her into silence by branding them “Islamophobic.”
While Obama no longer wields the influence of the White House to silence the very mention of “radical Islamic terror,” the SPLC continues his strategy by blasting Muslim reformers as “anti-Islamic extremists.”
In a Fox News article in August 2017, Fleitz slammed the SPLC for adding Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim who has suffered female genital mutilation, fled a forced marriage, and barely escaped death at the hands of radical Islamic terrorists. Radical Islamists assassinated her co-worker, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, for helping her produce a film on the “Submission” of women.
The SPLC attacking Ayaan Hirsi Ali “reflected the SPLC’s disgraceful practice of turning a blind eye to the violent hatred and extremism of radical Islam, which Hirsi Ali noted in her op-ed includes weekly killing sprees around the world, justifying wife-beating, enslavement of female unbelievers, murdering gay people and virulent anti-Semitism.”
Hirsi Ali fled from Somalia to the Netherlands, and then to the United States in 2006. She lectures at Harvard and has written two best-selling books, but lives with constant security due to the many threats on her life.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is no longer a Muslim, but the SPLC has also attacked practicing Muslims. Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz filed a defamation lawsuit against the smear group after it labeled him an “anti-Islamic extremist.” The far-Left group ponied up $3.375 million to settle Nawaz’s suit, leading about 60 different organizations to consider their own defamation lawsuits against the SPLC.
As if Fleitz’s explicit welcome for Muslims in the U.S. were not enough to demonstrate that the Center for Security Policy is not an “anti-Muslim hate group,” the CSP senior vp also praised Muslim reformer M. Zuhdi Jasser, a military veteran and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.
“Zuhdi and I, there’s no daylight between us,” Fleitz told PJ Media. “He’s an American hero, a former Navy surgeon. He’s fighting a lonely struggle to reform Islam.”
Last November, Jasser leapt to Fleitz’s defense after Max Boot attacked him, echoing some of the SPLC’s arguments. “Yes it was a smear. You deceptively conflate anti-Islamism/anti-Islamist stances with being anti-Islam/anti-Muslim while parroting Islamist-funded outfits like Georgetown Bridge Initiative,” Jasser tweeted at Boot. “You do grave injustice to real Muslim dissidents!!”
Yes it was a smear. You deceptively conflate anti-Islamism/anti-Islamist stances with being anti-Islam/anti-Muslim while parroting Islamist @OIC_OCI funded outfits like Georgetown Bridge Initiative. You do grave injustice to real Muslim dissidents!! @TheMuslimReform @AsraNomani
— M. Zuhdi Jasser زهدي جاسر (@DrZuhdiJasser) November 28, 2018
Yet the SPLC does not just attack groups like the Center for Security Policy that warn against radical Islam. The far-Left smear factory also lists immigration groups like the Center for Immigration Studies and ACT for America as “anti-immigrant hate groups,” and mainstream Christian groups like Alliance Defending Freedom and D. James Kennedy Ministries as “anti-LGBT hate groups,” listing all of them along with the Ku Klux Klan. Many of these groups are fighting back with lawsuits.
SPLC staffers have declared that the group’s “aim in life” is to “destroy these groups, to completely destroy them.” The “anti-LGBT hate group” label inspired a terrorist attack against the Family Research Council in 2012.
Finally, Baltimore attorney Glen Allen filed a lawsuit last month accusing the SPLC of racketeering, defamation, and wire fraud. His lawsuit also accuses the SPLC of breaking tax law, filing as a 501c3 organization but then engaging in political activity forbidden to such organizations. The SPLC attacked Donald Trump over and over again in the 2016 election, and it seems utterly bent on tying him to all kinds of “hate” throughout his presidency.
While many attacks against Trump do not violate the group’s tax-exempt status, this lawsuit might just hit the SPLC where it hurts most — making it subject to federal taxes. At what point do constant attacks on Trump cross from the realm of policy into the realm of political campaigning?
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.