Maajid Nawaz Called “Anti-Muslim Extremist” and He’s Suing!
NOTE: Middle East Eye just published my latest piece, The Syrian war’s worst kept secret that could become Israel’s nightmare. It’s an expanded and substantially-updated piece based on a post I wrote here recently. Give it a read and a share!
Over the past few days the alt-right media wind tunnel blew lots of hot air reporting that “Muslim reformer” Maajid Nawaz planned to sue the Southern Poverty Law Center and three other NGOs for including him on a list of 16 “anti-Muslim extremists.” Conveniently, he announced this on Bill Maher’s HBO program, in which the host joined him in feigned outrage: the idea of a Muslim trying to reform Islam and bring it from the Dark Ages into a modern, civilized society should be smeared in such a way, why it’s an outrage!
Breitbart, FoxNews, etc. were “on” the story. Trying to turn it into a media frenzy. Luckily it appears to have fizzled. Even though Nawaz announced he was “crowdfunding” his lawsuit and Maher volunteered to contribute an unspecified amount, not much seems to have come of it. Since Nawaz chose to raise funds through his foundation rather than a more transparent online outlet, no one knows how much he’s raised. I queried his foundation about this and asked if he’d filed his suit and whether he had legal representation. My guess is that he hasn’t and doesn’t. Further, I’m guessing this was a scheme hatched either by Nawaz or Maher’s producers to create a controversy where none existed. Needless to say, I haven’t yet heard back from the Quilliam Foundation in answer to my questions.
After I read about the anti-Muslim list I visited the SPLC site and read his entry. It wasn’t till several visits to the site that I noted the list had been published in October 2016. In other words, Nawaz waited nine months until he decided to sue. In other words, it was all a gimmick.
There are all sorts of legal problems with his case. The main one being that as a UK citizen who’s lived here for a relatively brief time, he appears not to understand U.S. libel law. As a public figure, the courts give the media a wide berth in what they can say, as long as they have a reasonable basis for saying it. And truth is an absolute defense in a libel case. If SPLC can claim that its portrayal is accurate and truthful, then Nawaz is completely out of luck.
While it’s true that his supporters violently disagree with his being categorized as “anti-Muslim” (they prefer calling him a “counter-extremist” and his opponents the “regressive left”) the SPLC compiled a fairly comprehensive profile (here’s an even more comprehensive one) which enumerated the various outrageous statements he’s made about his fellow Muslims. He secretly contacted Scotland Yard urging them to place UK Muslims under surveillance and warned that they were capable of inflicting grave harm on the nation. Though Islam considers a graphic representation as sacrilege, Nawaz published such an image. As a Muslim, he engaged in wildly inappropriate behavior like abandoning his first wife and enjoying lap dances at a strip club while he was a Liberal Democratic candidate for parliament.
With the help of neocon fellow travelers like Michael Weiss and Islamophobe atheists like Sam Harris, he’s transferred his domicile to the U.S., where he’s married a poofy-haired model-like non-Muslim wife about whom he tweeted :
“Don’t ya wish your wifey. was. hot. like. mine? …. Don’t ya? … Don’t ya?” @RachelMaggart x pic.twitter.com/u6DVGDVxkh
— Maajid (@MaajidNawaz) April 13, 2015
Nawaz is a UK version of Zuhdi Jasser, yet another U.S. Muslim who seems to hate most of his co-religionists, and serves as a token Muslim for the many Islamophobic groups who seek a “moderate” to show off as an exemplar of what the “good” ones are like.
Another problem with his suit is that he’s waited far too long to file. Courts take a dim view of libel claims that are filed long after the alleged offense. The sooner you file the more valid your claim. In other words, Nawaz hasn’t a leg to stand on.
That means that the threat unveiled on Maher’s show was little more than a ratings gimmick. In turn, this shows what a charlatan he is. He’s not a Muslim reformer. He’s a rank opportunist whose con is facilitated by those who have their own Islamophobic agenda.
10 thoughts on “Maajid Nawaz Called “Anti-Muslim Extremist” and He’s Suing! – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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You are very supportive calling him anti-this or anti-that but when people call you anti-Israeli or anti-Zionist you rage with “I’ve never said I was, so don’t call me one” or “I’m progressive-Zionist”.
People give other people titles in accordance with what they write or speak. It is true about Nawaz and about yourself.
My bet is, this comment will be censored like the other thousands of comments you have have censored before.
@ Ariel Eyn Shalom: I’m not Maajid Nawaz. So comparing him to me is a red herring. Further, I’ve listed specific anti-Muslim behavior in which he engaged. That means calling him “anti-Muslim” is legitimate.
No one can specify any anti-Israel or anti-Semitic statement I’ve ever made. And comments I’ve made attacking “Zionism” are meant to attack the ideology as practiced by those I’m criticizing. Zionism has many streams and I’ve endorsed one particular one and criticized others. So labelling me as anti-Zionist is a lie, plain & simple. I’m glad the phrase “progressive ZIonist” irks you. Deal with it!
Your comment wasn’t censored & you lost the bet. So pay up.
If your sort of progressive Zionism is ‘a stream’ of Zionism, so is anti-Zionism.
And my bet was a small trick to get you to publish my comment. Thank you for that.
Now this one is defiantly not going to be published.
@ Ariel Eyn Shalom: No this one will be published. But because you’re proud of your own deviousness & because you violated the comment rules in calling me anti-Zionist. You are now banned. Buckle up as you land at Ben Gurion & tell yr replacement to have a nice trip.
“I queried his foundation about this and asked if he’d filed his suit and whether he had legal representation. ”
There is a statute of limitations that applies to libel law and Nawaz would be wise to file suit, it costs around $150 in federal court, right before the limitations expire. That’s probably what he will do. He will have no problem finding a lawyer either.
“As a public figure, the courts give the media a wide berth in what they can say, ”
When did the SPLC become part of the media? I thought it was a nonprofit legal advocacy organization specializing in civil rights and public interest litigation.
I think Nawaz new wife, is beautiful, don’t you?
@ Ilene: He’d be an idiot to file suit as my post makes clear & you’re an idiot for encouraging him. But if you’re so fired up on his behalf why don’t you take the case? And if you’re not a lawyer, find him one. There are scores of hasbara-type lawyers. You can start with the Olympia food coop lawyer whose wife is on the SWU board. He’ll do it for nothing.
First of all, yes SPLC published this information so it would be considered a media source & hence protected as journalism. But Nawaz’s public figure status relates to him & not to who is purportedly libelling him. Whether he’s libelled by an NGO or media outlet, as a public figure he immediately is less protected than if he were a private person.
As for beauty, no. Not my type. I don’t like the model types with the fake sexy come-on poses. But Nawaz has a habit of abandoning his wives. If he abandons this one, I’ll see if I can get her phone number for you.
Neither the New Republic article nor the SPLC show the Nawaz is anti-Muslim.
Nawaz posting caricatures of Muhammad and Jesus doesn’t make him anymore anti-Muslim than Charley Hebdo. Urging veiled women to take off their hijabs certainly is not anti-Muslim, because many, if not most Muslim women, don’t wear hijabs to begin with.
@ Ilene: On the contrary, both TNR & SPLC profiles offer ample evidence that he’s anti-Muslim.
NO MUSLIM would publish an image of the Prophet. NONE. It’s the equivalent of eating pork in a synagogue. No Jew would do that unless he deliberately wished to provoke, insult and embarrass Jews. Similarly, Nawaz clearly does wish to do that to Muslims, hence he hates them & their religion. BTW, Charlie Hebdo IS anti-Muslim.
Would a Jew who demanded that Jews not wear kippot be anti-Jewish? There were Reform Jews at one time who rejected this custom. If they did so now they’d be labelled anti-Jewish. Therefore, any purported Muslim who inveighs against women wearing hijabs is anti-Muslim. Nor is Nawaz enough of a Muslim scholar or theologian to be able to say whether women should wear them or not according to Muslim tradition.
You are done in this thread.
Nawaz wants Muslim woman emancipated, like his wife is. Emancipation isn’t anti-Muslim.
Nawaz isn’t anti Muslim, he against archaic blasphemy laws that brought death on Charlie Hebdo and fatwas on Salman Rushdie.
@Ilene: why is it that western colonialists & their native stooges want to “improve” the lives of “primitive” peoples, when they”are largely doing just fine for themselves. There are millions of Muslim women living free enough lives that if they thought they needed your blasted emancipation struggle they would rose up & seize it. Yet despite a very small number like Hirsi Ali Manji & a few others, they feel OK with the lives they lead. No one invited you or Nawaz to emancipate anyone. So butt out. Muslim women can take care of themselves just fine.
Nawaz’ wife is NOT Muslim. Hence she never needed emancipation. Though in marrying him one has to wonder what her taste & priorities are. His first wife didn’t need emancipation. She needed a husband. But her husband preferred strip clubs rather than a home life.
We too have laws against making images of God. So are you in favor of creating graven images, a violation of one of the Ten Commandments??