The Southern Poverty Law Center has reached a settlement with liberal Islamic reformer Maajid Nawaz and his organization, the Quilliam Foundation, for wrongly including them on its now-defunct list of “anti-Muslim extremists.”
The SPLC announced Monday that it has agreed to pay Nawaz and Quilliam $3.375 million “to fund their work to fight anti-Muslim bigotry and extremism.” The settlement was the result of a lawsuit Nawaz filed in April over his inclusion on the SPLC’s “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists.”
The list, which was published in 2016 and was intended to serve as a resource for journalists, was deleted shortly after Nawaz filed the suit. The deletion came roughly two years after Nawaz first demanded a retraction.
“The Southern Poverty Law Center was wrong to include Maajid Nawaz and the Quilliam Foundation in our Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists. Since we published the Field Guide, we have taken the time to do more research and have consulted with human rights advocates we respect,” SPLC president Richard Cohen said in a statement. “We’ve found that Mr. Nawaz and Quilliam have made valuable and important contributions to public discourse, including by promoting pluralism and condemning both anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamist extremism. Although we may have our differences with some of the positions that Mr. Nawaz and Quilliam have taken, they are most certainly not anti-Muslim extremists. We would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Mr. Nawaz, Quilliam, and our readers for the error, and we wish Mr. Nawaz and Quilliam all the best.”