Maajid Nawaz, a former Islamic extremist-turned-reformist who now runs a counter-extremism think tank, will sue the Southern Poverty Law Center for including him on a list of anti-Muslim extremists, he announced on Bill Maher’s HBO show Friday night.
Nawaz, who is also an author and ran for office in Britain in 2015, runs the Quilliam Foundation, which describes itself as “the world’s first counter-extremism organization,” dedicated to promoting pluralism within Islam and other religions. In October, the Southern Poverty Law Center — a left-wing “anti-hate” nonprofit that frequently targets conservative advocacy groups — listed Nawaz among 15 “anti-Muslim extremists,” including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Pamela Geller, Brigitte Gabriel, David Horowitz and others.
“I’ve memorized half of the Koran. I’m a Muslim. I’m born and raised Muslim to a Muslim. I’ve learned classical Arabic and spent time in prison as a political prisoner for what I then thought was my religion,” Nawaz told Maher on Friday night’s episode of Real Time. “I’ve changed my views as to the interpretation of my religion, and along come these people…and decide that I don’t have the right to speak about my own heritage and critique it from within.”
Nawaz said he would be taking the SPLC to court for defamation and using crowdfunding to pay for the legal fees.
Originally published by Breitbart.