British Muslim author Maajid Nawaz recently announced that he plans to sue the Southern Poverty Law Center for adding him to its “anti-Muslim extremists” list, the Independent Journal Review reported.
Nawaz has gained global recognition for his efforts to combat radical Islamic ideology. Once an advocate for the Islamic caliphate, he now preaches reform and tolerance for other religions.
Speaking to HBO’s Bill Maher on “Real Time” Friday, Nawaz said that he is sick of “well-meaning” social progressives who seek to protect what he views as a hateful, false interpretation of Islam:
I’m sick and tired of a lot of the well-meaning, liberal and left-wing — usually white — men who decide I am saying what they don’t agree with, don’t allow for me to say about my own community, my own religious heritage, and as a result have listed me as an anti-Muslim extremist.
“So I am going to take them to court for defamation,” he announced. “I don’t think these lists are helpful.”
Nawaz also shared that he has launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover the legal costs of the suit.
— Maajid (@MaajidNawaz) June 25, 2017
“I’d like to be part of that crowd,” Maher responded.
After thanking Maher, Nawaz continued:
The funny thing is, Bill, I’ve memorized half of the Koran, I’m a Muslim — I’m born and raised a Muslim, to a Muslim family — I’ve learned classical Arabic, I spent time in prison as a political prisoner fighting for what I then thought was my religion, I’ve changed my views as to the interpretation of my religion. And along come these people in sweet Alabama, and decide that I don’t have the right to speak about my own heritage and critique it from within?
Maher agreed, noting that the SLPC’s list dismisses legitimate critics and reformers as bigots. During Friday’s show, he encouraged viewers to consider supporting Nawaz’s lawsuit.
Though Maher is widely known for his far-left social and political views, his stance on immigration and radical Islam has forged a divide between the talk show host and his mostly liberal fan base. The “Real Time” host has defended his position on multiple occasions, arguing that radical Islamic ideology runs counter to the tolerance and inclusivity liberals claim to stand for.
Watch the full interview here: