The new hate group next door… Ann Arbor’s American Freedom Law Center makes the SPLC “hate group” list

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I may be wrong, but, a few years ago, when I interviewed Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) Senior Fellow Mark Potok about the activities of hate groups across Michigan, I don’t believe his organization, which monitors the activities of some 892 extremist groups across the United States, had identified any in our immediate region that met their criteria. Well, I was just looking at their newly updated “hate map” and it looks as though we’ve finally made the list.

According to the SPLC, the Ann Arbor-based American Freedom Law Center, which was created in early 2012 by Robert Muise of the Thomas More Law Center and anti-Muslim “lawfare” activist David Yerushalmi, it deserving of the “hate group” designation given the anti-Muslim character of their work. As this is my first exposure to the group, and as I’ve just now started reading about their activities, I can’t say for certain how fair the characterization is. I can certainly see, however, based on the following quotes taken from articles authored by Yerushalmi over the past decade, how our friends at the SPLC may have come to the conclusion that his activities should be monitored.

“The Mythical ‘moderate’ Muslim… the Muslim who embraces traditional Islam but wants a peaceful coexistence with the West, is effectively non-existent.”
– “Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques,” Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2011

“But if standardized testing suggests a racial component to IQ, if the New York City and national murder statistics suggest there is a racial component to murder, why is that necessarily a bad racism? With all of the liberal talk of evolution and biology, why do people find it so difficult to confront the facts that some races perform better in sports, some better in mathematical problem solving, some better in language, some better in Western societies and some better in tribal ones?”
– “On Race: A Tentative Discussion,” The McAdam Report, May 12, 2006

“There is a reason the founding fathers did not give women or black slaves the right to vote. You might not agree or like the idea but this country’s founders, otherwise held in the highest esteem for their understanding of human nature and its affect [sic] on political society, certainly took it seriously. Why is that? Were they so flawed in their political reckonings that they manhandled the most important aspect of a free society – the vote? If the vote counts for so much in a free and liberal democracy as we ‘know’ it today, why did they limit the vote so dramatically?”
– “On Race: A Tentative Discussion,” The McAdam Report, May 12, 2006

Have you had any interactions with the American Freedom Law Center? If so, let me know. I’m curious to know more about what they’re doing here in our backyard.

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15 Comments

  1. Posted August 31, 2016 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    It is because they didn’t make their kids do enough online math modules.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    I’m curious as to why EOS is avoiding this conversation.

  3. Eel
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Men in suits have done me more harm that women in burqas.

    http://imgur.com/Kp0CDY6

  4. Kim
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    So non-whites don’t have the temperament for democracy?

    You really need to get this guy on your radio show, Mark.

  5. EOS
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Anonymous,
    Because the Southern Poverty Law Center has declared the Family Research Council to be a hate group as well and subsequently a gunman went into their headquarters in DC and shot a man. I have followed the FRC for a number of years and don’t think they advocate hate by any stretch of the imagination. Tony Perkins is a Bible believing Christian leader who has never advocated any violence nor shown any indication that he is motivated by hate. The SPLC is not a valid reference for me. They create mythical “hate groups” to justify their existence.

    I don’t know anything about American Freedom Law Center, but the Thomas Moore Center is a strong conservative Catholic law group that advocates Constitutional principles. They have presented a number of cases at the U.S. Supreme Court.

  6. Drumpf
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    That’s some amazing data they are looking at. To have found proof that there are no moderate, intelligent, non-rapey muslims is the panacea all Trumpers have been waiting for!

  7. Thom Elliott
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Hilarious. Perkins is a wide eyed, delerious hater of gays, just like the WBC, Perkins claims natural disasters are God’s wrath against gays, he has a storied history of insane hate fueled comments about gays, endorses the hideously hateful obviously unscientific and laughably ineffective ex-gay conversion therapy etc. Perkins is a monster, I laughed when I heard his house was flooded, some poetic justice.

  8. Posted August 31, 2016 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    EOS’ comment:

    lol

  9. EOS
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Thom,

    More than one hundred thousand ex-gays would dispute what you said. But reparative therapy does not work for everyone. And substance abuse treatment doesn’t work for everyone either, but you keep trying. And those who are cured in both groups may still have occasional desires, but don’t act on those desires. Yet I don’t see anyone calling substance abuse treatment facilities obviously unscientific and laughably ineffective. Many are helped.

  10. EOS
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    WBC? World Boxing Council? Women’s Business Center?

  11. Anonymous
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    One hundred thousand ex-gays. That’s hilarious.

  12. Holly
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    “Cured.” Hahaha. HAHAHAHA.

    Right.

  13. Andy LaBarre
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I like when we make other types of “best of” lists.

  14. Citywatch
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I believe representatives of the Thomas Moore Law Center were front and center when Ypsilanti was in the process of adopting the Non-discrimination Ordinence the first time around when Cheryl Farmer was mayor and the council sessions got so big they had to be moved to the Ypsilanti High Auditorium.

  15. Citywatch
    Posted August 31, 2016 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    I believe representatives of the Thomas Moore Law Center were front and center when Ypsilanti was in the process of adopting the Non-discrimination Ordinence the first time around when Cheryl Farmer was mayor and the council sessions got so big they had to be moved to the Ypsilanti High Auditorium. They also were among those who challenged the ordinance and forced it to a vote a second time.

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