(A nevertheless ever so slightly confused) Nick Cohen reports on a truly colossal mess:
I asked the SPLC’s Mark Potok, ‘one of the country’s leading experts on the world of extremism,’ according to its website, if he was Muslim himself. ‘No.’ Was he happy, then, branding a liberal Muslim ‘an anti-Muslim extremist?’ Well, Potok said, the head of Scotland Yard’s Muslim Contact Unit had accused Nawaz of ‘demonising a whole range of groups that have made valuable contributions to counter-terrorism,’ and that was good enough for him.
I tried to explain that the then head of the Muslim Contact Unit was Bob Lambert, one of the most notorious agent provocateurs British policing has produced. He stole the identity of a dead boy and infiltrated left groups. Pretending to be one of them, he got an activist pregnant then vanished from his partner and child’s lives. (…)
Did Mark Potok, ‘one of the country’s leading experts on the world of extremism’ if you please, know he was relying on the word of a stool pigeon? ‘I don’t know the details.’
Cohen makes a wrongheaded comment about Pamela Geller, and concludes “If Nawaz sues, SPLC’s work in fighting the white far right will suffer grievously,” like that would be a bad thing.
But if you ignore the foolishness: A scary read.