The evangelical organization Proclaiming Justice to The Nations (PJTN) has recently been placed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups.
PJTN’s main goal is to fight anti-Semitism through encouraging state legislators to act against anti-Semitism and BDS. But the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) added the group, which is headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, to its hate group list.
This could result in the US Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) adding PJTN personnel to the national no-flight list.
Laurie Cardoza-Moore, president and founder of PJTN, commented: “If being pro-Israel and against anti-Semitism is now considered a hate crime, I will wear the SPLC listing as a badge of honor. Placing Proclaiming Justice to The Nations alongside bigots and Nazis minimizes the true meaning of hate. In reality, PJTN is on the front lines fighting against anti-Semitism on a daily basis. We will continue to fight hate through our thousands of PJTN Watchmen around the globe. Our answer to this absurd listing will be to open more PJTN chapters in America and fight harder to have anti-Semitism defined and confronted throughout the free world.”
But according to SPLC, the pro-Israel group was added to the list because of its anti-Muslim statements: “Anti-Muslim groups remain a force in the US with Donald Trump and important administration members as allies in the White House,” SPLC explains.
SPLC views ACT for America, the largest anti-Muslim organization in the country, as the most active hate group against Muslims.
In April, Cardoza-Moore called on President Trump to have Ilhan Omar’s connections to the subversive Muslim Brotherhood thoroughly investigated (see: Cardoza-Moore Asking Trump to Probe Rep. Omar’s Muslim Brotherhood Connections).
“Tens of thousands of American patriots have signed our petition to have Ilhan Omar ousted from Congress over her anti-Semitism and connections to the subversive Muslim Brotherhood,” Cardoza-Moore said at the time. “I have personally requested that the Attorney General and Speaker of the House investigate these ties, which pose a real threat to the security of America.”
“If an organization which seeks the demise of America has managed to infiltrate Congress, it might be time for the Commander in Chief to take action. We cannot afford to be silent, with terror supporters in Congress,” she said.
Unfortunately, someone at the SPLC red-flagged Cardoza-Moore’s group, equating criticism of an extremist, anti-Semitic Muslim group with hating Muslims as a whole.
On Wednesday, Cardoza-Moore commented that “the SPLC list has become nothing short of a witch hunt against organizations that don’t share their extremist liberal worldview. Sadly, many institutions still look to the once credible SPLC for advice on hate groups. We hope that being blacklisted will not impede upon our ability to continue defending the Jewish people and Israel against global anti-Semitism. We will not be marginalized or silenced because of our support for Israel and the Jewish people. This will only strengthen our resolve to work harder. We call upon all of our supporters to write to the SPLC and demand that they immediately remove PJTN from their nefarious list before they lose any credibility they still have as a credible watchdog.”
The SPLC’s listing of hate groups has been condemned for more than a decade, with critics saying that it chooses its causes with specific potential donors in mind, with the result often being that people and groups designated as “hate groups” being targeted by protesters, even violent ones, that prevent them from speaking altogether.
The SPLC on occasion reviews its decisions and removes a few people from its hate listings; but it has stood behind the vast majority of its targeted individuals and groups.
David A. Graham wrote in The Atlantic in 2018 (The Unlabelling of an ‘Anti-Muslim Extremist’) that while criticism of the SPLC had long existed, the sources of such criticism have expanded recently to include “sympathetic observers and fellow researchers on hate groups” concerned about the organization “mixing its research and activist strains.”