Podcast #261 – SPLC vs Ayaan Hirsi Ali

ayaanhirsialiWhy has the Southern Poverty Law Center placed Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Maajid Nawaz on their list of “anti-Muslim extremists”? Certainly both Ali (who was the victim of female genital mutilation and narrowly escaped an arranged marriage before making a success of herself in the Western world) and Nawaz (himself once a jihadist who spent jail time in Egypt, and who now heads a counter-extremist think-tank in the UK) have been critical of Islam, but is it fair to call them extremists in turn?

Plus:

Virginia pastor Terry Wayne Millender and his wife have been arrested, accused of orchestrating a $1.2 million scam that victimized members of their church.

In recent years, churches have organized “Hell Houses” at Halloween. Instead of traditional scares like vampires and zombies, Hell Houses showcase sadistic fundamentalist fantasies of the horrors that await the unsaved in the afterlife. This year, a Chicago area church abandoned a plan to recreate Orlando’s Pulse nightclub massacre (which took the lives of 49 LGBT victims) as part of their annual Hell House. The key word here is “abandoned”–but it’s pretty disturbing that a church would think of doing such a thing, even going so far as to put out an ad for actors to play the victims.

The 2016 election will be over soon, and Republican candidate Donald Trump is widely expected to lose. Most analysts and consultants expect the GOP to face an “existential crisis,” an epic tug-o-war between the more traditional leadership (the mundane pro-business foreign policy hawks who would ordinarily be happy to compromise with the Democrats so both sides can win something) and the rabid “base” who are so desperate to burn “the system” to the ground they were willing to vote for Donald Trump. Grab the popcorn.

To listen to this episode click here.

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