More proof that Robert Spencer is an intellectual huckster

This is still my favorite picture of Robert Spencer.

This is part of my continuing (and epic) rebuttal of chapter four of Robert Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).  In this chapter, Spencer vilifies Islam by sensationalizing the topic of dhimma, (or “dhimmitude” as he says).  I’ve already taken a massive sledgehammer to this fundamental pillar of his hateful paradigm, and you can see the catastrophic damage I’ve done by reading this, this, this, this, this, and this.

Then I came across this golden nugget, from p.49 of his book:

The dhimmi

The Qur’an calls Jews and Christians “People of the Book;” Islamic law calls them dhimmis, which means “protected” or “guilty” people–the Arabic word means both…Jews and Christians are “guilty” because they have not only rejected Muhammad as a prophet, but have also distorted the legitimate revelations they have received from Allah.  Because of that guilt, Islamic law dictates that Jews and Christians may live in Islamic states, but not as equals with Muslims.

Wow.  Just wow.  Usually Spencer dresses his lie up in half-truths, obfuscation, and sensationalism before he peddles it to his hate-mongering audience.  But here we have a case of complete fabrication.

Dhimmi means “protected person” and in no way, shape, or form means “guilty.”  One can simply open up an Arabic dictionary to prove that this has absolutely no basis in the reality-based world.  For example, here’s what Lisan al-Arab (considered the most reliable Arabic dictionary in the classical age of Islam) says:

ورجل ذِمِّيٌّ: معناه رجل له عهد

(Dhimmi: A person with whom there exists a treaty)

والذِّمَّةُ العهد

(And ‘dhimmah’ means treaty)

قال الجوهري: الذِّمَّةُ أَهل العقد.

(Al-Jawhari says: Dhimmah refers to the people with whom there is a treaty)

وقال أَبو عبيدة الذِّمّةُ الأَمان

(Abu Ubaydah says: Dhimmah means protection/security)

وقوم ذِمَّةٌ: مُعاهدون أَي ذوو ذِمَّةٍ

(A Nation of Dhimmah: The people who sign a treaty, i.e. the people of ‘responsibility’)

You can check any other Arabic dictionary to prove that “dhimmi” does not mean “guilty.”  The word “madhmum” shares the same root as “dhimmi”, but so do many other words. To imply that there is a necessary connection between the two is pure idiocy, and proof of one’s ignorance of Arabic.  They are quite simply two separate words entirely.

If the Prophet Muhammad and early Muslims wanted to refer to the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) as “guilty” people, why not just use the word for that?  That seems much more straightforward.  Of course, this nonsense just reflects the demagoguery of the dhimmi system that the anti-Islam elements engage in.

To illustrate the absurdity of the claim that “dhimmi” means “guilty”, let us look at the word used in the nefarious Pact of Umar, as reproduced on p.50 of Spencer’s academic (ha!) book:

If we break any of these promises that we set for your benefit against ourselves, then our Dhimmah (promise of protection) is broken and you are allowed to do with us what you are allowed of people of defiance and rebellion.

So if the Christians broke the conditions in the Pact of Umar, then their guilt is broken?  How nonsensical!  We see quite clearly from the above quote that “dhimma” is something positive; it is protection.  In fact, the exact same word–dhimmah–is used for both Jews and Muslims in the Constitution of Medina.  This document declares that all who uphold the pledge–Jew and Muslim alike–are granted dhimma (protection).  If the word meant or implied “guilt”, why did the Prophet Muhammad include the Muslims under this?  As I said before, it is complete fabrication on the part of Robert Spencer to claim that the word means “guilty”.

To add another layer to the absurdity that is Spencer’s book, there is in fact a great irony in what he is saying.  Robert Spencer is a Catholic apologist, who starts his book invoking the Crusader call of “Deus Vult!” (God wills it!) and ends his book calling for a Crusade against Islam.  As he foams at the mouth about the heathen faith of Islam, he doesn’t realize the irony in the fact that he attributed to Islam a doctrine alien to it but which actually is part of Catholic doctrine.

The Church debated about what to do with the Jews.  After mulling around the idea of slaughtering them outright, it was decided that they ought to be allowed to survive but only so that they could serve as living proof of the defeat and humiliation of those who rejected, defied and killed Christ.  Accordingly, the Jews were to live in Perpetual Servitude to the Christians, so as to serve as a constant reminder of the victory of Christ over them.  This was the Doctrine of Witness, and its associated belief of Perpetual Servitude.  Prof. Steven Bayme writes in his book Understanding Jewish History (pp.120-121):

Augustine and the other Church Fathers wrestled with this question of why Judaism continued if it had apparently lost its purpose?  Augustine’s answer lay in the “Doctrine of the Witness.”  This doctrine suggested that the continuing physical presence of the Jews was desirable because the Jews themselves provided testimony to the truth of Christianity in two ways: First, the Jews possessed Scriptures, thereby proving that Scriptures were no means invented retrospectively by Christians to predict the coming of Jesus…

Secondly, the physical status of the Jews provided testimony to the truth of Christianity.  The Jews existed in a subjugated, second-class status as a defeated people…The perpetual servitude of the Jews reminded the world that the Jews are being punished for their rejection of Jesus.  Therefore it was desirable that the Jew remain in Christian society.  As long as Jews retained their second-class status, they would remind the world of their crime in rejecting Jesus and their validity of Jesus’s teachings…

Although the Jews’ status would always be second-class, the Church Fathers decreed that the Jews must be protected and not eliminated.  In this context medieval Christian anti-Semitism provided a protective mechanism against the elimination of the Jews.  Or, as Duns Scotus, a thirteenth century Christian theologian, put it, the Jews could be persecuted and virtually eliminated, but some of them would have to be kept alive on a deserted island until the Second Coming.

As we see, not only does Robert Spencer’s claim have no basis in the Arabic language, but his own argument comes to bite him in the ass.  The question remains: is this a result of Spencer’s lying nature or merely a consequence of his profound ignorance?  Let me know which one you think it is in the comments below.

UPDATE:

More proof that Robert Spencer is an intellectual huckster, part 2; Spencer digs himself into a deeper sh*% hole

Do Muslims want to reimpose dhimmitude or live as equals?

Robert Spencer, a Catholic apologist, spouting his vitriolic propaganda on the Christian Broadcasting Network

Robert Spencer, one of the leading anti-Islam ideologues of the Western world, published The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).  This is a rebuttal of chapter four of his book.

Spencer’s claim:

1.  Historically, Jews fared better in Christian Europe than in the lands of Islam.  Says Spencer: “…The Muslim laws [imposing dhimmitude] were much harsher for Jews than those of Christendom…In Christian lands there was the idea, however imperfect, of the equality of dignity and rights for all people…” [1]

Rebuttal:

Spencer’s claim contradicts the predominant opinion held by Western scholarship.  Prof. Mark R. Cohen, the leading expert in the field, concludes that “the historical evidence indicates that the Jews of Islam, especially during the formative and classical centuries (up to the thirteenth century), experienced much less persecution than did the Jews of Christendom.” [2] Spencer’s book is horribly one-sided: it mentions “dhimmitude” (a spurious term), but makes no mention of the Church’s doctrine of Perpetual Servitude.  Comparing the two, Cohen writes:  “…The dhimmi enjoyed a kind of citizenship, second class and unequal though it was…[in contrast to] Jews living in Latin Christian lands, where…[they were] legally possessed [as slaves] by this or that ruling authority.” [3]

Read my complete rebuttal here.

Spencer replied, and I counter-replied here and here.

Spencer’s claim:

2.  The Pact of Umar, a document that enumerates a number of humiliating conditions to be imposed upon non-Muslims, is “still part of the Sharia today.” [4] As soon as Muslims are able to, they will enforce it.

Rebuttal:

Numerous Islamic and Western scholars have declared the Pact of Umar to be a forgery.  Muslims do not believe that a forgery can be a “part of the Sharia.”  More importantly, although the document may have had some significance hundreds of years ago, it has now fallen into complete disuse and obscurity in the Islamic world.  It is highly unlikely that contemporary Muslims want to reimpose a document that they themselves have never heard of.  This is very similar to how most Christians today have no familiarity with the Church’s doctrine of Perpetual Servitude.  To argue that either Muslims or Christians in general want to reimpose these respective doctrines–dhimmitude and Perpetual Servitude respectively–is conspiratorial and far-fetched.  Read my complete rebuttal here.

Spencer replied, and I counter-replied here.

Spencer’s claim:

3.  Robert Spencer writes:

*Islamic law mandates second-class status for Jews, Christians, and other non-Muslims in Islamic societies.

*These laws have never been abrogated or revised by any authority. [5]

Spencer challenges me, claiming that I will do

virtually anything other than actually prov[e] that there exists a sect or school of Islam that teaches that Muslims must live with non-Muslims as equals on an indefinite basis

Rebuttal:

I accept his challenge.

Spencer’s claim–that no Islamic “authority” or “sect or school” has ever “abrogated” the laws of “dhimmitude”–is quite simply false.  It is a boldfaced lie or profound ignorance, either of which casts great doubt on Spencer’s “scholarship.” Over 150 years ago, the caliph (supreme leader of the Islamic world) abolished the dhimmi system entirely.  In 1839, a caliphal decree known as the Hatt-i Sharif of Gulhane was issued, implicitly recognizing the equality of all Ottoman subjects, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.  In 1856, “the Hatt-i Humayan [was issued], in which the principles of 1839 were repeated and the guarantees of the equality of all subjects were made more explicit.  Thus, Muslim and non-Muslim were to have equal obligations…and equal opportunities…” [6] The decree abolished the jizya and dhimmi system for all time.  (Read more about these caliphal decrees here.)

In the mid-nineteenth century, a group of Islamic intellectuals emerged, known as the Young Ottomans (not to be confused with the secularized Young Turks). They expounded Ottomanism, a doctrine stating the inherent equality of all peoples in the Empire regardless of religion or ethnicity.  The Young Ottomans believed that Islam advocates constitutionalism and that the government must enter a contractual agreement with those whom they rule over.  In other words, there is to be mutual consent between the rulers and the ruled.  The Young Ottomans opposed the royal autocracy, and demanded democratization of the Empire.  They argued that not only should all religious communities be viewed equally by the state, but there were certain inalienable rights that all citizens possessed, which the government could not infringe upon. The efforts of the Ottoman government on the one hand and the Islamic intellectuals on the other hand culminated in the passage of the Nationality Law of 1869, which “reinforced the principle that all individuals living within Ottoman domains shared a common citizenship regardless of their religion.” [7] (Read more about these Islamic intellectuals here.)

The Young Ottomans had a long-lasting effect on Islamic discourse, and gave birth to the modernist school of thought.  Arguably the key figure of modernist Islam was Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905), who served as rector of al-Azhar University (the foremost Sunni institution) and who held the position of Grand Mufti of Egypt (the highest ranking religious position in the country).  Abduh issued a fatwa declaring Muslims and non-Muslims “to be equal under the law, with full citizenship rights.” [8] He further supported parliamentary democracy and constitutionalism as a means to protect these individual rights.  In 1908, Mehmed Emaleddin Efendi (Turkey, 1848-1917)–the chief religious authority of the Ottoman Empire, appointed directly by the caliph–concurred with Abduh.  During this period, numerous Islamic reformers emerged, and reconciled Islam with modernity.  They revised traditional opinions dealing with jihad, women’s rights, human rights, science, and interfaith relationships.  Quite consistently, the modernist trend of Islam has held the opinion, to use Robert Spencer’s own words, that “Muslims must live with non-Muslims as equals on an indefinite basis.” (Read more about modernist Islam here.) Muhammad Abduh’s work “fostered not only a modernist school of thought but also a reformed traditionalist school…spearheaded by [the more conservative] Muhammad Rashid Rida, a disciple of Abduh.” [9] In this manner, reformist ideas seeped into the discourse of the conservative Ulema.  One can say that the fire of reform burned greatest at its modernist core, but its warmth reached even more traditionalist elements, defrosting some of their more [f]rigid opinions.

It should be noted, however, that “few Muslims explicitly self-identify as ‘Muslim modenists,’ [and] instead refer[] to themselves simply as Muslims.” [10] The term “modernist Islam” is instead used most frequently by Western scholars–those outside of the faith–to describe a clearly discernible trend that has had profound influence on contemporary Islamic discourse. Anti-Islam ideologues often dismiss modernist interpretations, choosing instead to “look at the more conservative articulations of Islam (such as some traditional scholars) and even Muslim extremists as somehow representing ‘real’ Islam.” [11] However, modernists should not be disregarded so easily, because although they diverge from classical formulations, they maintain fidelity to the canonical texts.  Muhammad Abduh argued that his was a “properly understood interpretation of Islam”, consistent with the “standards of the Quran [and] the hadith.” [12]

In fact, the modernists argue that in reality it is “the inherited, calcified shari’a tradition” that does “not reflect the true spirit of the Qur’an and the Prophet’s Sunna.”  They disregard the classical formulation as “centuries old legal baggage derived from the [spurious] Pact of ‘Umar.” [13] The modernists look instead to the Constitution of Medina, drafted by the Prophet Muhammad, which granted “equality” to the Jewish residents of the city.  No jizya was taken from them, and they served in the military alongside Muslims. The nineteenth century Islamic reformers “cited the ‘Constitution of Medina’ as a model of good sectarian relations.  If the Prophet could extend political rights to non-Muslims then so too could a modernist Islamic polity, without endangering its Islamic character.” [14]

The Constitution of Medina declared that the “Muslims of Quraish and Yathrib, and those [Jews] who followed them and joined them…are one nation (ummah) to the exclusion of all men.”  Nineteenth century modernists used this powerful sentence to dismiss the medieval division of the world into a Muslim ummah and a non-Muslim polity.  Instead, they argued that there was a religious ummah and a political ummah.  Muslims and non-Muslims living in the same country were then part of the same ummah, and owed their loyalty and allegiance to each other.  Similarly, Muslim Americans today believe that the United States is their ummah (nation) to which they owe their loyalty and allegiance, so when anti-Islam ideologues deride them by saying “the Muslim Americans owe their loyalty and allegiance to the ummah,” the Muslim Americans could not agree more. (Read the relevant parts of the Constitution of Medina here.)

According to the Constitution, the Muslims and Jews were obligated to defend the other in case of attack, a very real fear considering the hostile polytheist tribes surrounding Medina.  Prof. Francis E. Peters writes: “Muhammad’s attitude toward the People of the Book [Jews and Christians], as he called those who shared the same scriptural tradition with Islam, was generally favorable…But as time passed, the Quran came to look on Jews and Christians as adherents of rival rather than collegial faiths.  Some of this change in attitude was dictated by events at Medina itself, where Jewish tribes made up part of the population.  Not only did the Jews reject Muhammad’s prophetic claims; they began secretly to connive with his enemies.” [15] Fear of a fifth column prompted the Prophet Muhammad to banish the Jewish tribes of Banu Nadir and Banu Qinaqa from Medina, a controversial decision receiving its share of criticism by historians and polemicists alike.  Jewish tribes not involved in the treachery were allowed to stay in the city, so long as they honored the terms of the Constitution.

S.A. Rizvi writes: “The banishment of the Jewish tribes of Banu Nadhir and Banu Qinaqa from Medina had accentuated the animosity of the Jews towards the Muslims. These tribes had settled down at Khaibar at a distance of about eighty miles from Medina.” [16] Two years later, the banished Banu Nadir sought to exact revenge, and joined the polytheists in an assault on Medina.  The Banu Nadir bribed various tribes to join in the attack, including the Banu Ghatafan, the Bani Asad, and the Banu Sulaym.  They also convinced a Jewish tribe in Medina to attack the Muslims from the inside.  The combined forces outmatched Muhammad’s army 10,000 to 3,000.  However, the Muslims saved Medina from almost certain doom by building a trench which successfully impeded enemy advance, a tactic hitherto unknown to Arabia.  After several weeks of trying to cross the trench, the besiegers retreated, the Quraish polytheists to Mecca and the Jews of Banu Nadir to Khaibar.

The Muslims launched a counter-attack on Khaibar, and won a decisive victory.  Terms of the surrender included a provision for the defeated Jews to “relinquish any intention of maintaining a military force and to rely on Muslims for their personal security and that of their possessions in exchange for the payment of [jizya].” [17] This was the first time jizya was instituted, and the context in which it was.  In the time of the Prophet Muhammad, no other condition was placed on the dhimmis, except that of jizya and the prohibition from serving in a military capacity.  As such, the conditions placed on them seemed to be about security rather than humiliation.

As the Islamic legal tradition developed, the jizya became accepted as the normative practice towards non-Muslims (along with the trappings of the Pact of Umar), whereas the Constitution of Medina fell to the wayside.  Islamic reformers in the nineteenth century, however, argued that jizya is to be demanded only of those disbelievers who have “violated their pledges (of peace)…and attacked you first” (Quran, 9:13), those whose belligerence must be “subdued” (Quran, 9:29).  The Prophet Muhammad’s decision to demilitarize certain tribes and take jizya to fund their protection was seen more of a military consideration than a theological obligation. The modernists revived the Constitution of Medina, arguing that peaceful and loyal non-Muslims ought to be considered equal citizens alongside Muslims.  There was to be religious equality, with people of all faiths having the same rights and obligations.

These ideals were enshrined in the Objectives Resolution of 1949, a document that represents the culmination of over a century’s worth of modernist reinterpretation of Islamic texts.  This fascinating synthesis of Islam and modernity declared that “the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance, and social justice as enunciated by Islam shall be fully observed…adequate provision shall be made for the [religious] minorities to freely profess and practice their religions and develop their cultures; Wherein shall be guaranteed fundamental rights including equality of status, of opportunity and before law, social, economic and political justice, and freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship and association…adequate provisions shall be made to safeguard the legitimate interests of [religious] minorities…” (Read more about the Objectives Resolution of 1949 here.)

The idea of religious equality may have been considered exclusively modernist a century ago, but now finds resonance in wider Islamic circles as well. As Prof. Cleveland writes: “If, after the passage of nearly a century, Abduh’s proposals seem somewhat…conservative, we must attempt to appreciate how bold they were at the time.” [17] Accordingly, numerous contemporary scholars ranging from modernist to conservative have issued rulings declaring their belief in equal citizenship regardless of religion.  My very cursory research found several such Islamic intellectuals and scholars who have issued rulings saying as much, including:  Jasser Auda, Tariq Ramadan, Yousuf al-Qaradawi, Rashid al-Ganoushi, Muhammad Salim al-Awa, Muqtedar Khan, Mukarram Ahmad, Muhammad Yahya, Abdul Hameed Nomani, Syed Shahabuddin, Tahir Mahmood, Mujtaba Farooq, Ataur Rahman Qasmi, Waris Mazhari, Zafar Mahmood, S.Q.R. Ilyas, Zafarul-Islam Khan,  Mirza Yawar Baig, Shahnawaz Ali Raihan, Khaled Abou El Fadl, Moiz Amjad, Shehzad Saleem, and Javed Ahmad Ghamidi. Representatives from the following Islamic organizations have issued these rulings: UK Board of Muslim Scholars, International Union for Muslim Scholars,  European Muslim Network, Al-Nahdha Islamic Movement, World Assembly of Muslim Youth, Circle for Tradition and Progress, European Council for Fatwa and Research, International Association of Muslim Scholars, Egyptian Association for Culture and Dialogue, Association  of Muslim Social Scientists, All India Jamiat Ahl-e Hadees, Jamiat Ulama-e Hind, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, Jamaat-e Islami Hind, Muslim Personal Law Board, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, Students Islamic Organisation, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, and Al-Mawrid Institute. (Read these religious rulings here.)

Spencer would have unearthed this if he had only spent the couple hours I did to find it.  Or had he picked up a real history book, he would have known that over a century ago, these views became the law of the land due to the efforts of the caliph and numerous Islamic intellectuals.  He would have known that such a fatwa was passed by al-Azhar, the same university which he invokes as the absolute most ultimate Islamic authority when ranting about Reliance of the Traveler.  He would have known that the highest religious authority in all of the Ottoman Empire declared the same.  In light of all this, Spencer’s claim that the “laws [of dhimmitude] have never been abrogated or revised by any authority” is truly absurd.  The only question that remains is: is his claim willful prevarication or simply the result of his lack of scholarly training?

Robert Spencer will learn to regret the day Danios spent $5 to add a used copy of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) to his bookshelf.

I have a nagging suspicion that Spencer will now move the goalposts, and argue that there are some ultraconservative Muslims who don’t have such enlightened views about the topic.  But that was not his claim.  His claim was that no Islamic authority has ever “abrogated or revised” the dhimmi laws. (Can Spencer ever defend his actual argument when he debates me!?)  If Spencer limited his criticism to ultraconservative Islam alone, and argued that Islamic puritans who believe in reimposing “dhimmitude” need to be opposed, I would have absolutely no issue with him.  In fact, I would then support his work, and help him in that important task.

Of course, I would also be consistent and criticize extreme right-wing Christians who argue to this day that the Church’s Doctrine of Witness and of Perpetual Servitude should be revived; for example, this website (which boasts an impressive membership of a couple hundred thousand) argues that “the theologically correct, and socially just Catholic social policy is to subjugate [the Jews], regulate them, segregate them and expel them.”  (Here, Spencer would mistakenly invoke the tu quoque defense, not knowing that tu quoque is not always considered a fallacy but in fact has legitimate uses; see hypocrisy, argument for equal treatment, and clean hands doctrine.)

I would also point out to Spencer that the best way to undermine ultraconservative interpretations is to support reformist ones.  But Spencer wants to deny this option to Muslims, because it would mean that the entire faith of Islam could not be vilified.  The only option that should be given to Muslims, according to Spencer’s philosophy, is to leave Islam, and of course it would be ideal to convert to Christianity.  At the end of the day, Spencer is a Catholic polemicist who is waging a crusade against Islam.  The very first words in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) are “Deus Vult!” (God wills it!), which was “the rallying cry of the First Crusade”; and the very last sentence of his book explicitly calls for a crusade against Islam.  His book then is “Deus Vult…Crusade”, and everything in between those two words is just propaganda to justify the Crusade that God willed.

Footnotes

refer back to article 1. Robert Spencer, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), pp.57-59. ISBN: 0-89526-013-1

refer back to article 2. Mark R. Cohen, Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages, xix. ISBN 069101082X, 9780691010823, p.xxi-xxiii

refer back to article 3. Ibid., p.195

refer back to article 4. Spencer, p.51

refer back to article 5. Ibid., p.47

refer back to article 6. William L. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East, p.83. ISBN: 0-8133-3489-6

refer back to article 7. Ibid., p. 83

refer back to article 8. William Brown, Ordering the International: History, Change, and Transformation, pp.273-275. ISBN: 0745321372, 9780745321370

refer back to article 9. Caeser E. Farah, Islam: Beliefs and Observances, p.243. ISBN: 0764122266, 9780764122262

refer back to article 10. Vincent J. Cornell, Voices of Islam, p.xvii. ISBN: 027598737X, 9780275987374

refer back to article 11. Ibid., p.xviii

refer back to article 12. Cleveland, p.125

refer back to article 13. Bruce Masters, Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Arab World, pp.175-176, ISBN: 0521005825, 9780521005821

refer back to article 14. Ibid.

refer back to article 15. Francis E. Peters, The Monotheists: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Conflict and Competition, p.273. ISBN: 069112373X, 9780691123738

refer back to article 16. S.A. Rizvi, The Life of the Prophet Muhammad, Chapter 16.ISBN: 0-9702125-0-X

refer back to article 17. Moshe Gil, A History of Palestine, p.28. ISBN: 0521599849, 9780521599849

refer back to article 18. Cleveland, p.125

Draw Muhammad Day Predictably Descends into Hate Fests

Yesterday, May 20th was the Draw Muhammed Day which is extending into today, ostensibly put together to defend freedom of expression/speech. The original creators of the day have backed out, including Molly Norris, due to the tremendous amounts of bigotry and hate that it engendered, but others continued with the campaign.

Taking a glance at the Facebook page, most of the freedumb expressions are hateful and bigoted depictions of Muhammad meant to anger Muslims. Is it a coincidence that the ones who are reveling most in this day are racists and Islamophobes?

Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller have both been utterly gleeful over the event. Unconditionally supporting it, Spencer got in the act himself drawing Prophet Muhammad with a bomb on his head, though the depiction looks a little bit like Spencer himself, and Geller added to the fray by drawing Prophet Muhammad with the face of a pig.

As Shahed Amanullah said, this is pretty much collective punishment on the whole Muslim community for the actions of a few. The inspiration for this event was the threats that the South Park creators received from a group called Revolution Muslim.

We reported at the time that this group is composed of four or five individuals, all with dubious backgrounds. Not only are they on the fringe in terms of their beliefs, they are completely rejected in the American Muslim community. Yet for some curious reason the media took this story and ran with it as if these Revolution Muslim characters represented or had any clout amongst American Muslims. It is as though anyone can say they are Muslim or represent Muslims and they will get airtime if they do or say something crazy.

The event itself was a mixture of self-righteous internet warriors who cared less about free speech and more about offending and disparaging Muslims. The initial fan page was deleted by Facebook, shortly after that another one was started.

There were pictures of Quran’s in toilets, of Muhammad depicted in all sorts of ways which I won’t repeat or reproduce here because they are vile and disgusting, and go beyond any justification of free speech and into the realm of outright hostility and bigotry towards Muslims.  People can view the site and judge for themselves.

However, I must say that if this event was put together to defend freedom of speech it has failed. Freedom of speech, the freedom to offend, to be a racist is not in dispute but when you get called out for it don’t begin whining. There also seems to be a level of incitement, the strange and morbid wish to receive death threats, as the moderator put it, “Did you receive any death threats? If so, post them online and share the fun. :)

Interestingly enough, a few participants in the Draw Muhammad Day expressed disappointment at not receiving death threats, one Jack Burns wrote,

Jack Burns

Jack Burns

I’m really disappointed…I haven’t received any…I’m starting to feel left out!

Troels Jensen

Troels Jensen

damn, i did not get a death threat yet, darn…

The trouble seems to be one of communication. American Muslims say, “we respect free speech, and to begin with we don’t care about the South Park cartoon which was a media storm created from a small group of wing-nuts who got way more attention than they deserve.”
Unfortunately, as when Muslims condemn and fight terrorism no one cares or is paying attention. A day such as this isn’t about criticism or defense of free speech, it is more like a day when people can stroke their own egos and have some excitement in otherwise boring lives.

Online ‘Draw Mohammed’ Campaign

The Pakistani government has blocked access to Facebook and YouTube over a campaign encouraging users to post images of the Prophet Muhammad online.

A group of free speech advocates declared May 20 “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” to protest censorship of an episode of South Park that featured illustrations of Muhammad. In 2006, the show poked fun of a controversy over Danish cartoons with images of Muhammad. For Muslims, it’s blasphemous to show an image of him, but the episode aired without much notice.

That’s part of the freedom of speech. It’s not always neat and clean. It’s not always nice and smooth. Sometimes it’s a little ugly and a little bit dirty, but it’s free speech.

– Liam Fox, NewsJunkiePost.com

Then last month the prophet appeared on South Park, again, this time in a bear suit. In response, a radical Muslim website posted a warning to the show’s creators saying they could end up like Theo Van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker who was shot and stabbed to death after making a film that protested domestic violence in Islamic cultures. Comedy Central censored all references to Muhammad in the following South Park episode.

That sparked cartoonist Molly Norris to establish “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” in protest; a Facebook page was created for people to post drawings, and the campaign spilled over into YouTube.

“The reaction of people drawing cartoons and encouraging people to draw cartoons is to make the point that one group cannot impose its ideology or its theology on others simply by saying we don’t allow that or it offends us,” says Liam Fox, who writes for the website News Junkie and says he supports the protest.

But many of the drawings and comments posted on the Facebook page weren’t just depictions of Muhammad; there were some very anti-Muslim comments. That prompted Norris and many other professional illustrators to withdraw their support for the protest.

“It may be a sincere attempt at trying to make a statement about free expression,” says Rex Rabin, president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. “It just kind of strikes me as unnecessary and childish.”

Rabin says he believes in free speech and he thinks cartoons can be a great way to make a statement. But he says he sees no point in cartoons that are simply meant to offend an entire religious group.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has condemned the threat of violence against the creators of South Park. But a spokesman for the organization, Ibrahim Hooper, says the protest has created a worse situation.

“It was being taken up by Muslim bashers and Islamophobes and those who have a deep hatred for the faith of Islam and that’s what we’re seeing today,” he says.

Still, Hooper and CAIR are asking Muslims to respond to the situation by organizing educational events about Islam.

Fox thinks all groups have to have a thick skin in a free society, so he stands behind “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.”

“That’s part of the freedom of speech. It’s not always neat and clean. It’s not always nice and smooth,” he says. “Sometimes it’s a little ugly and a little bit dirty, but it’s free speech.”

Facebook briefly took down the “Draw Mohammed” page, but then put it back up. By Thursday afternoon it had more than 100,000 members.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Robert Spencer

Spencer resembles someone here.

Spencer resembles someone here.

Sheila Musaji and The American Muslim have done a great job in compiling different sources, including a number of links from Loonwatch for a concise piece on Robert Spencer with the apt title: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Robert Spencer.

by Sheila Musaji

Robert Spencer describes himself as an impartial scholar of Islam, and maintains that he is not an Islamophobe, and that in fact the term Islamophobia is either irrelevant or an attempt to silence critics.  He is only one of a number of individuals whose statements about Muslims and Islam can only be called alarming.  Although, he is not alone, he is perhaps the most prolific Islamophobe.

Clearly we have free speech in the U.S., and free speech must be defended.  The line between hate speech and free speech is difficult to draw, but I believe that we need to at least attempt to recognize when speech crosses that line as important, and to respond to that speech appropriately.  My hope as an American Muslim is that we are able to learn to have respectful speech that does not close off the possibility of dialogue and alienate the very Muslims who could act as a bridge between cultures.

The villification of Muslims, Arabs, and Islam has become relentless.  Repeating the same things over and over again has been shown to create credibility. False logic seems plausible, and even outright lies repeated often enough begin to sound like the truth.  Sadly, these stereotypes have replaced knowledge with ignorance and misperception, and ignorance fuels hatred of what we don’t know much about.  Muslims are consistently portrayed as “the other”, not part of us, and imposible to understand, and so not worthy of tolerance.  Just the mention of Islam creates a feeling of fear on the part of many non-Muslims because of what they have heard so often and causes them to believe that this fear is reasonable.

“The leap from deviant Muslims perpetrating atrocities to a religion being impugned for the sins of its supposed adherents is breath-taking in its audacity. This distinction has become critical ever since the ‘’showdown with Saddam” transmuted into the ‘’war on terror.” With the daily mind-numbing imagery of maniacal Muslim ‘’insurgents” savaging troops and civilians alike, a transformation rapidly took place: The problem was just not Muslim terrorists but an ‘’evil” Islam itself. This is a theme broadcast with malevolent glee by talk shows on a daily basis thereby intensifying suspicion, fear, contempt, and hatred of Islam. Demonizing Islam makes it the enemy in the ‘’war on terror.” … Ironically, it is us Muslims who have the greatest vested interest in eradicating terrorism. We need to do this to salvage our religion and our self-respect. As long as we are marginalized by the West and taunted by the extremists, we are made to feel as if we were part of the problem rather than of the solution, and our commitment becomes ambivalent. If the so-called war on terrorism has any chance of being won, there needs to be an immediate redefinition of the enemy.” Foe isn’t Islam, it’s Binladenism, Abdul Cader Asmal

And, the repetition of such statements results in seeing Muslims in a false light.

The most commonly repeated claims about Muslims are that “everyone knows” that most or all terrorists are Muslims, and there are no Christian and no Jewish terrorists (or terrorists of any other religious stripe), and that Muslims are inherently violent.  Everyone also knows that Muslims are not equivalent to real Americans, that they are the enemy within, and a fifth column,  that good Muslims can’t be good Americans, that they are not a part of our American heritage, that they are all militant,  that Islam makes Muslims “backward”, that Muslims have made no contribution to the West,  that Islam is “of the devil”, a Crescent menace, and an “evil encroaching on the United States”, and not a religion.  Everyone knows that this is a Christian nation, which everyone knows the Muslims are trying to take over, starting with getting an Eid stamp which is the first step towards shariah law, and by purposefully having more children than others to increase their numbers.  Everyone knows that Muslims have no respect for the Constitution.  Everyone knows that Muslims are given a pass by the elite media.  It’s “us versus them”.  They don’t speak out against extremism or terrorism, and even those Muslims who do speak up or seem moderate are simply lying or practicing taqiyyah.  The problem is that what “everyone knows” is wrong.  These self-righteous and incorrect statements are usually followed by a demand that the Muslim community do something about whatever is the false flag of the day or face the inevitable consequences.

In addition to these “everyone knows” statements of demonization and misrepresentation, there is also a whole industry of simply connecting with Islam or Muslims with any negative idea, event, or societal trend (even when there is no sane connection to make).  These I think of as “Through the Looking Glass” claims.  For example, lots of “news” items never happened, or are simply not true.

Arabs didn’t celebrate 9/11 at a Dunkin Donuts in New Jersey.  Budweiser did not pull all its product from the shelves of a convenience store where there was celebration of the terrorist attacks – this never happened.  The Muslim statement of faith (Shahada) is not an expression of hate.  An American Missionary in Africa didn’t face possible murder charges and hanging because of a traffic accident.  There is no verse of the Qur’an on “The Wrath of the Eagle”.  The supposed bomb threat made by an Arizona student that led to an evacuation of the school was a hoax by non-Muslim students.  The story that Iran was considering forcing Jews to wear a yellow star appeared in several publications and it was totally false.  The slaying of the New Jersey Coptic family was falsely charged to Muslims.  The story about the British banks banning piggy banks so as not to offend Muslims never happened.  Muslims are not more likely to support terrorism and violence than Christians or Jews.  Muslims did not destroy the Library of Alexandria.  Nurses in Britain were not “ordered to drop everything and turn Muslims’ beds toward Mecca five times daily”.  There is no Muslim sword through the 41-cents mark on the U.S. Eid stamp.  Sirhan Sirhan is a Christian, not a Muslim.  The Virginia Tech massacre had no connection with Islam.  A bus driver in Britain didn’t tell passengers to get off the bus so he could pray.  Rachel Ray’s Paisley scarf is not a symbol of “murderous Palestinian Jihad” (and neither is a Keffiyah).  A Muslim student in Florida did not refuse to stand for the pledge of allegiance.  There were no Muslims acting suspiciously on Air Tran flight 297. Wearing a tee-shirt with Arabic writing on it does not make a person dangerous.  A Madrassah is simply a school.  The zebibah (prayer bruise) on some Muslims foreheads is not a sign of a “commitment to jihad”.  Jihad is not terrorism. Ashura is not a “Muslim blood festival”.  Muslims are not forbidden to have non-Muslims as friends.  The Nuclear Security Summit logo is an atom on a circular path, not an Islamic symbol, the U.S. Missile Defense Logo is not evidence of Obama’s ‘Submission To Shariah’, and neither is the Flight 93 memorial.  Barack Obama is not a Muslim, but so what if he was?  (Note: click on the links to see responses to particular claims or incidents

The fact that these “news stories” and articles are simply wrong doesn’t change the fact that they are “out there” and that they will be read and believed by many of the same folks who believe the supermarket tabloids.  They will be forwarded or passed on, and commented on, and the stories will grow and more and more people will accept them as “facts”.  I would hope that not only Muslims would be concerned with the dangers in this sort of stereotyping and dehumanizing of any segment of our population.  Here is a link to a collection of English translations of Nazi Propaganda: 1933-1945.  Exactly how is this different?

Robert Spencer’s views on Islam are a part of this demonization industry, and lead to seeing Muslims as suspect and Islam as the source of every negative action.  If Muslims are so different from other human beings that there can never be any motive for any action they undertake other than Islam (no Muslim criminals, no political, economic, social, or cultural motives for actions), if you can’t tell a moderate from an extremist, and even the moderates are dangerous, then that really does seem to limit the options to either criminalizing Islam, or carrying out a “final solution” against the Muslims.  This is the only direction that Robert Spencer’s arguments lead.

In order to see where this sort of inflammatory rhetoric comes from and might lead see:  Terrorism and violence carried out by non-Muslims (the majority) – Jewish extremist statements and viewsReligious extremism/ religious rightIncidents of Islamophobia by yearPrejudiced, racist, or violent incidents at mosques (by state and/or country) – Responses to particular incidents, events or claims A to L and M to Z (This includes: Responses to Claims Made ABOUT Islam and Muslims in General – Responses to Claims Made ABOUT Qur’an Verses, Arabic Terms, Prophet Muhammad – Responses to False Claims ABOUT Muslim Individuals & Organizations & Incidents Involving Muslims – Responses to Actual Extremist Statements & Incidents of Extremism or violence BY Muslims – Responses to Claims Made BY Specific Individuals and Organizations About Muslims.

The Runnymede Trust in Britain identified eight components that define Islamophobia:

1) Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change.
2) Islam is seen as separate and ‘other’. It does not have values in common with other cultures, is not affected by them and does not influence them.
3) Islam is seen as inferior to the West. It is seen as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist.
4) Islam is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism and engaged in a ‘clash of civilisations’.
5) Islam is seen as a political ideology and is used for political or military advantage.
6) Criticisms made of the West by Islam are rejected out of hand.
7) Hostility towards Islam is used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society.
8) Anti-Muslim hostility is seen as natural or normal.

I personally believe that Robert Spencer is an Islamophobe, and that all of these eight components of Islamophobia are prevalent in his writings.  Consider his own statements and make up your own mind.

IN HIS OWN WORDS:

Robert Spencer said that Islam itself is an incomplete, misleading, and often downright false revelation which, in many ways, directly contradicts what God has revealed through the prophets of the Old Testament and through his Son Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh… For several reasons… Islam constitutes a threat to the world at large.

Spencer regarding Keith Ellison taking an oath on the Qur’an “I hope there will be some who have the courage to point out that no American official should be taking an oath on the Qur’an, since—as we have been pointing out here for over three years now—there are so many elements of traditional and mainstream Islam that are at variance with our system of government, our Constitution, and our entire way of life. But since that is blandly denied and unexamined by the mainstream media and government officials, it is much more likely that Qur’anic oath-taking will be allowed without any discussion at all.”

He wrote regarding the Arab Israeli Knesset member who had sold secrets to Hisballah that “I have maintained from the beginning of this site and before that that there is no reliable way to distinguish a “moderate” Muslim who rejects the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism from a “radical” Muslim who holds such ideas, even if he isn’t acting upon them at the moment. And the cluelessness and multiculturalism of Western officialdom, which make officials shy away from even asking pointed questions, only compound this problem.” Then when the news came out that the Knesset member involved was Christian and not Muslim, a “correction” was posted:  “I have been reminded that Bishara is a Christian, which makes him instead of a false moderate, an example of what Hugh calls an “islamochristian,” or a dhimmi Christian who has imbibed the values of his Muslim overlords. I apologize for the error.” Amazing logic here.  If a Muslim did it, he’s guilty.  And, even those Muslims who are not guilty right now are just temporarily not acting on their negative impulses.  If a Christian did it, he was corrupted by the Muslims.

He said regarding the Hutaree militia arrests “For years now we have heard, in the indelible formulation of Rosie O’Donnell, that “radical Christianity is just as dangerous as radical Islam,” and yet proponents of this exercise in wishful thinking and ignorance have had precious little evidence to adduce in support of it. But now it is certain that for years to come this Hutaree group will be thrown in the face of anyone who takes note of jihad activity in the United States and around the world, as if this group in itself balances and equals the innumerable Islamic groups that are waging armed jihad all around the world today.  …  The Islamic jihad is global, well-financed (courtesy our friend and ally Saudi Arabia) and relentless. One self-proclaimed Christian group should not divert us from the ongoing need to defend ourselves against that jihad. But for many, it will.” This refusal to acknowledge the reality that terrorism, extremism, and violence are a problem that is not confined to Muslims.  In fact, the majority of such acts are carried out by non-Muslims.

He said at CPAC “It’s absurd” to think that “Islam is a religion of peace that’s been hijacked by … extremists”

Spencer said “The misbegotten term “Islamo-fascism” is wholly redundant: Islam itself is a kind of fascism that achieves its full and proper form only when it assumes the powers of the state.”

Spencer said “The term “Islamo-Fascists” no more blames the religion of Islam than the term “Italian Fascism” blames Italy for fascism. It merely refers to those Muslims—who obviously really exist—who invoke Islam to justify violence and supremacism, whether they are invoking Islamic doctrines correctly or not.”

Spencer said about Muslim population in Europe “And those who are talking about it are smeared and vilified as racists and bigots. When a nuclear-powered Islamic Republic of France threatens the U.S., however, some Americans may come to regret the ease with which they swallowed and even propagated defamation and lies about anti-jihad European politicians such as Geert Wilders.”
He totally missed the point of the unconstitutionality of Franklin Graham speaking at the Pentagon and called the decision to exclude Graham “the Army’s dhimmitude”

He wrote “Ever since I began doing this work publicly my point has been simple and consistent: that the jihad terrorists are working from mainstream traditions and numerous Qur’anic exhortations, and that by means of these traditions and teachings they are able to gain recruits among Muslims worldwide, and hold the sympathy of others whom they do not recruit. This explains why there has been no widespread, sustained, or sincere Muslim outcry against the jihad terrorist enterprise in general. The mainstream media, both liberal and conservative, does not want to face these facts.” His scholarship somehow doesn’t include the fatwas, statements by Muslim organizations, statements by Muslim individuals – or these quotes that clearly denounce extremism and terrorism.  He also clearly has never heard about the Muslim voices promoting Islamic non-violent solutions to political and social problems.

Spencer promoted the fraudulent Iranian yellow badge story and even after it was proven untrue, he couldn’t bring himself to issue an unqualified disclaimer“Untrue, or too hot for public consumption at this time? That remains to be seen. While Nazi analogies dominate analyses of this, as I pointed out yesterday it is actually a revival of traditional elements of Islamic law for dhimmis. That makes it entirely reasonable that an aggressive Islamic state like Iran would reinstitute such laws; but now that international attention has focused upon them for contemplating doing so, it is likely not that they will abandon the project, but simply implement it when the world media has turned to other matters.” He has a particularly hostile view of all things Iranian, as he also promoted the fraudulent August 22, 2006 “Doomsday” story.

Spencer wrote “I have written on numerous occasions that there is no distinction in the American Muslim community between peaceful Muslims and jihadists. While Americans prefer to imagine that the vast majority of American Muslims are civic-minded patriots who accept wholeheartedly the parameters of American pluralism, this proposition has actually never been proven.”, and as Islamophobia Watch has pointed out, this is the same man who has said “Islam is not a monolith, and never have I said or written anything that characterizes all Muslims as terrorist or given to violence.” There seems to be a disconnect in his logic.

During the incident with Debbie Almontaser and the Khalil Gibran Academy in NYC, he posted an article from the NY Post with his own heading reading “Does an Islamic supremacist have a right to head a New York City public school?”  This description does not appear in the referenced article, so it can only be assumed that this is his take on the question.

When Muslim Charities and individuals responded to the Haiti earthquake with humanitarian relief, Spencer posted an article with the title “Jihad groups set up camp in Haiti”, and another article saying that Muslim aid was conspicuous by its absence

RESPONSES TO SPENCER
– attacking Mark Levine’s ‘hudna’ article [1] (Mark Levine)

– about the Roxbury Mosque controversy[2]

– on Muslim feminism [3] (Khaleel Mohammed), [4a] (Tariq Nelson)

– statement about Arab Israeli spy [4] (Sheila Musaji)

– claim that terrorists are acting on Islamic teachings [5]

– statement about rape as Jihad [6] (Yusuf Smith)

– statement on meaning of jihad as holy war [7] (Yusuf Smith), Islamic war doctrine [7a] (Robert D. Crane)

– claim that Qur’an is anti-Semitic [8] (Khaleel Muhammad)

– Obsession With Islam [9] (Khaleel Muhammad)

– Spencer, the NDU scholars, the securocrat and his books [10] (Yusuf Smith)

– Smearcasting report on Spencer [11],

– American Library Assoc. incident [12],  [12a] (Ahmed Rehab)

– altercation with Svend White [13] (Svend White),

– on Rifka Barry case [14] (Loonwatch),

– on CAIR airbrushing woman’s photo [15] (Sheila Musaji),

– dodges debate with Loonwatch [16],

BOOKS
– book Politically correct guide to Islam & the Crusades[17][17a] (Loonwatch), [17b] (Loren Rosen)
– book The Truth About Muhammad [17c], [17d], and [17e] (Robert D. Crane), [19d] (Karen Armstrong)
– book Religion of Peace? — Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t [17f] (John Derbyshire)
– book Complete Infidels Guide to the Qur’an [17g] (John R Bowen)
– book Islam Unveiled [17h] (Danny Doueri)

– attack on Khaleel Muhammad [18] (Khaleel Muhammad)

– and EDL neo-Nazi’s [19] (CAIR), [19a] (Richard Bartholemew)

– attack on Louay Safi [20] (Louay Safi)

– accused of Islamophobia [21] (Carl Ernst), [21a] (FAIR)

– article mistranslating Ahmedinejad [22] (Loonwatch)

– on testimony of a rape victim [23] (Loonwatch)

– Spencer’s position on Kosovo [24] and his relationship with Serge Trifkovich [24a] (Kjeda Gjermani)

– views on the Qur’an and violence [25] (Louay Safi), 25a] (Aaron Hess)

– on confusing Buddhist Sri Lanka as a country “where the Shafi’i school of Islamic jurisprudence prevails” [26] (Richard Bartholemew)

– on Obama as a Muslim [27], on Obama using full name at his inauguration [27a] (Richard Bartholemew)

– on the cancellation of the LA Premiere of Geert Wilders Documentary [28] (Richard Bartholemew)

– involvement in the film Islam: What the West Needs to Know [29] (Zahir Janmohamed)

– on CPAC panel “Jihad: The Political Third Rail” [30] (Eli Clifton), [30a] (Christine Schwen), CPAC and the Freedom Defense Initiative [30b] (Kelly Vlahos)

– involvement with SIOA [31] (Eli Clifton)

– on his support of the conspiracy theory that Iran would nuke Israel on August 22, 2006 [32] (Andrew Sullivan)

– his endorsement of the book The Islamic Anti-Christ by Joel Richardson – a book claiming that the Bible predicts that the anti-Christ will be a Muslim [33] (Richard Bartholemew)

– on Virginia neo-Nazi license plate incident [34] (Sheila Musaji), [34a] (Loonwatch)

– comments on Hutaree militia group [35] (Sheila Musaji)

– comments on Pres. Obama’s Middle East peace initiative [36] (Hussein Ibish)

– misrepresentation of Qur’an 5:60 [37] (Hussein Ibish), misrepresentation of Qur’an by cherry picking verses to prove a point [37a] (Louay Safi)

– statements about “taqiyya” [38] (Hussein Ibish), [38a] (Sheila Musaji)

– his claim that Tariq Ramadan is a “stealth jihadist” [39] (Sheila Musaji)

– claim that Muslims don’t object strongly to extremists like Anjem Chaudary [40] (Shahed Amanullah)

–  views on what constitutes a “moderate” Muslim [41], [46a] (Sheila Musaji)

– on use of terms like “Islamofascist/Islamo-Fascist” [42] (Chip Berlet), [42a] (Sheila Musaji)

– on his views about Islam and Muslims generally [43] (Cathy Young), [43a] (Adem Carroll), [43b] (Tariq Nelson)

– on his op ed in Emory University paper [44] (Ali Eteraz)

–  attack on Prof. M. Cherif Bassiouni [45]

– promoting the false Muslim bus driver stopping bus to pray story [46] (Sheila Musaji)

– on his concept that radical Muslims are the “real” Muslims [47] (Dinesh D’Souza)

– on his smearing of Rashad Hussein [48] (Media Matters)

– on his posting a video on his site of a Hindu girl calling for wiping Pakistan off the map [49] (Chasing Evil)

– reprinting Danish cartoons on his site [50] (Sheila Musaji)

– claims about ISNA and the Muslim Brotherhood [51] (Louay Safi)

–  claims about Islam forbidding music [52] (Ali Eteraz)

– claim that the root of terrorism is Islam [53] (Mustafa Aykol)

– his views on “dhimmitude” and jizya [54] (Loonwatch), [54a] (Robert D. Crane)

– on Ayesha’s (Aisha) age at marriage [55] (Tarek Fatah)

– his comments on CAIR and GOP claims about Muslim interns on Capital Hill [56 (Sheila Musaji), [56a] (Loonwatch)

– his calling the Archbishop of Canterbury, the “Archdhimmi” of Canterbury [57] (Sheila Musaji)

– on Keith Ellison and oath on Qur’an [58 (Sheila Musaji)

– his alarmism over Muslim demographics [59] (Sheila Musaji) [59a] (Loonwatch)

– participation in David Horowitz’ Islamo-Fascism awareness week [60] (Sheila Musaji)

– his views on honor killings [61] (Omer Subhani)

–  on making Islamophobia mainstream [62] (Steve Rendall and Isabel Macdonald)

– on Cologne Conference and neo-fascists [url=http://www.kejda.net/2008/11/07/jihadwatchwatch-robert-spencers-amorous-flirt-with-european-fascism/][63] (Kjeda Gjermani)

– claims about suicide terrorism and Islam [64] (Loonwatch)

– connecting witchhunts and Islam [65] (Loonwatch)

– claim that radical Christianity is not as dangerous as radical Ilam [66], [66a] (Sheila Musaji)

– on his willingness to debate Muslims [67] (Omer Subhani) [671] (Loonwatch)

– his views on the Pace of Umar [68] (Loonwatch)

– his comments on Fiqh Councils fatwa on body scanners [69] (Loonwatch)

– his views on Muslims and Haiti humanitarian efforts [70] (Sheila Musaji), [70a] (Loonwatch)

– his blog post titled titled Uighur Muslims in China Stabbing Opponents with Tainted Needles [71] (Loonwatch)

– On the website url’s “f**kallah.com” & “f**kislam.com” which redirected people to Spencer’s Jihad Watch site [72], [72a], [72b] (Loonwatch)

– on his falling out with Charles Johnson of LGF [73] (Loonwatch)

– his views on the Fort Hood massacre [74], [74a] (Loonwatch), [74b] (Mehdi Hasan)

– on his support for Bat Ye’or [75] (Loonwatch)

–  confusing views on reliability/unreliability of hadith and sirah/seerah [76] (Robert D. Crane)

– views on “Satanic verses” [77] (Robert D. Crane)

– views on Muslim attitude towards Christians and Jews as friends (wali) [78] (Robert D. Crane)

– views on apostasy and Islam [79] (Robert D. Crane)

– views on Obama’s Cairo speech to Muslim world [80] (Chris Good)

– offensive comments by readers of his site [81]

– his views on Spanish Fatwa against bin Laden [82

– KFC controversy as creeping Sharia [83] (Edmund Standing & Yusuf Smith)

– his views on Bible verses on rifle scopes used by soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq [84] (Sheila Musaji)

– his views on Islam and violence against women [85] (Robert D. Crane)

– Spencer and the politics of fear [86]

– his views on the South Park incident and the Revolution Muslim lunatics [87] (Sheila Musaji)

– his views on slavery and Islam [88] (Sheila Musaji)

Robert Spencer Watch: “Obama May be a Mooslim”

As his arguments become exposed, so does he.

As his arguments become exposed, so does he.

Robert Spencer is finished. The cloak of objectivity he claimed has long been undone, as he received blistering blows from not only Loonwatch, but former allies and mainstream organizations disavowing and condemning his anti-Muslim stance.

We have seen an odd metamorphosis on the part of Spencer. For years he tread a fine line, making statements that neared the boundary of Islamophobia without being outright anti-Muslim; veiled Islamophobia if you will. He fashioned himself as a rational, objective scholar when all along he was a right-wing Christian supremacist with an ax to grind against Islam and Muslims. Slowly the truth about who he is and what he believes came out over the past two years. One can only hide falsehood for so long.

It may be that Spencer has spent too much time with Pamela Geller, tea baggers and other nuts, or maybe this is what he has believed all along and it is in fact him influencing Geller, regardless he has hopped on a new loonie train: the “Obama is a Mooslim” conspiracy.

So lets count the conspiracies Spencer either believes or supports now:

1.) Eurabia: Muslim demographic take over of Europe.

2.) Stealth Jihad: Peaceful, law abiding Muslims are really just subverting Western Civilization and trying to impose Shariah law.

3.) Bosnia: The genocide in Bosnia and the massacre in Srebrenica never occurred or are exaggerated.

4.) Congressional Intern Spies: CAIR was sending spies into our government in the form of congressional interns.

and now,

5.) Obama is a Mooslim: The possibility that Barack Obama ever was or is still a Mooslim.

The evidence:

Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller Promote Video by Militant and Genocidal Group

by Inconnu and Danios

A few months ago, Islam “experts” Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller hosted on their respective websites a video of a young Hindu girl who advocated “wiping Pakistan off the map.”  At that time, LoonWatch had quickly responded and exposed the genocidal content expressed in the video.  It has now come to our attention (hat tip: Jack) that in addition to the genocidal content, the makers of the video are of interest.  The video was shot and released by the Vishaw Hindu Parishad (VHP), a militant and genocidal group.

This extremist Hindu nationalist party seeks to “Hinduize” India.  They view India as a Hindu country, and the Muslim and Christian minorities in it as invaders, or at least those descended from invaders.  The Islamophobes like Spencer and Geller sympathize with Hindus who revile Muslims for the Arab conquest of India, but conveniently forget the British colonization of India.  Both occupations resulted in sizable Muslim and Christian minorities respectively.  Many Hindu Indians want their country to be a pluralistic and democratic state, comprised of people of various faiths all equally Indian.  The VHP, on the other hand, doesn’t want this.

Human Rights Watch says that the VHP has “collectively and violently promoted the argument that, because Hindus constitute the majority of Indians, India should be a Hindu state.”  VHP members want to enact a fundamentalist Hindu interpretation of religious law in the country, and want to “cleanse” the country of the influence of the Muslim and Christian “invaders”.  The VHP’s view of Muslim and Christian Indians as “invaders” causes the group to flirt with genocidal ideas.

Those genocidal ideas became more than just ideas in 2002, when VHP members orchestrated the Gujarat riots, which Human Rights Watch refers to as an “anti-Muslim  pogrom” and which Professor Allan D. Cooper calls a “genocide” of Gujarati Muslims.  Prof. Cooper includes the Gujarat massacre in his book The Geography of Genocide, in which he provides a “case series” of historical genocides.  On pp.183-184 of his book, Cooper writes (emphasis is ours):

A Hindu mob stormed the Muslim area of Naroda Patia in Ahmedabad…killing at least 65 people…More attacks on Muslims in Gujarat state followed that killed about 2,500, destroyed thousands of homes, and resulted in the gang rapes of hundreds of Muslim women and girls.

There is evidence of state complicity in the genocide against Muslims…The government had ordered the killing of Muslims.

More than 20 Hindus eventually were sentenced to life imprisonment for their role in the genocide.

Human Rights Watch issued a report, declaring:

The groups most responsible for the anti-Muslim violence include the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council, VHP), the Bajrang Dal (the militant youth wing of the VHP), and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (National Volunteer Corps, RSS).  Collectively they form the sangh parivar (or “family” of Hindu nationalist groups).

The VHP was founded by RSS and maintains links, so all three groups implicated by Human Rights Watch are related to VHP.  The VHP has a “militant youth wing” that has inflicted violence upon Muslims and Christians throughout the country.  Following the Gujarat riots, the VHP promised similar developments throughout India.  Human Rights Watch writes:

…VHP officials declared that the strategy used in Gujarat would be repeated all over India, thus raising concerns of further communal violence…Members of the VHP in Rajasthan are busy distributing weapons similar to those used in Gujarat, as well as literature depicting Muslims as sexual deviants and terrorists…

The violence in Gujarat underscores the volatile consequences of rising Hindu nationalist sentiment propagated by the sangh parivar…The arming of civilians continues unabated in the state.  Training camps, known as shakhas, continue to multiply, providing weapons such as tridents and swords and extensive physical and ideological training to men as well as young boys targeted in recruitment drives.

So far, there is nothing that would upset Robert Spencer or Pamela Geller too much.  After all, the violence is only against “Moozlems.” But perhaps they ought to read the following line in the same Human Rights Watch’s report:

Christians in the state have also come under renewed legislative and physical attack [by the VHP].

The VHP has been responsible for widespread communal violence not just against Muslims, but against Christians.  HRW’s report holds the VHP responsible not only for “nationwide violence against India’s Muslim community in 1992 and 1993″ but also for “nationwide violence…against Indian’s Christian community since 1998…stemming in large part from violent activities and hate propaganda.”

In 2008, the All India Christian Council issued a fact finding report after anti-Christian attacks. The report states:

The VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) instigated the attacks and carefully targeted Christians throughout Kandhamal District, Orissa.

The report states that 95 churches were burnt and destroyed, and 730 houses were set on fire and completely destroyed (415 of them in one village alone). Not only this, the attackers looted the gold, cash, and jewelry from the homes of villagers.  The Guardian reports that overall thousands of churches and houses have been burned down to the ground.

According to the report by the All India Christian Council, the VHP attackers used several hate-filled slogans, including:

Only Hindus to stay here – no Christians to stay here

Kill Christians

Just to give one example from the report:

There was a small church that was attacked. The pastor, Rev. Kalia Mani Digal, and 12 Christians were forcibly taken to a field and were tonsured (heads shaved) because they refused to deny their Christian faith. Later all of them were told to eat raw rice mixed with goat blood in order to become Hindus.

The report also states that there was a conspiracy to hide the bodies of the dead Christians to conceal the evidence of deaths in the Christian communities.

On their website, the VHP addresses some of the allegations of violence against Christians. Their answers are eye-opening:

There has been violence against Christians in Gujarat. What are the reasons for it?

Much of this violence has been due to the provocation by the Christians…Unless the provocation is removed, the violence will continue.

In fact, a simple glance at their website finds that they dedicate more of their vitriol against Christians than Muslims. The VHP has a particular problem with Christian missionaries who operate in India, whom they accuse of “tricking” Hindus into converting to Christianity…which was the “provocation”.  On its website, the VHP says:

…A convert from Hinduism is not only one Hindu less, but an enemy more.

Not only this, they claim that Christian missionaries undertake social services in order to convert Hindus to Christianity:

The objective of the social service is to get an access to the people who are targeted for conversion. Once the missionaries come close the people, and the latter become obligated to them, the ‘benefits’ of believing in Christ is explained to them. This is done not on the basis that there is any special merit in the new system, but because Christ is supposed to have told them that praying to any other god will make them go to hell.

This social service is of many forms – education, medical facilities, etc. In the past these services were concentrated in urban or rural areas. During the colonial times, these services were financed mostly by the taxes that were levied on the local people. In many cases, land and facilities belonging to Hindu organisations were appropriated and given to the missionary organisations. Also, Hindu organisations were discouraged from starting social service projects.

Hence, the social service was done by utilising the money of the people who are Hindus. Even today,many of the established social service activity is funded by the state. For example, all the colleges, whether run by the missionaries or the Hindus, get state aid. Many of the other projects also receive government support through grants being given to those registered as NGOs. The funds received from outside India are then used for setting up the organisation for conversions.

Moreover, the VHP even claims that Christians use “inducements and fraud” to convert people:

With conversions by force not being possible, the methods that are applied are inducements and fraud. Inducements are the so-called social service activities, and these have been documented by the Niyogi Committee. In most cases, the social service benefits was provided only to those who agreed to convert. A loan given to a tribal is cancelled if he, along with his family, becomes a Christian. While the commission dealt with Madhya Pradesh only, the practices that have been narrated are the ones that are a common practice all over India, and indeed in the rest of the world.

The fraud that is done is to pretend that a person has become well because of the ‘power’ of Christ. While treating an illness, a missionary gives medicine of no value and asks the tribal to take it while offering prayers to his present deity. Of course, there is no cure. Next, the missionary gives real medicine and asks the tribal to take it while offering prayers to Christ. The recovery is attributed to Christ and not to the medicine.

Fraud also takes place when there are programmes of what are called faith healing. ‘Lame’ people are said to be cured, and ‘blind’ recover their sight. These ‘miracles’ are used to establish the superiority of Christ.

In fact, they are so against Hindus converting to Christianity that the VHP has organized mass conversions back to Hinduism (most of them are forced conversions as we shall see later):

More than 200 Christians in the eastern Indian state of Orissa have reconverted to Hinduism on Thursday in the presence of the leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

They were reconverted at a Hindu temple in Jharsuguda in western Orissa where the tribal Christians were first purified by rituals and then re-admitted into Hinduism.

Representatives from the hardline Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) were also present.

The ceremony was part of the VHP’s plan to reconvert 400,000 tribal Christians back to Hinduism.

On their website, the VHP has delineated a set of principles, their “Hindu Agenda.” They call for a ban on conversion from Hinduism to Christianity, declaring:

Strict ban should be imposed on the nationally dangerous process of conversion of Hindus through allurements, mispropaganda and terror by taking disadvantage of the poverty and gullibility of the backward segments of Bharatiya community.

The ban applies to any conversion based on “mispropaganda”, and the VHP classifies missionary teaching as such, thereby effectively prohibiting virtually all conversions.

Why the silence from Spencer, the resident “Islam expert,” on this lack of religious freedom? Why has he not spoken out against the resistance of the VHP to conversions from Hinduism to Christianity?  As we see, it is not only Muslim fundamentalists who kill apostates; Hindu extremists do it too.  Hundreds of Christians have been forcibly converted to Hinduism, whereas we have not heard of any forced mass conversions in the Muslim majority world today.

Islamophobes like Spencer and Geller like to rant about how many extremist Muslims there are in the world.  Well, there are 6.8 million members of the VHP alone, not to speak of the other extremist Hindu nationalist groups.  The Guardian reports:

Convert or we will kill you, Hindu lynch mobs tell fleeing Christians

Hundreds of Christians in the Indian state of Orissa have been forced to renounce their religion and become Hindus after lynch mobs issued them with a stark ultimatum: convert or die.

The wave of forced conversions marks a dramatic escalation in a two-month orgy of sectarian violence which has left at least 59 people dead, 50,000 homeless and thousands of houses and churches burnt to the ground. As neighbour has turned on neighbour, thousands more Christians have sought sanctuary in refugee camps, unable to return to the wreckage of their homes unless they, too, agree to abandon their faith.

Last week, in the worst-affected Kandhamal district, The Observer encountered compelling evidence of the scale of the violence employed in a conversion programme apparently sanctioned by members of one of the most powerful Hindu groups in India, the 6.8-million member Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) – the World Hindu Council.

Standing in the ashes of her neighbour’s house in the village of Sarangagada, Jaspina Naik, 32, spoke nervously, glancing towards a group of Hindu men watching her suspiciously. ‘My neighbours said, “If you go on being Christians, we will burn your houses and your children in front of you, so make up your minds quickly”,’ she said. ‘I was scared. Christians have no place in this area now.’

On her forehead, she wore a gash of vermilion denoting a married Hindu woman, placed there by the priest at the conversion ceremony she had been obliged to attend a day earlier, along with her husband and three young children. ‘I’m totally broken,’ she said. ‘I have always been a Christian. Inside I am still praying for Jesus to give me peace and to take me out of this situation.’

She and her neighbour, Kumari Naik, 35, gazed forlornly at the charred remains of the house. The mob that arrived one evening in the first week of the violence, armed with swords and axes, had looted what they wanted before dousing the building with petrol and setting it alight. Kumari had fled into the nearby forest with her husband, Umesh, and 14-year-old son Santosh. A smoke-damaged child’s drawing of Mickey Mouse pinned to one wall was all that remained of their former lives. Shattered roof tiles crunched underfoot as the women moved through the blackened rooms.

The priest had given them cow dung to eat during the ceremony, they said, telling them it would purify them. ‘We were doing that, but we were crying,’ Jaspina said…

Christian leaders, though, have accused the authorities of dragging their feet, claiming they are reluctant to antagonise the majority Hindu community in the run-up to parliamentary elections next year.

Relations between the Hindu and Christian communities were already at a low ebb when the killing of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati on 23 August provided the trigger for the current wave of violence. The VHP blamed Christians and the mobs descended on the homes of neighbours and friends. Those who were too slow to get away were killed. Amid the savagery, two incidents stood out: a young Hindu woman working in a Christian orphanage was burnt alive and a nun was gang-raped.

Yet the VHP is unrepentant and appears to be involved, at least at grassroots level, with the campaign of forced conversions. One priest who converted 18 Christians in the village of Sankarakhole last week told The Observer that he had been approached by local VHP representatives to carry out the ceremony.

‘The VHP people came with letters that said they wanted to be converted, so I converted them,’ said Preti Singh Patra, who is the brother of a senior VHP official…

It is a landscape scarred by the ugly remains of homes and churches which lie shattered between other houses still inhabited and unscathed, those belonging to Kandhamal’s Hindus.

A few miles down the road from Sankarakhole, in the village of Minia, Sujata Digal, 38, stood outside her own burnt-out home. The mob had arrived at 3am, she said. She and her husband Hari hid in the forest and watched the house burn. When they came out of the forest, the mob returned and told them to convert, and it was not a hard decision.

‘They said, ‘If you don’t become Hindu, we’ll burn your houses too and start killing you’,’ said Ashish Digal, the former Christian pastor. ‘I’ve been forced to convert. Everyone is being converted. They beat us in the fields. I went to the temple. We had to say that we belonged to the Hindu state of Orissa, and that from this day we are Hindus.’

Before the violence started, Christians outnumbered Hindus in Minia: now 115 have converted, roughly half of their original number. The rest have fled.

Burn your Bibles, the men told Ashish Digal…

In fact, the VHP offered cash rewards for Hindus who would kill Christians…a pastor’s head is worth $250 a pop. The Times reports:

Hindu extremists’ reward to kill Christians…

Extremist Hindu groups offered money, food and alcohol to mobs to kill Christians and destroy their homes, according to Christian aid workers in the eastern state of Orissa…

The US-based head of a Christian organisation that runs several orphanages in Orissa – one of India’s poorest regions – claims that Christian leaders are being targeted by Hindu militants and carry a price on their heads. “The going price to kill a pastor is $250 (£170),” Faiz Rahman, the chairman of Good News India, said.

A spokesman for the All-India Christian Council said: “People are being offered rewards to kill, and to destroy churches and Christian properties. They are being offered foreign liquor, chicken, mutton and weapons. They are given petrol and kerosene.”…

Orissa has suffered a series of murders and arson attacks in recent months, with at least 67 Christians killed, according to the Roman Catholic Church. Several thousand homes have been razed and hundreds of places of worship destroyed, and crops are now wasting in the fields.

Burning Bibles and giving money to kill apostates?  Imagine how Robert Spencer et al. would smear all of Islam if this were Muslims doing this.  He would make it seem as if Muslims are the only ones who have their share of wackos.  Remember how Spencer always points to Muslim fundamentalists who want to kill those who insult their prophet?  Well, how about this here, straight from the Hindu Agenda:

Insulting any religion and Hindu culture, faith, convictions, traditions and reverential characters through the electronic media and print media would be treated as an offence and it would be enforced strictly.

The penalty?  Death.  In fact, you don’t need to insult the Hindu religion to be killed by these fundamentalists.  Eating a hamburger will do the trick.  The Hindu Agenda declares:

Killing of any animal including cow at any stage within the borders of Bharat should be declared as a stringently punishable crime by passing a strong and competent law for the purpose.

What is that “stringent” punishment?  Death by lynching.  Dhananjay Tripathi of the Indian news agency Meri News reports:

The Hindu fundamentalists always defend themselves and their acts by coining terms like ‘minority appeasement’, ‘Hindu rights’ and claim to be the real sons of the soil. The real sons of the soil have license to burn down churches, bring down mosques and kill Muslims, Dalits and Christians anywhere in the nation. The hooligans and lumpen activists belonging to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) are involved in most of the atrocities perpetrated on the minorities and Dalits. VHP has a history of spreading venom and inciting mass violence.

In 2002, the VHP lynched five Dalits in Haryana for following their traditional trade of leather-tanning, as revealed by a dead cow in their possession. Over a carcass, the VHP killed innocent Dalit youths in Jhajhhar. VHP shamelessly defended this heinous crime when their leaders, Griraj Kishore said, “according to our shastras, the life of a cow is very precious (shastron ke hisab se gau ka jeevan bahut moolya hai)”. This statement makes it clear that for VHP, human life has no meaning.

Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller lose their minds when a Muslim man serves halal food in his own diner, yet don’t blink twice when the VHP (a group whose video they promote on their websites) calls for all citizens–regardless of religion–to follow Hindu dietary restrictions, demanding everyone to become vegetarian or be killed.

Spencer is constantly clamoring about how Islam itself does not allow conversion out of the faith (a very dubious claim at best). Yet, when there is clear evidence that the VHP’s interpretation of Hinduism is actively killing Hindus who don’t “convert back”, Spencer doesn’t seem to care. Are these Indian Christians not “Christian enough” for Spencer?  Or are they simply expendable in his polemical war against Islam?

What does Spencer have to say about this? Nothing. In fact, his silence is deafening. That’s because the people who are terrorizing Christians are not Muslims. So, he could care less. Not only that, he is cheering on this young Hindu girl associated with the VHP because she threatened to wipe Pakistan off the map. It doesn’t matter to him that in the same breath she threatens Christians as well.  Or that she belongs to a genocidal group that wants to efface Christianity from India.

The VHP not only preaches hatred against Muslims and Christians, but wants to institutionalize it.  Human Rights Watch writes:

Their revivalist campaign includes the “Hinduization” of education, including the revision of history books to include hate propaganda against Islamic and Christian communities.

Hate propaganda?  Maybe they can use Spencer’s Jihad Watch website and Geller’s Atlas Shrugs site to find inspiration for half of that equation.

The hate propaganda promoted by the VHP resulted in pogroms against both Muslims and Christians.  Spencer and Geller reproduced it on their sites, and the video blended in completely with the rest of the rhetoric on their sites.  This is why we here at LoonWatch stress the dangerous nature of their hate-filled discourse.  It results in ethnic violence, death and destruction.  The only difference between the VHP’s hate propaganda and Spencer et al.’s is the fact that the former targets Muslims and Christians whereas the latter only targets Muslims.  That’s it.

Spencer and Geller are using the same language as that of a genocidal group.  They might try to deny it now and argue that they didn’t know what group the video they posted belonged to.  That’s not a viable excuse for them, however, since the video itself explicitly mentions genocidal ideas in it.  The brainwashed girl in the VHP video declares:

…Soon our whole nation [of Hindustan] will rise.  When our people rise up, it will be very difficult for you [Pakistanis].  It will be disastrous for every inch of your land…Kashmir will continue to exist, but not Pakistan.  Who [amongst you] will voice such concerns?  Who will show the braveness to use the atom bombs we have [against Pakistan]?  Ask them [the Indian government] who is going to use the [atomic] weapons we have?  Whom are they waiting for?  Don’t worry what is happening now.  History is where it is. We have the capacity to change the geography of the world [by wiping out Pakistan]…everything between [the Pakistani cities of] Karachi to Rawalpindi will become worthless…There won’t be any Pakistan!  If you continue to believe this, I assure you that Pakistan won’t be present in the world for long.

To this genocidal talk, Robert Spencer remarked: “The girl is right.” Pamela Geller exclaimed in glee: “Perhaps with an online Colb. (collaboration) we can run her for president in ‘16. She gets it.”

So Spencer and Geller explicitly supported genocidal remarks.  Their only “mistake” was inadvertently promoting a video that belonged to a group that also had such ideas about Christians, not just Muslims.

This is of course not the first time that Spencer and Geller have flirted with genocide.  In fact, Spencer had joined a genocidal Facebook group, one which advocated the complete eradication of 150 million Muslims in Turkey.  Geller, meanwhile, explicitly supports the genocidal ideas of the Hindu extremist girl, and argues that Israel should nuke Mecca, Medina, and Tehran.

To conclude:

1. Muslims are not the only ones with zealots  There are Hindu extremists such as the ones we discussed above, Christian extremists who kill hundreds of children suspected of being witches, Jewish extremists who burn mosques and call for the killing of Gentiles and their babies, and of course Islamic extremists.  They exist in every religion, and it’s wrong to demonize any one of them.  (For the record, this article is not meant to denigrate Hinduism or Indians; the Hindu extremists above do not represent the entire faith or country.  In fact, many Hindu Indians want to live in a pluralistic and democratic state.)

2. Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller are completely discredited and vitriolic hate-mongers, who flirt with genocidal ideas. (Yes, I’m being Captain Obvious here.)

Robert Spencer Defends Neo-Nazi, Will He Issue an Apology?

Is this the back of some neo-nazi's truck, or the cover of Robert Spencer's next book?

Is this the back of some neo-Nazi's truck, or the cover of Robert Spencer's next book?

Everyone please welcome Rousseau, the newest addition to LoonWatch.  He will be a powerful addition to our already stellar team.  This is his first piece…

Robert Spencer, arguably the lead loon of the loon universe, has been caught defending a neo-Nazi. The whole ruckus started when the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) complained to the Virginia Department of Transportation about the license plate of Douglas Story. Story had a mural made on his truck of the World Trade Centers burning after the 9-11 attack, with the words “Everything I ever needed to know about Islam I learned on 9/11.”

CAIR picked up on this loony truck driver’s mural and then apparently noticed his license plate number, which read “14CV88.” Ibrahim Hooper, communications director of CAIR, argued that this number was code for neo-Nazi white supremacist ideas; Hooper explained: “…Among neo-Nazis, 88 refers to ‘Heil Hitler,’ because H is the eighth letter of the alphabet. White supremacists sometimes use the number 14 as shorthand for the 14-word motto, ‘We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.’”

But Story shot back and claimed that the numbers were in honor of his favorite NASCAR drivers: Tony Stewart (who drives car No. 14) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (who drives car No. 88).

Story’s story wasn’t finished there. He went on to say that: “There is absolutely no way I’d have anything to do with Hitler or Nazis.” Story even argued that it would be outright crazy to call him a white supremacist or neo-Nazi, invoking the old “I-can’t-be-racist-because-I-have-a-Jewish/black/Muslim-friend” routine, saying: “My sister-in-law and my niece are Jewish. I went to my niece’s bar mitzvah when she turned 13 three years ago. Does that sound like something an anti-Semite would do?”

Robert Spencer demanded Ibrahim Hooper to issue an apology, saying:

Hamas-linked CAIR smears anti-jihad Virginia driver as Neo-Nazi

…CAIR’s whole story was false in the first place: the driver in question, Douglas Story, is not a neo-Nazi at all, but a racing fan. The alleged code numbers for neo-Nazi slogans were actually favorite race car drivers’ numbers.

Will Honest Ibe Hooper apologize to Douglas Story? Come on, Ibe! It would be the decent thing to do!

Spencer also argued the entire episode was a ploy by CAIR to link “anti-jihadists” like Spencer to neo-Nazi white supremacists:

The implication of the story, of course, was that anti-jihadists are neo-Nazis — which, despite the febrile fantasies of libelblogger Charles Johnson and his cohort, CAIR’s amiable stomach-stapled beekeeper Honest Ibe Hooper, flies in the face of the facts…

Facts?  Here are the facts, sir.  It looks like CAIR got the story right after all.  The Washington Post’s Brigid Schulte reported just a couple of days later that Douglas Story’s Facebook page was replete with white supremacist associations:

Arguing that his license plate was purely about NASCAR and had nothing to do with race, Story told me that he had a Jewish sister-in-law and had attended his niece’s bat mitzvah. He denied being anti-Semitic.

But here’s how he describes himself on Facebook:

“100% WHITE MAN, 100% ARYAN, 100% PRO-LIFE (Children are innocent), 100% PRO DEATH PENALTY (Criminal Scum aren’t innocent).
Over the past 28 years; I, like David Duke, have had an Awakening.”

Note to self: In these days of social media, Twitter and personal oversharing on the web, always check Facebook…

When I called Story to ask about the Facebook page, he continued to maintain that his license plate message had nothing to with racism. He stuck by his NASCAR story. “Southern white men. Southern white sport. What else needs to be said?” he said.

Story acknowledged that he thinks of himself as 100 percent Aryan. “Aryan is a Sanskrit word that means noble,” he said, “no matter what spin the liberal media tries to put on it as being a racist, hate word.”

He said he is an admirer of David Duke, who, he said was “reamed by the media because of his Klan affiliations.” “I am a white nationalist,” Story said. “I am in favor of the whites having their own homeland.” When I asked him where that homeland would be, he said he didn’t know. “The Pacific Northwest maybe. Alaska. Denmark. Greenland. Iceland.”

I asked if he really thought that the Holocaust was a hoax. “I don’t know what to think,” he said.

Well, well, Mr. Spencer. It seems you bit off more than you could chew by coming to the aid of this neo-Nazi white supremacist.  The facts seem to lend support to CAIR’s “febrile fantasies” that there is a relationship between so-called “anti-jihadists” and the neo-Nazi crowd.  (Did the Confederate flag painted on Story’s back window not alert Robert Spencer!?)

This is not the first time that Facebook has exposed Robert Spencer.  Remember when Spencer was caught joining a genocidal Facebook group?  And how many times will we catch Robert Spencer et al. associating with neo-Nazis and fascists!?  The connection is certainly there.  While we’re not equating the “anti-jihadists” and neo-Nazis, we are saying that they hang out in the same circles, something altogether unsurprising considering that both groups are fueled by bigotry and hatred towards “the other.”  Is it not interesting that “anti-jihadists” and neo-Nazis can agree on so much?  Certainly, the rhetoric of the “anti-jihadists” mirrors that of neo-Nazis and fascists.

In any case, will Robert Spencer eat his own words now?  The ferocious Spencer bellowed:

Will Honest Ibe Hooper apologize to Douglas Story? Come on, Ibe! It would be the decent thing to do!

Will Spencer have the decency to apologize to Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR? Will he post a correction to his anti-Islam hate blog about these developments to this story? Will Spencer do anything meaningful and respectful at all? Ever?

I, for one, am not holding my breath.