“Pre-eminent scholar” Robert Spencer is just like Tom Cruise in the movie “A Few Good Men.” He simply just “can’t handle the truth!”
In a recent post, Spencer attempts to debunk a Washington Post article about common myths about mosques in America written by Edward E. Curtis IV. It is an excellent piece, but apparently that was too much for Spencer, and he inserts a whole host of mistruths to counter the realities of the WaPo article.
For instance, in his response to the Myth #1: “Mosques are not new to this country,” Spencer writes:
See, folks? Curtis is here semaphoring that Muslims are a victim class, that they always have been, and that opposition to them is racially-based. As for Job Ben Solomon, I suspect that Curtis’s source here is a Muslim one, designed to reinforce a sense that Muslims are victims rather than tell actual history.
Robert Spencer just “can’t handle the truth.” Islam and Muslims have been present in the New World before our great Republic was a gleam in the Founders’ eyes, and Spencer, it seems, just can’t fathom this. So, he claims that the story about Job Ben Solomon was from a “Muslim source.” Umm…sorry, Robert, he was an actual, real person:
African Muslim slave. Ayuba Suleiman Diallo (later known to Europeans as Job Ben Solomon) was born to a powerful family of Muslim clerics of the Fulbe tribe in the northern region of present-day Senegal. While he was in Africa, Job received formal educational training in both secular and religious fields. He assisted his father in trade and became quite wealthy by the age of twenty-nine, owning three houses, a plantation with eighteen servants, and more than seventy head of cattle. In February 1730, however, Job’s father sent him on a slave-trading mission that would ironically lead to his own capture and enslavement in North America.
My source? The Oxford African American Studies Center. Not satisfied? Here is another source: Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. Still not enough? Here is yet another source: The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. All non-Muslim sources. Or, are they all conspiring in a Leftist “dhimmi” conspiracy? Oh…wait…I remember: they are all secret Muslim sources practicing “taqiyya.”
In response to Myth #2: “Mosques try to spread sharia law in the United States,” Spencer penned this:
Anyway, what do mosques in America teach? As long ago as January 1999, the Naqshbandi Sufi leader Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani declared in a State Department Open Forum that Islamic supremacists controlled most mosques in America: “The most dangerous thing that is going on now in these mosques,” he said, “that has been sent upon these mosques around the United States – like churches they were established by different organizations and that is ok – but the problem with our communities is the extremist ideology. Because they are very active they took over the mosques; and we can say that they took over more than 80% of the mosques that have been established in the US. And there are more than 3000 mosques in the US. So it means that the methodology or ideology of extremism has been spread to 80% of the Muslim population, but not all of them agree with it.”
When I read that, my bull**** detector went full-tilt. I have seen and heard this “fact” be trumpeted around, that “80% of the mosques are Saudi funded,” without any actual hard evidence…except the word of a few “experts” and and some random Sufi Sheikh.
Later on, he states again that “it is estimated that as many as 80% of mosques in America are Saudi funded.” Estimated by who? And are you sure this is exactly 80%? No, because in the article Spencer says: “as many as…” So, it could be 10%, or 76%, or 3%. And to back up this 80% figure, he quotes a 700 Club article that repeats this same “fact.” And we know how much the 700 Club loves Islam!
This claim that 80% of American mosques are Saudi funded is a lie, plain and simple. Spencer has done this before, claiming that “as many as 75 percent of the imprisoned women in Pakistan are, in fact, behind bars for the crime of being a victim of rape.” Again, no evidence whatsoever to back up such an outrageous claim.
Hardly a scholarly study, but, hey, this is Robert Spencer we are talking about: if one Muslim somewhere does or says something that backs up his fantastical claims, he posits this is “definitive proof,” claiming that everyone else is lying to you.
In response to Myth #5: “Mosques lead to homegrown terrorism,” Spencer writes this:
All right, so some mosques promote “radical extremism,” and some don’t, and since some don’t, mosques should not be “feared as incubators of terrorist indoctrination,” despite the fact that “alienated young Muslims” might “turn away from the peaceful path advocated by their elders in America’s mosques” in their rage over “Islamophobia.”
Funny how no amount of rage would ever lead me to blow myself up in a crowded restaurant. But that’s just me.
You know what, Mr. Spencer, the vast majority of Muslims would never blow themselves up in a crowded restaurant either, no matter how much rage they may have as well. Of course, he will never say that. Yet, lest we forget, Robert Spencer did promote a genocidal video on his website, produced by a group responsible for ethnic violence against Muslims. He has also supported the call for the annihilation of Pakistan. And he also called for a new Crusade.
Yet, let us show Mr. Spencer what real scholarship looks like. A study was conduced Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University and the University of North Carolina, supported by a grant from the Department of Justice, that found:
Contrary to Spencer’s contention, there has been increased Anti-Muslim Bias. Since 9/11, relatively low numbers of American Muslims have been radicalized, and that it is a limited, though serious, problem. Various practices of Muslim-American communities actually prevent radicalization, such as:
- Public and private denunciations of terrorism and violence
- Community building
- Political engagement
- Identity politics
In fact, the study suggested that mosques were a deterrent against, not promoter of, radicalization among American Muslims.
So, as is clear, when presented with facts that dispute his anti-Islamic fantasies, Robert Spencer resorts to obfuscation. Like I said, he just “can’t handle the truth.”