Aslan irks Spencer, bothers him to no end, Spencer views him as his arch-nemesis. In dozens of posts over the past few months, Spencer has at times nervously, at other times excitedly and feverishly used all the JihadWatch talking points and obfuscation at his disposal to attack or hurl personal insults and wild inuendo at Aslan. The dozens of posts have been long winded thousand worded epic Spencerian bile.
The reality behind this Spencer obsession is that Aslan is an outspoken critic of the anti-Muslim Islamophobia machine in which Spencer is a leader, and at the same time is also an advocate for Islamic reform and greater freedom in Muslim nations.
Aslan represents all that Spencer isn’t and therefore is a personality that confounds him, no longer is it easy for him to sling the allegation of Islamic supremacist, or Stealth Jihadist at someone who has an air of respectability and visibility in the mainstream such as Reza Aslan commands.
Spencer’s most recent outpouring of invective against Aslan was due to a few words Aslan said about Islamophobia,
RA: And the crazy thing about it is that we’re seeing that same sort of playbook, that made European Islamophobia so successful and mainstream on the continent, now being adopted by these groups like Stop Islamization of America and Jihad Watch, which are also very successful about creating a mainstream sense of anti-Muslim sentiment.
In the margins of this country there will always be racists and bigots; it’s just that they were always on the fringes; now, hence we have people like Pam Geller and Robert Spencer appearing as regular guests on mainstream television….
For this Spencer calls Aslan the “new” Fritz Kuhn, who was the leader of the American Nazi party back in the 30’s. Insane hyperbole and ad hominem attack? You bettcha!
Among other inane assertions, in a feat of hubris not uncommon for Spencer he not only compared Aslan to an American Nazi leader he also compared Islam to Nazism and levied the assertion that he is on par with those who criticize “Nazism.”
Imagine if Kuhn had given a similar address denouncing critics of Hitler and Nazism as “bigots” and “Germanophobes,” and claiming that anti-Nazi sentiment in the United States was a recrudescence of the ugly nativism that had victimized Catholics in America in the nineteenth century, and was leading up to a wholesale persecution and possibly even a genocide of innocent German-Americans.
Spencer’s off kilter analogy falls on its face when we realize that in fact Spencer is engaging in projection, as he himself has been an ally of Fascists and neo-Nazi groups such as: Geert Wilders (Right-wing Dutch neo-Fascist), EDL (English Defense League),SIOE (Stop the Islamization of Europe), BPE (Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa), Ewald Stadler (Far right Austrian politician), BZO, Sergei Trefkovic (Serbian Nationalist, genocide denier), etc.
Spencer’s argument as to why Aslan is the “new Fritz Kuhn” gets even weaker from that point. In trying to make his obscene case he says that Aslan is the new Fritz Kuhn because he is,
1. A “board member” of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) which Spencer says is, “a group that genuine Iranian pro-democracy forces regard as an apologetic vehicle for the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
First of all the NIAC is considered one of the best Iranian pro-Democracy organizations out there. In truth, the link that Spencer provides goes to an organization that not only doesn’t support democracy but displays an image of the Shah Reza Pahlavi on its site, not really a scion of democracy.
NIAC, Terrorist Apologist or pro-Democracy advocates?
2. He claims Aslan is uncritical of Ahmadinejad and his anti-Semitism.
Another false claim. If calling someone a “fraudulently elected Megalomaniac” is uncritical as Aslan did in one article then Spencer doesn’t know the meaning of “uncritical.” As it happens Aslan condemned Ahmadinejad’s denial of the holocaust calling it “absurd.”
3. Aslan calls for the US Government to negotiate with Ahmadinejad and Hamas.
What is controversial here? Others have called for the US to negotiate with Ahmadinejad and Hamas as well. Is Spencer implying that because Aslan has called for the US to negotiate with the two he somehow supports them? If so can he show us any proof? Of course he cannot and so he resorts to innuendo.
4. Has “praised” Hizballah by observing that it is “the most dynamic political and social organization in Lebanon.”
Aslan didn’t “praise” Hizballah as Spencer would have it, implying that Aslan somehow endorses them. He merely observed an obvious point that even Hizballah’s greatest detractors have, that it is the most highly organized and dynamic party in Lebanon.
This is what Aslan really said (hat tip: Mosizzle),
“You may think of Hizballah as a terrorist organization, and certainly they have engaged in terrorist acts, but they are also the most dynamic political and social organization in Lebanon”
Again, not really high “praise.”
At the end of the day Spencer is only chasing vague phantoms and attempting to spin terrorists or terrorist supporters out of thin air to suit his morbid agenda of framing “the only good Muslim as a bad Muslim.” The real Fritz Kuhn’s of the world are Spencer and his ilk, individuals who wish to eliminate Islam from the West.