From Dorado, our newest reporter on Spencer
On January 9th 2011 in the Duomo Square, Milano, Italy, a rally was held by the Copts of Milano along with some supporting Italian organizations, when members of a Jewish group, ADI (Amici di Israele – Friends of Israel), put the Israeli flag on their shoulders, many Copts reacted by refusing the presence of the Israeli flags.
Robert Spencer, the so-called scholar of Islam has used this event to suggest to his readers at Jihadwatch that the Copts are victims of a divide and conquer strategy by Muslims, designed to keep what he refers to as “dhimmi communities” at odds with one another. This conspiracy he says has historical roots and global implications. He says all of this of course without supporting evidence being cited in his article.
It is apparent that this new variation of the tu quoque (the anti-conspiracy theory theory) argument is being used to combat another conspiracy theory, namely that somehow the Israelis were responsible for the suicide bombing in an Egyptian Church in Alexandria that occurred during Christmas Eve Mass, killing 21 people. The implication is clear, the Copts are selling themselves short by not accepting support from Israeli groups. It is being suggested, although not in a vocal, explicit manner a la Debbie Schlussel, but with clever word play, that religious persecution of Copts in Egypt is the result of their succumbing to this divide and conquer strategy. He plays the blame game when he states,
“And while some Middle Eastern Christian leaders remain mired in anti-Semitism and dhimmi attitudes of intellectual and political subservience, others are breaking out of it.”
In short, it is all the Copts fault for their supposed “anti-Semitism.” Combat one conspiracy theory by introducing “reasonable doubt” through the method of introducing another conspiracy theory.
There is, of course, no mention of the widespread support of Copts by their Muslim brethren in Egypt. This is just another instance of Spencer using tragedy in the Muslim world to vilify all of Islam and demonize the world’s Muslims by cataloging these events police-blotter style. Spencer’s entire call for an alliance of non Muslim groups against Islam is obviously based on his theory that Muslims or “adherents of Sharia” seek the conversion, subjugation, or death of all non-Muslims. We will assume that he has provided “evidence” for this claim elsewhere in his writings, because he provides none here.
We will also later address this unsupported assertion from Spencer:
“Indeed. Historically, Islamic supremacist masters did their best to sow discord among different dhimmi communities, keeping them apart and at odds with one another, but those communities today only work against their own best interests by refusing to ally together.”
One has to wonder why groups such as Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors(CJHS) continue to invite the likes of Spencer to their events when he isn’t averse to using bigotry to advance his agenda, especially when we consider that Spencer is both a Genocide denier and a Genocide Supporter.
Jewish groups such as this should be wary of a non-Jew who uses bigotry in this way, as it is very possible he could easily turn on his supporters if he accomplishes his goals against Muslims.
His bigotry and opportunism is evident. He is obviously projecting his own anti-Muslim bigotry when he suggests that those who do not take a Pro-Israel stance are somehow against justice and truth and that Copts who refuse alliance with Jewish groups are aligning with “Islamic Supremacists”.
Although not explicitly mentioning the massive amount of support that the Copts are receiving from their Muslim compatriots, Spencer’s suggestion that they should ally with Israeli Groups and extreme Zionists instead of Muslims suggests that he is aware of that support and it bothers him. Egyptian Muslim support for the Coptic Community provides an alternative to his “all Muslims are evil” agenda. Why else would he elliptically use phrases such as “divide and conquer” or Arabic terms such as dhimmi. The Copts are being covertly called dhimmis for not supporting Israel?
And why call the Copts anti-Semitic? After all didn’t they invite the Jewish groups to the rally? It also seems that the word dhimmi is being used to imply some far fetched form of Stockholm syndrome among non Muslims or a caste system in Islam, instead of the traditional Islamic meaning of “protected religious minority”. This seems to be yet another instance of Robert Spencer, the “scholar of Islam”, imposing his understanding of Islamic concepts on the rest of us.
This brings us now to address this idea that Islamic communities historically used a strategy of divide and conquer to control the religious minorities under their political dominion. Spencer seems to wish for his readers to remain oblivious to the scholarship on the matter. Numerous Quranic verses and Hadith when read in their proper context deal with the just treatment of Non Muslims that Islam mandates. The Muslim support of the Copts in Egypt exemplifies this Islamic principle. A twisting of the meaning of this word implies a nefarious agenda. In addition, numerous scholars , both Muslim and non Muslim have concluded that Jews and other religious minorities fared relatively well under Muslim rule in general. Loonwatch has articles directly refuting Spencer’s ideas about dhimmitude in general and specifically treatment of Jews under Muslim rule.
This idea that Copts and Jews have more in common than Copts and Muslims, or the Jews and Muslims even, smacks of the very thing Spencer is decrying: “the divide and conquer tactics of Islamic Supremacists”. He is trying to separate the Egyptian Coptic community from compatriots on the basis of religious difference. The irony should not be lost on anyone.