Spencer Distorts Egyptian Society; Spreads Interfaith Bigotry

Egypt’s majority Muslim population spoke loudly against extremism and terrorism when they served as “human shields” in protection of their Christian neighbors on Christmas eve. “We either live together, or we die together,” was the slogan of Mohamed El-Sawy, a Muslim arts tycoon. Indeed, it was a teachable moment: a ray of hope in a sectarian torn world. But fake scholar Robert Spencer is determined to squander any chance at peaceful interfaith coexistence.

Spencer notes that Al-Azhar University condemned the recent attacks on Egyptian Churches:

Al-Azhar is the foremost authority in Sunni Islam, and a case can be made from the Qur’an for what they say: “For had it not been for Allah’s repelling some men by means of others, cloisters and churches and oratories and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft mentioned, would assuredly have been pulled down.” — Qur’an 22:40

Of course, the citation of Quran 22:40 is black-and-white proof that Islam does not sanction attacks on houses of worship. However, Spencer as usual turns the Quran upside down:

Thus Muslims should not be among those who “pull down” churches, right? So why, then, would any jihadists target a church, given that they consistently proclaim themselves to be the true and pure Muslims, following scrupulously everything commanded in the Qur’an and Sunnah? Or have they really “hijacked” Islam, as is endlessly claimed?

Well, it is worth noting that ‘Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller), a manual of Islamic law that Al-Azhar certifies as conforming “to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Community,” contains a section (o9.10-o.9.15) entitled “Rules of Warfare” that says nothing about any prohibition on attacking a non-Muslim house of worship. And Islamic law generally takes a negative view of non-Muslim houses of worship, forbidding non-Muslims in Islamic states from building new houses of worship or repairing old ones.

Suggesting the Quran doesn’t mean what it says, Spencer cites as proof his favorite piece of evidence: Umdat al-Salik, a 14th century medieval Muslim law manual. Spencer assumes the certification of the translation into English by Al-Azhar means that Muslim legal thinking hasn’t moved beyond the 14th century. What he fails to disclose is that these manuals are studied in their historical contexts. Serious Egyptian religious intellectuals do not take the rules of warfare from Umdat al-Salik but from the Geneva Conventions and U.N. treaties, as stated clearly by Egypt’s Grand Mufti, Dr. Ali Gomaa:

“Fight in the way of God against those who wage war against you, but do not commit aggression – for, verily, God does not love aggressors,” (Quran, 2:190)

This verse summarizes everything that has been agreed upon concerning guidelines of warfare, including the first and second Geneva Conventions.

Nonetheless, reading in translation (since we know he is not proficient in Arabic), Spencer doesn’t find any suggestion in Umdat Al-Salik that houses of worship should be protected; therefore, he concludes Islamic law in its totality must not have any precedent about protecting houses of worship. What he failed to mention, even in the very piece of evidence he cited, is this:

09:11 It is unlawful to kill a non-Muslim to whom a Muslim has given his guarantee of protection.

[Ibn, al-Naqīb A. L, and Noah H. M. Keller. Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law ʻumdat Al-Salik. Beltsville, MD, U.S.A: Amana Publications, 1999. P. 603]

Most Muslims reinterpret such clauses in the modern sense of citizenship. The Christians are Egyptian citizens and therefore deserve the protection of the government. Hence, the overwhelming demonstration by Muslims in support of the Christian community. Of course, even in a time of warfare, Islamic law laid down strict rules of combat. Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, told his armies:

“I advise you ten things: Do not kill women or children or an aged, infirm person. Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees. Do not destroy an inhabited place. Do not slaughter sheep or camels except for food. Do not burn bees and do not scatter them. Do not steal from the booty, and do not be cowardly.”

[Muwatta, Book 21, Number 21.3.10:]

“Inhabited places” include houses of worship. But the Egyptian Christians aren’t combatants; they’re citizens. They’re even more deserving of scrupulous protection. In this regard, Muhammad himself sanctified the lives of those who made peace treaties with Muslims:

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr: The Prophet said, “Whoever killed a Mu’ahid (a person who is granted the pledge of protection by the Muslims) shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty years (of traveling).”

[Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 83, Number 49]

Apparently, Spencer feels no need to check any Islamic sources other than Umdat al-Salik before he makes sweeping claims about Islamic law. In any case, Spencer would like us to think that Al-Qaeda, who bombs houses of worship, is acting in accordance with Islamic law better than the majority of Egyptian Muslims. He gives us his “expert” interpretation:

Also, it is likely that al-Qaeda understands Qur’an 22:40 as referring to churches that teach the true Christianity of Jesus the Muslim prophet as he is depicted in the Qur’an. Those Christians who consider Jesus divine — that is, virtually all of them — are “unbelievers” according to the Qur’an (5:17, 5:72), and the Qur’an commands Muslims to make war against those who associate partners with Allah (9:5), which Christians are explicitly accused of doing by proclaiming Jesus to be the Son of God (9:30). Thus they would likely believe that Qur’an 22:40 just doesn’t have anything to do with “pulling down” the assemblies of renegades such as those who were gathered in the church in Alexandria last night.

Notice that Spencer thinks it is “likely” al-Qaeda understand the verse exactly the way he does, although he can produce no such evidence. Maybe because he’s not too good at translating Arabic documents? He then cites his favorite handful of verses (out of context); for example, citing:

But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)… (Quran 9:5)

But without citing the following verses (interpreted in Tafsir Jalalayn as follows):

“How can polytheists [that were treacherous and violated their treaties] have a covenant with Allah and His Messenger? Except for those with whom you entered covenants [i.e., the polytheists who did not break them and hence were not treacherous] in the Sacred Mosque. So as long as they are true to you [with their covenants and do not breach them] then be true to them [by also fulfilling your covenants]; verily, Allah loves those who fear Him [i.e., He loves those who fulfill covenants, since whoever fears Allah will fulfill his covenants, and the Prophet kept his word and upheld his side of the treaty until his enemies broke theirs].”

[Tafsir Jalalayn, Quran 9:7]

Spencer takes verses that refer specifically to a handful of Arab tribes who broke their peace treaties with Muhammad and extrapolates them out to apply to all Jews, Christians, and people everywhere. Spencer ignores key verses of the Quran that make clear distinctions between those who war against Muslims and those who make peace:

Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loves those who are just. Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong. (Quran 60:8-9)

Finally, Spencer ends by repeating his keynote fallacy:

If Al-Azhar backs up this statement with consistent calls on Egyptian authorities to protect Egypt’s Christians, and consistent teaching against the Islamic texts and teachings that provide justification for attacks against them, we will be making real progress.

Spencer thinks we’ll “make progress” when Al-Azhar teaches against Islamic texts and teachings, while we have shown here that Al-Azhar’s condemnation of Al-Qaeda is not against Islamic texts and teachings, but is perfectly in line with them. Spencer pretends that only his spurious self-serving interpretation of Islam is correct and therefore Islam is the problem, rather than extremism fostered by military occupations. Would Spencer find it sensible for me to likewise demand Christians speak out against the Christian texts and teachings that justify terrorism?

As our country starts debating the violent political rhetoric in our nation’s discourse, let people know that fraudsters like Robert Spencer add fuel to the fire by pushing communities apart, dividing nations along religious lines, and hindering any hope of interfaith understanding. His anti-Muslim bigotry and rejection of Muslim/Christian harmony is poisonous to the best of American traditions: E pluribus unum.

24 thoughts on “Spencer Distorts Egyptian Society; Spreads Interfaith Bigotry

  1. As our country starts debating the violent political rhetoric in our nation’s discourse, let people know that fraudsters like Robert Spencer add fuel to the fire by pushing communities apart, dividing nations along religious lines, and hindering any hope of interfaith understanding. His anti-Muslim bigotry and rejection of Muslim/Christian harmony is poisonous to the best of American traditions: E pluribus unum.

    Reporting the actions of Muslims across the world is hardly “fueling the fire.” It’s honest reporting. Something that our liberal media should be doing on a daily basis, but won’t, for fear of being branded “Islamophobes” and “bigots” by dishonest whitewashers like yourselves.

    Why don’t you lecture the millions of your fellow coreligionists about “Muslim/Christian harmony” if you are even able to keep a straight-face while doing it. The fact that Christians are leaving the Muslim world in droves, both in body bags and in planes, speaks volumes about the “harmony” that you are speaking about. Robert Spencer isn’t to blame for this, despite your best efforts at obfuscating the obvious anti-Christian, anti-Jewish sentiments inherent in your own holy book. The crocodile-tears you shed for these Coptic Christians are merely insults, because the sane world knows that you are jumping for joy inside. Having all Muslim lands purged of filthy infidels is the goal, and Muslims are succeeding, by and large. Don’t act like you aren’t ecstatic.

    • They’re doing quite a convincing job of it themselves, as a matter of fact. Especially considering that the Mufti of Egypt is one of the key figures in the Common Word initiative.

    • “The crocodile-tears you shed for these Coptic Christians are merely insults, because the sane world knows that you are jumping for joy inside.”

      Right…so Muslims who were ready to die side by side with Coptic Christians were practising taqiyya? Seriously, this whole “taqiyya” thing is getting out of control. What did the Muslims acting as “human shields” gain from what they were doing other than helping the Copts whom they recognise as their brothers? What other motive could they have for risking their lives to go to a Christmas mass?

    • Too bad for Ahninny the Spencerbot, his delusional narrative isn’t reality. He’ll of course not produce a coherent response when he is challenged, as it is not in his programming to do so. So, I shall confound his programming once again.

      “Reporting the actions of Muslims across the world is hardly “fueling the fire.” It’s honest reporting. Something that our liberal media should be doing on a daily basis, but won’t, for fear of being branded “Islamophobes” and “bigots” by dishonest whitewashers like yourselves.”

      Reporting on the actions of Muslims around the world, while adding your own false narrative to it, is sensationalism, and therefore, is not “honest reporting”.

      – It unjustly singles out the actions of Muslims, for no other reason, than the fact that they are Muslims, when neither the actions themselves, nor the motives behind them, are exclusively Muslim, nor even intrinsically Muslim.

      – It adds a false narrative to these actions, trying to say that their is an underlying religious basis, or even a religious motive to it, when there is no evidence to support this claim.

      – It unjustly tries to place the responsibility for negative actions done by Muslims, on all Muslims collectively, rather than placing responsibility exclusively on the actual individuals involved, while with positive actions done by Muslims, it’s vice versa.

      – The only purpose in even mentioning it, is to unjustly “arouse an intense emotional response”, which is what sensationalism is all about, why it’s dishonest (since it has an agenda), and why it is indeed, “fueling the fire”.

      “Why don’t you lecture the millions of your fellow coreligionists about “Muslim/Christian harmony” if you are even able to keep a straight-face while doing it. The fact that Christians are leaving the Muslim world in droves, both in body bags and in planes, speaks volumes about the “harmony” that you are speaking about.”

      The problem with this, is that Muslims are leaving the “Muslim world” (we all know Ahninny the Spencerbot is really just sensationalizing predominantly Muslim countries as “the Muslim world”) as well, both in body bags and in planes, so it speaks nothing about “harmony” between Muslims and Christians in those places. This is the fallacy of only focusing on what’s happening to a certain group of non-Muslims in a certain place; you’ll never get the whole story.

      “Robert Spencer isn’t to blame for this, despite your best efforts at obfuscating the obvious anti-Christian, anti-Jewish sentiments inherent in your own holy book.”

      Spencer is very much to blame for his role as being a flaky, rabble ‘rounsing, lying, hate-mongering, opportunistic, ethnocentric, fascist, sensationalist scumbag.

      The “anti-Christian”, “anti-Jewish” sentiments come only from Spencer, and his dishonest, grossly over-exaggerated and sensationalized exegeses of the Qur’an. That he’s managed to convince the lowest common denominator of his dishonest, sensationalized, grossly over-exaggerated exegeses of the Qur’an, clearly demonstrates that he is indeed part of the problem.

      “The crocodile-tears you shed for these Coptic Christians are merely insults, because the sane world knows that you are jumping for joy inside. Having all Muslim lands purged of filthy infidels is the goal, and Muslims are succeeding, by and large. Don’t act like you aren’t ecstatic.”

      Correction; the ignorant world of Spencer’s useful idiots think we’re “jumping for joy” inside, because only those who’ve bought into the lies of Spencer and his fellow scumbags, believe that.

      The notion that all (or even most) Muslims want to cleanse predominantly Muslim countries of their non-Muslim minorities is false. It is demonstrably false because their is no solid evidence to support it. You’ll always see the likes of people like Spencer trying to say this, but when it comes to actually substantiating these claims, they never do so. At most, they’ll claim that the attacks on non-Muslims in those countries are evidence of this agenda. However, such attacks are evidence of no such thing. Such attacks on non-Muslim minorities are just that; attacks on non-Muslim minorities, and that’s all they are.

      • Reporting on the actions of Muslims around the world, while adding your own false narrative to it, is sensationalism, and therefore, is not “honest reporting”.

        Kind of like Geert Wilder’s “Fitna”? Not a single entry of narrative to be found, yet it’s still considered the most Islamophobic and bigoted video there is about Islam. It contains nothing but Qur’anic verses and “misunderstanders of Islam” (aka, fundamentalist Muslims) interpreting those verses and arriving at violent conclusions. But, as always, it’s Wilders, and not the extremists on the videos, who is the culprit.

        • That is because it’s cut and pasted Qu’ranic verses, superimposed over images of terrorism (which counts as a narrative BTW) to give a false impression of those selected few verses. None of the verses are quoted in context or even quoted correctly in some cases. I could do the same to any Holy Book but that doesn’t mean anything about them, just that I’m reading it in a biased way. Fitna is junk in every way possible and yes, Wilders is a culprit as he uses propaganda to get his votes.

        • “Kind of like Geert Wilder’s “Fitna”? Not a single entry of narrative to be found, yet it’s still considered the most Islamophobic and bigoted video there is about Islam.”

          “Fitna” is a classical example of sensationalism, and the “narrative” is in its presentation. Cherry-picking verses from the Qur’an to superimpose over video footage of some fringe group of radicals or whatever, is the dishonest, sensationalist “narrative”. The movie “Fitna” is just a cheap, anti-Islam, sensationalist propaganda video, meant to deceive the lowest common denominator who don’t know any better (and likely never will).

          Take that video and cut out all the superimposed red herrings, and what’s left? A meaningless, cheap video of cuts that probably wouldn’t pass a film class.

          “It contains nothing but Qur’anic verses and “misunderstanders of Islam” (aka, fundamentalist Muslims) interpreting those verses and arriving at violent conclusions. But, as always, it’s Wilders, and not the extremists on the videos, who is the culprit.”

          Correction; it contains footage with superimposed Qur’anic verses, to present a false image. Wilders is the culprit behind this false image, while the extremists are just necessary placeholders for his backdrop. Wilders isn’t any kind of an expert on Islam, nor is he even a Muslim.

          People think they can magically become an “expert on Islam” by just reading a few verses from the Qur’an or by reading a bunch of retarded polemics against Islam. It doesn’t work that way. No subject or discipline can you be considered an expert on by simply “reading about it”, or having it all “self-taught”, and certainly not by just observing bits and pieces of how other non-experts do it.

          Extremists do what extremists have always done in various cultures throughout all of recorded history; exaggerate things to an absurd degree. Saying it’s anything more with Islam or Muslims than with anyone else, is a lie.

        • An English teacher at my school, who is atheist and is a big critic of all religion, showed the film, and even he said that it is full of fallacies and it was a load of shit. I saw the verse 8:60: “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly.”

          This is verse 8:61 IMMEDIATLY AFTER THE QUOTED VERSE

          8:61: But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is One that heareth and knoweth (all things).

          • Correct. Wilders cannot even quote a single verse in full. Furthermore, this cherry-picking was debunked in the main article (see Tafsir Jalalayn verse 9:7)

        • I saw this article, firstly how the hell did the guy know he was killing a christian? He got on a train and started shooting randomly, as far as I can tall Christians don’t wear special clothes or anything, or carry a sign. It’s just another pointless murder committed by a deranged individual, at least they caught him. As Mozzile says, one man’s actions don’t speak for everyone, not one bit, unless you want us judging nation X, Y or Z by the contents of it’s prisons.

          • It wasn’t what they were wearing; it was what he noticed the women weren’t wearing, i.e., Muslim garb, that signalled him.

      • That isn’t “evidence” of anything more than a deranged man, indiscriminately shooting his gun off at everyone. It amounts to nothing besides that. And if you think it does, you’re delusional and desperate.

        In your delusional and desperate search for “evidence”, I shall give you a “head’s up”; you’ll never find anything more than a few, isolated incidents, and that’s all they’ll amount to.

        Thus, Ahninny is, very soon, going to (like he’s done so many times before) “ABANDON-TOPIC”, as his programming doesn’t allow him to process information that runs contrary to what his already-existing data says.

      • If the deranged man was backed up by a fatwa from Al-Azhar University and the Grand Mufti of Egypt declaring his actions to be lawful under Islam and in accordance with the Quran and Egypt releases him on the basis of that, then I’ll believe it has something to do with Islam.

          • It’s probably not programmed to have a coherent discussion, but only to rant and rave, then retreat when confronted with real facts and information, and repeat the same process in another topic. There are various creatures, which exhibit this sort’ve “hit-and-run” behavior. One of them is a “rat”.

  2. Look at how pathetic Anhi is. After officially becoming Spencerwatch’s premier loser he thinks he can redeem himself by making a bigoted rant.

    And yes Anhi, I do notice that you run away when faced with facts.

    • And it seems he’s run away again, right on schedule. Conscious liars always flee when faced with the truth, as the Qur’an clearly states:

      “And say: The truth has come and the falsehood has vanished; surely falsehood is a vanishing (thing).” (Qur’an 17:81)

      Thus, like falsehood, Ahninny vanishes when confronted with the truth he tried so desperately to confound, because he is indeed a peddler of falsehoods (as he is programmed to be), and is always repulsed by the truth.

  3. Given how Spencer is so wanton to dismiss the Qur’an in favor of an obscure, obsolete, medieval law manual from the 14th century in order to make his invalid point, underscores how much of an “Islamic extremist” he is, and the irony in him being one.

    It’s also very ironic, how Spencer and his ilk are in fact guilty of all the accusations of lies, deception and conspiracy theories they throw at Muslims.

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