Spencer Wrong Again: OK amendment will ban religious arbitration

Spencer is a scholar of getting it wrong

The “scholar” Robert Spencer said the following in reply to comments made by Asma Uddin, an attorney for the Beckett Fund, that the Oklahoma ban on Shariah will end religious arbitration:

To be sure, Uddin also argued against the wisdom of the measure itself, although in doing so she misrepresented it, speaking as if Oklahoma had outlawed Sharia as a matter of voluntary private arbitration. That was actually off the point, since the use of Sharia provisions in private arbitration doesn’t constitute the use of a law other than American law to legislate for Americans, which is what the Oklahoma anti-Sharia measure is all about.

Does he ever get anything right?

A sponsor of the amendment, Rex Duncan, said that ending religious arbitration to prevent shariah from being used in Oklahoma courts is one of the main reasons he sponsored this amendment. Doh!

Rex Duncan, a Republican state representative in Oklahoma and a sponsor of the amendment, has explained that part of its purpose is to ban religious forms of arbitration: “Parties would come to the courts and say we want to be bound by Islamic law and then ask the courts to enforce those agreements. That is a backdoor way to get Sharia law into courts. There … have been some efforts, I believe, to explore bringing that to America, and it’s dangerous.”

The “scholar” Robert Spencer is wrong again – speaking up before he got all the facts. Not only does this new amendment hamper Muslims who might want to arbitrate according to their religious law, but it will also hinder other faith groups from doing so as well. Religious arbitration among citizens is as old as apple pie in U.S. legal history. But don’t let that get in the way of amending your state’s constitution so you can demonize the less than 1% of Muslims who live in your state!

A law we don’t need by Michael A. Helfand (LA Times)

Oklahomans have a plan to save the country. It doesn’t address the reverberations of the financial crisis or outline a way to pay for social services on a limited budget. Instead, they’ve fashioned a “preemptive strike” against Islamic law in the United States. Last week, 70% of Oklahoma’s electorate approved this amendment to the state’s Constitution: “The [Oklahoma] Courts … when exercising their judicial authority … shall not consider international law or Sharia Law.”

Oklahoma isn’t alone. Arizona is considering a bill that would prohibit state judges from “rely[ing] on any body of religious sectarian law or foreign law,” and a similar bill has just been introduced in the South Carolina Legislature. Whether more states will hop on the bandwagon may depend on the outcome of a lawsuit filed in Oklahoma federal district court that contends that the amendment violates the 1st Amendment. But the amendment is not just of dubious constitutionality; it’s dangerous and unnecessary on the merits.

Rex Duncan, a Republican state representative in Oklahoma and a sponsor of the amendment, has explained that part of its purpose is to ban religious forms of arbitration: “Parties would come to the courts and say we want to be bound by Islamic law and then ask the courts to enforce those agreements. That is a backdoor way to get Sharia law into courts. There … have been some efforts, I believe, to explore bringing that to America, and it’s dangerous.”

In reality, such arbitration is well established. For nearly half a century, Jewish, Christian and Muslim tribunals have operated in the United States in concert with government courts. These tribunals preside over matters of religious ritual and also apply religious law to a wide range of disputes between individuals and even commercial entities. Parties, in keeping with shared beliefs and values, can voluntarily agree to submit employment, divorce, contractual and various other types of disputes for resolution. State and federal courts currently treat such religious tribunals as they do all other arbitration panels that litigants can seek out as an alternative to going to court. And, as long as the tribunal and its decisions meet certain standards, government courts routinely “confirm” them — that is, render them legally enforceable.

To some, the prospect that the “Save Our State” amendment could challenge this process would be a positive development. In fact, if we were to buy into some of the characterizations propounded by some pundits and politicians, we might think that religious arbitration could force U.S. courts to allow dismemberment or stoning as a form of punishment. But if the awards of religious tribunals are to be enforced in court, the hearings must comply with various procedural requirements, the arbitration agreements cannot be unconscionable, and the awards cannot contravene state and federal laws. Indeed, under the aptly titled “public policy exception,” courts cannot enforce any arbitration award, including one issued by a religious tribunal, that undermines U.S. public policies.

For example, parties before a religious tribunal have a right to an attorney that cannot be waived. The tribunal must give notice to the parties regarding all hearings. And it must accept all relevant evidence and allow parties to cross-examine witnesses.

When it comes to the decisions themselves, just as a court cannot enforce a contract to hire a hit man, a court cannot enforce an arbitration award that requires something such as stoning or caning. Nor could a court confirm a religious tribunal’s child custody decision without making its own independent determination as to what was in the best interests of the child. In the words of a New York court, “An arbitration award that deprives a party of a constitutional right to seek redress or protection in a civil or criminal matter is against public policy.”

But that alone isn’t a reason to maintain the tradition of religious arbitration. This form of justice sometimes provides legal redress that the state and federal courts cannot.

Consider a case in which a pastor, imam or rabbi is given a lifetime contract (a relatively common practice) that allows his or her congregation to terminate his or her employment only for cause. Somewhere down the line, the congregation decides that its religious leader is no longer doing the job. Accordingly, the congregation terminates the contract. But the pastor, imam or rabbi might very well disagree that there was cause for the dismissal. Where does he or she go to bring that claim?

The answer is not in state or federal court. The establishment clause of the 1st Amendment prohibits government courts from rendering a view regarding religious doctrine. And deciding what the appropriate responsibilities of a pastor or imam or rabbi are, and whether they have been fulfilled, would generally amount to rendering such a view. As a result, the court could only dismiss the case. However, the pastor, imam or rabbi could turn to a religious tribunal, and a U.S. court could later confirm the decision and give it legal force.

Legislation banning religious arbitration is deeply misguided. The decisions of religious tribunals are unenforceable unless they comply with public policy. And we need them to address cases that constitutional doctrine prohibits from being litigated in government courts. In the end, allowing state and federal courts to “consider” the findings of religious tribunals for the purposes of “confirmation” doesn’t violate cherished religious freedoms, it enhances them.

Laws like Oklahoma’s “Save Our State” amendment pander to unfounded fears. Instead of saving the nation, they merely add to its list of problems.

Michael A. Helfand is an associate professor of law at Pepperdine University and associate director of the university’s Glazer Institute for Jewish Studies.

Robert Spencer v. Peter Kreeft: “The Only Good Muslim is a Bad Muslim”

Kreeft and Spencer after tummy tuck

Robert Spencer had a “debate” at Thomas More College recently with a former professor (and ping pong partner) of his, Catholic Theologian and apologist Peter Kreeft. It was quite evident that the two were friends and they were quite chummy with one another, in fact it was pointed out by Kreeft that this wasn’t a debate as much as it was a “dialogue” or “discussion,” I thought of it more as good ole’ Muslim bashing.

The “Debate”:

The resolution being debated was that “the only good Muslim is a bad Muslim.” Imagine the reaction if it had been “the only good Jew is a bad Jew” or the “only good Christian is a bad Christian.” Of course yours truly Robert Spencer, affirmed the resolution, defending it with the usual canard of ‘any Muslim who truly practices his faith is potentially dangerous and a threat to society.’ The “debate” was interesting as it exposed even more vividly the inherent biases and prejudices held by Spencer, the deep lack of understanding and knowledge of Islamic theology, belief and history as well as his limited command of the Arabic language.

Kreeft who didn’t provide much of a challenge to Spencer and who showed brightly his Ultra-Conservative Catholic belief essentially agreed with 95% of what Spencer was saying. While it is clear that Kreeft regards Muslim devotion to, and confidence in their faith in high esteem he nevertheless believes Islam is a “primitive,” “defective,” and “false” religion that has caused “more bloodshed” than Christianity.

Instead of challenging Spencer’s consistent distortions of Islam and Islamic teaching (he deferred to Spencer as an “expert on Islam”) he pivoted the argument to say that the greater threat to Catholicism is the Enlightenment and the Sexual Revolution.

Surprisingly, Spencer agrees with Professor Kreeft regarding the Enlightenment being a threat to Catholicism though he didn’t explicitly say that Islam was less of a threat. I can see how Ultra-Conservative Catholics may rail against the Enlightenment, it was the era which saw a secularist revolt in the name of Reason against the Catholic Church and which led to formulas for the Separation of Church and State, it also witnessed the decline of the power of the Catholic Church in the temporal realm.

However, it is quite hypocritical for Spencer to agree with such a premise, especially considering Spencer claims to be a defender of the West. Agreeing that the Enlightenment is bad is like saying that the Separation of Church and State is bad, or that Constitutional government is bad, all the things that Spencer claims to champion! (but which we have frequently shown is just a front for his own anti-Freedom supremacist beliefs).

A few other points were likewise revealed in this debate:

Spencer’s terrible command of Arabic and very poor articulation of Arabic. This has been revealed on other occasions such as when Danios slammed Spencer and one of his JihadWatch groupies‘ faulty understanding of the word dhimmi, which Spencer was trying to pass off as meaning “guilty people.”

Spencer said during the course of the dialogue on the topic of Islamic views of marriage that,

In Islamic marriage the woman is essentially chattel, and actually the word for marriage in Islam is an obscenity in Arabic, I am not making this up, the theological word for marriage in Islam is not a word that people say in polite company.

(Gasps from the crowd)

It’s because its a very degraded idea.

In this instance Spencer says that the theological word for marriage in Islam is actually an obscenity! A ridiculous notion that underscores the willful and deliberate ignorance of the so-called “scholar of Islam.”

The word that Spencer is likely referring to is *”Nikah” which simply means in Islamic theological terminology “marriage.” In claiming that “Nikah” is an obscene word that cannot be uttered in polite company, “scholar” Robert Spencer is committing a laughable gaffe that underscores yet again the shallow nature of his knowledge of Arabic and Islamic terminology. He is confusing a classical Arabic word Nikah, with the colloquial word (“Neik”), a different word, just because they sound similar. This would be like Spencer suggesting that Richard is an obscene word, because a colloquial subtract “Dick” is used as a derogatory word for penis. Well, here Spencer is arguing that Richard is an obscene word. That’s your scholar.

Also, when Spencer attempted to say Arabic words such as madhab, nasikh, mansukh, etc. it sounded like an Arabic 101 student struggling with pronunciation, it was quite embarrassing.

Kreeft, in one of the rare instances where he pushed back against his buddy Spencer said,

Kreeft: Doesn’t the Qur’an say that you can only have four wives if you respect them and treat them equally?

Spencer: It doesn’t say respect all of them, I have it here, it says you can have four wives if you treat them all equally, in other words if you treat them all the same, if you’re beastly to all of them then you can have them. It doesn’t say anything about respect.

Here Spencer reveals more of his biases and readings of his own prejudice into Islamic text. He believes the Qur’an calls for men to treat their wives “beastly.” Can he provide us a quote, a single verse that says anything remotely near that claim? In fact his claims are belied by the fact that the Qur’an and Islamic teaching specifically call for love, harmony, and respect between a husband and wife.

Take this verse (30:21),

“And amongst His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you love and compassion. Indeed in that are signs for a people who contemplate.”

or this one (2:228),

“And they (women) have rights similar to those (men) over them in kindness…”

or this (2:187),

“They (women) are your garments and you are their garments.”

or take the saying of Prophet Muhammad,

“The best amongst you, are the best for their wives”

So much for all that chattel nonsense.

More disturbing was when the question shifted from one in which Islamic belief is questioned to questioning the mere presence of Muslims in the West.

In reply to a commenter/questioner from the audience who basically asked “what will we do with Muslims in the West, since they are in our midst now,” Spencer replied,

Anyone who professes the Islamic faith, if he delves into the teachings of his own religion, he can end up being someone who is very dangerous to us. Now that doesn’t mean that people should be round up into camps and such but we need to enforce our own laws about sedition and formulate some sane immigration policies and recognize that this is an ideological conflict and not a problem of racism.

Oh thank heavens! At least Spencer isn’t calling for camps! Though his buddy Michelle Malkin does. Muslims need to *just* be aware that for merely professing to follow Islam they can be convicted of sedition! That is really the import of what Spencer is saying, he is calling for Muslims to be locked up and denied entry to the USA. Very Geert Wilders-esque.

The moderator asked the horrid question earlier to Kreeft and Spencer,

Couldn’t we learn from Muslims what we need to learn from reading their books but nevertheless energetically fighting their attempts to assert themselves in American society, restricting their entrance into our countries and just generally fighting political Islam, protecting our own religious freedom and our own political freedom by aggressively imposing our own values on our own societies. In other words, not permitting them polygamy, not permitting them honor killing, or wife beating or any of the other aspect of Sharia that they are asserting. In other words couldn’t we get all this from your book, your book tells us what we need to gain from Islam, and so, ok, fine, they can go home now?

(Laughter)

The framing of the question is terrible, which Muslim or Muslim group is asserting Sharia? Who is calling for polygamy and honor killings? Then look at the condescending way in which the moderator asks “why don’t we tell them to go home now?”

So I ask you who is for freedom? Democracy? Who is viewing the “other” as foreign and not belonging?

Kreeft who is supposed to be the “counter” replied,

the long and complete and nuanced version of my answer to your question is ‘yes.’

Spencer answered the question without any caveats simply saying,

yes.

Spencer also asserted that there are “20-30,000 polygamous groups of Muslims in the USA” but he didn’t provide any independent evidence. This is in fact all conjecture to further the “stealth-Muslims-in-our-midst-who-are-trying-to-advance-creeping-Sharia’ conspiracy theory.”

To cap it all off a Thomas More student who is joining the Israeli Army said,

You’re probably familiar with the supremacy clause in the Qur’an, “In order to honor Allah you must kill all the infidels, first the Saturdays and then the Sundays.”

Spencer replied accurately (he had no choice) for once, thereby sparing himself further ridicule from us that “such a verse doesn’t exist in the Qur’an,” but unable to help himself he went on to say,

There is a hadith, it isn’t in the Qur’an that says the Muslim must kill the Jews, and the Jews hide behind trees and the trees cry out and say, O’ Muslim there is a Jew behind me come and kill him, that is an authenticated hadith, and so it is considered to be a laudable practice for a Muslim to kill a Jew because it is something that hastens the coming of the end times in which all things will be consummated, but its not specifically in the Quran like that.

Unbelievable. A colossal falsity, an absurd statement that ventures on the ridiculous and is certainly slanderous. In this instance Spencer is attempting to advance the notion that a tenent of Islam is that the End Times can be hastened and brought quicker by killing Jews.

In fact, Spencer should focus more on his Christian brethren in the Evangelical movement who believe they can hasten the second coming of Christ by planting the seeds of the second Armageddon.

Such a theological precept doesn’t exist in Orthodox Islam. In fact it runs counter to Islamic theology to say that one can hasten the End Times, and if anyone were to claim they could they would be immediately considered a heretic. However, I will deal with this claim in more depth in a future article. Suffice it to say that it is a despicable statement that underscores Spencer’s profound ignorance of Islamic theology and belief.

*Update:

Dawood, one of our Loonwatchers points out,

“nikah” (نكاح) and “neik” (نيك) are completely different words, having no relation to each other in structure. As can be seen above (for those who don’t speak Arabic), only 2 letters are the same (ن ك). Unless Spencer is implying the Arabs simply decided to drop off a letter, which is something I have never heard of before!

The root term for “nikah”, means union, or the coming together of two things. He is obviously implying that it is a term meaning the sexual act, and in a lewd way, but it simply is not. It could definitely allude to it – as you can see from the meanings above – but it can also mean, as most people understand it, the coming together and union of two people in marriage. If we check the major lexicons, such as Hans Wehr and Hava, even the older texts such as Lane’s Lexicon, they support this interpretation clearly.

Spencer upset Muslims take on extremists

Robert Spencer is miffed. There has just been too much good press for those pesky Moozlims. Writers of late have pointed out that the mainstream Muslim community is at the forefront of combating terrorism and extremism; such as the Muslims who prevented the recent Yemen mail bomb plot or Muslims who have prevented numerous other cases of terrorism. If Spencer’s goal was to prevent terrorism, one would think these news stories are cause for celebration. But if the goal is to tar all of Islam in a fear-for-profit holy war racket, eh, not so much.

For Spencer, highlighting anything positive Muslims do in the fight against violent extremism just doesn’t jive with his lop-sided cherry-picked contextless narrative that Islam is the root cause of all evil. He says,

There is a counterproductive aspect to this kind of publicity for the Muslim community in America: that these stories would be considered newsworthy at all is due to their unusual, man-bites-dog aspect.

It bewilders those of us not indoctrinated with prejudiced anti-Muslim hostility to see how stories about ordinary Muslims thwarting terrorist attacks are “counter-productive.” These stories are positive reminders that our fight is against violent extremism, not the religion of Islam or all Muslims. But Spencer’s transparent goal is not to prevent terrorism as much as it is to profit by demonizing all of Islam and its adherents. He continues,

If the teachings of Islam and the sentiments of the Muslim community in the U.S. really were the way they are ordinarily represented by the mainstream media and assumed to be by the U.S. Government, then there ought to be a concerted, organized, ongoing effort among Muslims in the U.S. not only to foil jihad terror plots, but also to eradicate the Islamic teachings that inspire and encourage such plots.

Here Spencer fumes with conspiracy-mongering indignation as he decries how the mainstream media and the U.S. government fail to smear the entire religion of Islam and its 1.5 billion followers. Then he demands that Muslims “eradicate the Islamic teachings” that inspire terrorists while he ignores the mountains of empirical research which demonstrate that military occupations are the root cause of terrorism, not the religion of Islam, or that alienation

from the mainstream Muslim community leads to terrorism, not engagement with it. But he continues,

Also, these writers and others generally assume that the Muslims who foiled these jihad plots did so out of Islamic conviction, and that they therefore represent an alternative perspective on Islamic teaching, one that opposes and counters that of the jihadists. Unfortunately, that is not established.

This sentence explicates Spencerian Islamophobic doctrine: when a Muslim commits a criminal act, that is “true Islam,” but when a Muslim does a good deed, he is somehow acting against the teachings of Islam. Of course, this non-terrorist “alternative perspective on Islamic teaching,” which those of us in the real world call “mainstream Islam” is in fact well-established not only in countless scholarly books, organizations, and websites, but also by scientific polling of global Muslim attitudes. Unsurprisingly, Spencer has been unable to publish any of his Muslim-bashing conspiracy theories in a single academic peer-reviewed journal. No need for balance, scholarship, or polling; mere speculation and “truthiness” are good enough for Spencer.

Mr. Spencer, your stubborn self-serving denial of reality obscures our country’s ability to tell the good guys from the bad guys. As Jon Stewart recently said, “…the inability to distinguish terrorists from Muslims makes us less safe, not more.”

Mr. Spencer, you are making us less safe, not more.

JihadWatch Supports the Banning of Sharia’ in Oklahoma: Whats next? Unicorns?

Election season 2010 provided many interesting and quite scary insights into the relationship between American and Islam. On the good side of things Keith Ellison won re-election by a tremendous 44 point margin. On the other hand, Allen West an outspoken anti-Muslim candidate won election to Congress in Florida’s 22nd district. West believes Islam is not a religion and that we are at war with Islam.

Also on the ballot in Oklahoma was an initiative that seeks to ban “Sharia’” in the state. It is a ginned up initiative that seeks to ban something that doesn’t exist in Oklahoma, which has all of 15,000 Muslim citizens.

Spencer saw the passing of the measure as an indication that Americans are standing up against Muslims and Islam. However he doesn’t see the fact that what Oklahomans actually banned is something that doesn’t exist in their state. What is next, Unicorns?

Colbert expressed it best,

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
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Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election March to Keep Fear Alive

JihadWatch Afraid to Debate LoonWatch

JihadWatch, a vitriolic hate site run by pretend scholar Robert Spencer, has propelled itself to the forefront of the Islamophobic movement in the United States.  The fear-mongering Spencer has used his hate site to demonize Islam and Muslims.  To bolster his credibility, Robert Spencer had long ago issued an open challenge to “Muslims and leftists” to debate his ideas.

I accepted Spencer’s challenge to a debate on June 17th, 2010.  Since then, several influential Muslim-American spokesmen have expressed their interest in such a debate between Spencer and I.  This includes Ahmed Rehab (Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago), who issued a scathing statement against Spencer.  However, it has now been over 135 days since I accepted Robert Spencer’s challenge.  JihadWatch has generated excuse after excuse as to why this radio debate cannot take place.

The latest set of excuses was that I must reveal who I am before a debate can take place.  Spencer issued this pre-condition knowing full well that I value my anonymity too much to do that.  He naturally thought that this was a creative way to get out of a debate with me while at the same time saving face.  Said Spencer:

Sorry, I don’t debate fictional characters or pseudonyms. “Danios of Loonwatch” can go debate Scot Harvath or Harold Robbins.

This is of course strange since Hugh Fitzgerald, the Vice President of JihadWatch since 2004, himself operates under an anonymous pseudonym.  Fitzgerald is a co-administrator of the site, alongside Spencer.  Is Fitzgerald then a “fictional character” who is only worthy of debate with Scot Harvath or Harold Robbins?

If that is the case, I challenge Hugh Fitzgerald–co-administer and Vice President of JihadWatch–to a radio debate.  The topic will be Jihad, “Dhimmitude”, and Taqiyya (Stealth Jihad), namely chapters 1-4 of Robert Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).

Hugh Fitzgerald of JihadWatch uses a pseudonym like myself, and he remains completely anonymous like myself.  Surely two “fictional characters” are worthy of debating each other, right?

Now what excuse will be generated by JihadWatch to avoid this debate with LoonWatch?  I can just see Robert Spencer’s brain churning in order to generate a reason to get out of this one.  The truth is that JihadWatch is a bully, and as soon as someone steps up to a bully and delivers a solid punch to the mouth, the bully backs down like the coward he is.

Cyberpath Robert Spencer’s Bizarre Projection

In an article in the far-right strangely-named website “humanevents.com,” Robert Spencer whose feelings are apparently still hurt by the drubbings he got from Reza Aslan and Ahmed Rehab goes on the following rant:

Islamic supremacists such as Ahmed Rehab of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group with numerous ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and Reza Aslan of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a group often criticized for its unstinting practice of running interference for Iran’s bloody Islamic regime, traffic in adolescent ridicule and abuse rather than dealing with the real objections their opponents raise.

This general refusal to engage their opposition’s arguments is a sign that the Leftists and Islamic supremacists feel keenly their own intellectual vacuity. They know that in light of it they can do nothing but ignore, mock, or try to bully people who speak the truth.

Ironically, this is the same Spencer who was posting old shirtless photos of Rehab and calling Aslan and Rehab “metrosexuals” and “supremacists” and talking about lipstick and eyeliners and literally singing schoolyard taunts. That he would accuse them of  “adolescent ridicule and abuse rather than dealing with the real objections their opponents raise” while being the one to engage in such adolescent ridicule and abuse rather than dealing with the real objections that Rehab and Reza raised about him such that he’s a cherry-picker, an opportunist who selectively quotes history, is bewildering. One can only conclude that either Spencer is one long comedic act, or that he is genuinely delirious and incapable of noticing his glaring hypocrisy.

What the “Police Blotter Scholar” Didn’t Tell You…

Police Blotter Scholar” Robert Spencer is always on top of the “Muslim Problem,” to quote Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. Robert Spencer is always on top of telling us what is going wrong within the Muslim community, keeping us up to date on all of the criminal activity within the Muslim community, just like a…police blotter!

One of his latest entries on the blotter is the disturbing story about the naturalized American citizen who was arrested for an alleged plot to attack the nation’s second busiest subway system. Spencer introduces his post thus:

At least one accomplice — he may have had more. So many Misunderstanders of Islam! Why is the Muslim community worldwide such an abysmal failure at communicating the peaceful nature of its religion to its own people?

Funny guy that Spencer, eh? What “Scholar” Robert Spencer did not mention, to no surprise, was that the tip that led the FBI to survey this wacko and monitor his every move, eventually leading to his arrest, came from within the Muslim community itself:

The tip that led to the FBI’s subway bombing sting came from a source in the Muslim community…

So, it was the Muslim community which helped lead the FBI to the alleged subway attacker, the so-called (by Spencer) “D.C. jihadist.” Isn’t that interesting? In fact, the same holds true for the five men from Virginia who were arrested in Pakistan for plotting terrorist attacks. It was their own families who alerted authorities:

The story of the five men became public when the council got their families in touch with the FBI after they left the United States shortly after Thanksgiving without telling their parents. That triggered an international missing persons case. The men were arrested Dec. 8 at the home of Chaudhry’s father, Khalid Farooq Chaudhry, and the terror allegations began immediately.

Now, Spencer asked: “Why is the Muslim community worldwide such an abysmal failure at communicating the peaceful nature of its religion to its own people?”

Clearly, the “scholar” has no idea what he is talking about, because, by turning in one of its own who chose the path of religiously motivated criminality, the Muslim community communicated loudly and clearly to the rest of the world that it is indeed a peaceful, loyal community dedicated to the security of its homeland.

But, of course, “Scholar” Robert Spencer won’t tell you that.

Marisol on the Saudi Jinn Judge: Blame Islam for Crime

Marisol seems to be taking over the writing duties today at Jihad Watch as Spencer heads off somewhere in the distance, no doubt wearing his Superman cape to fight for the beleaguered West against the Muslim hordes.

In similar Police blotter fashion as her teacher Spencer, Marisol writes today about a story of some Saudi judge who was embezzling funds and then went and blamed it on someone bewitching him with a Jinn (genie). It is a classic corruption case and when the individual was caught he cried, “the devil made me do it.” The difference here is she blames Islamic belief in the existence of magic for his corrupt actions.

The truth however is that this belief in magic is found in other religions, not least Robert Spencer’s own Christianity, and doesn’t in any way allow for a carte blanche cover to commit criminal activity. What’s to blame is the flawed, nepotistic Saudi judicial system and not Islam.

Imagine the hoopla if these children who are accused and murdered as witches and practitioners of magic were Muslim? Spencer and co. would have a field day:

African Pastors torture and murder “witch children”; what if they were Muslim?

by Greeneye

(Read the whole piece at WhatIfTheyWereMuslim.com)

More African Churches are dealing with the troubling problem of Christian pastors torturing and executing “witch children” in the name of their faith. Quite a disturbing phenomena to say the least. The Huffington Post reports (hat tip: Tomas):

The nine-year-old boy lay on a bloodstained hospital sheet crawling with ants, staring blindly at the wall.

His family pastor had accused him of being a witch, and his father then tried to force acid down his throat as an exorcism. It spilled as he struggled, burning away his face and eyes. The emaciated boy barely had strength left to whisper the name of the church that had denounced him – Mount Zion Lighthouse.

A month later, he died.

Pastors were involved in half of 200 cases of “witch children” reviewed by the AP, and 13 churches were named in the case files. Campaigners against the practice say around 15,000 children have been accused in two of Nigeria’s 36 states over the past decade and around 1,000 have been murdered. Other practices include beating with sticks, sawing or driving a nail into children’s heads, burying or burning them alive, forcing them to eat cement, and other grizzly acts of merciless cruelty. (Note: burying children alive is specifically forbidden by the Qur’an, see verses 81:8-9). The parishioners take very literally and seriously the Biblical injunction:

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. (Exodus 22:18)

Since these Christians quote scripture to justify their misdeeds, we must conclude that this is a mainstream “orthodox” Christian practice, right?

Wrong. It is definitely not a mainstream “orthodox” Christian practice, as the Post reports:

“It is an outrage what they are allowing to take place in the name of Christianity,” said Gary Foxcroft, head of nonprofit Stepping Stones Nigeria.

Bishop A.D. Ayakndue, the head of the church in Nigeria, said pastors were encouraged to pray about witchcraft, but not to abuse children.

“We pray over that problem (of witchcraft) very powerfully,” he said. “But we can never hurt a child.”

Reasonable people should be able to conclude that such practices are an aberration which goes against the well-known Biblical commandment to be merciful and love one’s neighbor.

But what if they were Muslim?

UWe’d expect the anti-Muslim blogosphere to erupt in self-righteous indignation, led by JihadWatch and AtlasShrugs, citing a few Islamic scriptures, maybe an archaic medieval Muslim law manual (all in ready-made English translations of course because, as we know, Spencer holds no degree in Arabic nor is he proficient in the language). From this handful of cherry-picked evidence, we’d be given the horribly stereotyped determination that such an aberrational practice is standard, normative, traditional, mainstream, “orthodox” Islam accepted by all interpretations of Islamic law. Of course, this would again conveniently ignore abundant evidence to the contrary. But when has Spencer ever played fair?

Christians rightly condemn the practice of murdering “witch children,” despite the citation and literal interpretation of Exodus, because as we know Christianity has a vibrant interpretive tradition. So it is clearly unfair to take any Christian religious nut at face value when they cite the Old Testament. If we used this incident to indict all of Christianity in all times and all places forever, Spencer and his company would cry foul by pointing to the Christian interpretive tradition.

Not so with Islam. In fact, Spencer’s entire million-dollar hate-blogging Muslim-bashing brainwashing industry critically depends on denying mainstream Islamic interpretive tradition. As Dr. Robert Crane rightly put it:

Spencer’s readers are carefully steered away from all contact with the Islamic interpretative tradition, which equals or exceeds that of any other religion, because any scholarly knowledge about Islam would expose all his extremist interpretations to ridicule.

Bottom line: it is unfair and deeply hypocritical to apply one mild standard to Christianity and another harsher standard to Islam. We don’t take these children murdering Christians at face value when they cite their scripture as justification, so why should we take Al-Qaeda at face value when they cite the Qur’an?

But what do I know. Aren’t I just a liberal-dhimmi/stealth-jihadist?

Cyberpath still on the War Path against Ahmed Rehab and Reza Aslan

How sad can Robert Spencer get? My colleagues at LoonWatch have termed him an Internet Psychopath. Perhaps a more fitting description would be a Cyberpath.

Blowing the whistle on Robert Spencer’s pyscho-cyber path syndrom:

Cyberpath: People that possess a NarcissisticSociopath , or Psychopath personality disorder where they use the Internet as a tool against others on the Internet (their victims) in order to harm, bully, abuse, provoke, troll, torment, created conflict, destroy, damage, deceive, flame and inflame others for their own gratification , for example, seeking personal or financial gain.

This describes Robert Spencer to a tee. He has graduated from being a psychopath to being an all out Cyberpath. His narcissistic image of himself doesn’t allow for him to let any perceived slight or blight (even if it doesn’t exist) against his person go.

This has manifested itself in his recent Crusade against two Muslims who don’t really fit the extremist mold as far as any discerning viewer can note: Reza Aslan and Ahmed Rehab.

Spencer has stooped to calling the two “Islamic Supremacists.” Their crimes, aside from blasting Spencer as belonging in the “trash bin of history” seems to be that they “look metrosexual” (I didn’t know Spencer the flobby anti-Muslim polemicist was also a fashion expert, his attire would suggest otherwise), won’t entertain Spencer and his arguments as serious but view him as a bigoted clown, and that they are active in protecting the rights of Muslims.

In a little over 48 hours Spencer has produced 7 pieces of varying length and verbiage against both Aslan and Rehab, essentially confirming himself as their cyberstalker.

-Islamic Supremacist Reza Aslan: “Nothing can stop the spread of Islam” (Spencer relies on one of his followers, Evan Mark, for this “quote.” No one in the media reported it, but when we look at the actual speech we see that what Aslan is saying is that there are fundamentalists (such as Spencer) who wish to destroy Islam and to go to war with Islam and strip Muslims from practicing or preaching their religion, Aslan said that this is stupid and is not going to happen because Islam is a great world faith and all indicators are it is going to keep growing.)

-Bill O’Reilly Fawns over anti-Semitic Islamic Supremacist Ahmed Rehab of Hamas-linked CAIR (I sense a bit of jealousy and envy on the part of poor ole’ irrelevant Spencer. No longer able to bask in the 5 minute glory of the ginned up “NYC Ground Zero Mosque” controversy, no one wants him on air. In fact they don’t want to be near him with a ten feet pole because he is just that ludicrous. He is sad that O’Reilly, a hardcore Right-winger, had a Mooslim with some intelligence on his program and not awkward self-proclaimed academic Robert Spencer.)

-Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran protests State Department’s Sending lobbyist for Islamic Republic on tax-payer-funded jaunt to Saudi Arabia (By pro-Democracy what he means is the anti-Islamic and neo-Conservative organization PDMI, an Orwellian organization that includes one Amil Imani whose vitriol against Muslims would put Geert Wilders to shame. Not to mention that it is so “pro-Democracy” that it hosts a portrait of “His Majesty Mohammed Reza Shah,” a real scion of Democracy!.)

-Juan Williams and the Left’s Intellectual Bankruptcy ( a Human Events piece that continues his worn out attacks of Leftist/Mooslim stealth conspiracy to advance Jihad)

State Department sponsors Saudi trip of apologist for Islamic Republic of Iran (Trita Parsi, the reason they dislike him, an individual who supported the Green Movement that called for Reforms in Iran, and who are the real Pro-Democracy advocates is because he isn’t a hysterical anti-Muslim bigot)

CAIR’s Ahmed Rehab and the Use of Ridicule (a hypocritical piece in which Spencer whines about being ridiculed by Ahmed Rehab while at the same time previously and in this blog piece calling Ahmed Rehab a “metrosexual who uses lipstick and eyeliner.”)

CAIR’s Brave Ahmed Rehab, who ran from debate with me, claims never to have run from a debate (The “objective scholar,” very “scholarly” slings personal attacks and lies against Ahmed Rehab. O’ Little Cyberpath (to include a variation on an Andrew Bostom quote) how can someone “duck” a debate with you when they didn’t agree to one in the first place? I guess facts don’t matter to faux-scholars!)

Internet Sociopath Robert Spencer Scared of Debate

Robert Spencer, the notorious anti-Muslim hate blogger, issued an open challenge to a debate:

The list of the Leftist and Muslim academics and apologists who have refused my challenge to debate is very long; they know they can’t refute what I say on the basis of evidence, so they resort to broad-based smears and personal attacks — and haughty refusals to debate.

He has issued similar challenges on numerous occasions, steadfastly claiming that he would be willing to defend his ideas in debate.  I had accepted Spencer’s challenge to a debate, saying:

I accept your challenge, Spencer.  I agree to a radio debate with you on the topic of jihad and “dhimmitude”, namely chapters 1-4 of your book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).  It will then be seen if you can defend your own writing, which I argue is a load of sensationalist crock.

Will you accept my challenge to debate or cower in fear?  My guess is that you “know [you] can’t refute what I say” and will “resort to…haughty refusals to debate.”

It’s been 129 days since I accepted Spencer’s challenge, yet he continues to dodge taking me on.  That’s no surprise to most of our readers, since I have written several articles refuting his book and ideas, which he has failed to respond to.  It is well-known that my articles have stopped Spencer in his tracks, and finally he has been effectively silenced on those issues.  For the first time ever, someone managed to spend the time necessary to respond in a thorough fashion.  That’s why Spencer is avoiding a debate with me at all costs, even if it means going back on his open challenge to “leftists and Muslims.”

Even so, this doesn’t stop Spencer from claiming that other leftist or Muslim spokesmen are scared of debating him and can’t refute him.  Spencer claimed that Muslim-American spokesman Ahmed Rehab “ran from debate with me [Spencer].”  Rehab responded, saying:

Spencer, I never agreed to debate you in the first place, and it is highly unlikely that I ever will.

Rehab then mentions Spencer’s hypocrisy, pointing out that Spencer has been dodging yours truly (Danios of LoonWatch) for quite some time:

And now for some irony. Spencer, you are claiming you are ready to debate anyone but that alas no one wants to debate you because no one can. But, is this actually true? Does the name Danios of Loonwatchring a bell Spencer? You may be burying your head in the sand hoping no one will notice, but a simple Google search on “Robert Spencer debate” reveals your hypocrisy. How come you are ignoring an invitation from another blogger who has challenged you numerous times and whose articles shredding your arguments to pieces are all over the web without a peep of a rebuttal from you? Are you conceding defeat? Are you “running away?”

Of course, this got Robert Spencer worked up in quite the tizzy, and he blogged a furious response.  In it, the sociopath Robert Spencer starts ranting about the Soviet Union and Stalin, something all delusional right-wing nut jobs are prone to do some time or the other.

The irony of Spencer’s response cannot be understated.  His post is entitled “CAIR’s Ahmed Rehab and the use of ridicule,” and he complains of how Rehab supposedly resorts to “adolescent ridicule and abuse rather than substance.”  It is truly special that Spencer can say this with a straight face while at the same time lampooning the very same opponent by posting a photograph of Ahmed Rehab with a caption accusing him of wearing lipstick and eye shadow.  His sociopath readers take great delight in this picture, gleefully snickering at this “adolescent ridicule and abuse.”  The photograph is likely photoshopped, but even if it is not, what relevance does it have to do with the debate at hand?  Here, Spencer has lowered himself to the lowest possible schoolyard tactic: accuse your opponent of being gay.  To an extremist Catholic apologist like Robert Spencer being called “gay” is a very bad insult.  Of course, to a proud “leftist” progressive like myself, I don’t find it a slur to be labeled “homosexual”, which is clearly what Spencer is hinting at.  Even if Ahmed Rehab really did wear make up like gay popstar Adam Lambert, so what?  What’s your point?  Other than expose your underlying homophobia?

Let me be clear though: we here at LoonWatch don’t mind adolescent ridicule.  To wit: Robert Spencer is a fat slob.  His belly is so protuberant that that he can’t see his feet.

Have you noticed how Spencer has a thing against what he calls “meterosexual guys” like Ahmed Rehab and Reza Aslan?  Do I sense jealousy?  Both Rehab and Aslan are fairly good-looking guys.  In fact, Rehab was involved with the current Miss USA and Aslan with Jessica Jackley.  Maybe Spencer’s antipathy towards these chic Muslim spokesmen is that they are too damn good-looking.  Compare Spencer’s frumpy body with Rehab’s toned body.  That could also explain Spencer’s burning hatred of Dr. Tariq Ramadan, as one user on his site complains about “his handsome lying face.”  I wouldn’t be surprised if Spencer’s burning hatred is a reflection of his own inferiority complex…He certainly wouldn’t be the first loser to embrace a hate-filled ideology to boost his own inner lack of self-worth.

The issue is not Spencer’s “use of ridicule”, but his hypocrisy: he cries that leftist and Muslim spokesmen–Ahmed Rehab specifically here–resort to “adolescent ridicule and abuse”, which is what Spencer himself engages in on his hate site, against Rehab no less!  He cries about “adolescent ridicule” and in the same post say that Rehab and Aslan “richly deserve lampooning.”  So you can’t use adolescent ridicule, but lampooning is OK.  Does pointing out how fat and ugly Spencer is fall into the former or the latter?

Anyways, back to the point: I had long ago accepted Robert Spencer’s open challenge, agreeing to a radio debate.  So why does Spencer dodge me?

Spencer needs to generate excuses and a way out from debating me.  His first attempt was to minimize my importance, which somehow does not fall under “haughty refusal to debate.”  He can no longer rely on this excuse, since Ahmed Rehab himself, the Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago, messaged me: “You are amongst the top writers on this topic, far more effective and relevant than 99% of the countless Muslim writers out there.”  That’s high praise from the man whom Spencer considers an adequate spokesman for Muslims.  Will Spencer refuse to debate someone considered in the top 1%?  I suspect so.  Spencer says of me:

Debating such a compromised and dishonest individual would be a waste of time

Isn’t that the exact same reasoning that Rehab gave for refusing to debate you, Spencer?  The same reasoning you were so opposed to and called cowardice?

Spencer needs another excuse to weasel out of a debate with me.  What will it be?  Aha!  It will be my anonymity!  As many of you know, I write anonymously under a pseudonym.  Spencer and his fellow fans desperately want to know who I am.  Some of them are convinced I am XYZ, and others that I am ABCD.  Some have even engaged in textual analysis, trying extremely hard to find out who this cursed Danios is.  My question is: who cares?  Deal with my arguments, not who I am. Spencer says:

…Since Rehab invokes [Danios] and others have referred to his site [LoonWatch] recently, I am willing: if “Danios of Loonwatch” reveals his real name…

Spencer places this condition on me, knowing full well that I will refuse to reveal my name, since he knows that I like writing anonymously.  Spencer asks:

What is “Danios of Loonwatch” afraid of?

Do I have to be “afraid” of something?  I enjoy writing anonymously.  Having said that, I do plan on eventually “coming out of the closet” (will Spencer now accuse me of being gay too [although for the record I am not]?), but not just yet…When the time is right and of my own choosing. And when I do come out, I am sure that Spencer will attack my “meterosexual looks”.  Ah, why o why was I cursed with such handsome looks?

More importantly, I am currently a post-doctoral fellow at an Ivy League university and instructor at a state university.  Coming out of the closet at the present time would pose some logistical problems for me, which is why I have chosen to do it at a later date.  Does this answer your question, Spencer?

Then Spencer places his second condition:

I am willing: if “Danios of Loonwatch” reveals his real name, finds a university willing to host the debate and contracts an impartial moderator, I’m ready when he is.

So (1) I have to reveal my real name, and (2) the debate can only be at a university.  The second condition is odd, considering that it is Spencer who has no affiliation to any university.  In fact, Spencer failed to respond to this point by Rehab:

Spencer claims to be a scholar of Islam, Islamic Law, and Theology but holds no degrees in any of those subjects and has never even published a single peer-reviewed paper.

Why, in your epic rant, did you not respond to this argument against you?  How is it, my portly friend, that you consider yourself a “scholar of Islam”–which your site so claims–when you do not even have a single degree in any subject of Islam, let along a single peer-reviewed paper?  Exactly what type of scholar are you, then?

Anyways, Spencer’s second condition is tied to the first: a university debate can only be arranged if I reveal my true identity and university affiliation, which he knows that I am not willing to do just yet.  Spencer concludes:

But I won’t be holding my breath.

I’m sure Spencer was actually holding his breath, for fear that I might accept his two pre-conditions, and then how to avoid the challenge!?

Of course, Spencer’s two conditions–both of which involve revealing my identity–are completely bogus.  I have offered to debate Spencer on the radio.  Does Spencer not do radio interviews?  In fact, Spencer has appeared on the radio countless times, doing interviews for Jawa radio, Spirit Catholic Radio, Western World Radio, etc. To completely negate Spencer’s generated excuse, here we have Spencer himself saying how he engaged in a radio debate with a CAIR spokesman:

In April 2007, I participated in a heated hour-long radio debate with CAIR’s Hussam Ayloush…

So why does Spencer agree to a radio debate with Hussam Ayloush but now he doesn’t agree to the same with yours truly?  What’s that sound?  Oh, it’s the sound of a chicken.