#MyJihad Twitter Bout Takes One Round

by Garibaldi

Danios has been writing a series on Understanding Jihad which rebuts Robert Spencer‘s lies, decontextualized and selective usage of Islamic texts and history to advance myths regarding Jihad. The series is unfinished, but has been credited for bringing much needed facts and perspective to the understanding and meaning of Jihad.

One aspect that is yet to be covered is how the majority of everyday, regular Muslims relate to Jihad, and what it means to them. Today, in response to Geller’s racist ad campaign calling Muslims and Arabs “savages” whilst juxtaposing “Supporting Israel” with “Defeating Jihad,” Muslims (and non-Muslims) have taken to Twitter to relate what Jihad means to them with the hashtag #MyJihad (h/t: Fred A.). Here’s a description from the Facebook page about the impetus for the campaign,

There has been a lot of commotion recently in broadcast and social media about hate ads placed in the NY Subway by islamophobe Pamela Geller that states:

“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
What many on both sides of the debate are missing is that at the heart of the problem is the blatant misuse of the word “Jihad” as if it were an acceptable synonym of say “terrorism.”

Islamophobes aside, many Americans remain confused about this.

The best response to the hateful ad campaign is to convert it into an opportunity to get to the heart of the problem and to reclaim the word “Jihad,” a word many Muslims have shied away from and left to the ravaging of the ignorant in both the Muslim extremist and anti-Muslim extremist circles – both of whom seem to ironically agree on a bloody definition for the word. I love Jihad! Not Jihad the perverse way Bin Laden & Pam Geller define it. But: the struggle against ignorance, injustice & hate. It is the struggle against the darkness in ones own soul. It is the struggle to be patient in times of adversity etc.

Jihad is not savage, except in the minds of those who are too lazy or too careless to wish to understand a well-documented 1400 year old concept in both Islamic literature and Muslim life.

My Grandma’s Jihad was against diabetes and MS while bedridden for seven years. #MyJihad is against bigotry and hatemongering. What’s yours?

1. Tweet #MyJihad and tell us what your Jihad is.

Also this will be more than a twitter campaign. There will be an ad campaign as well in public transportation in various cities. The best tweets will be used as ads, so tweet away.

so:

2. Donate and help us get physical ads on billboards.
http://www.cairchicago.org/make-a-donation-form

Non-Muslims welcome, tell us about your Jihad too!

Anyone with the slightest bit of knowledge of the Arabic language and Islam knows that Jihad literally translates to “struggle.” Hence, the preponderance of involved Twitterati are relating the concept of Jihad to their everyday struggles and tying it to a spiritual dimension rooted deeply in their faith. It is clearly an attempt to reclaim the meaning of Jihad from the extremists and absolutists in both the “West” and the “East,” who feed off of each others hate.

An interesting interaction involving perennial anti-Loon Ahmed Rehab and hate monger Robert Spencer underscored how such campaigns can be effective tools in turning the hate machine’s propaganda on its head:

Robert Spencer made the mistake of tweeting at Ahmed Rehab with what he thought was a wisecrack and witty side-busting tweet, but ended up receiving a rhetorical Jiu Jitsu flying kick which left him floored. The question still stands Spencer, are you going to “watch” yourself now as part of your “Jihadwatch?”

Muslims in Politics: Islamophobes Worst Nightmare

Rep. Keith Ellison, one of two Muslims in Congress

by Garibaldi

Muslims make up 1 to 2% of the population in the United States, a number which is reflected in their limited political clout. This fact however does not hinder the Islamophobia Movement’s growing fear and anxiety about Muslim advancement in the political realm. LoonPolitics, as has been clearly demonstrated over the years, is a central feature of the surreal world of anti-Muslim bigotry.

One could be forgiven if while reading Islamophobic blog headlines one actually thought he or she was reading a chapter heading of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, or Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, or maybe even the Arabian Nights. President Barack Obama is still supposedly our first “Mooslim-in-Chief” according to AtlasShrugs’ Pamela Geller, JihadWatch’s Robert Spencer and a “healthy chunk” of Americans. Even after several House hearings on the subject, conspiracy theories about the insidious world-wide octopus known as the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrating all branches of the government are regular political parlay with prominent politicians such as Michele Bachmann. Former terrorism supporter and current Chair of the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Rep. Peter King is due to hold his millionth hearing on the supposed “pressing” issue of the radicalization of American Muslims. I can go on and on but you get the picture.

So why are Islamophobes so anxious? Why do they feel the need to pre-empt Muslim political advancement in the United States–at any and all cost? Is it a fear of phantom Sharia’ Law replacing the US Constitution? Is it a fear of the Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation of the Holy Quran replacing the King James Holy Bible as part of the canon of English literature? No, these are not the true reasons for their fear. As one of the godfathers of Islamophobia, Daniel Pipes put it at an American Jewish Congress convention, “the presence, and increased stature, and affluence, and enfranchisement of American Muslims” is “dangerous.”

Pipes was speaking in the context of how such a scenario would “affect American Jews,” but his statement holds true with nearly all Islamophobes; they believe Muslim advancement in American life will challenge their agendas.

Almost anytime a Muslim is elected to congress, appointed as a judge, a city councillor and/or an advisor expect immediate Islamophobic backlash. Reverberating across the looniverse will be hundreds, if not thousands of blogposts and opinion articles, each one mirroring one another’s talking points.

Remember Rep. Keith Ellison and the manufactured “Koran swearing-in controversy?” Islamophobes were in a twist over Ellison putting his hand on the very same Quran Thomas Jefferson owned; un-American they claimed! Rep. Andre Carson recently faced a barrage of accusations about “stealth jihad” and slanders that he wanted public schools to teach the Quran–all because of a misunderstood and decontextualized four sentence quote ripped from a 15 minute speech. Who can forget when Judge Sohail Mohammed was appointed to a state bench and the immediate hysterics from Geller and company claiming Sharia’ Law had penetrated New Jersey–Gov. Chris Christie responded in bewilderment, “Sharia Law has nothing to do with this at all, it’s crazy!” There was also the ACT! for America campaign that targeted a Muslim Fulbright Scholar and Business professor, Parvez Ahmed appointed by Jacksonville’s mayor to a Human Right’s Commission–according to many the anti-Muslim bigotry was an embarrassing episode for the City of Jacksonville.

So it is not surprising that Islamophobes once again got bent out of shape when anti-Loon Ahmed Rehab was recently announced by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as part of an advisory committee on immigration issues (h/t: FernandoA).

The anti-Muslim Islamophobic websites would have us believe that Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former IDF soldier, appointed a “Hamas-linked” operative as an advisor! Most of the recycled headlines in the looniverse read, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Appoints Hamas-Linked CAIR’s Ahmed Rehab to Advisory Committee. Yes, you read that right, a former IDF soldier, now the mayor of one of the largest US cities supposedly appointed a Hamas-linked individual to his advisory committee. That’s as surreal as Islamophobic stupidity gets. I mean I know they pack a lot into those deep dish pizza’s in Chicago, but there ain’t nothin’ in those pizzas that would make Emanuel, ever, appoint a “Hamas linked advisor!”

The well worn anti-Muslim smear and slander campaign (they never provide real evidence of Hamas links) against Rehab seems to have fallen on deaf, or at least unsympathetic ears, as good judgement generally sees clear through Islamophobic BS.

The most ironic and surreal part of all this is the true missed terrorist link: Mayor Emanuel’s own father, Ari Emanuel was really a member of a terrorist organization, the Irgun, but for Islamophobes such a link would never be an issue.

Ahmed Rehab: A Silver Lining in Egypt’s Dark Cloud

Robert Spencer has been steadily attempting to portray a situation in Egypt that does not reflect reality. Articles such as the following by Ahmed Rehab will never appear on JihadWatch because Spencer is vested in a Clash of Civilizations ideology.

An inspiring and heartening post by Ahmed Rehab on the bombing of the Coptic church. We were alerted to this late but this is certainly thus far one of the best posts on the subject. (hat tip: Ivan)

A Silver Lining to Egypt’s Dark Cloud

by Ahmed Rehab

The recent bombing outside a Coptic church in the Egyptian seaport of Alexandria that claimed 21 lives and 96 injuries sent shockwaves throughout Egypt and made headlines around the world.

Much of the global media has limited its interest in the story to the bombing itself and the subsequent angry street protests by Coptic youth; more savvy journalists included some discussion of government negligence and the context of sectarian strife that plagues Egypt today.

Still, an integral part of the story remains untold outside of Egypt: the strong response of everyday Egyptians – Muslims and Copts.

A popular storm of anger, defiance, and national unity is sweeping the country expressed by political leaders, members of the clergy, movie stars, students, and men and women on the street all reiterating one resounding theme: this is an attack against Egypt and all Egyptians.

While sectarian strife – even violence – is a serious problem in this mostly Muslim nation with a sizable Coptic population, Muslims and Copts generally live in peace side by side and have for many centuries.

Ali GomaaEgyptians of all stripes seem to concur that the Alexandria bombing – the most serious act of terrorism in a decade – is an attack on the Egyptian way of life with the intent to drive a wedge between faith communities and push the nation into turmoil.

“This is not just an attack on Copts, this is an attack on me and you and all Egyptians, on Egypt and its history and its symbols, by terrorists who know no God, no patriotism, and no humanity,” said Sheikh Ali Gomaa, the grand mufti of Egypt.

Khaled El Gendy“This cannot be classified as religious extremism, this can only be classified as religious apostasy,” said sheikh Khaled El Gendy a popular Muslim TV personality. “I do not offer my condolences to Christians, but to all Egyptians and to Egypt, All Copts are Egyptian and all Egyptians are Copts; their places of worship are national places of worship, a bomb that targets them bleeds us all.” A high ranking member of the Coptic clergy who sat beside him echoed his words.

“An act like this is wholly condemnable in Islam. Muslims are not only obligated not to harm Christians, but to protect and defend them and their places of worship,” said Imam Ahmed Al Tayeb the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Egypt’s seat of Orthodoxy.

Adel Imam“Let us hang black flags from our homes and black ribbons on our cars to mourn this cowardly attack against our brothers and sisters, let us send a symbolic message of defiance against those who are trying to divide us”, said a visibly enraged Adel Imam, Egypt’s most popular living actor, a Muslim, and a long time advocate for Coptic rights.

The message was not much different on Egypt’s most watched talk shows that were abuzz with Muslim and Coptic guests in the studios and on the streets, expressing their solidarity with each other and defiance against what they see as a common enemy trying to drive a wedge between Egyptians.

Muslim college students in Alexandria and Cairo have vowed to join Copts at their upcoming Christmas celebrations (January 7th for the Coptic Church). “We will be there with signs bearing the Crescent and the Cross, celebrating with them, standing with them, and falling with them if necessary,” said a young, veiled student leader surrounded by her colleagues.

As an Egyptian, I am as invigorated by the current mood in Egypt as I am distraught by the bombing. However, I pray that this welcome surge of unity and camaraderie is seized and eternalized. I hope that it becomes ingrained into our societal fabric and that it is leveraged to induce long needed reforms.

I agree that an attack such as this has the bearings of Al Qaeda and its imitation groups therefore taking us outside the realm of common sectarian strife and into one of national security; nonetheless, Egyptians should see the current atmosphere of empathy as an opportunity to address Coptic grievances and strive towards a more equal society.

We can no longer deny that since the rise of Muslim extremist ideology in the 1970′s, Egypt’s once exemplary Muslim-Coptic relations has deteriorated significantly.

My father tells me that growing up in the 50′s, he often did not know if one of his friends was a Muslim or Copt except by sheer coincidence, and then when he did it mattered little. This was not my experience growing up in Egypt where my religion teacher made sure to warn me against the “treachery” of my Coptic colleagues.

Naguib El RihanyIn the 40′s, no one seemed to care that Naguib El Rihany, Egypt’s then greatest comedian and a national treasure, was a Copt; he was simply Egyptian. Likewise, Copts did not bat an eyelid when Omar Sharif, a Christian, converted to Islam in the 50′s, at the height of his celebrity, a far cry from today’s intense reactions against conversions.

As far back as the 12th century, Egyptian Muslims and Copts fought side by side against the Crusaders, viewed then as a national security threat and not a religious war. Together, they stood tall against British colonialism – a lasting image of the period depicts Muslim sheikhs and Coptic priests marching together side by side and chanting “long live the crescent and the cross!”

One needs not look farther than the Alexandria Church itself to gain a glimpse of the sort of religious cohabitation that is uniquely Egyptian: the church is brightly lit up by flood lights perched up on a Mosque, only 30 feet across the street.

Egyptians are asking today privately and publicly, where has all this gone?

But we need to do more than ask and lament. We need to act.

The post-Alexandria solidarity between Muslims and Copts – the likes of which Egypt has not witnessed in decades – represents a silver lining in Egypt’s dark cloud of sectarian strife and mistrust.

We would be wrong not to acknowledge and applaud it, but equally wrong to settle for it; a silver lining never made for a brighter day.

We need to carry the momentum forward into the realm of real change:

When extremist religious discourse at Mosques (and in Coptic circles) is regularly and unequivocally condemned and countered with a proactive and effective discourse of respectful coexistence, it will be a brighter day.

When Egyptians no longer have to list their faith affiliation on their official government ID’s, it will be a brighter day.

When Copts no longer need a special government decree to build churches (or fix bathrooms in their churches), it will be a brighter day.

When I see talented young Coptic men playing on the Egyptian football national team at a rate proportional to the Coptic talent in my 6th grade class in Cairo, it will be a brighter day.

When the glass ceiling barring Copts from reaching the highest levels of government is shattered, it will be a brighter day.

When Egyptian law, prosecutors, officers, and judges treat Muslims and Copts as merely Egyptians – that is as equal citizens – with merit being the only qualifier, it will be a brighter day.

Given the candid conversations happening all over Egypt today, I believe that a brighter day is within reach. It is up to us “to change this tragedy into an opportunity,” to borrow the words of Sheikh Ali Gomaa.

Clearly, the immediate priority is security, but that must be followed – if not paralleled – with addressing Coptic civic grievances. For this to stand a realistic chance of success, the Coptic cause must become a national cause led and fought for by Muslims under a program of comprehensive civil rights reform.

Ahmed Rehab is a board member of the Egyptian American Society and a co-author and signatory of the Chicago Declaration, a practical document calling for equal treatment of Copts under the law, submitted to the Egyptian government in 2005.

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.

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.

Update: Robert Spencer Whines and Whimpers After Being Exposed

Robert Spencer: Exposed

Robert Spencer: Exposed

We recently wrote about the bruhaha that occurred when it was revealed that anti-Muslim polemicist Robert Spencer was invited by the ALA (American Library Association) to participate on a panel discussing the topic, Perspectives on Islam: Beyond The Stereotypes.

To summarize, close to the date of the event one of the panelists, Dr. Marcia Hermansen, discovered that Spencer would be on the panel. She informed the other panelists, one of the panelists decided to drop out in protest while Hermansen and the other panelist decided to stay on.

In the meantime various scholars, ALA member librarians, concerned citizens contacted the ALA to lodge their protest and demand to know why a notorious Islam hater was on a panel meant to dispel stereotypes about Islam, as did groups like CAIR-Chicago and CIOGC later on. The ALA lagged in their response and the remaining two panelists decided to drop out which lead the ALA to cancel the event.

It turns out the ALA did not know a thing or two about Spencer when he was curiously lobbied for by Ellen Zyroff, the co-chair of ALA’s EMIERT’s Jewish Information Committee and a leader at the San Diego chapter of the Zionist Organization of America, and were caught like a deer in headlights when it later became apparent to them that they had invited a discredited hatemonger. They are not entirely innocent however, how they let Zyroff decide who gets to be on a panel about Islam as opposed to someone on the Islamic Information Committee (if one even exists) is an untold story in and of itself.

In response to the cancellation and unanimous rejection to his participation Spencer started to cry “bloody censorship.” He accused CAIR of orchestrating a campaign to silence him and attack free speech when in reality all of the panelists had decided to drop out independently of CAIR contacting the ALA. By their own admission, they cited the ALA’s “failure to address their concerns” as well as the ALA actively misrepresenting the event to them.

As a result of most self-respecting people not wanting to associate with his rabidly anti-Muslim discourse, the apocalyptic Spencer and his shock troops began to cry that our whole Western Civilization was now under threat.  Closer to the truth seems to be that increasing incidents, such as these involving Spencer, reinforce his marginalization and highlight who he is: a bitter, bigoted Islamophobe with an ego the size of Alaska.

Unable to let the incident go with one 2300 worded diatribe, he penned another (shorter) assault in which he turned his venom from his former ally Charles Johnson onto CAIR-Chicago Director, Ahmed Rehab, in what seems to be an outrageous display of juvenility and senility that further exposes his lack of serious academic prowess or professional standards. In it, he claims that Ahmed Rehab “strong armed” the ALA into canceling the event, and that it is all part of his campaign “against free speech” and the so-called “truth of Islamic Jihad.” In reality, Ahmed Rehab had performed his organization’s stated mission of fighting bigotry by simply exposing the facts about Robert Spencer’s discredited methodology that would earn him an F in the academic world.

Ahmed Rehab, in his own article on the Huffington Post, articulately laid out the facts and even pre-empted this obvious line of attack from Spencer by stating that,

In fact, CAIR-Chicago’s call on the ALA to rescind Spencer’s invitation was not about Spencer but about the ALA, specifically: a) questioning why a respectable organization like the ALA would secretly invite an Islam-basher for an event designed to dispel stereotypes about Islam, and b) demanding that the ALA take responsibility for its misrepresentation of the panel event to the other panelists involved and to the public, and to provide an appropriate remedy for their error.

In Spencer’s self-inflated grandiose world he is unable to see that what concerned the diverse coalition of Americans that rejected him had nothing to do with him, or censoring him, but everything to do with the ALA and what it stands for, as well as the obvious incongruity in providing a platform to someone who makes a living from perpetuating stereotypes to speak on dispelling stereotypes.

Is that really so hard to understand?

Spencer further claimed that the participants knew about the event a month in advance, but he seems to be caught in a contradiction. On July 6, a few days from the event, Dr. Marcia Hermansen discovered that Spencer would be on the panel,

From: Marcia Hermansen
Date: July 6, 2009 8:07:26 AM CDT
To: xxxx@LISTS.xxxx.EDU
Subject: Marcia Hermansen and Robert Spencer
Reply-To: Marcia Hermansen

Thanks–I didn’t know about this–I thought I was on an informational panel for librarians–I guess this turns up the heat!

“xxxx” [xxxx@xxxx.xxxx] 07/06/09 3:06 AM >>>
Dear Colleagues,

I just found out on from the MELA list that Marcia Hermansen and Robert Spencer will be on an invited panel at the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) panel at the American Librarians Association annual meeting on July 12.

What Spencer may not want to admit is that this episode was never about censoring free speech which, when one considers Spencer’s explicit endorsement and support for Geert Wilders who is on the record stating that the “Qur’an should be banned” and that “freedom of religion should not apply to Islam”, seems just a tad bit hypocritical and disingenuous.

It was about principles of consistency, of not giving a platform to Islamophobes just as we don’t give platforms to racists and holocaust deniers. In that vein it seems the overwhelming majority of people agree and as one librarian expressing her own and her colleagues’ sentiments wrote:

Being a librarian I did my own homework. I verify my sources. I can tell that Ahmed Rehab did an excellent job in laying out the facts. Just check the facts again. Call the panelists and ALA organizers. Do your own investigation. The format of this panel was totally UNETHICAL. The main reason was to sneak Robert Spencer and impose a “fait accompli” to other panelists. The whole thing was flawed.

So, let Spencer claim that the world is out to get him and there is a nefarious plot to subvert his free expression of speech. It is his right, under — you guessed it — freedom of speech, but he shouldn’t be such a sore loser when others exercise their free speech and call him out for using his free speech to push lies and support for hatred and bigotry. He can always take solace in that while the sane world rejects him, he will always have his troop of “Crazy McCain ladies” cooing over his innuendo at his David Horowitz-funded extremist blog, “Jihadwatch.”