Maybe He Didn’t Know…

Maybe the “Scholar” missed it; maybe he didn’t really know; maybe, his “Muslim police blotter” failed to pick it up. But, Robert Spencer seems to conveniently ignore exculpatory facts that strike at the heart of his relentless argument that Islam is violent, evil, etc. Just the latest case in point: his decrying the death threat against Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris. He writes, in part:

It should be front-page news in every newspaper in the country: Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris has given up her job, her home, and even her identity because of death threats for Islamic supremacists. That Islamic jihadists can force an American citizen into hiding for exercising her freedom of speech is bad enough; that her cause has aroused only indifference from the media and the nation’s leading officials is even worse.

Although I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, he is right: the threat against Molly Norris is nothing short of repugnant. Norris, if you will remember, started the “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” on Facebook, which turned into a vile anti-Muhammad orgy. It was so bad, in fact, that Molly Norris backed away from it completely. Yet, Spencer’s “defense” of Norris is really a thinly veiled attack against President Obama:

Molly Norris’s cause should be taken up by all free people – not least the President of the United States. Obama could have explained that human beings control their own reactions to things. If Muslims chose yet again to riot and murder because of Terry Jones or Molly Norris, that would be a choice they would be making out of an unlimited array of other choices. Instead, Western authorities have fallen into the Islamic supremacists’ trap and are starting to behave in just the way they want them to: thinking that they must not do certain things, because if they do, there will be violence from Muslims. Yet that violence is in every case solely the responsibility of the perpetrator, not of anyone else.

Yet, Spencer seems to have ignored the fact that some of Molly Norris’ most passionate defenders are Muslims themselves. Soon after the news of Norris being forced to go into hiding became public, a group of Muslim journalists, academics, writers, and scholars issued a statement:

A DEFENSE OF FREE SPEECH BY AMERICAN AND CANADIAN MUSLIMS

We, the undersigned, unconditionally condemn any intimidation or threats of violence directed against any individual or group exercising the rights of freedom of religion and speech; even when that speech may be perceived as hurtful or reprehensible.

We are concerned and saddened by the recent wave of vitriolic anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic sentiment that is being expressed across our nation.

We are even more concerned and saddened by threats that have been made against individual writers, cartoonists, and others by a minority of Muslims. We see these as a greater offense against Islam than any cartoon, Qur’an burning, or other speech could ever be deemed.

We affirm the right of free speech for Molly Norris, Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and all others including ourselves.

As Muslims, we must set an example of justice, patience, tolerance, respect, and forgiveness.

The Qur’an enjoins Muslims to:
* bear witness to Islam through our good example (2:143);
* restrain anger and pardon people (3:133-134 and 24:22);
* remain patient in adversity (3186);
* stand firmly for justice (4:135);
* not let the hatred of others swerve us from justice (5:8);
* respect the sanctity of life (5:32);
* turn away from those who mock Islam (6:68 and 28:55);
* hold to forgiveness, command what is right, and turn away from the ignorant (7:199);
* restrain ourselves from rash responses (16:125-128);
* pass by worthless talk with dignity (25:72); and
* repel evil with what is better (41:34).

Islam calls for vigorous condemnation of both hateful speech and hateful acts, but always within the boundaries of the law. It is of the utmost importance that we react, not out of reflexive emotion, but with dignity and intelligence, in accordance with both our religious precepts and the laws of our country.

We uphold the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Both protect freedom of religion and speech, because both protections are fundamental to defending minorities from the whims of the majority.

We therefore call on all Muslims in the United States, Canada and abroad to refrain from violence. We should see the challenges we face today as an opportunity to sideline the voices of hate—not reward them with further attention—by engaging our communities in constructive dialogue about the true principles of Islam, and the true principles of democracy, both of which stress the importance of freedom of religion and tolerance.

The list of signatories keeps growing. There is no mention of this statement by Spencer on his website.  I wonder why? Is it because it debunks Spencer’s notions about Islam and Muslims?

Maybe Spencer didn’t know about the statement…or maybe, he chose to look the other way, because the truth is too inconvenient.

Facts Don’t Matter to the “Scholar” Robert Spencer

Everyone keeps claiming that Robert Spencer is this big time “scholar.” Yet, it seems that he could care less when it comes to the facts. In a recent rant about the Chicago man who was arrested after planting what he thought was a real bomb in a dumpster outside of Wrigley Field, Spencer penned this:

Got to watch out for those “Chicago men,” especially during yet another long summer of frustration at Wrigley, as Sweet Lou Piniella has ridden off into the sunset with no end in sight for the Cub Fan’s frustration. It would drive anyone to plant a bomb, now, wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t it?

He seems to lament the fact that the media, quite responsibly, called the suspect, Sami Hassoun, as a “Chicago man,” rather than identifying him by his religion. Presumably, looking at his Facebook page, he is Muslim since he did have a status saying “eid mubarak.” Still, Spencer seemed to not like the fact that the news reported him as he is: a Chicago man.

Once again, however, Robert Spencer’s “scholarship” shows in his total disregard for the facts. Had he bothered to even do a simple Google search, rather than just post the headline and move on, he would have found that this “Chicago man,” Sami Hassoun, had absolutely no religious motivation for his alleged attack:

Authorities said Hassoun wasn’t motivated by religious or political views but rather by a bizarre desire to undermine the mayor’s political support and allow an associate to take control of the city. He also hoped to profit from the scheme by being paid for his terrorism work by supporters, the charges alleged.

In fact, according to the authorities, Hassoun had even suggested that they blame the attacks on Muslim extremists:

Hassoun suggested the plotters attempt to put blame for the attack on Muslim extremists.

When undercover agents told Hassoun their group wanted to change how the U.S. treated people “back home,” Hassoun seemed uninterested in ideology.

“Mine is a different kind of concept than this,” Hassoun said. “We’re floating same boat, you know. … We’re doing the same thing, but everybody has their own interest. … The results of this is a benefit to everybody.”

So, this man had absolutely no religious motivation behind his plot to bomb Wrigleyville. He never mentioned Islam or “jihad,” or the Qur’an as his motivation. No “taqiyya,” or “kitman,” or any other term that Spencer uses to mislead the public. He told his informants why he wanted to commit terrorism:

Hassoun was critical of Daley, telling the informant that the mayor’s policies had weakened security in the city and once saying he wanted to foment a “revolution” in the city, according to the charges.

But, that doesn’t matter to Robert Spencer. It seems that if any criminal commits a crime and happens to be a Muslim, then “poof” he becomes a “Islamic Jihadist” bent upon destroying the West. Facts just don’t matter to the “scholar” Robert Spencer.

Robert Spencer and the FBI

Robert Spencer loves to flaunt and name drop his speeches to “officaldom,” it serves to legitimize his anti-Islam/anti-Muslim crusade. However, as we have copiously catalogued on our website, the chorus of those speaking out and exposing Spencer is growing larger every day. They include Conservatives as well as Liberals, from various groups across the nation.

Spencer used to regularly write on his blog about speaking in front of this security group or that security group. The truth is that those requests for Spencer’s speeches have decreased over the years, especially under the Obama administration (another reason for  the hate he and his buddy Pamela Geller direct towards Obama).

The fact that the FBI has erred so terribly in giving a voice to a bigot such as Spencer does not in the least legitimize Spencer as a trusted, objective or authoritative voice on Islam, terrorism or American Muslims. It just means that it has taken the FBI longer to realize what everyone is realizing, Spencer is a fraud, a Crusading (to use Andrew Sullivan’s term) Christianist bigot who sees Islam as the competition that must be eliminated.

It is only a matter of time before the FBI realizes that inviting Spencer to speak on Islam is akin to inviting David Duke to speak on the holocaust or a member of the KKK to speak about race relations in America. It just doesn’t make any sense.

Robert Dreyfuss: Anti-Muslim Bigot Explains Islam to FBI

Robert Dreyfuss

Robert Dreyfuss, contributing editor to the Nation Magazine and also a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone, The American Prospect, and Mother Jones has a great blog post about anti-Muslim bigot Robert Spencer of SIOA-fame training and explaining Islam to the FBI and Tidewater Joint Terrorism Task Force.

This is how Robert Spencer will react: “Robert Dreyfuss is a leftard, dhimmi, who is tarnishing and libeling me!! Wah! Wah!”

Dreyfuss also links to us, and I urge our readers to take time out and comment on Dreyfuss’ blog piece, or at the least thank him for bringing this to light.

Anti-Muslim Bigot and Fanatic Explains Islam to the FBI and the Tidewater Joint Terrorism Task Force

By Robert Dreyfuss

The Council on American Islamic Relations is making noise about the fact that an extremist, right-wing anti-Muslim rabble rouser was “invited to offer training to state and federal law enforcement officers.” It sounds like something that might have happened under the administration of President Bush, but no – this happened on Obama’s watch.

Robert Spencer, co-founder of the group Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), is the culprit.

According to CAIR, Spencer was called in recently to pontificate to the Tidewater Joint Terrorism Task Force. (The JTTF’s are law enforcement and intelligence coalitions that began Washington. Soon every jurisdiction wanted the federal dough for a JTTF, and after 9/11 the number of JTTF’s exploded.)

Says CAIR:

“Our nation’s law enforcement personnel should not receive training from the head of a hate group that seeks to demonize Islam and to prevent American Muslims from exercising their rights as citizens,’ said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “Robert Spencer is the same individual who claims in his new book that President Obama is waging ‘war on America.’”

He noted that Spencer recently co-authored the book, “The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America,” that sounds a “wake-up call for Americans to stop the Obama administration from limiting our hard-won freedoms, silencing our democratic forming in the 1990s in key areas thought to be vulnerable to terrorism, such as New York and voices, and irreparably harming America for generations to come.”
According to Loonwatch, the SIOA is so extreme that it seems almost satirical. Like a Tea Party phalanx of radical anti-Muslim bigots, the SIOA says that its goal is educate Americans “about about the threat that Islamic doctrine and those who support it present to our freedoms, and the future of our democracy and country.”  Its  organizers call themselves “scholar warriors/ideological warriors in the cause of American freedom and Constitutional government,” as well as in “the defense of… our society of liberty, knowledge, and human decency.”

Spencer’s co-founder, Pamela Geller, is a piece of work, too. Notes CAIR:

“Geller has posted images on her blog that include a fake photograph of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan in a Nazi uniform, another fake image of President Obama urinating on an American flag and drawings purporting to depict Islam’s Prophet Muhammad as a pig. In a June 25 blog entry, Geller posted a video claiming that Muslims engage in bestiality.”
This needs repudiation – or, as Sarah Palin would say, refudiation – from the Justice Department, and quick.