Robert Spencer needs to learn to do a fact check
by Sheila Musaji
An individual using the twitter name @LearningKoran posted two hateful and unacceptable tweet on the #MyJihad hashtag. Here are those tweets:
Many Muslims involved with the #MyJihad campaign responded to him as soon as we saw the tweets.
The MyJihadOrg account administrator tweeted him and told him they don’t condone such talk and consider himself blocked.
I posted a reminder that Sheikh Ali Gomaa said Violence is never an acceptable answer to provocation. I told him that such a statement was totally outside the bounds of Islam, and that I found it fascinating that the #MyJihad campaign angers Musim extremists & Islamophobes.
Angie Emara posted a series of reminders: calling him a hypocrite and an extremist and someone trying to sabotage the campaign. She told him that it’s funny how you & Islamophobes share the EXACT sentiment towards majority Muslims! She asked him “what’s wrong w u? Islam was never ever by force. U ruin the beauty of Islam picking ayat out of context 4 ur benefit”. She asked him to “change the condition of your heart” and told him “you have major issues.seek therapy. That’s not Islam.”
Within hours he stopped posting, and when his twitter name was clicked on it said he was suspended.
No one involved with #MyJihad knows who this person was, whether he/she is a Muslim, or why he would make such a hateful post. Sad little incident, but handled as well as anyone connected with #MyJihad could handle unsolicited tweets.
However, that was not the end of the saga. Robert Spencer posted an article with a screenshot of the tweet and Spencer’s own comments. Spencer said “The deceptive and misleading #MyJihad campaign has apparently attracted at least one persistent Misunderstander of Islam. No doubt Hamas-linked CAIR’s Ahmed Rehab is in deep talks with this fellow already, explaining to him that jihad doesn’t really involve killing anyone, but is really just romping through the daisies.”
He is correct that the individual misunderstands Islam. The rest is simply an attempt to cast aspersions on the #MyJihad campaign as if they can control individuals tweeting using that hashtag. Spencer also does not mention any of the responses to this individual. Not only do Islamophobes not know how to do a “search”, they also don’t know how to follow a conversation on twitter.
All Spencer would have had to was to follow the conversation, and he would have seen that the individual was immediately called to task and condemned for what he had said, asked to stop, and ultimately suspended.
But, Spencer is too busy demonizing Islam and Muslims to be concerned about facts. He used this non-incident to stir up a frenzy among his readers. The comments under Spencer’s article show how easily they are influenced. Here are a few:
— John Spielman “These pagan muslim’s blind devotion to their demon god Allah’s cult of death is getting tiresome.” — Meryl Petkoff “The psychological projection of pedohammedans is f’ing SURREAL!. Poe’s Law is all that comes into mind when i read verbiage like that.”— Iloveport “I say, bring it on!!! You camel urine drinking numbnut maniacs. I’m ready and able. You’re not kidding when you say this is getting tiresome. I’m so tired of the major a**kissing going on to appease these bozo’s. Let’s dance….
And since he began the title of his article with the #MyJihad hashtag, many of these folks are tweeting this, again overwhelming the hashtag with hate.
Anyone who visits the hashtag can see over the course of any day how many Islamophobes come there and post hateful messages. Some individuals post scores of messages each day, many of them repeat whatever is the current meme in an article on Pamela Geller or Robert Spencer’s sites that begins with the #MyJihad hashtag. Some post the exact same comment over and over. See the article Anti-Muslim Propaganda Against #MyJIhad Campaign for many of the claims made and responses to them. Sometimes 20 or 30 of them will retweet or repeat the same comment over the course of a few minutes. It is amazing that there are human beings who can find so much time to do nothing except spread hatred.
Some are more hateful than others one calling himself @pissedizard calls Muslims “vermin”, “demons” and “disgusting”, says “all Muslims smell like ass. Dead,rotting ass”, and has made a number of tweets suggesting directly that Muslims should be killed. One of his tweets appears at the top of this article.
Robert Spencer would never notice such hatred directed at Muslims. And, that is not surprising, since there has been plenty of it from his own AFDI/SION board and he has made no condemnations. He also does not remove hateful comments from his site.
I wish we knew how the solitary nut job @LearningKoran was suspended by twitter, as the gang of about 30 Islamophobic nut jobs who are serial spammers of the hashtag should also be suspended, but continue with no problems.
All of this is very frustrating, but the Muslims involved with the #MyJihad campaign are resolute and committed to taking back Islam and the term jihad from both the Muslim extremists and Islamophobes.
It would be wonderful if not only more Muslims, but also any non-Muslims who believe in mutual respect, bridge building, and understanding would visit the hashtag and help to keep it from being overrun by haters.
It is amazing that projects such as #MyJihad through which American Muslims are attempting to counter extremist interpretations are seen as so threatening to those who say they wish Muslims would speak up. Whatever claim or catch-phrase is put out by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer becomes the meme of the day, endlessly repeated by their followers on the #MyJihad hashtag and drowning it in hate. All they are doing is making it more difficult for American Muslims to counter actual extremism. They are a painful distraction.
David Wood on a site called Answering Muslims posted an article about these tweets from @LearningKoran. He titles his article “Muslim Tries to Educate Me about Peaceful Islam, Then Calls for the Execution of Critics!”.
Even David Wood notes that @LearningKoran became angry when he was condemned by individuals involved in the #MyJihad campaign, and before he was suspended by twitter posted this tweet:
Wood is one of the individuals who has been a serial tweeter of anti-Muslim messages, so not surprisingly his view of this exchange casts blame on Muslims and Islam.
The reality is that no one knows who this person @LearningKoran is, or whether or not he is a Muslim. He could be anybody. One of the difficulties with social media like twitter is that individuals can set up an account and a screen persona using any name they wish and post anonymously.
Whoever @LearningKoran is, he deserves condemnation as does @pissedlizard and others who have posted such messages threatening Muslims. You can see screen shots of a few of these hateful anti-Muslim posts at the bottom of the page.