Another case of Spenceritis: “Cleric’s view represents all of Islam”

“Acclaimed scholar” on Islam (chuckle…chuckle), Robert Spencer is at it again using his pseudo-scholarly approach when it comes to Islam. In a recent post on his website, Robert Spencer wrote:

Muhammad Al-Arifi is an Islamic cleric. He has devoted his life to studying the Qur’an and Islam. And somehow he has gotten the crazy idea that the Qur’an says that Muslims should fight against unbelievers, subjugate them, and make them pay the jizya. Now, whenever non-Muslims point this out, they’re called bigoted, hateful, and ignorant of Islam. So is Muhammad Al-Arifi a self-hating Muslim who Misunderstands Islam and just narrowly avoided flunking out of his seminary? Or could it be that the “bigotry,” “hate” and “ignorance” charges are just smokescreens designed to bamboozle the unwary into not realizing that the truth is being told?

He then goes on to quote this heretofore unknown Muslim cleric’s views on “killing the infidels” and projects them upon all of Islam. It is exactly as Ahmed Rehab in his piece about Spencer said:

The Set Up: Spencer and his associates scour the web for the most sensational and extreme expressions within the Muslim world. They may be related to a certain extremist interpretation of Islam, or may not even have anything to do with Islam altogether, but that won’t matter, so long as the perpetrator is a Muslim, it will do.

The Performance: Spencer then supplants his own commentary on the story which he meticulously crafts with the ultimate goal of convincing his readers that the bizarre incident in question is representative of the faith of Islam and Muslims at large. This subtle leap of faith that he hopes no one notices is the key to his magic act.

The Prestige: He can then rightly claim, with the innocence of a schoolboy, that he does not make up the material he produces, that he is merely quoting things as is, hoping no one notices that he uses the aberrant to define the normative.

So, just because this one cleric believes that Muslims should “fight the unbelievers,” that is the truth, and all the evidence in Islam to the contrary is just a “smokescreen.” Continue reading