An Open Letter to ALA & the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Roundtable

An Open Letter to the American Library Association & the Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Roundtable

We, the undersigned, would like to voice our concerns regarding the inclusion of Robert Spencer in the EMIERT panel “Perspectives on Islam: Beyond the Stereotyping.” As we are sure you know, Mr. Spencer is founder of the web sites “Jihad Watch” and “Dhimmi Watch”, author of such books as The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion; The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades); Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World’s Fastest Growing Faith; Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West; Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t; Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs; coauthor, with Daniel Ali, of Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics; and editor of the essay collection The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims.

Even the most cursory overview of Mr. Spencer’s oeuvre makes it clear that in fact he has no place on a panel whose aim is to dispel stereotypes about Islam. Indeed, we, as librarians, scholars, and individuals are deeply concerned by ALA & EMIERT’s choice of Mr. Spencer for such a panel: Mr. Spencer espouses a view of Islam as a system of belief which is essentially violent, undemocratic, totalitarian, exclusive and at war with all non-Muslims. Mr. Spencer in fact goes as far as to equate Islam with fascism. According to him,

The misbegotten term “Islamo-fascism” is wholly redundant: Islam itself is a kind of fascism that achieves its full and proper form only when it assumes the powers of the state.” (www.jihadwatch.com/islam101)

Hence a question arises as to the justification for inviting a speaker who cannot see anything positive about Islamic beliefs, cultures, societies, histories, etc. to talk to an audience in order to dispel negative views of Islam. We are indeed saddened and puzzled by ALA’s choice for their panel, especially in that this appears to be a rare opportunity to educate people about Islam against the backdrop of an overwhelming atmosphere of ignorance, and negative stereotyping (For example a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released right before Obama’s speech to the Muslim world in Cairo shows that only 1 in 5 Americans have a favorable view of Islam & 60 percent of Americans believe the Muslim world is at war with the United States. (http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/06/02/us.muslims.poll/)

We hope that you take our concerns into serious consideration. While we are not advocating censorship or the removal of Mr. Spencer from the panel and we affirm the values espoused in the ALA Library Bill of Rights, we ourselves advocate the choice of panelists who would be able to highlight in a rational and scholarly manner the richness, complexity, and multifaceted elements of Islamic cultures, societies and beliefs if we are to engage in meaningful discussions of Islam that can truly go beyond negative stereotypes. It would be unfortunate for such a distinguished organization as ALA to perpetuate such negative stereotypes of Islam and Muslims and for panel attendees to return with those stereotypes to their home libraries and for such stereotypes to negatively affect services to Muslims. However, we look forward hopefully to a respectful and courteous information session on Islam.

Sincerely,

Tara Lannen-Stanton, WorldLinQ Coordinator, New Americans Program, Queens Library

Kaoukab Chebaro, Middle East and Islamic Studies Librarian, Columbia University

Karim Boughida,  Associate University Librarian for Digital Initiatives and Content Management, George Washington University

Dr. Alan Godlas, Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Georgia

Simon Samoeil, Curator, Near East Collection, Yale University Library

Beth Whipple, Research Informationist/Assistant Librarian, Ruth Lilly Medical Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

Kristin Lalonde, Library Assistant, Arab American National Museum

Dr. Ali Hassan, Ohio State University

Dr. Omar Khalidi, Aga Khan Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

*Our opinions are our own and are not the opinons of the institutions or organizations we are associated with.

Please feel free to add your voice of support or dissent in the comments section. Thank you.

About these ads

379 Responses to “An Open Letter to ALA & the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Roundtable”

  1. Dr. Justin Stearns Says:

    I agree with the opinions expressed here and would like to voice my concern as well about the inclusion of Mr. Spencer on this panel.

    Justin Stearns
    Assistant Professor of Religion
    Middlebury College

  2. Robert Spencer Says:

    You say: “Please feel free to add your voice of support or dissent in the comments section. Thank you.”

    Thank you for the opportunity to voice a note of dissent.

    In my work I perpetuate no stereotypes. I merely quote authoritative Islamic texts, and show how Islamic authorities interpret those texts. I have repeatedly called upon Muslims of good will to repudiate in a definitive fashion those the elements of Islamic teaching and tradition that are violent and supremacist, and am happy to work with any who do so.

    One wonders if your misrepresentation and vilification of my work will really serve the cause of reform within Islam and the fostering of peaceful coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims. I suspect that on the contrary, by ascribing the exposure of the violent and supremacist elements of traditional Islamic teaching to stereotyping, you are actually sandbagging the efforts of genuine Islamic reformers, by denying that there is anything that needs reform.

    The only losers in such an effort will be those in majority-Muslim countries who are fighting for freedom of speech, equality of rights before the law, and other rights denied or restricted by the vision of Sharia that Islamic jihadists are laboring to implement. In other words, you are on the wrong side in the great international struggle for human rights.

    • Yahya Says:

      No student of history can say that Muhammad came to wipe out Christianity and Judaism. God missioned him to rise up and deal with those people and those forces that threatened to wipe out the life that God intended for man on this earth. As his works grew they became more and more jealous of him. So the jealous ones, Christians, Jews and heathens got together, conspired secretly and attacked him openly and hired their demons to stamp out his works as quick as they possibly could. But as Allah says in our Holy Book, it is useless that they desire to put out the light of Al-Islam. God will perfect His light, though they hate it.

      Quote: By Imam W Deen Mohammed, an African-American Muslim leader

      • JJ Says:

        “hired their demons”?

        I think we can see the primitive nature of this person’s thinking
        in those words alone, let alone his entire post.

        Students of history read about Islam and note its
        danger to non-Muslims, as specified in the Koran and by the current attitide of many Muslims today in the world.

        As to the jealousy of Christians and Jews in relation to Islam-
        what a joke! Christians and Jews (and no doubt, heathens too) have far too much productive work within their own religions to bother
        about Islam. Moreover, mnay of these people are secular adults and prefer to leave religion out of their lives completely.

      • svend Says:

        Please stop demeaning Imam Muhammad’s memory with these cheap antics, Yahya. WDM was a great leader whom I hold in the highest esteem, but these quotes do not contribute to the discussion (and in some respects are easily taken out of context).

        In fact, I suggest to the moderator that Yahya’s posts be removed altogether, as they’re just irritating spam with no relevance to the discussion.

    • Ahmed Says:

      Robert Spencer,
      You actually believe that there are Muslims of good will?! Muslims of good will according to you are those who deny their religion and enter the box you want to out them in.
      There are people who misinterpret Quran and Islamic sources to fit their own agenda, Bin Laden is one of them. We call these people extremists. Spencer, you are no different, you twist, misquote, half quote Islamic sources to fit your Zionist agenda, you are as extremist as Bin Laden.

    • Anti-Zionist Jew Says:

      As the grandson of four grandparents who died in Hitler’s concentration camps, I oppose Spencer speaking on this panel or anywhere else. Let us speak plainly: he is a current day reactionary as bad as the Nazis were, if not worse and spreads filthy lies and hate about our Muslim Brothers and sisters. His invitation to this panel is like inviting Dr. Goebbels, the book burner, to a book lover’s meeting. SHAM! If this invitation is not withdrawn, ALA should immediately disband. Totally unacceptable. In loving memory of my four grandparents and my older half sister, all of whom I never got to meet.

      • JJ Says:

        “let us speak plainly” indeed.

        The world is sucking up to Islam and to its brutal adherents.
        i too lost relatives in the concentration camps and the kinds of
        lies I see now about Islam’s benevolence – a lie – and people
        who defend its horrors are shocking.

        It may interest you to know, Mr AntiZionist Jew, that there were
        two sets of Muslim SS units – 20 000 each- who killed Jews and Slavs in the
        Balkans for Hitler and for their leader, Haj Amin El Hussein, Yasser Arafat’s
        uncle. Muslims have been killing Jews, Chrisitians, Hindus,
        Assyrians, Persians, anyone they wanted since the beginning of Islam.

        Why should we not recognise this? It’s in the history books, and it’s in the Koran, which is their manual.
        Many Muslims try to escape Islam – some succeed. But we do not have to collaborate with the inherent fiction that Islam is a deadly and
        totalitarian system, most of whose adherents want to finish the Job Hitler started. they say this all the time – on the internet,
        in their street demonstrations, in their published materials.

      • JJ Says:

        Oops, i meant to say we do not have to collaborate with the fiction that Islam is benevolent, though some Muslims may be.

        The rest of my statement stands.

  3. Robert Spencer Says:

    Fuller response here:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/026853.php

  4. robert whitehill-bashan Says:

    Mr. Spencer is far from the ogre depicted in the letter. In fact, is is one of the principal authorities on Islam today–the signers of the letter are attempting to block his appearance due to the fact that his conclusions do not jive with what is held to be “correct” in certain academic circles, mostly those funded by Saudi money or that promote some of the agendas that Mr. Spencer mentions in his writings.

    If his views are wrong, then there are learned and fine people on the panel who can refute him. The letter attempts quash free speech at the nib and make sure that no arguing on issues takes place–which is in fact one of the criticisms that Mr. Spencer presents in some of his writings

    • svend Says:

      Yes, he can be refuted in an appropriate forum. Problem is, that’s not what this is.

      This has nothing to do with free speech. This is about a scholarly forum remaining true to its stated purpose and not being made into a three-ring circus.

      I don’t approve of the personal attacks and speculation about him made by some commenters. That’s dirty pool, not to mention quite unnecessary given the bias and tenor of his writings.

  5. Kyle F. Says:

    Surely, the UNIQUE advances we have made in the West in regards to academic freedom, religious freedom, women’s rights, gay rights, the rights of artists—have come because the power and authority of oppressive institutions was challenged in a free exchange of opinions?

    Surely, if your views on Islam are so solid and well-researched, then you wouldn’t have any difficulty in publicly trouncing Mr. Spencer in a free debate?

    If you do deny Mr. Spencer a seat at your table, that’s fine, but it should then be clear to all that your true motive is to actually reinforce the stereotypes of Islam that you deem acceptable. To promote your stereotypes in the long run, you just may want to consider the long, long list of artists, academics, religious minorities, women’s rights activists, gay rights activists and apostates in the Muslim world that you will need to sell out and betray.

  6. Stella Says:

    Mr. Spencer:

    I find your facetious, paternalistic comment annoying. How can you claim to be some “beacon of truth” when you only pick out some aspects of Islam to criticize and then present them in your books as the entire message of the religion? You’re being willfully irresponsible in your portrayal of Islam and Muslims as “believers in evil”, which often leads to the harm of many of the “good Muslims” you claim to be helping with your books.

    The fact that you would even claim that your books help anyone but yourself and your publisher made me spit my morning coffee. The tone of your comment makes it sound like you’re working to “bring Muslims down a peg” because people only think good things about about them. You know what the attitude of Americans is and you’re just feeding the fire with your one sided information. Do you think the problem is that Americans love Islam TOO MUCH? Do you think that these negative comments you make about Islam are ones that people are “too afraid to talk about”? That is ALL PEOPLE TALK ABOUT! You’re not brave, you’re not helping anyone; you’re kicking a group that is already down to make some money and get some attention.

    I put your “expertise” on the same level as other sensationalist writers looking for easy money and exposure. I’m sure this letter feeds your victim complex quite nicely.

    The only people your books help are those who wish to hang onto their hatred of all Muslims. The fact that you claim that people who disagree with your thesis impede Human Rights make me want to retch. You help nothing and no one with your work except yourself and other bigots who need a reason to hate Muslims.

    I can’t decide if you’re delusional or just greedy, either way you do not belong on a panel that wishes to dispel stereotypes about Islam since you make your living perpetuating those stereotypes. I’d call that a conflict of interest.

    • John Simonon Says:

      Let’s call Mr. Spencer “delusional”, “greedy”. Let’s call his comments “facetious, paternalistic” and say he makes you want to retch.

      Robert Spencer’s critics always seem to resort to these sorts of attacks rather than simply explain what is factually wrong with his assertions.

    • David Says:

      I concur with John Simonon:

      Instead of name-calling, why don’t you actually refute what Spencer has said? Spencer himself has challenged anyone to do just that, and no one has been able to respond.

    • JJ Says:

      Stella, it’s prety obvious you have read very little of Spencer’s work.
      Moreover, you have an unnecessarily visceral response to the few
      words of his that you have read – a common response among those who prefer not to inquire further in to “casues” they ahve adopted.

      Perhaps you have a tapeworm in your brain – I’d suggest you get that seen to. By the way, this comment is facetious – Spencer’s was not.

  7. Angel Falcon Says:

    I think Mr. Spencer provides an important voice in a debate of this type. As a student of religion myself with no personal axe to grind (I am not a member of any of the Abrahamic faiths), I find simply factual truth in the little I have seen of Mr. Spencer’s work.

    From where I stand, the theology of Islam is encumbered in a project of statecraft that makes Islam wholly incompatible with western-style human rights and democratic statecraft. That is not the promotion of stereotype. That is a statement of facts. I, as a member of ALA and EMIERT, think it’s important that an informed voice on Islam like his be included to bring up points that may not the most popular, but are based on a close reading of texts and history.

    If we are talking about dispelling stereotypes, this begs the question: “What is the stereotype? Islam as an open religion that is compatible with Western values or Islam is intolerant of difference?”. History and research, outside of any religious bias, would seem to err on the side of latter, not the former. Therefore, there should at least be one voice that speaks up for that reality.

    • Kyle F. Says:

      Very well said, Angel.

      Going back and reading the “Open Letter” above, though, there is a line I missed that I think is quite telling:

      “Hence a question arises as to the justification for inviting a speaker who cannot see anything positive about Islamic beliefs, cultures, societies, histories, etc. to talk to an audience in order to dispel negative views of Islam.”

      Objectively, then, the authors of this letter are freely admitting that there really is no room for any true academic inquiry emanating from the panel, since one would surmise that an objective inquiry would almost certainly include some of the “negative views” of Islam that they seek to dispel. The intention of the authors and signatories of this letter is clearly to use the panel solely as a forum for Islamic apologetics.

      • Stella Says:

        The only views Robert Spencer gives on Islam are negative ones, therefore he does not support academic inquiry because his argument is one sided.

        It works both ways. You can’t claim to want “true academic inquiry” and only include the negative criticism. Especially when many Americans only consider the negative criticism and know nothing of the positives. That is academically and socially irresponsible.

      • Kyle F. Says:

        Stella Says:

        July 7, 2009 at 5:47 pm
        The only views Robert Spencer gives on Islam are negative ones, therefore he does not support academic inquiry because his argument is one sided.

        ***

        It’s factually untrue that Mr. Spencer only gives negative opinions of Ilsma in his books. But beyond that, of course most accomplished individuals have a personal bias and a unique, strongly held point-of-view. And of course, no individual is ever in possession of the complete truth . That’s why the essence of free academic exchange is to bring diverse opinions together and let them compete in the marketplace of free ideas. But of course, free speech is always a threat to devout believers of brittle, fragile ideologies, whether religious or not.

      • JJ Says:

        Exactly right Kyle. This ALA conference is not abotu actual inquiry
        and exploration into Islam itself – merely a PR exercise for Islam.

      • gp Says:

        “Especially when many Americans only consider the negative criticism and know nothing of the positives. ” Stella, can you summarize the “positive” aspects of Islam for us? I don’t doubt there exists “richness, complexity, and multifaceted elements [in] Islamic cultures, societies and beliefs,” but what is “positive” about Islam?

  8. tarals Says:

    Again, I would like to state that the signers and supporters of this open letter were not calling for censorship or Spencer’s exclusion from the panel, merely stating our concerns. Our concerns and opinions are part of the environment of free speech regarding any issue, including Islam. There is no need to censor our views to accommodate Mr. Spencer’s and vice versa. I feel confident that the other speakers on the panel will be able to refute Mr. Spencer’s remarks. I look forward to seeing you at ALA. Please keep all of your comments coming, whether you agree or disagree with the concerns brought forward. I will not hold any back but merely ask that we engage in respectful and cordial conversation even if we disagree.

  9. John Simonon Says:

    Robert Spencer is not some raving, hateful bigot. I’ve read his books and seen him interviewed and he is a gentleman. He is quite able to have a civilised discussion with people. You may not agree with him but you can’t deny that he has a very good knowledge of Islam. If the “Information Exchange Roundtable” is just a circle of people agreeing with each other then I guess should ban Mr. Spencer. If you want a reasonable debate of the issues then he really should be there. Thank you.

  10. E H Says:

    Stella should do more research. Mr. Spencer is under a convert-or-die threat from Al-qaeda’s Adam Yahiye Gadahn. Just profit wouldn’t be reason enough to expose those terrorists but Mr. Spencer still bravely carries on.

    Stella, you are no “beacon of truth” yourself. Only a slave of your own pre-conceived notions.

    Open up to the truth and the truth shall set you free.

    As someone else said, if Mr. Spencer is no expert, trounce him on a public forum. That will REALLY shut him down.

  11. CDS Says:

    If Mr. Spencer is indeed “perpetuating stereotypes” purely for profit then I think his presence on the panel is an ideal opportunity to discredit his writings once and for all.

  12. Robert Spencer Says:

    tarals:

    You say: “Again, I would like to state that the signers and supporters of this open letter were not calling for censorship or Spencer’s exclusion from the panel, merely stating our concerns.”

    Then what is the upshot? What is your goal? What are you trying to accomplish? What, other than my exclusion from this panel, would satisfy your “concerns”?

    You also say, “I will not hold any back but merely ask that we engage in respectful and cordial conversation even if we disagree.”

    Please note, however, that the only commenter here so far who was not “respectful and cordial” was “Stella,” with her invective-laden ad hominem attack. Yet she agrees with you. The people who disagree have been “respectful and cordial.”

    Isn’t that interesting? I think so.

    • Stella Says:

      The reason would be that we don’t agree with the ALA that you’re the best expert on Islam to speak at an anti-Stereotyping panel. They could have chosen lots of people, you only present one side of Islam so we think you’re a bad choice. That seems pretty straight forward to me, but then again I’m not the expert in this room.

      • Reuben Moore Says:

        I’m not at all convinced that Robert Spencer “only present[s] one side of Islam.” However, even if this were true, is that not the reason to have a panel?

  13. Ben Wilson Says:

    Stella:

    You say: “I find your facetious, paternalistic comment annoying. How can you claim to be some “beacon of truth” when you only pick out some aspects of Islam to criticize and then present them in your books as the entire message of the religion?”

    A broad, unsubstantiated assertion. Mr. Spencer’s goal is to draw attention to certain aspects of Islam that are problematic in light of 21st-century Western sensibilities. This in itself does not mean that he is presenting such problems as “the entire message of Islam”. But aside from this, there can be granted to be many beautiful things about Islam, and yet still be violent and supremacist elements that are problematic, just as Hitler could turn out to be a lover of cute puppy dogs and still be a genocidal antisemite.

    “You’re being willfully irresponsible in your portrayal of Islam and Muslims as “believers in evil”, which often leads to the harm of many of the “good Muslims” you claim to be helping with your books.”

    Please provide a quotation from any of Spencer’s work in which he calls Muslims “believers in evil”. Have you even read any of his books?

    “…easy money…”

    I am fairly certain that John Esposito sells more books than Robert Spencer.

    “The only people your books help are those who wish to hang onto their hatred of all Muslims. The fact that you claim that people who disagree with your thesis impede Human Rights make me want to retch. You help nothing and no one with your work except yourself and other bigots who need a reason to hate Muslims.”

    Human rights abuses in Islamic countries, and their basis in traditional Islamic theology and law, are documentable facts. Spencer has done a fantastic job of documenting them. Care to refute him? In any case, I once again challenge you to find a single statement Spencer has ever made anywhere that incites hatred of “all Muslims”. In fact, if you like, I can provide citations from his books in which he categorically denounces anyone who would harbour hatred for all Muslims.

  14. Stella Says:

    Robert:

    The people who agree with you are coming from your website, BIG SURPRISE.

    You’re a joke and the fact that the ALA is offering you an opportunity to give your “expert” opinion is a joke. This whole thing would be hilarious if it wasn’t so pathetic.

    My opinions are my own, they don’t represent anyone else who disagrees with your thesis. I could see how you would have a hard time making that distinction since you make your living on sweeping generalizations.

    • G.Ryan Says:

      I think Stella that you need to calm down.You are the one making a”sweeping generalization”,when you attack Robert Spencer.Can we ask what you know of Islam and it’s history,that makes you feel such hatred(and that’s how you come across)toward Mr Spencer?Please take the time to get information concerning Islam from more than one source,then you will see that Islam is not just one dimensional,as you seem to think!

    • JJ Says:

      “you make your living on sweeping generalizations”

      Oh this is laughable! Spencer is very careful to draw the finest of distinctions in each and every article he wrotes about Islam and
      Muslims. How do i know? Well, I’ve gone to the effort, over several years, of actually reading much of his writings.

      You, Stella, are the one making “sweeping generalisations”. and er, it’s not doing your cred much good at all, I’m afraid.

  15. Ben Wilson Says:

    Stella:

    Again, please back up your own “sweeping generalizations” with some evidence.

  16. SofiaBulgaria Says:

    Stella:

    I am am interested in the ALA and I am most certainly not affiliated with or connected to Mr. Spencer’s website, although I have indeed heard of him (hard not to have, considering that he’s been on the NY Times Bestseller list multiple times).

    I certainly lack the expertise to make comments on the subject matter. Nonetheless, I simply must note the glaring absence of any accurate criticism of Mr. Spencer’s factual claims. I do see a plethora of personal insults (such as “acetious, paternalistic”; “make me want to retch”; “ourself and other bigots”; “delusional or just greedy”; “You’re a joke and the fact that the ALA is offering you an opportunity to give your “expert” opinion is a joke. This whole thing would be hilarious if it wasn’t so pathetic”.

    So much invective directed at the man. So little substance refuting his views…

  17. Kamala Says:

    Dr. Alan Godlas, who signed the above letter, has praised a book called Reliance of the Traveler on his web site:

    http://godlas.myweb.uga.edu/practices.html

    Godlas writes, “Reliance of the Traveller (Umdat al-salik) by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, English translation, commentary, and appendices by Nuh Ha Mim Keller. This is a web-based edition of the carefully translated manual of the proper practice of Islam (shari’a) according to the Shafi’i madh’hab. It has been an essential book in the library of any serious English speaking Muslim or scholar of Islam since its publication in 1991.”

    Frequent readers of Robert Spencer’s web site will recognize this book. Mr. Spencer cites this book often.

    Reliance of the Traveler explains that female circumcision is part of Sharia. See p. 50 here: http://www.saltshakers.org.au/pdf/313278_VCAT_-_DOCUMENTS_RELATIN.pdf

    The book also explains that a parent can kill a child without punishment: http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/022174.php

    Tara, do you have concerns about Dr. Godlas as well? After all, he recommends a book that explains how female circumcision and punishment-free honor killings are part of the “proper practice of Islam”?

  18. Philosophy Prof Says:

    In Mr. Spencer’s “fuller response” at the Jihad Watch Web site, he asks for a rebuttal of any claims in his many books and comments on Islam, and explains his views on the quote in the Open Letter, that was written not by him but Gregory Davis. The Open Letter offers no such rebuttal, and in the comments here speaking out against Mr. Spencer, like Stella above, one finds merely ad hominem invective of the sophomoric claim-counter-claim-I-don’t-like-you variety, a method of argument that many teachers, academics, and librarians spend their lives trying to wash out of the consciousness of students. I myself would expect from an organization like the ALA, or any group of esteemed members, just such a professionally crafted, well-documented rebuttal, when making claims like these against the work of author. And, if Mr. Spencer is not allowed on this panel, without such criticism and justification, it will be an academic tragedy of the highest order with irony befitting a Shakespearean play.

  19. Semper Paratus Says:

    Please take the time to read Mr. Spencer’s works before condemning him. If you believe he is wrong, have the courage and wit to argue your case in a public forum. Don’t try to simply muzzle him. Believe me, he will NOT meekly go away.

  20. Mark Antony Says:

    Perhaps the expression of concerns regarding the inclusion of Robert Spencer in the EMIERT panel “Perspectives on Islam: Beyond the Stereotyping.” are right, because this will result in an unfair match, because of RS belonging to a far higher level than his detractors. As shown here.

  21. awake Says:

    Stella,

    When you use quotes around words, you imply that they are directly attributable to the person whom you are speaking of, like when you attribute Mr. Spencer’s position that Islam and Muslims are as “believers in evil”.

    Now the obvious fact that you do very little serious writing aside, I challenge you to find a single statement from Mr. Spencer’s vast library of writings where he has espioused that sentiment as you put in quotes.

    While you are at it, since you claim that Mr. Spencer makes his living on “sweeping generalizations” (see how that works now?), it should be a most rudimentary exercise for you to provide a single solitary example of that by Mr. Spencer. Your words will persuade no one not already predisposed to think in kind with you without providing supporting evidence to support your, at this point, baseless assertions.

    Tarals was rightfully called-out by Mr. Spencer. If she truly believes that Mr. Spencer’s arguments should be included in the panel discussion, then why the need for the open letter expressing concern? It is entirely contradictory and illogical to do so.

  22. Kristin LaLonde Says:

    While I don’t agree with her methods, I do agree with the underlying message of Stella’s replies.

    I feel that Robert Spenser presents a skewed version of Islam in his books, which lead to more misunderstanding and hate crimes against Muslims. I don’t think he was the best choice for a panel on breaking Stereotypes in Islam because of this reason. I feel that the ALA made a poor choice in having Robert Spencer on the panel and I wish to make that clear by signing this open letter.

    While I feel that it is important to have differing opinions on a panel such as the EMERIT panel, calling Robert Spencer an “expert” on Islam gives his opinion more weight than his critics and will inordinately skew the public opinion towards only Mr. Spencer’s opinion, because he is “the expert”.

    If we wish to be fair, like many of the posters who defend Mr. Spencer claim to want, we should include an “Islam expert” who does not agree with his opinions. Of course, including two polar opposites of an argument will most likely end up becoming a pointless hour of two people fighting, similar to cable news talking heads programs.

    Either way, with this letter I wish to voice my concern about having Robert Spencer be THE expert on Islam when he only presents one particular viewpoint on Islam. I feel this was not wise on the part of the ALA and I want to express that opinion.

    • JJ Says:

      I “feel” – using your terminolgy there – that any and all perceptions of Islam and Muslims should be based on accurate reading of the text, and observation of Muslims’ actions in the world.

      “If we wish to be fair, like many of the posters who defend Mr. Spencer claim to want, we should include an “Islam expert” who does not agree with his opinions. ”

      What an absurd statement – an expert on Islam would have to “agree”, not with Spencer’s “opinion” but his findings based on the Islamic texts, which, incidentally, open to all with the purchase of a standard Koran, available at most bookshops and on the web.

  23. Amy Soldier Says:

    Stella, the words and the thoughts generated by a reading of the Qur’an are not inspired or reflect the will and the intentions of the Creator to us, its human creation.

    If you have read through that book of theirs and also are fond of your personal thoughts for the existence of a Creative entity, believe that this entity did not transmit whatever information to ‘Mo and ‘Mo wrote this information into the Qur’an. You and the rest of those who believe that ‘Mo brought information from the Creator are a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

    Use your common sense. Think of what the Creative entity is all about. Creator of the electron to do what electrons do. Creator of the rainbow, strawberries and apple trees, the smile on a little girl, etc., and this same Creative entity transmitted information to ‘Mo and now the entire human race should read and follow these words that ‘Mo then wrote inside the Qur’an?

    Smell the coffee, woman.

  24. Amy Soldier Says:

    Ditto’s for Kristin … .

    • Kristin LaLonde Says:

      I’m an atheist, quite a serious one at that. Your comment holds no ground with me.

      Thank you anyway.

  25. tarals Says:

    All signers of the letter have the right to express their opinions and concerns. As stated in the letter and subsequently, we are not asking for censorship but wished to put forth our concerns in a public forum. If Mr. Spencer is entitled to free speech to put forth his arguments on Islam, then so to are we entitled to free speech to put forth our concerns.
    I am happy to continue to approve any comments but again, I will ask that the conversation be kept cordial and respectful.

    • JJ Says:

      What you’re asking for in a public forum is the right to carry on a PR exercsie for Islam in which you do not want evidence presented that leads
      participants to conclude that islam is a dangerous presence in a democracy.

      Such is your right of course, but frankly, this has nothing to do with academic inquiry, so please don’t pretend that it does just because signer of the letter are academics or work in academia.

      Why you want to present Islam as “positive” to those who may not know about Islam, or in the face of skepticism about it, is quite obvious given the names and faculties of the academics signing the letter – you don’t like being caught out as adherents of a religion/ideology that is inimical to inhabitants of a democratic country.

      That’s your right too, though of course, this “right” would not follow or be allowed in an Islamic country itelf, ironically.

      Just please don’t expect those who know about Islam to take you too seriously as pursuers of truth, especially in endeavours to do with text and doctrinal analysis of Islam.

      Cheers.

  26. Bill Says:

    It is a fact that Muslim countries do NOT allow true freedom of speech, or freedom of Religion. In Saudi Arabia, possession of a Bible is a criminal act. In predominantly Muslim countries like Indonesia, there is constant harassment of other minorities. To take just one example, two young parochial school girls there were beheaded by Muslim men. Also, there have been more than 1000 Church bombings there in the last decade. In Iran, gays are condemned to death and are hung. And what about the constant Islamic threats against those who criticize Islam? And what of the continuing acts of Islamic violence as in the Sudan and Mumbai? These issues MUST be faced by American Muslims. Islam, as it is practiced in Muslim countries, is not in accord with the American and Western principles of Freedom of Relgion and Speech. How can this be changed without a frank and open discussion?

    • Kristin LaLonde Says:

      Bill:

      The fact that these things are happening, doesn’t that tell you something about why some Muslims immigrated to America in the first place?

      • Reuben Moore Says:

        I am not sure this follows. As Robert Spencer points out, American and other Western Muslims and Islamic groups are often reticent to criticize these practices.

  27. Kamala Says:

    tarals, what action or statement if any would relieve you of your concerns?

  28. awake Says:

    Kristin LaLonde wrote:

    “I feel that Robert Spenser presents a skewed version of Islam in his books, which lead to more misunderstanding and hate crimes against Muslims.”

    Kristin, as a self-professed “serious atheist”, I ask you two simple questions.

    1) What sources of material on Islam by Robert Spencer and sources outside of Robert Spencer have you read?

    2) Your claim that Spencer’s “skewed” presentation of Islam has “lead to more misunderstanding and hate crimes against Muslims” is supported by what source of statistical facts besides your own assertive opinion?

    This all sounds like a smokescreen to me in an attempt to stifle free speech. First the asssumption is that we are supposed to accept Kristin LaLonde’s view of Islam as correct and SApencer’s as skewed simply because Kristin said so.

    Secondly, we are supposed to stifle any criticism of Islam or Muslims, again, squashing free speech due to some phantom assertion of retributive violence against Muslims that has not been supported one iota.

    Interesting, if not wholly superficial tactics tactics indeed, Kristin.

    • Kristin LaLonde Says:

      I’m sorry but what does my being an atheist have to do with either of those questions? I only brought it up in the first place because Amy tried to sway me to her opinion using some religious rhetoric.

      You clearly did not read what I said. I oppose Robert Spencer being promoted as the “Expert on Islam”, according to the ALA, when he presents a very skewed interpretation of Islam. In the interest of fairness, if the ALA chooses to put his opinion up there as the “Expert opinion” there should be another “expert” in his field that has a different opinion.

      What I’m seeing are people who clammer to defend “fair representation of Islam” only when it describes negative things about the religion. A better “expert” would be someone who can see negative and positive aspects of the religion. Plain condemnation, as I see in Robert Spencer’s work, does not take into account the shades of different with a religion composed of over a billion individual believers. In this regard I feel he was a bad choice and I stand by my opinion.

  29. Amy Soldier Says:

    Kristin, university educated Islamists are taught through the Qur’an that Allah wants Sharia Laws over all nations. All good and noble, true and righteous Muslims must strive for this goal. Disagree with this mandate and you’re a moderate or worse labeled an untrue Muslim. The existence of the nation of Israel is such a slap to this Quranic objective, and can never be accepted by those who know, the leaders and scholars of Islam who must adhere to the true teachings of the Qur’an.

    A good majority of those who identify with the Muslim faith don’t know or understand these passages, and they are welcome to immigrate. Understand though that if you want to subvert the West, one way is to immigrate here. En masse.

    There is a conspiracy to subvert the West. You’re naive to simply dismiss the Islamist objective as nonsense. From 1960′s plane hijackings to the World Trade Center, it’s not being carried out and supported by a small group of renegade Islamists. Think: nations are involved. Robert Spencer et al., is spot on.

    • Kristin LaLonde Says:

      Islamists =/= All Muslims. I can’t believe I have to say this, especially when people in here claim to be so knowledgeable on this subject.

  30. SofiaBulgaria Says:

    Well, I am sure pleased to see the personal insults have stopped and folks are starting to talk about the real issues… ;)

  31. Amy Soldier Says:

    Claim? Oh, boy … .

    Why deliberately obfuscate the issue? Perhaps the more you give thought to what is said the more ill you feel. I know the feeling … .

    Go on as before, then as if nothing happened of import. Certainly don’t put your foot down, stand strong, and set yourself up to hold the high ground.

    Wow.

  32. Amy Soldier Says:

    ;-) :kiss

  33. Philosophy Prof Says:

    I do fear that this thread, which is now dominated by supporters of Mr. Spencer, will be perceived as proof that Mr. Spencer should not be included on the panel, because the panel aspires to be an ‘information session’ to dispel negative stereotypes, and some of those perceived stereotypes appear to be exemplified in some of the comments of those who visit here from the Jihad Watch Web site This reasoning is, to use a well-worn adjective in this thread, skewed, but it may persuade.

    There are greater issues in play that are not identified, at least not expressly, and engaged, like whether or not an information session on ‘dispelling negative stereotypes’ is a well-formed topic for a ‘session’ on Islam. Islam as a system of beliefs, the foundational sources, practices, sects, and Muslim people and peoples, in contemporary times and times past, constitute enormous subject matter–and the issue of ‘dispelling negative stereotypes’ appears to evoke even more complex questions about the cause-effect relationships between ideology (or ‘ies’), beliefs, and behaviors–and the way the issue is stated seems to make certain assumptions about all of the above. Would a better information session for librarians be to review, with the encouragement to read, Islamic scriptural sources, Qur’an, Ahadith, Sira, perhaps outline historical timelines, provide bibliographies, and provide an outline of some of the issues of interpretation regarding Islamic ideology and contemporary issues and events. And as one approaches this latter issue, which appears to the object of the currently planned ‘information session’, one should realize that it is a minefield of politics and a danger zone of ideas– a very real danger zone that authors like Salman Rushdie and politicians like Ayan Hirsi Ali, know all too well (But the ALA seems unconcerned with these kinds of dangers.). The ALA, or those responsible for organizing this session, in the way the very topic of the session has been stated, seems oblivious to all this. The inclusion of Mr. Spencer on the panel by itself astounds and leaves a glimmer of hope that the real issues here will be addressed in one way or another.

  34. awake Says:

    Kristin Lalonde wrote:

    “I’m sorry but what does my being an atheist have to do with either of those questions?”

    It has nothing to do with it, with the exception of inquiring about what sources a self-professed atheist drew her conclusions about Islam from.

    You made the claim that Spencer presents a skewed version of Islam and I wanted to know what sources you have read and agree with which lead you to that conclusion. You also claimed that Spencer’s work leads to hate crimes against Muslims and I asked you to substantiate that assertion as well. Was that not explicit?

    You wrote:

    “You clearly did not read what I said. I oppose Robert Spencer being promoted as the “Expert on Islam”, according to the ALA, when he presents a very skewed interpretation of Islam.”

    Actually, I read exactly what you said. I copied and pasted your whole sentence. The initial question posited is the same. You made the claim that Spencer presents a skewed version of Islam and I asked about what sources lead you to that conclusion about Spencer.

    Can you provide a single example of Spencer’s skewing of Islam, specifically? Just one? With so much material to choose from, this should be an easy undertaking, no?

    • Kristin LaLonde Says:

      The skewing can be represented in this very thread, where his followers confuse Islamism for mainstream Islam. Robert Spencer’s research on Islam is misleading in that it explains Islam as though the two are one in the same. That is irresponsible when he is claiming to inform the public.

      • Ben Wilson Says:

        Kristin:

        You say: “Robert Spencer’s research on Islam is misleading in that it explains Islam as though the two [Islam and Islamism] are one in the same.”

        The fact is that, both linguistically and historically, they ARE the same.

        Historically, the word “Islamism” has typically been synonymous with Islam. In the same way we say “Catholicism” and “Protestantism”, meaning those sects IN THEMSELVES, and not “radical” versions of any of those sects, “Islamism” was always used to just mean Islam – not “radical” Islam. It is only recently that the word has been commandeered to refer to “extremists”. So in that sense, yes – Islam and Islamism are one and the same.

        More importantly, though, what does it mean to conflate Islam and Islamism? You only say this because you have been taken in by the mainstream media coverage which says that “Islamists” are extremists who are acting against the true tenets of a peaceful and tolerant faith. But what if all the beliefs we usually associate with “Islamists” – violence, intolerance, misogyny, totalitarianism – are really not extreme at all but part of Islam proper? Wouldn’t that be an interesting and important point of view to put forward as part of an open debate on Islam? Or do you consider even the possibility that someone may subject Islam to such criticism to be unbalanced and misleading?

      • Philosophy Prof Says:

        Categories like ‘Islamism’ and ‘mainstream Islam’ do very little real conceptual work, and in contemporary parlance on Islam involve a myriad of presuppositions. Why not focus on individual issues that are of concern for very real social and political reasons, like gender equality, or jihadism, or the content of Shariah, and socio-political aspects of Islam? What do the schools of Islamic jurisprudence say on one of these issues, or on a sub-issue, like, say, female genital mutilation? What are imams debating at Al Anzar? What are the practices in Africa, for instance, regarding the position of women in societies, and how might these practices relate to teachings in Islamic sources? What is the position of influential Shia Ayatollahs, like Sistani, on say, gay rights or the authority of Shariah in politics? And how does all this fit in the beliefs of Muslims around the world? And one should not expect that Muslims in one country or region will have the same attitudes and beliefs as Muslims in another region–and these kinds of questions are empirical anyway, questions sociologists should be able to study descriptively without grand assumptions about ‘mainstream Islam’. How do Muslims and Islamic authorities, Sunni and Shia, view the Qur’an? And what does the Qur’an say on some of these issues? What is in Sura 4 and how does it relate to the Islamic practice of polygamy? These very specific questions make discussions, and research for librarians, far more focused and allow for conceptual navigation through the sea of opinions that ‘this is Islam’-’this is not Islam’-’this is Islamism’ stuff. And, Mr. Spencer’s work takes on many of these very specific issues that are made pressing not because Spencer imagines them, but because people are suffering throughout the world and people want information, ideas on how to understand and address the problems. And if he says something that is not factual, he should be taken to task, which a learned academic committee should have no trouble achieving. As I said above, the real issue here seems to be whether or not ‘dispelling stereotypes’ is a well-formed issue for an information session–there appear to be too many assumptions involved, assumptions that are held immune from criticism because it is an ‘information session’. Mr. Spencer’s presence, would, of course, changes that.

  35. Kamala Says:

    Kristin, please provide a book or any reference at all that explains how the ideology and/or doctrine of “mainstream Islam” differs from that of “Islamism.”

    Citing that “many Muslims are not Islamists” is quite a different comment. After all, saying that most Catholics use (non-natural) birth control is simply orthogonal to what Catholic doctrine says about birth control.

    In fact, Alan Godlas, who signed the letter, writes that a book called the Reliance of the Traveller is a “carefully translated manual of the proper practice of Islam.” http://godlas.myweb.uga.edu/practices.html

    This book explains that Islam calls for female circumcision and writes that honor killings (killings by parents of their children) are not subject to punishment in Islam.

    Is that “mainstream Islam” or “Islamism”?

    • svend Says:

      Your ignorant stereotypes aren’t Kristin or anybody else’s problems.

      If you really are interested in getting a fuller picture of the diversity that exists within contemporary Islamic thought, stop getting all your info Spencer-style attacks for a moment and investigate what Muslims really say. Many scholars have addressed these distinctions (e.g., Abdal Hakim Murad, Khaled Abou El Fadl) in various ways, but critics like Spencer are never satisfied. He frames the discussion so that everyone except his handful of postmodern Muslim dissidents are extremists.

      As for Reliance, it is a legal classic, but one written in a very different time. Not unlike the works of Aristotle, Saint Augustine and Thomas Acquinas, which accepted the institution of slavery. Take a look at Deuteronomy 13:6-11, for example. http://tinyurl.com/nll8tr

      There are all sorts of practices and attitudes that we now rightly abhor that once were considered legitimate or at least permissible in certain situations (slavery, wife beating, extreme exploitation of children, race-based social privileges).

      Also, try studying a little anthropology. The notion of children having rights that are independent of their parents’ wishes and/or family’s needs is a quite recent one in most cultures.

      Finally, not unlike Talmudic commentaries, this work was never intended to be read (much less acted on) by a layperson who lacks the legal training to apply (or, as the case may be, ignore) its instructions in light of the needs and values of the day.

      • Kamala Says:

        Hi Svend,

        Svend, you wrote that Reliance “was never intended to be read (much less acted on) by a layperson who lacks the legal training to apply (or, as the case may be, ignore) its instructions.”

        Do you think Al-Azhar scholars would know how to apply its instructions correctly? After all, Al-Azhar certified it as a guide that “conforms to the practice and faith of the Orthodox Sunni community.”

        (Note that they didn’t write that it’s “an interesting historical artifact that no longer applies.”)

        Please explain how Al-Azhar would go about interpreting this instruction from Reliance: “Circumcision is obligatory (for every male and female) by cutting off the piece of skin on the glans of the penis of the male, but circumcision of the female is by cutting out the clitoris (this is called khufaad).”

  36. Suzanne Davies Says:

    Robert Spencer is correct in his assessment of Islam. His work is highly scholarly, professional and based in reality.

    I am appalled at the gleeful complicity of these “professors” and their ilk in helping to destroy Western civilization and its hard-earned human rights.

    Shame on YOU! You should be honored to have Robert Spencer sit next to you.

    Serious RAZZZberry for you all.

  37. awake Says:

    Kristin wrote:

    “The skewing can be represented in this very thread, where his followers confuse Islamism for mainstream Islam.”

    That is another assertion without base. What is the fundamental difference between Islam and Islamism and what source best elaborates that distinction that you deem exists?

    Dr. Daniel Pipes uses the term Islamism as opposed to Islam. Do you use him as a source?

  38. Bill Says:

    Kristin attempts to portray “Mainstream Islam” as most Muslims in the United States. There are about 55 Countries in the world with Islamic Governments. Every single one of these Muslim countries persecutes it’s religious minorities. EVERY single One! From Afghanistan to Yemen – as you go down the list, countries like Algeria, Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Iraq….it is like a list of all the trouble spots in the world. Kristin, that’s Mainstream Islam! Not the relatively small Islamic minority here in the US. What worries us is the behavior of the US Muslim community. They indicate, by their silence, a complicity with Islamic Law, or sharia. Sharia dictates the replacement of the US Constitution, with the Koran, Islamic Law. Will Islam learn to respect the rights of other religions, (including Atheists, by the way), or are we expected to conform to the dictates of the Islamic religion, in the formation of the caliphate?
    And, will Muslims learn to respect the rights of all men, the rights of others, to chose their own religion, and to have freedom of speech?
    That is the question that they alone can answer.

  39. awake Says:

    When Kristin LaLonde spoke of Spencer’s refusal to acknowledge the “shades of different” in the religion of Islam with over a billion believers globally, she has formulated a straw-man argument against a position Spencer does not hold. In this very thread, Spencer acknowledged support of and common cause with Muslims of good will who renounce the violence and supremacism inherent in Islam.

    incidentally, it is a referendum on Islam and not Muslims, is it not?

  40. laguna Says:

    I have been a librarian for upwards of 30 years, and I’m sorry to see the ALA morphing from a professional organization to a one-sided political arm of the “liberal left.” For those of you who weren’t in the profession 30 years ago, the ALA used to support the right to voice and promote all views on a topic. It is interesting to note that the majority of the letter signers are in some manner connected to the promotion of Islamic studies. Oops! There I go, profiling and being politically incorrect. Still, an interesting observation.

  41. Yahya Says:

    Here is what an Islamic scholar have to say about Islam veiws on Jews and Christians. This has been said by him way before 911. It was in NY the year 1986. His name is Imam W Deen Mohammed. He was an African-Muslim leader of the largest native born Muslim following in the USA. He was the son of Elijah Mohammed the leader of the Nation of Islam until died in 1975. Check his approach and words towards non-muslims and see if it concures with Robert Spencer’s interpretation of Islam.

    READ:

    God Alone, Is Dominant

    Allah is the Owner of everything in the Heavens and in the Earth. All power and glory is a possession resting entirely in His control.28 He created everything, and has power over all. He denies dominance to all who seek it. History teaches us that at one time the British Empire sought dominance over all the nations of the world. There used to be a saying, “The Sun never sets on the British empire.” But, did they gain complete dominance over all the nations? No, they always had resistance, and they were not successful. In time they had to pull back their big fleet and other great forces from the lands of other people.

    I repeat, Allah denies dominance to all who seek it. It is not accepted that associates or partners share the rule over creation or the universe with Allah. God says that the Muslim is to hold to the spirit and purpose of his position. He has not called us to be nationalist or racist. He has called us for a more noble and bigger aim. He reminds us that our contention is not with anyone but the unjust, the oppressor.29

    If God tells the Muslim that our contention, our protest, our campaign is not aimed at anyone but the oppressors and the unjust, then I have to accept that. I cannot say that Muslims are put on this earth to have some kind of Holy War with Christians or Jews. That is not our purpose. We are not here to fight Christianity until there is no more Christianity, and we certainly are not here to fight Judaism until it is driven off of the earth.

    God has said that if He wanted us as one people or nation, He would have done so.30 And furthermore, God obligated Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)31 and his followers to protect the sacred places of the Christians and the Jews.32 We are to cooperate with them for the great destiny of man intended by our Lord. I know I am going to get some negative responses to the above statements, but I don’t mind. The earth is too small for this petty thing that some of us are trying to keep up. Of course God has made known to us that among the People of the Book are some who busy themselves in wickedness.33

    By the term “People of the Book” is meant the Jews and Christians, and perhaps some other religious groups that were known and accepted as legitimate religious groups that had received Revelation from God prior to the time when the Holy Qur’an was being revealed. Our religion brings our attention to that fact of wickedness among the People of the Book. However, we must give greater attention to those among them that share with us the same God-given spirit, and the same God-given aspiration for the fulfillment of human potential and excellence.

    We must accept the fine merits of such people, and their honorable commitments to advance the excellence of man on earth and in fighting corruption. God tells us in the Holy Qur’an that you will find a party among them that stand for justice. They are quick to rush in promoting the things that are good. They invite to the best of standards, and prohibit that which is unjust, cruel and corruptible.34

    I hope that those who are non-Muslim take an appreciable look at what has just been stated about our religion Al-Islam. As an American citizen, whether Christian, Jew, or whatever your religion; you cannot possibly think that people who really obey this religion and this Holy Book are a threat to civilization or to the peace of society. The Muslim is no threat to American society or to civilization. In fact, those who live this religion are the torch bearers and the genesis of civilization who represent the best in man.

    24. Holy Qur’an 35:5-6, 34:20-21, 7:27, & 5:93-94.

    25. Holy Qur’an 17:65.

    26. Holy Qur’an 4:76.

    27. Holy Qur’an 29:45.

    28. Holy Quran 3:189.

    29. Holy Qur’an 42:39-43, 4:75, & 8:39.

    30. Holy Qur’an 11:118.

    31. PBUH is an abbreviation for “Peace be upon him.”

    32. Holy Qur’an 22:39-40.

    33. Holy Qur’an 3:69-78, 98-100, 110-115, & 5:59-66.

    34. Holy Qur’an 3:113-115, 199, 4:162, & 5:69, 82-85.

  42. awake Says:

    Apparently, substantive pointed questions are too much for the pro-banning Spencer crowd.

    Expected, to say the least. So be it. Unfortunately, this display does nothing but reaffirm Spencer’s argument about Islam and its central tenets, as indefensible as they are.

  43. Yahya Says:

    Here are so more eye opening words of an Islamic leader in America who was a native born African-American Muslim leader that the coperate media has always treated him as a voice that did not exist in America.

    Yahya

    WE MUST PROJECT THE TRUE IMAGE OF AL-ISLAM
    08/29/1986

    BY: IMAM W DEEN MOHAMMED

    The Prophet’s followers went to Ethiopia and they spoke to the leader, the Negus of Ethiopia, who was called the Habashee in those days. And the Negus granted them permission to live there under his protection. He was so impressed with the story of the advent of their religion and the mission of Muhammad, Peace be upon him, and the Muslim’s version of the story of Jesus Christ (peace be on him and his mother), that the Muslims became dear to him; he took them to heart. They lived there in peace, protected from the heathens who pursued them. The Prophet had sent the Muslims to that Christian country because of his knowledge of its sincerity and its commitment to justice.

    No student of history can say that Muhammad came to wipe out Christianity and Judaism. God missioned him to rise up and deal with those people and those forces that threatened to wipe out the life that God intended for man on this earth. As his works grew they became more and more jealous of him. So the jealous ones, Christians, Jews and heathens got together, conspired secretly and attacked him openly and hired their demons to stamp out his works as quick as they possibly could. But as Allah says in our Holy Book, it is useless that they desire to put out the light of Al-Islam. God will perfect His light, though they hate it.

    Instead of stamping out his works his followers grew; his mission grew; faster than any similar mission in the history of man.

    Despite the presence of Communism and foreign ideology and the power of the Western world to fascinate and capture the minds of citizens of countries, the Muslim citizenry is still Muslim. We are not losing our citizens to Communism and other ideologies, particularly Communism. On the contrary, some of the bravest souls fighting Communism are Muslims. The Muslims of Afghanistan are fighting with antiquated weapons that hardly work. Many of the weapons are rusty and so old you can hardly use them but they have been able to hold their own against Russia ‘s army. They’ve been fighting for years against the communist occupation of their land, Afghanistan.

    Another thing that the enemies of Al-Islam don’t want you to know is that this religion has people in it who have taken up the heavy mission to promote civilization and justice; the Will of God on this earth. They want us to think that only western people have come into such a great mission. Before the western man could wear a civilized pair of pants or a civilized dress, Prophet Muhammad had already preached civilization and brought civilization to the most uncivilized and darkest quarter of the Old World, the peninsula of Arabia , where people celebrated their religion by going around naked in their religious celebration.

    Where girls were not wanted because men were needed to plow the land or defend the tribe. Too many girls were an embarrassment to a man and his family so they took the girl child out and buried her alive.

    God sent the revelation to Muhammad, “For what crime was she killed, and buried alive?”

    They don’t want us to know that our religion has as its purpose and its aim on this earth the highest and noblest mission for human beings. Freedom, civilization, education, the highest standards for society, that’s our religion. They would want us to believe that only the West has come into such a mission. Europe was in the dark and given to superstition and oppression of the human intellect; denying their females the opportunity to get an education. Europe was enslaving its females, treating them as property or slaves. Don’t think that the Whiteman’s woman has always been emancipated. Her emancipation came, I think, just a little after ours.

    When that situation existed in the western world higher education in every sense had already been given in the Muslim society. It was an obligation of the Muslim state to see that every male and female born in that society was educated. The right of woman to go into business, to speak out in public, to protest the behavior of her government or behavior of her government leaders, in the public, had already been established.

    Richard Allen, in his book, “Imperialism and Nationalism in the Fertile Crescent ,” tells of the higher civilization demonstrated in the higher life of the Muslims when they met the Crusaders in battle. He noted that the Muslim soldier who carried the same heavy burden of war that the Christian soldier carried found time to bathe, shave and wear clean clothes. “We are ashamed of our Christian soldiers who were unshaved, filthy, and looking like dirty wild stinking savages,” he said.

    You want to make a comparison? Let’s make a comparison. Look at us today! America has great material wealth, frightening military power, but look at the shameful state of American family life. Look how low America ‘s family life has fallen. Just as the Muslim towered above the Western people in those days, in morals, decency, self-respect and obedience to a moral code, likewise today, the Muslims tower above most of the people in Western society. This is the truth they don’t want you to know. They say, “Oh that religion impressed the criminals and the convicts. They were able to convert more convicts in prison than the preachers were able to convert to Christianity.” But the merit of Al-Islam is not that it appeals to some man locked up behind the bars. No. The merit of Al-Islam is that it brought civilization to the world.

    When Europe was asleep, when the white man of the West was asleep, when they were sleeping in savagery, it was our religion that woke the world up and said man is not created to be dead, in ignorance and immorality. Rise to your mission man, you were made Khalifa of the earth. It was our religion that did that.

    The only reason why the West succeeded in gaining global dominance over our religion is that the West was willing to stoop lower than the Muslims to accomplish that. Muslims would not sell out their virtues or their morals or their faith in morals. We will not sacrifice everything just to dominate the world!

    The great advances made by Europe and America in conquering the world, has been advances that only a devil can stomach. Like it or not, I’m not here to make you like me. Nothing but an avowed devil can stomach what was done to advance the global dominance of the Western man on this earth.

    We only have to look at what was done to keep us down.

    And what is being done now? At the time when America should fulfill her promise of justice to all people, the moral obligation got too heavy on this country. So what did its leaders do? They folded up their hands and said, ‘Let the criminals take over. We can’t go any further with this. We won’t do it ourselves but let us fold our arms and turn our heads and let the criminals take over.’

    They have given the American citizen over into the hands of criminals. We live in a prison situation right in our own homes and our own neighborhoods. Our children have been taken away from us by the criminals. The criminals have lured them away from respect for us. They have lured them away from obedience to us. They have lured them away from obeying God and from obeying parents.

    So the great ones in the West have folded their hands and said to the criminals, `now you take over.’

    In the presidency of the United States , we need a man like Muhamamd the Prophet, peace be on him, to fulfill the promise of America . America has made a very fine and great promise of justice, freedom and equal opportunity to all citizens. That’s a great promise. But in order to realize that kind of promise you have to be willing to look at wrong in South Africa the same way you look at-wrong in other parts of the world. You must look at wrong in the black community just as you would in the white community and vice versa. You have to be just as sensitive to the need of one citizen as to the other: not only in domestic quarters, but also in international quarters. Only then will you be right in your heart and be able to defend the great idea of American democracy.

    Most American citizens are not aware that our country has not defended what it believes in: not even at home, unless it was forced to do so. And even then, it did it deceitfully for the most part. The international world is waiting on our country to defend its idea of democracy in the international world.

    The leaders of our country have allowed themselves to become partners of people committed to an idea that is in direct opposition to the great idea of American democracy. They quickly do this for more material acquisition and dominance over the mind and spirit of man, globally. They will do every kind of devilish thing.

    You may feel too small and too weak to join the opposition -and fight these evil influences at home and abroad but I am not, and I am not alone. There are men and women of my color and outside of my color, of my religion and outside of my religion, who have fought these influences long before I was born. Many of them are still here and I am with them and they are with me. We are one in our fight against the evil that seeks to globalize itself and take over man’s spirit and deny him the great future that God intended for him. Don’t think we are alone: we’re not alone. If I am killed and buried tomorrow, more non-Muslims would attend my funeral than Muslims. Because they know that my concerns are bigger than the small Muslim community of America.

  44. awake Says:

    As was pointed out ad nauseum in this thread, Islam has its own problems historically, and is acted upon, spoken and as has been taught through the generations, which makes Spencer’s mere presence on the panel worthwhile, if nothing more than to stem the mainstream whitewashing of Islam by Islamic apologists, mostly Arabs I might add.

    He should be banned from speaking in the roundtable discussion. It would be most beneficial to western, non-Islamic peoples and cultures. It will only hasten the inevitable conclusion the masses of non-Muslims will arrive at. I and many others expect nothing less. Go for it Tara!

    Useful idiocy aside, I conclude that this absured open letter, now be officially closed.

  45. Yahya Says:

    Again a voice of reason that is sober that coperate media has always pretended that he did not exist in America. An African-American Muslim leader. I post his words to counter the false accusations that is said about Islam on these posts. These are words from Muslim leadership.

    Yahya

    WE MUST PROJECT THE TRUE IMAGE OF AL-ISLAM
    BY: IMAM W DEEN MOHAMMED

    The Prophet’s followers went to Ethiopia and they spoke to the leader, the Negus of Ethiopia, who was called the Habashee in those days. And the Negus granted them permission to live there under his protection. He was so impressed with the story of the advent of their religion and the mission of Muhammad, Peace be upon him, and the Muslim’s version of the story of Jesus Christ (peace be on him and his mother), that the Muslims became dear to him; he took them to heart. They lived there in peace, protected from the heathens who pursued them. The Prophet had sent the Muslims to that Christian country because of his knowledge of its sincerity and its commitment to justice.

    No student of history can say that Muhammad came to wipe out Christianity and Judaism. God missioned him to rise up and deal with those people and those forces that threatened to wipe out the life that God intended for man on this earth. As his works grew they became more and more jealous of him. So the jealous ones, Christians, Jews and heathens got together, conspired secretly and attacked him openly and hired their demons to stamp out his works as quick as they possibly could. But as Allah says in our Holy Book, it is useless that they desire to put out the light of Al-Islam. God will perfect His light, though they hate it.

    Instead of stamping out his works his followers grew; his mission grew; faster than any similar mission in the history of man.

    Despite the presence of Communism and foreign ideology and the power of the Western world to fascinate and capture the minds of citizens of countries, the Muslim citizenry is still Muslim. We are not losing our citizens to Communism and other ideologies, particularly Communism. On the contrary, some of the bravest souls fighting Communism are Muslims. The Muslims of Afghanistan are fighting with antiquated weapons that hardly work. Many of the weapons are rusty and so old you can hardly use them but they have been able to hold their own against Russia ‘s army. They’ve been fighting for years against the communist occupation of their land, Afghanistan.

    Another thing that the enemies of Al-Islam don’t want you to know is that this religion has people in it who have taken up the heavy mission to promote civilization and justice; the Will of God on this earth. They want us to think that only western people have come into such a great mission. Before the western man could wear a civilized pair of pants or a civilized dress, Prophet Muhammad had already preached civilization and brought civilization to the most uncivilized and darkest quarter of the Old World, the peninsula of Arabia , where people celebrated their religion by going around naked in their religious celebration.

    Where girls were not wanted because men were needed to plow the land or defend the tribe. Too many girls were an embarrassment to a man and his family so they took the girl child out and buried her alive.

    God sent the revelation to Muhammad, “For what crime was she killed, and buried alive?”

    They don’t want us to know that our religion has as its purpose and its aim on this earth the highest and noblest mission for human beings. Freedom, civilization, education, the highest standards for society, that’s our religion. They would want us to believe that only the West has come into such a mission. Europe was in the dark and given to superstition and oppression of the human intellect; denying their females the opportunity to get an education. Europe was enslaving its females, treating them as property or slaves. Don’t think that the Whiteman’s woman has always been emancipated. Her emancipation came, I think, just a little after ours.

    When that situation existed in the western world higher education in every sense had already been given in the Muslim society. It was an obligation of the Muslim state to see that every male and female born in that society was educated. The right of woman to go into business, to speak out in public, to protest the behavior of her government or behavior of her government leaders, in the public, had already been established.

    Richard Allen, in his book, “Imperialism and Nationalism in the Fertile Crescent ,” tells of the higher civilization demonstrated in the higher life of the Muslims when they met the Crusaders in battle. He noted that the Muslim soldier who carried the same heavy burden of war that the Christian soldier carried found time to bathe, shave and wear clean clothes. “We are ashamed of our Christian soldiers who were unshaved, filthy, and looking like dirty wild stinking savages,” he said.

    You want to make a comparison? Let’s make a comparison. Look at us today! America has great material wealth, frightening military power, but look at the shameful state of American family life. Look how low America ‘s family life has fallen. Just as the Muslim towered above the Western people in those days, in morals, decency, self-respect and obedience to a moral code, likewise today, the Muslims tower above most of the people in Western society. This is the truth they don’t want you to know. They say, “Oh that religion impressed the criminals and the convicts. They were able to convert more convicts in prison than the preachers were able to convert to Christianity.” But the merit of Al-Islam is not that it appeals to some man locked up behind the bars. No. The merit of Al-Islam is that it brought civilization to the world.

    When Europe was asleep, when the white man of the West was asleep, when they were sleeping in savagery, it was our religion that woke the world up and said man is not created to be dead, in ignorance and immorality. Rise to your mission man, you were made Khalifa of the earth. It was our religion that did that.

    The only reason why the West succeeded in gaining global dominance over our religion is that the West was willing to stoop lower than the Muslims to accomplish that. Muslims would not sell out their virtues or their morals or their faith in morals. We will not sacrifice everything just to dominate the world!

    The great advances made by Europe and America in conquering the world, has been advances that only a devil can stomach. Like it or not, I’m not here to make you like me. Nothing but an avowed devil can stomach what was done to advance the global dominance of the Western man on this earth.

    We only have to look at what was done to keep us down.

    And what is being done now? At the time when America should fulfill her promise of justice to all people, the moral obligation got too heavy on this country. So what did its leaders do? They folded up their hands and said, ‘Let the criminals take over. We can’t go any further with this. We won’t do it ourselves but let us fold our arms and turn our heads and let the criminals take over.’

    They have given the American citizen over into the hands of criminals. We live in a prison situation right in our own homes and our own neighborhoods. Our children have been taken away from us by the criminals. The criminals have lured them away from respect for us. They have lured them away from obedience to us. They have lured them away from obeying God and from obeying parents.

    So the great ones in the West have folded their hands and said to the criminals, `now you take over.’

    In the presidency of the United States , we need a man like Muhamamd the Prophet, peace be on him, to fulfill the promise of America . America has made a very fine and great promise of justice, freedom and equal opportunity to all citizens. That’s a great promise. But in order to realize that kind of promise you have to be willing to look at wrong in South Africa the same way you look at-wrong in other parts of the world. You must look at wrong in the black community just as you would in the white community and vice versa. You have to be just as sensitive to the need of one citizen as to the other: not only in domestic quarters, but also in international quarters. Only then will you be right in your heart and be able to defend the great idea of American democracy.

    Most American citizens are not aware that our country has not defended what it believes in: not even at home, unless it was forced to do so. And even then, it did it deceitfully for the most part. The international world is waiting on our country to defend its idea of democracy in the international world.

    The leaders of our country have allowed themselves to become partners of people committed to an idea that is in direct opposition to the great idea of American democracy. They quickly do this for more material acquisition and dominance over the mind and spirit of man, globally. They will do every kind of devilish thing.

    You may feel too small and too weak to join the opposition -and fight these evil influences at home and abroad but I am not, and I am not alone. There are men and women of my color and outside of my color, of my religion and outside of my religion, who have fought these influences long before I was born. Many of them are still here and I am with them and they are with me. We are one in our fight against the evil that seeks to globalize itself and take over man’s spirit and deny him the great future that God intended for him. Don’t think we are alone: we’re not alone. If I am killed and buried tomorrow, more non-Muslims would attend my funeral than Muslims. Because they know that my concerns are bigger than the small Muslim community of America.

    Most of my difficulties with you have been because I was too big; I had to go outside of your confines.

    If you really understood the Qur’an you would know that the Qur’an makes you universal. It makes you a defender of the highest and most precious ideas and principles of man. Therefore you can’t be pushed aside into a narrow corner. “Oh, those are Black Muslims. Oh, he’s a Black Muslim,” or “he’s a Muslim only.”

    I’m not a Muslim only: I am a Muslim and I am a brother to every man and a defender of justice. And that’s what makes this religion so dangerous. They know that the African-American man has to hypnotize himself to stay in the church, and that if he ever believed that Al-Islam was really a universally dignified religion he would readily take off his Christian robe and jump right into Al-Islam, the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet all the way. They know that.

    They know what happened in Africa . Ethiopia was once a Christian stronghold on that continent. But today the people in Ethiopia are not only Christians, there are also large numbers of Muslims. Wherever Christianity has been in Africa , today Muslims are there. Al-Islam didn’t spread among Animist who have these so-called `primitive’ religions, as much as it did among Christians of Africa. Al-Islam was accepted by the Christians of Africa. This is why they distort and misrepresent this religion.

  46. Peter Forsythe Says:

    I recall after 9/11 thinking “I’d better learn something about this religion” and so bought a copy of the Koran. I recall clearly the hairs rising on the back of my neck when I read it: so many supremacist, anti-Semitic and plainly violent verses. I thought “wow, if this is their “bible” then we’ve got a real problem here!”. There were more peaceful verses, to be sure, so I thought I’d better re-read it; this time, with two highlighters in hand, a green one to highlight the positive passages and a yellow one to highlight the negative ones. By the end of my re-reading, the green pencil was still long, while the yellow one was sharpened to a stub. So, the negative (or “troublesome”) passages far outweighed the positive ones.
    I wondered why there should be such contradictory verses; then I found out about the principle of “abrogation” in which the Medinan, more violent, verses abrogate the more peaceable Meccan verses. (leading one to wonder about the consistency of a supposedly “perfect” book, which came direct from Allah, but no matter…. I know the reasons for the “abrogations”).
    I proceeded to read more about Islam, and have now accumulated a library in the hundreds: first the primary sources, the Qur’an, the Hadith, the life of Muhammad, the “Reliance of the Traveller” (the Classic Manual of Islamic Jurisprudence) and so on, plus the commentators, both critics and apologists, from Spencer (all of) to Karen Armstrong and the writings of Muslim critics. I’ve come to my own conclusions and they are simply this: that Islam is indeed a threat to our western civilization, to free speech, to tolerance and to human rights for all. The clearly and openly stated desire by many, many Muslim spokesmen for the spread of Sharia is deeply worrying to me and ought to be to all who believe in western ideals of equality and freedom.
    In all of this, I’m happy to consider Mr. Spencer as an “expert” and one who espouses his opinions clearly, concisely and knowledgably. He presents cogently and authoritatively the reasons that we should all be concerned about many aspects of Islam. So what’s wrong with that, Open Letter writers? That the writers of the Open Letter should aim to prevent him speaking speaks volumes about their real aim: to further whitewash and to present a picture of Islam that is purely peaceful and no threat to the west and to damn (no, ban) anyone who suggests otherwise, no matter what evidence to the contrary there may be.
    It would be a huge shame and direct hit against free speech if the ALA gives in to the demands of the Open Letter writers.
    Let Mr. Spencer speak!
    Peter Forsythe
    Hong Kong

  47. leigh Says:

    I would have thought by their fruits you know them.
    I have read the Sirat,Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim hadiths and QuranThe evidence lead me to conclude that Mohmamad wasa clever but cruel ans manipulatiive politician and soldier.His idea of compasasion was to delay the stoning to death of a woman who admiited adultery until she had weaned the child. I assume people like Stella would be repulsed by this, or not?Some Muslims I assume have no idea what their religion’s role model actually said and did
    Some examples from Bukhari show an absurd, ignorant and repulsive world view.
    women are deficient in both intelligence and religion (compared to men) ; they can’t pray or fast during their periods; it takes two woman to be equal to the witness of one man

    the majority of inhabitants of hell are women.

    evil omens come from women
    women are an affliction
    Muslims should not to beat a wife as much as they beat a slave
    Allah curses women who lengthen their hair artificially

    Hadith references will be provided upon request.

    I am happy if t the “modern Muslim’s” world view and modus operanadi.rejects the example of Mohammad.What I cant stand is the anti rational deceit that pretends these types of teachings are not part of Mohmmad’s repertoire.
    . ncidentally I for one can form my own inconvenient opinions. I dont need Robert Spencer to educate me about Islam- Muslims I can welcome but agressive Islam that imitates Mohmmad I cant tolerate. Sorry but that’s me

  48. Ahmed Says:

    This is from a Muslim perspective. I completely agree its foolish and naive to have Spencer on as an “expert” on Islam. True, he has a lot of knowledge. But his personal hatred towards Muslims comes through all his writings — he doesn’t write like an academic. He fails to analyze Muslim traditionalist sources with a fair and neutral tone.

    His supporters says he presents true information, and to an extent he does presents facts (SELECTIVELY). There are University academics on Islam – WHO ARE NON-MUSLIMS – throughout America and the Western world. You will find few of them associating themselves with Internet-hater-academics such as Spencer. And for good reason. Here is what he does: “Hi I’m Robert Spencer. I will quote a random Qur’anic verse, quote a random hadith (saying of the Prophet), show off my little knowledge of Arabic, etc etc Islam is evil, see how they stone people”. This is no joke. Go to his website and see for yourself. He offers no depth, no complex analytical ability. He will selectively quote scholars that only back up his view — anything to show Islam is out to get you.

    The truth is that the Islamic world like many other religions has a DIVERSE plethora of scholars and scholarly opinions. It’s not a black and white situation (like Spencer paints) where a religious Muslim MUST be an anti-democratic murderer. On the contrary, there is a depth to the religion and people which allows for a variety of opinions to flourish on any matter. Is an Islamic state, LIKE ANY STATE, seeking to promote its own agenda and success — yes. Although with limits – restrictions on how to conduct war and government, etc. Are all Muslims in America or anywhere in the world secretly working as a fifth column to prop up an Islamic state in America – A BIG NO. Its funny actually to me as a Muslim that someone would say that. Do we believe our religion is truth and wish it to be practiced by all – yes, obviously, but not violently, not forced upon anyone. That was not the way of the Prophet. I can prove that to Spencer or anyone, easily. Actually I don’t have to. I am a religious Muslim in America – I take my faith very seriously. I will not stone a self-confessed adulterer in my city. I will not whip a self-confessed fornicator. I will not do any of these things BECAUSE I am a practicing Muslim. But you would never understand why by reading Spencer.

    Read Martin Lings’ book Muhammad, probably the best biography of Muhammad (pbuh) in English. I assure you, it is far more vastly researched than anything Spencer calls a biography of the Prophet.

    I didn’t mean to have a long response but this is an issue about getting someone knowledgeable who has depth and appreciation of the complexity of a situation before speaking on it. Spencer doesn’t have it. To all the fair people who said they want an opposing view on Islam, fine, but please get it from a real academic. There are of course non-Muslim Islam experts who are critical of the religion — seek them out. But Spencer is not a critic — he is what we call a “hater”. He has an agenda and it shines through his work.

    • Reuben Moore Says:

      Ahmed: “I am a religious Muslim in America – I take my faith very seriously. I will not stone a self-confessed adulterer in my city. I will not whip a self-confessed fornicator. I will not do any of these things BECAUSE I am a practicing Muslim.”

      Will you condemn these practices in Muslim-majority countries? Strongly? And most importantly, in your full name?

  49. Conan Says:

    I thought that free speech meant free speech.

    Let the man speak!!

  50. SL Says:

    Oh, brother! Without doubt Islam is a Terrorist ideology, Warlord phony “prophet” mass-murderer Mohamet is the first Islamic Terrorist, the Qur’an is a war/hate manual that calls for the subjugation/annihilation of all non-Muslim people, and “allah” is nothing but a non-existent pagan moon deity from pre-Islamic Arabia.

    I see that many Muslims have signed this “Big Brother” Letter – no surprise. But, to the non-Muslims who have, you know nothing about Islam, which has been a “Kill the Infidels/Unbelievers” totalitarian, 100% intolerant, supremacist and fascist, political ideology since Warlord Mohamet invented it circa 620 AD. In addition, Islam has nothing whatsoever to do with Judaism and Christianity, the two Abrahamic faiths. There was no Islam, there were no Muslims, until the early 7th century AD, no matter what lies the Muslims make up – most egregiously and absurdly, that “everyone was once Muslim.” Yeah right! And it never rains in Seattle!

    It’s truly shocking that after 9/11, so-called “intelligent” people have penned such a naive and downright stupid Letter filled with all sorts of lies. You people are worthy of Goebbels with your enormous “politically correct” lies about the genocidal ideology of Islam.

    Oh, and before you start with your to-be-expected name-calling, let me add that Islam is among the most racist, bigoted, and hate-filled ideologies the world has ever had the misfortune to know. Mohamet hated Jews and Christians, and anyone not Islamic. For example:

    “O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors; they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust. (The Qur’an, 5:51)”

    That’s so tolerant, isn’t it?!

    And:

    “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.’”

    “When judgment day arrives, Allah will give every Muslim a Jew or Christian to kill, so that the Muslim will not enter into hell fire.”

    Both of the above courtesy the mass-murdering Warlord phony “prophet.” Yep – his own words, found in the Hadiths. And there’s plenty more like those hate-filled, “Kill the Infidels” examples.

    It’s unbelievable how ignorant you people are. Ironically, 9/11 was the best thing that ever happened to Islam. No, it is NOT a “religion of peace.” Indeed, there is nothing at all peaceful about the War/Hate Ideology of Islam.

  51. SL Says:

    Oh dear, I see these comments are moderated.

    Which means my comment above won’t be published – why? Because the so-called “intellectuals” who penned this “No Free Speech About Islam” Letter, will muzzle and silence my free speech about Islam. That’s a no-brainer! So, knock your Orwellian selves out.

  52. tarals Says:

    All comments on this open letter have been posted. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I do require sleep at night. I have approved all pending comments as of 9:12 AM and will continue to approve them.
    Again, I will state that we stand by our concerns without asking for his removal from the panel. If free speech is really free speech, then we are free to make our concerns known.

    • Reuben Moore Says:

      Tara Lannen-Stanton -

      I commend your inclusive moderation of this mini-blog. You have allowed all sides to present their views, including an overwhelming amount of dissent from your original open letter. I would point out that for the most part, the discussion here has been civil.

      Would a panel discussion operated on similar terms not be considered a success?

      If the panel is only to include one perspective, why have a panel at all? I suspect the answer is that if the ALA (or any organization) presents a panel of the same or similar perspectives, the sponsor and the audience can easily pretend that they have heard multiple views and congratulate themselves on their open-mindedness.

      Mr. Spencer is very knowledgeable on Islam and always extremely civil; he will add to the discussion. Instead of this Orwellian attempt to silence him (“without asking for his removal from the panel”), you should welcome his participation.

  53. To those who disagree with Mr. Spencer from Bill Davit Says:

    Folks,

    Several years ago I came across Jihad Watch and like Stella I thought “wow this guy is out there!” A year later a good friend of mine, who was a Saudi, out of the blue told me he could no longer be my friend citing a verse. I was stunned but more than anything hurt. I tried to fix something I thought I broke and he in turn told me I had done nothing it was simply because I was non believer! This prompted me to buy a Quran and search for the verse. I found it and thus my journey started. I have since read several Hadith sources and slew of other books on Islam.

    For those who disagree I would only encourage them to at least get a Quran and read it. It is helpful if you have a Hadith source as well. The Hadith will help you understand the time chronology of the Quran. It is also important to note the concept of abrogation(later verses cancels early ones) to understand the many contradictions that will come up. Chronology and abrogation are important because once you separate the early(Mecca) and later(Medina) verses you will notice a dual message. The early message, respective to the non believer, is very tolerant but the later ones are quite intolerant. While all the verses are valid the reality is all four schools of Sunni Jurisprudence clearly agree most of those tolerant verses were abrogated by the later intolerant ones. An example is the no compulsion in religion verse(2:256) being abrogated by several later verses including the sword verse(9:1-8.) In fact of the 117 suras only 43 are free of abrogating or abrogated verses. You will also notice over 50% of the scripture is focused on the non believer and the majority of it is negative.

    Once I finished my reading I just sat in stunned silence. Islam was not a religion of peace. It was a religion of submission that clearly places a negative predisposition on non believers. I would call that predisposition inherently xenophobic. This xenophobia is clearly seen throughout the Islamic world in their treatment of religious minorities. Could you imagine if the US was as openly Xenophobic towards Muslims mirroring the mandates laid down in their scripture? Muslims would be in an uproar if the US said it was illegal to do missionary work, build mosques, openly practice their faith, or god forbid outlaw Islam? Yet, every one of the aforementioned points is often the reality in Islamic states for other faith groups. It’s why these minorities get smaller and smaller each year in the Islamic world!

    I can only encourage those who are making generalizations to read up on Islam. Try to understand why we want these aspects of Islam, we see as negative, brought to light. We have reasons that are often backed up by the actions of Muslims on a daily basis. Two of my best friends are Muslim, and like me they realize these issues are “touchy” but need to be addressed because as they quite clearly put it “Islamic scripture conflicts a great deal with western civilization and law.” Not surprisingly Mr. Spencer bases a lot of his writing around that conflict my friends mentioned. Mr. Spencer is very upfront and to some that’s confrontational but don’t make the mistake I did because he doesn’t sugar coat it.

    • John Simonon Says:

      Bill Davit, thanks for your post. It’s excellent. I’m hoping everyone reads it.

    • Jaynie59 Says:

      Bill,

      Great post and it’s good to see someone who can talk about Islam coherently. There is one problem I have with people who read the Koran and then claim to have an informed opinion about it.

      First of all, as you stated, the Koran is so complex and so convoluted that it’s not possible for someone to just read it and understand what any of it means. I would recommend that anyone interested in the subject go to Jihad Watch and read Robert’s Blogging The Qur’an series.

      http://www.jihadwatch.org/articles/bloggingtheq.php

      Robert spent 18 months writing it, and replying to the comments, and it’s posted in 5 languages.

      I’m always immediately suspicious of anyone who claims to be non-Muslim and claims to have read the Koran and uses that as an argument. Muslims themselves are admonished to not try to interpret the texts themselves. The Koran and Hadiths are posted at many sites on the internet, and are free to anyone willing to wade through them, but most have disclaimers that say that no Muslim should use them as exclusive sources of Islamic teachings. Under Islam, unity is of paramount importance, so Muslims should never be free to interpret the texts on their own. That’s not me saying that, that’s what Muslims say.

      BTW, I decided a long time ago that I would spell the Qur’an as “Koran” and Mohamed they way I do because I just got tired of trying to figure out the correct spelling. So I go with Spell Check.

  54. SL Says:

    Thanks, tarals! It is thrilling that American Freedom of Speech lives at this site.

    Peter Forsythe – a knowledgeable, truth-filled, and in-reality comment. You are right.

    For some reason(s) the writers of this Letter reside in a “my blue pony/pie-in-the-sky/kumbaya” universe that is parallel to the Reality about the true nature of Islam, which is violent, hate-filled, oppressive, uber-misogynistic, supremacist, and hegemonic. The ideology of Islam, like the ideologies of fascism and nazism, deserves to be hated. I read the comments by Muslims here and it’s easy to see from them why the spread of Islam must be stopped; their feelings of entitlement and “we’re superior” come through loud and clear. Chilling.

    Hey “intellectuals” – “Who’s Afraid of Robert Spencer?”

    Answer: You are. Cowards.

  55. SL Says:

    “I feel confident that the other speakers on the panel will be able to refute Mr. Spencer’s remarks.” — tarals

    Sorry, tarals, but that has about as much chance of happening as human habitation being found on Neptune.

    I hope Spencer is included on this panel, as it will be highly enjoyable to watch the PC Apologists get cut down to size!

    If Spencer isn’t included, there is only one reason why: They fear him.

  56. SL Says:

    “Indeed, we, as librarians, scholars, and individuals are deeply concerned by ALA & EMIERT’s choice of Mr. Spencer for such a panel: Mr. Spencer espouses a view of Islam as a system of belief which is essentially violent, undemocratic, totalitarian, exclusive and at war with all non-Muslims.” — Excerpt from the Letter

    That’s exactly what the belief system of Islam is. That’s just Islam 101.

    That you people call yourselves “scholars” is both sad and hilarious. You are in dire need of a reality check. May I suggest you read the “Mein Qurampf” to get that reality check? How about watching the video of Americans jumping to their deaths from the Twin Towers? Truly, you PC Apologists for a 7th century AD poisonous ideology that has brought only cruelty, suffering, and “Jihad” (Mass-Murder) to the world is shameful. You should be ashamed of yourselves. You remind me of people who, in the 1930′s, thought Nazism was just fabulous. And you do know, of course, that Islam was on the side of Hitler, that Hitler had corps of Muslim soldiers? You do know that documented fact, right? Right?

  57. awake Says:

    Bill Davit wrote:

    “Could you imagine if the US was as openly Xenophobic towards Muslims mirroring the mandates laid down in their scripture? Muslims would be in an uproar if the US said it was illegal to do missionary work, build mosques, openly practice their faith, or god forbid outlaw Islam? Yet, every one of the aforementioned points is often the reality in Islamic states for other faith groups. It’s why these minorities get smaller and smaller each year in the Islamic world!”

    Superb. There is no rebuttal of that fact.

    All we get is another tired song from another Ahmed, who while not disclosing his own credentials, attacks Spencer’s credentials, while never actually offering a single example of where Spencer has erred.

    Ahmed’s personal experiences and beliefs are irrelevant. Any non-fool understands that Muslims are not monolithic in their adherence to Islam. That being said, Ahmed’s attempted whitewash of Islam cannot be achieved through the words in the canonical Islamic texts, nor the rulings of the four main schools of Islamic jurisprudence, so all he is left with is taqiyya, a call to ignore all the intolerance of islam because he himself doesn’t subscribe to it.

    Ahmed wrote:

    “There are of course non-Muslim Islam experts who are critical of the religion — seek them out.”

    Provide me a single suggestion, if you will.

    Hogwash.

  58. Kamala Says:

    tarals,

    Several times you have repeated that you stand by your “concerns” about Robert Spencer.

    Yet twice now you have refused to answer the question, “what will alleviate your concern?”

    Why won’t you answer that question? Will nothing at all alleviate your concern about Spencer speaking on this panel? Nothing?

  59. SL Says:

    “To all the fair people who said they want an opposing view on Islam, fine, but please get it from a real academic. There are of course non-Muslim Islam experts who are critical of the religion — seek them out. But Spencer is not a critic — he is what we call a “hater”. He has an agenda and it shines through his work.” — Ahmed

    Spencer has a Master’s degree from Chapel Hill – how is that not a “real academic?” And what comprises your formal education, Ahmed? Qur’anic studies, and that’s it? Thought so.

    Spencer *is* an expert on Islam.

    Concerning criticism of Islam, that’s the West following it’s Enlightenment tradition of Critical Inquiry. But, you wouldn’t know about that, Ahmed, as Islam has never gone through an Enlightenment. Islam is darkness.

    Now, concerning your “hater” comment – LOL! All Spencer and others’ do is objectively examine the contents of the texts and tenets of the Qur’an and Hadiths and other Islamic writings and Guess What? Turns out that *you* people are the Haters. Haters of everything and anything not Islamic.

    This just about sums up Islam right here:

    Qur’an 9:5 – “Fight and kill the Disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”

    I’d love to see the PC Apologists on this panel discussing that Jihad verse! I’d love to see ‘em squirming in their seats as they endeavor, in the face of all evidence, to keep proclaiming “Islam is peace.”

  60. SL Says:

    Qur’an 9:5 – “Fight and kill the Disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”

    I’d love to see the PC Apologists on this panel discussing that Jihad verse! I’d love to see ‘em squirming in their seats as they endeavor, in the face of all contrary evidence, to keep proclaiming “Islam is peace.”

    • svend Says:

      @SL
      I usually ignore this kind of know-nothing heckling, but I’ll make an exception since it’s relevant to the broader discussion. This bigoted rant–which is methodologically if not stylistically in keeping with Spencer’s selective and instinctively adversarial style of interpreting Islam–completely wrenches a verse out of context to support your prejudices. There’s a long list of problems with this reading, but the simplistic one is that it refers to the Medinan polytheists with whom the Muslims already were at war. The Quran does not teach pure pacificism, it is true, but it by no means encourages war, making it clear that war should be fought in self-defense and that even then it had to abide by strict rules of conduct. (Have Muslims always only fought defensive wars? Of course not. Welcome to the club.)

      For a serious analysis of this woefully misunderstood topic–and one that, it must be pointed out, reminds one how simplistic and tenditious Mr. Spencer’s commentary on Islam and Muslims often is–see “Islam, Quranic” in the Encyclopedia of War and Religion by Gabriel Palmer-Fernandez. You can currently read much of it on Google Books at http://tinyurl.com/l3e9lt

  61. tarals Says:

    To be honest, I am not sure what will alleviate our concerns. However, I am sure that we have the right to express our concerns and our views.
    We do have a fundamental disagreement with Mr. Spencer regarding his views on Islam. I can only hope that there will be respectful and cordial dialogue at the panel.

  62. Ali Says:

    Dear Mr. Spencer:
    I would fight days and nights for you to express your views. These views however should be based on facts. What you are doing is you are not practicing your freedom of speech, but rather your own tactics of how to insult others. You insult me when you insult Islam as Islam is my own say cultural rather than religious background. Can you be sensitive to other peoples’ culture? Is sensitivity part of your culture or even your scholarship? Please express your views based on fact without insulting others that is my goal of the litter.

  63. svend Says:

    I see that the Muslim-bashers are out in force, letting all their hate and bite-sized ideas hang out.

    Love his work or loath it, there’s no question that Spenser is highly partisan and confrontational. As the original post rightly points out, even a quick perusal of his CV shows that he is anything a voice of dialogue, much less a credible commentator on Islamophobia (unless I missed the memo that this event was a how-to workshop).

    Quite to the contrary, a closer examination of his writings reveals an unmistakable pattern of *rationalizing* rather than critiquing prejudice, as much of his output is geared towards explaining why all the insulting and dehumanizing generalizations we rightfully find objectionable normally are, in the unique case of Islam and Muslims, completely justified by “the facts.”

    Now, perhaps you agree with him and think we Muslims are the root of all evil. Even if you are right, that doesn’t change how self-evidently unsuitable someone with his political baggage and deliberately confrontational message is for a forum commited to reducing fear and conflict between Muslim and non-Muslim.

    What’s next, demanding that a roundtable on defending abortion rights give a platform to somebody from Operation Rescue? This is common sense and basic professionalism. So spare us the histrionics and charges of political correctness. Whatever role he has to play, it sure ain’t there. Were this an equally virolent critic of another, less widely vilified community, such a petition wouldn’t even be controversial.

  64. svend Says:

    Oops, make that “virulent.”

  65. svend Says:

    And “Spencer”. Sigh.

  66. Kamala Says:

    tarals writes:

    “To be honest, I am not sure what will alleviate our concerns.”

    It seems strange to go to the trouble to write a letter that expresses “concerns” without any conception of how those concerns might be alleviated.

    Would your concerns be alleviated if Spencer were disinvited from the panel?

  67. SL Says:

    To Ali, Mohammedan.

    No one has to be “sensitive” to others’ cultures. Especially when that “culture,” calls for mass-murder of all other cultures, as Islam does. No, we don’t have to be “sensitive” to Nazis.

    You’re “insulted?” SO WHAT! BE INSULTED! THAT’S CALLED “FREEDOM OF SPEECH!” Barbaric Islam, of course, has no free speech, which includes insults.

    “Crybaby complaining whining self-pitying boo-hoo poor us” Muslims!

    Islam deserves to be insulted. Your false “prophet” Mass-Murder Warlord deserves to be insulted, “allah” your non-existent pagan moon god deserves to be insulted, and your unholy text, the “Mein Qurampf” deserves to be insulted.

    Bravo Danish “Muhammed Cartoons,” Bravo “Muhammed Bear,” and Bravo ANY individual who insults your 7th century AD Mass-Murder political ideology called “Islam.” INSULT AWAY, PEOPLE! THAT’S CALLED FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

    “Lo! Allah hath bought from the Believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain.” — Qur’an 9:111

    Without doubt, that mass-murder command from “allah,” (Mohamet) your non-existent pagan moon god, DESERVES to be insulted. It’s what’s responsible for 3,000 Americans being mass-murdered on September 11, 2001. And is responsible for all other Islamic Terrorist attacks, the most recent being Mumbai. You mass-murderers.

    Apologize for 9/11, you creep. Mohammedan creep. Islam DESERVES to be insulted, just as Fascism and Nazism DESERVE to be insulted.

    “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.’”

    “When judgment day arrives, Allah will give every Muslim a Jew or Christian to kill, so that the Muslim will not enter into hell fire.”

    The above statements in the Hadiths by Mass-Murderer false “prophet” (lol) Warlord Mohamet DESERVE insult. Islam DESERVES to be insulted.

  68. SL Says:

    “I see that the Muslim-bashers are out in force, letting all their hate and bite-sized ideas hang out.” — svend, Mohammedan

    Great! Islam and it’s followers DESERVE to be “bashed.” Bravo.

    BTW, svend, it’s Islam that is “hate,” just as Fascism and Nazism are “hate.” So sorry you’re a Hater, but that’s what followers of Islam are, as that’s what your ideology commands.

    Hope you’re living in an Islamic country, because if you aren’t you’re a total hypocrite. Living in the West, are you? LOL! Gee, I wonder why! Why aren’t you living in Yemen? lol

  69. SL Says:

    “Would your concerns be alleviated if Spencer were disinvited from the panel?” — Kamala to tarals

    Oh, yes. Because then the PC Apologist Panelists wouldn’t have to deal with Truth. They could all just congratulate themselves in Dissembling (lying) La-La Land.

  70. awake Says:

    svend wrote:

    “Now, perhaps you agree with him and think we Muslims are the root of all evil.”

    Straw-man argument. Spencer has never stated nor has he espoused that sentiment Why do so many Muslims and Islamic apologists engage in straw-man arguments? Do you not have a substantive defense of islam without them?

    Ali wrote:

    “I would fight days and nights for you to express your views. These views however should be based on facts. What you are doing is you are not practicing your freedom of speech, but rather your own tactics of how to insult others.”

    Again, a baseless assertion. We are told to believe that Spencer is factually wrong without a specific example of a provided factual misstep by him and solely because Ali says so. This level of argument is abyssmal.

    Ali then goes on further to take the argument to new depths by castigating Spencer, whose positions on Islam are perceived by Ali as insensitive and insulting, as if Ali’s perception and feelings shoukld have any bearing on the presentation of an argument.

    Absurd.

    • svend Says:

      > Straw-man argument. Spencer has never stated nor has he espoused that sentiment Why do so many Muslims and Islamic apologists engage in straw-man arguments? Do you not have a substantive defense of islam without them? <

      Doesn't sound like you've read much of his work. Or perhaps you don't know enough about Islam and/or Muslims to see where he distorts the discussion (hence his credibility problem among scholars in the field). Or perhaps you don't like to read between the lines.

      Whatever the explanation, the subtext I refer to is pronounced and recurring. He may not openly spout bigotry, but his writings, tone, selective treatment, and choice of topics lay the groundwork for others to sound "objective" when they do it. A Muslim who wrote like him about Islam or Christianity would rightly be viewed a inappropriate for interfaith dialogue (sadly, some do).

      But, again, there's nothing wrong with that, right? Muslims are the enemy, so why not throw everything including the kitchen sink at 'em?

  71. SL Says:

    Islamic law requires that those found guilty of blasphemy be put to death.

    “When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed.” (Ahmed ibn Naqib al-Misri, Reliance of the Traveller ['Umdat al-Salik]: A Classical Manuel of Islamic Sacred Law, translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller. Amana Publications, 2008, o8.1)

    Among the the forms of apostasy mentioned: “to revile Allah or His messenger” and “to revile the religion of Islam” (o8.7).

    WOW! Isn’t Islam great? If an individual decides to leave it – he/she gets killed! That’s the law! Islamic law! Because as the Warlord false “prophet” said, “Who leaves his Islamic faith, kill him.” – Hadiths.

    WOW! Isn’t Islam great? So tolerant! Apostates better be on guard, because your fellow Mohammedans will kill you! No wonder all apostates from Islam have “fatwas” on their heads. Barbarism. 7th century AD Barbarism.

  72. SL Says:

    Crybaby Mohammedans – “Stop it! You hurt my feelings! Whaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!”

    Insult away, people. Adults can deal with it.

  73. SL Says:

    Islamic Tolerance Alert. Here is Qur’an 9:29 in action:

    “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

    Hey you PC non-Muslims on the panel – that’s you! You ready to pay the Jizya tax to Mohammedans, just for being a non-Mohammedan? You feel yourselves “subdued” by your Mohammedan Masters? ‘Cause the Mohammedans are ordered by “allah” to “fight” you until you do!

    Hey – why don’t you discuss the above 9:29 verse on your panel? Well???? Why don’t you????

  74. SL Says:

    Hey svend – thanks for your insults! But, you are the “know-nothing.”

    What do you mean by the “Medinan polytheists?” Oh, I know, you mean Christians.

    However, Christians are not polytheists. In fact, Christians worship the ONE GOD, THE LIVING GOD, JESUS. Of course you wouldn’t have any idea of that since you worship a pagan idol! A basalt pagan idol with a crescent moon carved in it’s widdle chest! LOL! Tell me, what’s it like to bang your head 5 times a day to something that doesn’t exist? How’s your repulsive zebibah doing? Gross.

    So brainwashed. You’re totally brainwashed. Poor svend – but, living in the West, are you? Why aren’t you living in a Muslim cesspool? I mean, you worship your pagan idol, so why aren’t you living in pagan-idol land? I’d like you to explain that, idol-worshipper.

    • svend Says:

      Correction: I meant to write “Meccan polytheists.”

      By which I meant the Meccan polytheists, who tried to wipe out the early Muslims.

      There were no Christians in Mecca, and Medina was a largely Jewish settlement.

  75. SL Says:

    The battle cry of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah that night was: “Kill! Kill! Kill!”
    — the sacralized History Tabari 8:141

    Hey PC Panelists – why don’t you discuss the above? Never heard of it? Gee, why am I not surprised! You total know-nothings about Islam.

    Oh wow, Mohamet – he was so peaceful! Just look at that “Kill! Kill! Kill!” command up above – the Warlord was so peaceful!!!

    Jesus, of course, NEVER issued such a command about anyone (read the NT). But, Jesus is God, and Mohamet/allah is satan. And there’s the colossal, gigantic, enormous, difference between Christianity and ….islam.

  76. SL Says:

    “Retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.” However, “not subject to retaliation” is “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.” (‘Umdat al-Salik o1.1-2.)

    In other words, someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law.

    Oh looky – “Honor Killings” are A-OK in Islamic law! Hey ya PC Panelists – why don’t you discuss the above, you know-nothings about Islam. Well, why don’t you???

  77. SL Says:

    Mohammed said, “There is no migration after the Conquest of Mecca, but only Jihad. When you are called by the Muslim ruler for Jihad fighting, you should go forth immediately, responding to the call.”
    — Mo calling for Moslems to respond to the Jihad call in Bukhari Vol 4 Bk 52 No 311

    Be ready for another 9/11 people, because it will come. Mo has commanded it! And what will you say, you PC MoonBats, if you or your family or relatives or friends or co-workers are victims of it? Oh, you’ll just still be defending the Barbarians and their barbaric mass-murder ideology, right? I have a suggestion: Why don’t you people just move to that paradise called Yemen? Or, any Mohammedan country? Enjoy yourselves feeling “subdued” and paying the jizya tax because you don’t worship a pagan moon idol.

    Oh, excuse me, I guess all of what I’ve posted are “taken out of context!” LOL! Of course you PC MoonBats buy into that “al-Taqiyya” excuse by the Mohammedans. Don’t know what “al-Taqiyya” is? Look it up.

  78. SL Says:

    Re: “allah” for the know-nothing PC Panelists:

    Allah was the Arabian Moon god, he was married to the Sun goddess, they have three daughters. Mohamed did his best to morph Allah into the God of the Jews and Christians. He “divorced” the god and goddess, and made the daughters “go away.”

    Allah was never and never will be the same God of the Christians and Jews, no matter what Muslims claim. They are different deities.

    The Arabian Pagans named their god, and he wasn’t a co-opt of the local Jews and Christians. He had a set of rituals particular to him, these were not the same rituals of Yahweh. The deities have different personalities.

    No faith should equate allah and Yahweh, they are not interchangeable deities. It is time to start calling allah who he really is…the Pagan Arabian Moon god. This should remove all confusion for Muslims and Christians.

    Read the Qur’an. There are NO similarities between allah and Yahweh/Jesus. NONE. DO YOU GET THAT? NONE. No, we don’t worship “the same God.” That is a total lie, propaganda from the Mohammedans, who want you to think Islam is morally equivalent to Judaism and Christianity. It is not. Indeed, it is the opposite.

  79. Amy Soldier Says:

    Next they’ll want laws observing their rituals, rituals that are supposed to transmit some kind of goofy respect for the Creator:

    Future generations in the West will curse the spineless, gutless nature of today’s leaders for allowing this nonsense to take root.

  80. Amy Soldier Says:

    Wondering if Stella and Kristin have become more familiar with the situation, enough to reply with their thoughts?

  81. awake Says:

    SL,

    You have a pertinent message, based in vital facts that should be revealed, but you undo it’s fervor with your proselytizing and your vitriolic invective.

    Stay on point please. The issue here is the open letter itself by those who would like to portray themselves as bastions of free discourse through civility, while simultaneously, and disingenuously, calling for the banning of Robert Spencer from this panel.

    Help his cause, don’t derail it, again, please. No adversarial commenters are even responding to you at this point. The whole purpose of this thread is to call out those who have tried to rationalize and marginalize Spencer. Focus, please.

  82. John C. Barile Says:

    Robert Spencer, director of jihadwatch.org, is a serious, respectable author, observer, and commentator; possessing integrity, principle, and wit. As a critic of ossified Islam in its unreformed expression, he is passionate but reasonably objective. He is a popularizer of information and ideas, yet not a self-aggrandizing sensationalist.

    His is a valuable perspective on the collision of Islamic orthodoxies with modernity; a perspective to be weighed and considered, but not to be ignored nor shouted down.

    • svend Says:

      I find the notion that Spencer is merely a critic of “ossified Islam” quite curious given how hard he works to delegitimize contemporary reformers as being out of sync with authentic traditional Islam.

      As always, the devil is in the details. First of all, his selective and tendentious presentation of Islamic doctrine and tradition is recognizable to neither traditional Muslim scholars nor Muslim reformers or liberals, so the idea that he is just a chronicler of Islamic tradition is untenable. No one outside his Muslim-bashing circles recognizes this “Islam” that he deconstructs over and over. He’s a highly partisan critic, and one that most his supposed colleagues in academia ignore.

      Second and more importantly, his message–diplomatically articulated though it may be–boils down to a categorical (and utterly unproven) claim that even when one takes them in their historical context Islamic tradition, the essential message of the Quran and Muhammad’s career are inherently and irremediably opposed to modern values, Judeo-Christian values, etc. etc. What that translates to on the ground in the real world is the simple, dehumanizing principle that a good, civilized Muslim is either 1) an ex-Muslim or 2) a hopelessly inconsistent one who that rejects his faith’s most core beliefs and values.

      Now, imagine an evenhanded, respectable scholar arguing that traditional Christianity is inherently illogical, contrary to modern values, and ultimately dangerous while grandly conceding that there that “modern Christianity” was a whole different matter. Imagine if he then defined “modern Christianity” as *necessarily* rejecting the Trinity, Christ’s resurrection, the Afterlife and perhaps even the historicity of Christ himself.

      How meaningful would that olive branch to modern Christians really be? And how could anyone ever imagine him to be a moderate commentator fit for dialogue with traditional Christians?

      I’m not threatened by Spencer or his ilk–I see them more as a political syptom than an emerging school of thought; they will go the way of other politically academic motivated fads of past eras–and I fully realize that there are aspects of Islam or Islamic tradition that many non-Muslims find problematic or even threatening (shoot, there are supposedly “traditional” Islamic beliefs that I reject myself) .

      But it is disingenuous in the extreme to present a polemical thinker like Spencer as some neutral observer on Muslim affairs or a recognized authority on Islam. You can’t ignore scholarly standards and go for the jugular but then expect to be hailed as a dispassionate scholar. Nor can you make a living attacking a community and then pass yourself off as one of its well wishers. Sorry, he can’t have that cake and eat it, too.

      Some aspects of Islamic orthodoxies (which I agree need to be discussed in the plural) are indeed in conflict with modernity (singular?)–a state of affairs that is not unique to Islam–but there are frankly many schlolars doing far more penetrating and evenhanded work than Spencer, some of them Muslim. For every valid point he makes, he makes a dozen more fundamental errors.

  83. SL Says:

    Uh, excuse me, “awake,” but you really have some nerve. Who do you think you are?! Your pomposity and self-importance are risible!

    I notice that no “adversarial commenters” are responding to you at this point! However, “svend” *has* replied to me, so you’re wrong. You really have some nerve. But, for the most part, all they do anyway is spew their usual “racist/bigot/hater” claptrap, so, who cares?

    In addition, “vitriolic invective” is a huge exaggeration. I will comment any way I see fit, thank you. Indeed, I believe that the PC Apologists should hear someone passionately speaking out against the threat of Islam to the West, for as a comment above states, “Future generations in the West will curse the spineless, gutless nature of today’s leaders for allowing this nonsense to take root.” Exactly.

    I and my comments have nothing whatsoever to do with “derailing” Spencer from this panel. That’s already been put into the works – if these people choose to ban Spencer, that’s their decision. However, as is clearly stated in the letter – “While we are not advocating censorship or the removal of Mr. Spencer from the panel” – they’re not asking for his “removal,” so, this remark of yours – “calling for the banning of Robert Spencer from this panel” is completely false. Why don’t you re-read the letter and “focus” on that sentence?

    Do not comment to me again. Rather, you should try and stay on point about Freedom of Speech issues, and how Muslims and their Apologists are seeking to muzzle and silence Free Speech about Islam in America. As this letter clearly illustrates.

  84. awake Says:

    SL wrote:

    “However, as is clearly stated in the letter – “While we are not advocating censorship or the removal of Mr. Spencer from the panel” – they’re not asking for his “removal,” so, this remark of yours – “calling for the banning of Robert Spencer from this panel” is completely false. Why don’t you re-read the letter and “focus” on that sentence?”

    I did read it, and I also read Spencer’s reply and additional comments by Kamala calling out the author, I just didn’t fall for it like you apparently did.

    Sl wrote:

    “Rather, you should try and stay on point about Freedom of Speech issues, and how Muslims and their Apologists are seeking to muzzle and silence Free Speech about Islam in America. As this letter clearly illustrates.”

    I agree wholeheartedly, and have focused on that very point in every single comment I have posted on this thread. So it seems that my call for you to focus on the core issue here, the suppression of free speech, prompted a response by you in kind to accuse me of failing to do the very same. Interesting, yet baseless, since that is all I commented about, leaving the “Arabian moon god”, “Mohammedan creep”, and other peripheral insults all to you.

    Knowing who you are, and knowing that you have never been able to accept any criticism whatsoever, I expected nothing less than the response that you offered.

    It needed to be said, nonetheless.

  85. SL Says:

    “Knowing who you are, and knowing that you have never been able to accept any criticism whatsoever, I expected nothing less than the response that you offered.”

    Whaaat?! You don’t know me! How dare you! Your pomposity just knows no bounds, does it? Mr. or Ms. awake – you need to spend some time in a mental health facility. I believe you must be afflicted with narcissistic personality disorder. Again, who the hell do you think you are?

    It needs to be said – you are a jerk. Certified, and certifiable.

    Now, any way you can stop harassing me? Or, you just can’t control yourself? Ironically, you’re a more dangerous “silencer” of others than the Muslims and Muslim Apologists on this panel. So, take your absurd and insulting comments to me, and, you know.

    What a jerk.

    Now, back to the topic: Other perspectives should be permitted on this panel besides the politically correct ones. That’s the American way. End of story. (My “p” alliteration above – unintentional!).

    Do not comment to me again, pompous jerk.

  86. awake Says:

    “Do not comment to me again, pompous jerk.”

    You have no power here, SL, regardless of whether your emotional perception believes you are entitled to for some odd reason.

    “Now, any way you can stop harassing me?”

    Typical. You can say anything you like without restraint, under the banner of “passionately” expressing your opinion under freedom of speech, but any critical remarks directed at you are tantamount to harassment, and based solely on your perception, are unfair and should cease.

    Your hypocrisy and your subscription to the liberal double-standard rationalization you wrote above validates you as a most useful idiot to the very same group of people who are “expressing their concerns” about Spencer’s inclusion on this panel.

  87. Amy Soldier Says:

    I suppose if enough of these discussions take place eventually the perspective of Islam dogmas and rituals in relation to understanding and perceiving the true nature of a Creator will unfold, and, to render said dogmas and rituals to obsolescence. A rationality of understanding will develop in the minds of the masses towards what the Creator is and is not and similar to the Mayan and Incan religions demise over the last centuries, the dinosaur of Islam will grow irrelevant and tired in the minds of the masses and eventually to lay itself down to sleep, never to awaken. Imagine, for instance, the thoughts which in the past caused a father to murder a daughter will someday never, ever (as in forever) form again in another human being.

    Talk is slow, too. Too much damage and very little good from Islam, IMHO.

    The Qur’an does not transmit the thoughts, will, or intentions of the Creator to us, Its human creation. It’s the jugular … . So the question is, how to erase this perceived legitimacy of the words and thoughts generated by the Qur’an? Robert Spencer et al., probably don’t want to go here.

  88. John C. Barile Says:

    I am glad that there is a prevailing desire to achieve balance on this ALA panel discussion. The rub comes in trying to achieve it. Let Robert Spencer speak freely in an atmosphere of give-and-take. We will all be enriched, then.

  89. SL Says:

    You’re nuts, “awake.” Fixated and obsessed. That you continue to respond to me indicates just what a sick puppy you are. OK, well, apparently no use in asserting that you cease and desist in your wierd personal vendetta against me, so just keep looking the fool. It’s quite amusing.

    Back to the Topic:

    “To the Appeasers, that they learn to see clearly”

    “No man survives when freedom fails;
    the best men rot in filthy jails.
    And those who cry “Appease, appease!”
    are hanged by those they tried to please.”

    – Horace Mann

    A much more intelligent and perspicacious individual than you Apologists. Learn from him.

  90. awake Says:

    Amy Soldier wrote:

    “The Qur’an does not transmit the thoughts, will, or intentions of the Creator to us, Its human creation. It’s the jugular … . So the question is, how to erase this perceived legitimacy of the words and thoughts generated by the Qur’an? Robert Spencer et al., probably don’t want to go here.”

    I agree on the former, but I do not believe that Spencer is reluctant to provide a solution out of some internal fear or reluctance. Quite simply, it is not his current goal for the ruling ruse of the day is that Islam is peace and that is the intent of the panel of intended Muslim and Islam apologists alike, the continued obfuscation of Islam’s central tenets.

    The education of Islam as it existed historically and as is directed and practiced today is the current task of Robert Spencer and the fact that his statements portray the truth of the meaning and context of the words in the canonical Islamic texts, most importantly, as decreed by Islamic scholars themselves, is why he is so feared.

    Everyone should realize that if Spencer did not have his foundational representation of Islam as factually correct that Muslims and Islam apologists alike would line up to have at Spencer and turn him into their useful idiot. What we see, as here on this pleading letter, is the exact contrary.

  91. Amy Soldier Says:

    awake, I understand more or less the tact and strategy Mr. Spencer is taking to bring Islam to the public. He’s spot on with his arguments. His reasoning will bring many to understanding of the history and teachings of Islam. Yet I’m somehow of the notion he is legitimizing Islam by not acknowledging, much less not focusing on the absurdity of Quranic inspiration. Perhaps because to tackle the subject of legitimacy isn’t clear, he does not do so. He seems to have his hands full with his present …? approach.

    This link the Qur’an has in the peoples minds, that the words and thoughts are from the Creator, seems like such an easy thing to sever. I don’t know how to go about implementing this sense to a practical course of events, either. For now, I’ll leave the thought as is.

  92. awake Says:

    Discrediting the founder of Islam, Muhammad, is paramount in this struggle. To the sentient, it seems quite easy to do so based on Muhammmad’s rationalizations to justify his abhorrent historical behavior, but this is also the allure that Muslim males hold onto so dearly. Basically, emulating their prophet and acting in a selfish, intolerant, misogynistic way puts Muslim males in good standing with their god.

    The only two questions non-muslims need to understand and answer are:

    What is the distinguishing element of Islam as compared to the other two Abrahamic faiths that Islam claims to be an historical successor to?

    What are the implications for non-muslims due to this distinction?

    Once those first two questions are answered, the logical reality that this struggle will continue in all liklihood, ad infinitum, becomes all too clear.

    • svend Says:

      > Discrediting the founder of Islam, Muhammad, is paramount in this struggle.

      Spoken like a true follower of the Spencerian “school”.

      Politics by other means. Not unlike Spencer’s work.

  93. awake Says:

    Well, svend, I would hardly expect Muslims to abandon Islam for no reason at all. If the founder is discredited, the foundation logically crumbles soon afterwards.

    • svend Says:

      That’s sensible enough. What is not, however, is your expectation that a writer pursuing such a jingoistic intellectual project be taken as an evenhanded observer of the people whose faith he is attacking so zealously.

  94. John C. Barile Says:

    I’m flattered that you respond to me, Svend.

    In a scholarly context, my friend, Mr. Spencer is obligated to be scholarly. He must present his message–not to be confused with The Message; though I, for one, am prepared to profess him as a prophet, if not The Prophet–in, as you say, “diplomatically articulated” fashion. It falls to him to rise to this challenge. It then falls to us–immediate listeners and broader audience–to winnow out his valid points from “fundamental errors”; falls to us to deconstruct this deconstuction you speak of; to detect any dissembling on the part of the panelists.

    Svend, “respectable” scholars can, and do, argue “that traditional Christianity is inherently illogical, contrary to modern values, and ultimately dangerous while grandly conceding” thus-and-so. The same standard should hold, should apply to the theory and practice of your deen, especially where and when that creed intersects with and engages the world.

    I congratulate you, Svend–you are, by your own admission, a rather heteodox Muslim believer.

    • John C. Barile Says:

      Correction: “. . . A rather heterodox Muslim believer.”

    • svend Says:

      Happy to be of service.

      There’s a time for controversy and no-holds-barred debate, but a forum aimed at bringing people together doesn’t seem like one to me. But then a lot of people today don’t think that Muslims deserve the same rights or common courtesies as others.

      There are scholars of Christianity who hold views most Christians would find radical, yes, but I don’t see many recognized scholars endeavoring to tear down the whole edifice of traditional Christian faith on multiple fronts in a la Spencer, much less simutaneously delegitimizing attempts by modern Christians to reinterpret their faith in a way that does not repudiate its most basic premises. Quite to the contrary, such revisionist scholars of Christianity tend to be quite sympathetic and supportive of new, more “liberal” interpretations of Christian teachings, even if they perhaps do not find them textually convincing. Not only don’t they feel the need to discredit them, they are happy to lend them their support as an alternative to the traditional discourses they find so wanting.

      And just how many of the few (if any) academic projects against Christianity comparable in scope or tone to Spencer’s attacks on Islam are being waged by people with no background–whether religious or just cultural–in Christianity? How many are complete outsiders to Christianity? How many of those respected mainstream scholars in the academy known for going at both traditional Christianity and new interpretations of Christianity with a crow bar are Muslims?

      Apples and oranges. You refer to a very different phenomenon, one with vastly different political and cultural implications.

      There are things I’m atypical on, but in the scheme of things I’m not particularly heterodox. My point was that, like many contemporary Muslims, I don’t uncritically accept everything that is found in Islamic tradition.

  95. John C. Barile Says:

    Correction–” . . . heterodox Muslim believer.”

  96. John C. Barile Says:

    Friend,

    These issues transcend–even if they are not wholely detached from–politics.

  97. SL Says:

    Just look at this vile post on JW by “IndianTiger.” Filled with “vitriolic invective.” And there’s sooooo many more like them.

    “Remember, we “weak” Hindus kicked your filthy muslim ass in every war brought to us. Your foul-mouthed, bravado-filled General Niazi had to eat his own crap after proclaiming “one muslim soldier is equal to ten Hindu soldiers”. This “weak” Hindu is perfectly capable of mauling you if you want to try.”

    Gotta love that “vitriolic invective,” eh?!

    And, you’re a creep, “awake.” What more needs to be said?

    Back on Topic, here’s some info on Islamic Stoning, PC Apologists, should the subject come up:

    “Stoning has everything to do with Islam and Islamic law.

    Islamic law does indeed mandate stoning for adultery. ‘Umdat al-Salik, a manual of Islamic law endorsed by Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the most influential institution in the world of Sunni Islam, says this about the penalty for adultery:

    If the offender is someone with the capacity to remain chaste, then he or she is stoned to death…, someone with the capacity to remain chaste meaning anyone who has had sexual intercourse at least once with their spouse in a valid marriage, and is free, of age, and sane….
    If the penalty is stoning, the offender is stoned even in severe heat or cold, and even if she has an illness from which she is expected to recover. A pregnant woman is not stoned until she gives birth and the child can suffice with the milk of another. (‘Umdat al-Salik o12.2, o12.6)”

    Mohammedans are the only people that Stone others in the 21st century. What say you, Apologists? Going to defend the practice?

  98. John C. Barile Says:

    Svend,

    I dispute your contention that Robert Spencer “works to delegitimize contemporary reformers as being out of sync with authentic traditional Islam.” I hardly believe that he sets himself up as Caliph, the Leader of the Faithful–your faithful, that is, rather than of us kuffar. But I am content to let Mr. Spencer himself refute oft-spoken notions such as yours.

    • svend Says:

      It’s quite simple. The Muslims who demonstrate tolerance, openness to new ideas and a willingness to engage with modernity get categorized by him as anomalous if not inauthentic, exceptions that make the rule as opposed to the signs of diversity and/or change they consider themselves to be. The only Muslims who make pass traditional theological muster in the worldview of Spencer and his ilk are the jihadis whose interpretation of Islam is cartoonish and woefully impoverished intellectually. Which seems strangely fitting in some ways.

  99. John C. Barile Says:

    I do not wish to be snarky, however I might come across as so; I just wish to win an audience for a particular panelist with whom I am familiar and connect with. We may propose hypothetical members of an ideal panel, if such may be found and seated; however, we must work with the tools we have at hand in the present circumstance.

  100. SL Says:

    And just look at this posted by “Mangoicious” on JW. Just look at that “vitriolic invective!” “awake” – you should be horrified! Just look at those insults!

    “Sick barbarian bastards.. truly the scum of humanity. Is there anything lower than a Palestinian official at this point? I mean.. there does need to be a new sub-species of humans just for these people.”

    Uh Huh. And *many* more quite similar or even worse.

  101. awake Says:

    Svend,

    It is not a stretch for a Christian, Spencer, to view other religions as less credible. That’s the way faith and belief works in general. If Muslims found another faith they deemed as more credible, they would logically cease to remain Muslims, assuming they disregard the specific caveat for apostasy contained within Islam exclusively, of course.

    When Spencer penned “the Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion”, he wrote it as a warning for all non-Muslims about the inherent intolerance against believers of all other faiths which is mandated in the doctrinal teachings of Islam, not as a means of proselytization of all members of other faiths to embrace Christianity. He does not call out Jews, Hindus, Buddhists or even atheists for that matter.

    That particular novel was strongly supported by references from Islamic texts, the tafsir of respected interpreters like Ibn Kathir and the words and actions of those prominent Islamic scholars who shape the ideology of Islam today.

    Spencer’s only concern about Islam is the intolerant, supremist sentiment contained within and with the Muslims that put forth those tenets as divine mandates to be observed for all times, regardless of their attempted whitewash to obfuscate the fact that these core tenets actually exist within Islam. If Islam really was a faith based on mutual respect and a live and let live mentality, Spencer would cease to exist as the relevant commentator on Islam that he is today.

    SL wrote (in between more childish ad-hominems):

    “Just look at this vile post on JW by “IndianTiger.” Filled with “vitriolic invective.” And there’s sooooo many more like them.”

    Why don’t you do Spencer a favor and alert him to these comments? Without even reading it, it seems an emotive response by “Indian Tiger” to another commenter on the thread, but I could be wrong. It is one thing to respond to ad hominems, while initiating them is a whole other matter.

    You would think by now, with your history of commenting at JW that would have better refined your written arguments and let your substantive knowledge of Islam outweigh the crass insults contained within your writing.

    Do you ever see Robert Spencer express himself like you do?

    Just wondering.

  102. SL Says:

    “Crass insults?” They’re all over the place on JW as I have seen on occasion by many different people commenting. I have never commented on JW. You have me confused with someone else. So, stop with this “you know me” BS.

    However, *you* started with the “vitriolic invective.” So, I went to JW and indeed saw many examples of that, 2 of which I posted here. I could have posted more, but, you get the idea. Just stop being a hypocrite when the JW comments are filled with crass insults and vitriolic invective. Which is fine – it’s called Freedom of Speech. Insults and invective are protected by the First Amendment. Muslims would like to see the 1st Amendment done away with concerning Islam. Apparently, the ALA feels that way, too. Insults, mockery, and ridicule of ANYTHING must be preserved as our right, or we will have no more free speech:

    “What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it doesn’t exist.” – Sir Salman Rushdie

    Now, I hope hope hope I won’t hear from you again, “awake.” Please don’t disappoint me.

    *

    Chew on this, ALA:

    “One day, millions of men will leave the Southern Hemisphere to go to the Northern Hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory.”

    – Houari (Mohamed) Boumedienne, President of Algeria, 1965 – 1978, in a 1974 speech at the UN

    Guess what? The “one day” has come. This is happening right now in Western Europe, excuse me, Eurabia. Would you like the same thing to happen in America? Think about it. It’s called “Demographics.”

  103. awake Says:

    SL,

    You are the continuous unhelpful gift to Robert Spencer that keeps on giving on this thread it seems. Your ignorance to your continued references to regular baseless vitriol at JW only serves his enemies, the enemies of free speech and the truth.

    And contrary to your claim, I know exactly who you are.

    That being said, I will not respond to you any further here, in fact, I wouldn’t piss on you, even if you were on fire.

  104. John C. Barile Says:

    Sven,

    Those jihadis whose interpretation of Islam is cartoonish are the prime focus of Mr. Spencer’s analysis because they appeal to Islamic tradition and authority in their claims. It’s a debatable question what causal links there might be. It’s not debatable that the carnage and chaos they inflict is anything but cartoonish, or that religious ideology is a potent source of their zeal.

    • svend Says:

      Yes, and in a sense Spencer is their biggest supporter and legitimizer. While mainstream Muslims condemn these ideologies as ignorant perversions of Islamic tradition, Spencer defending them, arguing that their peculiar animosities and worldview arise naturally from the Quran and Sunnah.

      That’s one possible explanation, sure, but it’s certainly not the kind of sweeping generalization one customarily associates with a serious scholar or advocate of dialogue.

      It’s a fringe position, and one that is deliberately provocative, if not intentionally insulting to boot.

      Alright, that’s it from me for the time being.

      • Kamala Says:

        Svend, would you categorize the concept of DIH (dar-al-Islam/dar-al-Harb) as a “perversion of Islamic tradition”?

  105. Shefah Says:

    Moses may peace be on him asked Allah to shield hime from people’s gossip and slander. Allah replied how do you expect that I grant you such privilege when I have not granted it to my self. I ask all of you to find time for meditation in hop that maybe and just maybe you will find the path of truth within your selves. I love Islam. I am a Muslim that is awaiting the return of Christ may peace be on him so we can all be saved from the antichrist. Peace to All

  106. bill davit Says:

    An interesting view: why is it always an issue merely being able to have a discussion on Islam? To answer this I think we all need to take a step back and look at the foundations of each other’s respective civilizations. Western civilization is built on the cornerstones of early Hellinistic and Greek thought. Critical thinking and the push to discover the unknown are central to those schools. Islamic society on the other hand is based on a religion that clearly states it cannot be changed and openly states it cannot be questioned. Further complicating the issue was Al Ghazali essential shutting the gates itijihad(spelling?) which in effect ended any independent interpretation of Islamic scripture. Al Ghazali even condemned Greek thought as heretical viewing it as a threat. Thus the basic problem is one side expects questions and the ability to freely ask them while the other does not. The other side expects to “tell” us this mandate or message but it cannot be questioned. It just is because it is the word of God. To question it is blasphemy. A cultural example is to compare the educational systems in the West vs the Arab world. One is very open encouraging questions while the other is largely rote based learning discouraging being questioned. So maybe before we can tackle the issues we need to realize there is a disconnect from a cultural standpoint. So the question is how to effectively communicate when one side expects open questions while the other inherently wants to limit them?

    • svend Says:

      Sure, there are cultural differences and religious sensibilities that complicate things (though Westerners have hardly transcended these instincts; it’s just that the loci of the sacred have shifted, as anyone who tries to burn a flag on an American street is likely to discover), but there is no reason to take what is at its base a familiar and unremarkable type of political dispute (imagine if NOI’s infamous Minister Khaleel Muhammad were scheduled to speak at a Jewish-Black dialog).

      If you want to understand Muslims, try the Golden Rule. Analyze them with the nuance and complexity you instinctively employ with people from your own background. Don’t reduce them to simple categories.

      Incidentally, a kindred aversion (or perhaps inability) to examine Muslim difference through the prism of the social sciences is arguably the most fatal flaw of Spencer’s analysis, and why it is so lacking from a scholarly standpoint. Like many with ax to grind against Muslims, he prefers to keep his analysis ever floating in the ether of texts and doctrines, as if Muslims were purely theological creatures. This is very convenient for sidestepping inconvenient truths and complexities about real life, but real scholars stopped indulging in such essentializing, 19th century-style claptrap a generation or more ago.

  107. awake Says:

    Svend wrote:

    “Yes, and in a sense, Spencer is their biggest supporter and legitimizerm”

    Utter nonsense.

    Spencer reports on actions perpetrated by Muslims who, in their own words, reference Islam as their impetus, while Spencer reveals the doctrinal sources and interpretatrions that support those references, and HE Is somehow the problem with Islam?

    Are we to believe that if Spencer would simply cease his current actions, that all these issues would simply disappear?

    Arguing whether the jihadist’s position is fringe or not is not valuable when even 10 percent of the pool can total in the hundreds of millions worldwide.

    You did at least acknowledge the correlation between the “terrorists” and Islam, so that is a start, and one I might add is more than most, if not all self-professed Muslim reformists have to date, refused to do.

    It kind’a makes you wonder at that point, what they are actually reforming, no?

    To me it sounds like an effort to reform non-Muslims “negative stereotype” views about Islam, rather than acknowledge that these stereotypes might have any validity at all in connection to Islam.

  108. SL Says:

    You started it. You.

    No, you don’t.

    Concerning your last sentence, I would expect a vicious, depraved, malicious, and evil comment like that from you. And you accuse me of “crass insults and vitriolic invective!” Talk about hypocrisy! Not to mention – you probably think of yourself as a Christian. That’s hilarious. Judging from your final sentence, you’re spawn of satan. Funny how the most self-righteous people turn out to be the most morally depraved.

    Now, crawl back under your rock, sycophant and sociopath.

    Great! Thrilled I won’t be hearing from you again! Words can’t describe.

  109. svend Says:

    Incidentally, it’s not just Muslims or traditional academics who decry Spencer’s dubious scholarship and lacking objectivity. It’s even caught the eye of media observers.

    Take a look at media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) report, “Smearcasters: How Islamophobes spread fear, bigotry and misinformation” http://www.smearcasting.com/smear_spencer.html

    There’s no question that Spencer’s endless attacks on Islam and Muslims have played a role in fueling the kind of irrational fear and bigotry against Muslims with the Republican Party that General Colin Powell so courageously denounced at the tail end of the 2008 presidential election.

    As FAIR’s report points out, his prejudice has even been denounced by fellow rightwing critics of Islam, such as Dinesh D’Souza and Stephen Schwartz. When an inveterate Muslim basher like Schwartz, known for shrill attacks on pretty much all mainstream Muslim groups (not to mention his trademark obsession with Saudi Arabia and Wahhabism) is moved to speak out against your rants against Islam, that’s pretty serious.

  110. awake Says:

    In a letter to the ALA, CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab wrote in part:

    “I ask you to rescind the invitation to Mr. Spencer in order to maintain the integrity of the panel and the reputation of the ALA.”

    “I understand that the ALA will argue that it is in favor of promoting diversity of opinion and that it is strongly against censorship. I fully concur with those ideals, but question if that is in fact what you are doing by abetting grotesque viewpoints that lie well outside the bounds of reason and civilized debate…one would hope that the ALA would employ some level of professional criteria to ensure the topical integrity of those whose opinions it seeks.”

    Now, terrorist front groups like CAIR are in the act. Ahmed Rehab fully concurs with the ideals of diversity of opinion….except in this case. This time Rehab and CAIR ask for Spencer to be excluded from the panel.

    From CAIR’s press release:

    “Robert Spencer, publisher of the anti-Islam Internet hate site “Jihad Watch,” is scheduled to speak July 12 on a panel, titled “Perspectives on Islam: Beyond the Stereotyping,” at the ALA annual conference in Chicago. One other panelist already withdrew in protest over Spencer’s participation.”

    Tara, is that true? Did someone already bail in protest? If so, can you tell us which cowardly, intellectual whelp that it was?

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/026884.php#respond

  111. awake Says:

    svend wrote:

    “When an inveterate Muslim basher like Schwartz, known for shrill attacks on pretty much all mainstream Muslim groups (not to mention his trademark obsession with Saudi Arabia and Wahhabism) is moved to speak out against your rants against Islam, that’s pretty serious.”

    For those who do not know, Schwartz is a Muslim. Sachwartz doesn’t subscribe to anything as non-Muslim says about Islam, unless he considers them a Wahhabi apologist.

    Svend is correct in his estimation of Schwartz, and Schwaertz and Spencer fundamentally disagree on one thing:

    Schwartz maintains that modern Sunni Wahhabism, originating in Saudi Arabia is distorting Islam currently, whereas Spencer holds that Islam already has the core Wahhabi elements as doctrinally intertwined within Islam.

    OK, it is a disagreement. Pipes and Spencer diasgree to a certain point in this area as well. Doesn’t this sound like the perfect opportunity for respectful debate? Why would Svend maintain that Spencer should be excluded from this panel?

    Here is a good exchange between Schwartz and Spencer as recorded at FPM, (one which I deem Spencer won handily):

    http://frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=10797

    Judge for yourself, but the victor in this exchange does nothing to support the exclusion of Spencer from this panel discussion.

  112. svend Says:

    Actually, on further thought D’Souza doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with Schwartz. He’s a conservative stalwart and an active apologist for Christianity (not to mention biographer of Jerry Falwell), so he’s not exactly your typical duped “dhimmi”, to use the language of the movement Spencer leads.

  113. awake Says:

    Regarding massive left-wing organization FAIR.ORG, with their list of the “Dirty Dozen” being:

    The report’s “dirty dozen” list includes talkshow hosts like Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage and Glenn Beck; activists like Michelle Malkin, Daniel Pipes and David Horowitz; and influential writers like Mark Steyn and Robert Spencer.”

    http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3626

    That is simply a list of prominent conservatives and a baseless smear against them, labeling them as Islamophobes.

    The specific Robert Spencer page that Svend refers to in the “smearcasters” report takes crtical analysis of Spencer primarily from Muslim convert Robert D. Crane, who writes at The American Muslim, an Islam apologist site that routinely denounces “extremism” and “terror”, yet never actually gets around to explaining why it is overwhelmingly Muslims today who engage in “extremism” and “terrorism” and how this is logically and statistically possible if their actions have absolutely nothing to do with Islam, as they maintain at The American Muslim.

    They do however focus quite a bit on “Islamophobia”.

    http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php

  114. awake Says:

    Regarding massive left-wing organization FAIR.ORG, with their list of the “Dirty Dozen” being:

    The report’s “dirty dozen” list includes talkshow hosts like Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage and Glenn Beck; activists like Michelle Malkin, Daniel Pipes and David Horowitz; and influential writers like Mark Steyn and Robert Spencer.”

    http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3626

    That is simply a list of prominent conservatives and a baseless smear against them, labeling them as Islamophobes.

    The specific Robert Spencer page that Svend refers to in the “smearcasters” report takes crtical analysis of Spencer primarily from Muslim convert Robert D. Crane, who writes at The American Muslim, an Islam apologist site that routinely denounces “extremism” and “terror”, yet never actually gets around to explaining why it is overwhelmingly Muslims today who engage in “extremism” and “terrorism” and how this is logically and statistically possible if their actions have absolutely nothing to do with Islam, as they maintain at The American Muslim.

    They do however focus quite a bit on “Islamophobia”.

    • svend Says:

      Yes, Crane’s a Muslim, and a very thoughtful observer, not to mention a conservative who served as an advisor to Nixon.

      Schwartz identifies himself as Muslim. I don’t know him, but I will say that I’ve rarely seen a member of a religious community who’s so indiscriminate in smearing his co-religionists with sensationalistic accusations.

      I suppose Charle Johnson of the legendary anti-Islamist (or anti-Muslim, depending on who you ask) web forum Little Green Footballs is a convert, too? He’s a founding father of the movement and he finds Spencer beyond the pale in his attacks, too.

      Again, you can agree with Spencer’s harsh analysis of everything Islamic, but trying to pass him off as mainstream by any standard other than that of a diehard Muslim-bashing fringe is patently absurd.

      There are obvious reasons why he doesn’t get the red carpet in academia. And he sure doesn’t lack for other platforms to get his message out, either.

    • svend Says:

      Ah, that putrid old, endlessly-repeated canard that Muslims haven’t/don’t speak out against terror. This politically-motivated slur has been debunked time and time again.

      Actually, The American Muslim’s own editor has indeed written against terrorism, as seen in “Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism” by Sheila Musaji http://tinyurl.com/nlopvl

      An eye-opening recent treatment from earlier this year is “So Why are Muslims not Speaking against Terrorism?” by Muhammad Omer Iqbal
      http://blog.seattlepi.com/muslimperspectives/archives/160803.asp

      Other valuable resources:

      * “Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism”
      by Sheila Musaji, Editor of The Muslim American
      http://tinyurl.com/nlopvl

      * “How American Muslims Really Responded to September 11,”
      Riad Z. Abdelkarim & Jason Erb
      http://tinyurl.com/8yjxq

      * Ali Eteraz, “The Myth of Muslim Condemnation of Terror,”
      http://www.unc.edu/~kurzman/terror.htm

      * Prof. Charles Kurzman, “Islamic Statements Against Terrorism,”
      http://www.unc.edu/~kurzman/terror.htm
      [A long list of statements from major scholars around the world. Kurzman is a noted sociologist of religion and an authority on the many shades of contemporary Islamic discourse.]

      * Al-Muhajabah’s Islamic Pages, “Muslims Condemn Terrorist Attacks,” http://www.muhajabah.com/otherscondemn.php
      [A huge list of condemnations of terrorism by Muslims, in America and around the world.]

      Pundits like Spencer, however, are never satisfied. They treat every positive statement by Muslims whom they dislike as insincere “taqiyya”, and then continue spreading the tired old myth of Muslim “silence.”

  115. John C. Barile Says:

    Let Mr. Spencer answer his detractors for himself, as he ably refutes base allegations that he is connected somehow with neo-Nazis or racists.

    The points I wish to stress are effectively stated above by Kyle F., Angel Falcon, John Simonon, Ben Wilson, and Philosophy Prof, among other posters here.

    Mr. Spencer is careful to avoid sweeping generalizations and blanket judgments about Islam in its entirety. He does show the basis, influence, and potentcy of malignant strains within Islam, and correctly shows their origin and reach. And for this, he is to be pilloried, it seems; not impanelled, not engaged.

  116. SL Says:

    “awake” -

    Due to your monstrous, madman, verbal behavior to me, and especially due to your satanic, sociopathic, evil, remark, I, my spouse, other family members, and friends (Oh, I’ve shown them all your depraved comment), will do our best to discredit by internet and by mail, your Master, his website, and his minions, such as your monstrous, pit-viper, self.

    You want an “unhelpful gift” to spencer? That’s YOU. YOU are responsible for this.

    Cordially, SL and Company

  117. awake Says:

    Svend.

    You are missing the bigger picture here.

    Schwartz calls himself a Muslim, Crane is a Muslim, Johnson has evolved into a certifiable loon being used as a tool by the likes of CAIR (which incidentally, Spencer has just written about on his blog) and the list of Muslims denouncing terror is nice and all, but where is the admission of the correlation to Islam?

    Where is the outrage of the Muslims at TAM for example, towards those heretics that are twisting and distorting their religion, or better, acting un-Islamically themselves? Why can’t a single mainstram Muslim group address the problem that is exclusive to the Muslim community as opposed to attacking those like Spencer who merely reports on it?

    I see ample attempts to dispel negative steareotypes of Islam and a whole lot of nothing in terms of eradicating the words and actions by Muslims that only embolden these stereotypes.

    Anyway, I fail to see where you made your case for the exclusion of Spencer. The group of scholars should be able to handle themselves against a single Spencer.

    • svend Says:

      I’m afraid it is you who are missing the bigger picture, judging by the simplistic way you continue to frame these issues.

      These kinds of exchanges never end and I think I can be forgiven for suspecting nothing I could ever shake would your prejudices and/or misconceptions, so I’m going to cut this short.

      1. Obviously, I’m not a fan of his, but my point about Schwartz was that he is anything but soft on Islamic extremism. To the contrary, he sees extremists around every corner in the Muslim community. Not unlike Spencer. Yet even he is outraged by Spencer’s palpable bias and substandard scholarship in his attacks on Islam.

      2. Where is your admission that Christian faith leads naturally to anti-Semitic pogroms? Oh, all that Jew-demonizing deicide stuff wasn’t really Christian even though the Church preached it for nearly 2 millenia? Now you say it’s “complicated.”

      Fine. I can accept that. I realize that religions are complex things and that they interact with the values of the time, sometimes in ways that run counter to the religion’s higher principles. I also realize that they evolve and that it’s often extremely difficult to separate culture from religion.

      Your turn.

      3. When Muslims don’t sing the tune you demand, they’re extremists. When they do say the magic words, they’re just being deceptive. Sounds like anti-Semitic images of the Jews.

      4. Like everyone else, Muslims respond to issues based on their own experiences, culture and understanding. If you’re unwilling to try to interpret those statements in their context as opposed to based on talking points dictated by outsiders, you’ll never have a clue as to what makes Muslims tick or what their actions signify.

      5. I don’t need to make the case for excluding Spencer. He’s made it for me. Whatever his other merits, it’s pretty obvious to a reasonable person not already committed to this war against Islam that someone like him doesn’t belong in a forum of this nature.

  118. Shefah Says:

    Are we defending hatred or are we defending terrorism. To be scholarly means that you are well rounded mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Moreover, to be open minded not bias and hatful. I love Islam I am a Moslem

  119. SL Says:

    John C. Barile Says:
    July 10, 2009 at 6:51 pm | Reply

    “?? God bless and keep you and your family.”

    Thank You, John C. Barile. You didn’t see what “awake,” a minion of Jihad Watch, said to me? It’s up above – here it is –

    “That being said, I will not respond to you any further here, in fact, I wouldn’t piss on you, even if you were on fire.”

    Yep, he is a representative of Jihad Watch, a “pal” of spencer’s. A Monster.

    Thank You for your very nice comment – our family appreciates it.

    People – “awake” is a Monster – I wouldn’t reply to him, a Monster, but, that’s up to you.

    Best Wishes, SL and Family/Friends

    John C. Barile – you are a wonderful human, Thank You. Very appreciated.

    • John C. Barile Says:

      I thank you and wish you the best, and be assured of my prayers. I am, to say the least, taken aback and bewildered. Let’s say no more about it; I’m taking your advice and trying to stay focused.

      • John C. Barile Says:

        PS: Because I sympathize with Robert Spencer’s right to speak on this panel–never mind our misgivings about ALA’s policy stands–and I think it fitting that he be allowed to do so–I do hope your anger against “Awake” doesn’t spill over toward Robert Spencer himself.

        All the best,

        John C.

  120. SL Says:

    John C. Barile – Thanks again.

    • John C. Barile Says:

      I feel like I’m somewhat in your place. I feel myself to be often misunderstood; I’m also unfair to myself, sometimes.

      Anyway, you are most welcome.

  121. Edgar Hiestand Says:

    As a United Methodist working with ecumenical interfaith concerns I object to the views of Robert Spencer. His message about Islam is reductionist prooftexting of his negative view of the faith from selected incidents and texts. He falsely treats Islam as monolithic and ignores the dynamic interpretation of Quran texts and ethics that have gone for centuries, and go on vigorously today, about the issues he treats.
    I do not think the American Library Association should disinvite him from the roundtable Sunday. The ALA principle is correct that it is best for wrong-headedness to be confronted by the truth. Silencing voices is a bad precedent, even, or especially when they are wrong. The truth in public forum is what frees the audience from demagogues like Spencer. I know Marcia Hermansen and Ismail Kourshanpour who are to be on the panel. They are wise persons who will have no trouble demolishing Spencer’s false innuendos.

    • svend Says:

      Thank you for the articulate and admirably succinct rundown of problems with Spencer’s treatment of Islam.

      I understand your point and respect the sentiment, but I don’t see this as a venue where such a debate would be appropriate in the first place. (Would it not be objectionable to inject a debate about the “perils” of Mexican immigration between a representative of the Texas Minute Men and Latino activists at a forum for bridge-building between Latinos and other communities?)

      Also, I find it sad that it’s so controversial to apply the same standards of professional merit and topical relevance that would be automatically assumed for comparable fora dealing with other religious and ethnic communities.

      I too have no doubt that Hermansen (whom I also know) would wipe the floor with Spencer in a real scholarly debate, but the layer upon layer of oversimplifications, loaded language and decontextualized litanies of citations make it difficult to respond effectively without a lot of time (not to mention patience on the audience’s part). And, not unlike the black & white discourse of many contemporary “hadith-throwing” Islamists (to use Khaled Abou El Fadl’s phrase), Spencer’s simplistic presentation of the issues is very seductive to those lacking a solid grasp of the complexities of Islamic thought and history.

      Finally, there is the simple fact that he is simply unqualified for a host of reasons. Personally, I see no reason to engage in some kind of “affirmative action” for his sake merely because Islamophobia has made significant inroads in American political life and we can expect a backlash if he isn’t given what he wants. That isn’t a good enough reason to ignore the principles at stake, in my view.

      Thanks.

  122. SL Says:

    “I know Marcia Hermansen and Ismail Kourshanpour who are to be on the panel. They are wise persons who will have no trouble demolishing Spencer’s false innuendos.” — from post above

    Not a chance.

    If Spencer does attend the panel, you’ll see that he will be the one doing the demolishing.

    In his own words:

    “I speak realistically about how jihadists use Islamic texts and teachings to recruit and motivate jihad terrorists. It is not “Islamophobic” to speak the truth; it is simply Islamorealistic. And you’ll notice that nowhere do they, or can they, actually quote anything inaccurate I say about Islam.”

    “Islamorealistic.” Directly from the Islamic texts and teachings.

    Oh, and that tired old “decontextualized” excuse? That’s as groundless as calling islam a “religion of peace.” In fact, it was invented by a Warlord, and is an ideology of war and conquest. Evident to anyone who embarks on even a cursory reading of the Qur’an and Hadiths.

    Should be a fascinating as all-get-out panel!

  123. Edgar Hiestand Says:

    In light of the update that none of the panelists were notified that Spencer was being added to the panel, I need to modify what I said before about the panelists confronting Spencer with the truth.
    I had noticed that the ALA pdf of the conference only listed two panelists (not Spencer) vs the listing of four panelists in later communications. But I assumed that was because of early printing deadline
    I can’t imagine creating a panel without telling panelists who was going to be present.
    This fact changes the context for confronting error with truth, and such case would be good to disinvite Spencer.

  124. Stephanie Says:

    Maybe, Edgar,

    ALA needs to “disinvite” all but the original two panelists who appeared in the program. Nice that you could view the list of panelists — you must be a full conference attendee. The ALA seems to be afraid of full disclosure, since only full attendees are allowed to access the program information. Not even professional librarians (like myself) who are not attending the conference are allowed to view the program — and certainly not the great unwashed who are outside the field. What does ALA have to hide? I wonder!

  125. awake Says:

    Those who call for Spencer’s exclusion from the panel discussion do nothing more than reinforce Specncer’s position that no one has been able to cite any inaccuracies stated by him about Islam, so therefore they run in fear from him.

    It also reinforces the perception that this panel is comprised of nothing more than Islam apologists and Muslims who can only try to disassociate Islam from the violence perpetrated globally by Muslims each and every day, if they cannot be challenged.

    No one ever said Islam, implying Muslims, is monolithic in that they are predisposed to jihad violence. Logically then, nor are Muslims monolithically peaceful by nature. To deny the jihad imperative in Islam requires a willful suspension of reality. That is exactly what this panel will attempt to do, however.

  126. Philosophy Prof Says:

    If Spencer’s “simplistic presentation of the issues” is so “seductive” and possesses the rhetorical power to bewitch audiences and aid in the construction of the very stereotypes that “information session” aims to dispel, then, once again, shouldn’t his presence on the panel be viewed as a prime opportunity to demask the fraud? What better way to dispel stereotypes than to destroy an influential proliferator of them?

    I have been on panels where people have been withdrawn or added at the last minute without any notice–thinking on your feet, isn’t that one purpose of graduate school? And in this case the members of the panel have had several days notice, it seems.

    I also do not understand why the arguments demonstrating Spencer’s views simplistic and false are so difficult to articulate in this context–the audience is well educated, trained in critical analysis, the panel is knowledgeable, well versed in scholarly refutation. What better context could one ask for?

    • svend Says:

      Perhaps the educational level and all around savvy of such an audience would inoculate them to Spencer’s manipulative rhetoric. Or perhaps not. To use a personal illustration, I’m pretty well educated, probably unusually conscious of concerns about propaganda and logical fallacies (e.g., the Fundamental Attribution Error http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_attribution_error, a very basic conceptual mistake that Spencer and Muslim bashers like him commit with embarrassing regularity as they explain everything about Muslims and Muslim history with reference to Islam), but that doesn’t make me much less vulnerable to disinformation in topics where I’m at best an educated layman, like the hard sciences (e.g., debates over Intelligent Design, or Global Warming). Even if you’re on the lookout for disinformation or manipulative rhetoric, you’re unlikely to recognize if you lack a grounding in the subject matter.

      And that’s not even factoring in all the psychological, cultural and, sure, political factors predisposing one today to overreactions and oversimplifications on Islam. It takes a fair amount of background to be in a position where you can discriminate between manipulative sound-bytes and myopic, politically-motivated analyses and the kind of pragmatic but reasonably balanced assessments one really needs.

      In any case, I’m not all that interested in protecting people from Spencer’s message, siren song though it may be. I was just observing the likely dynamics of the situation and how unconstructive they’d be for the overall event. Suffering sophistry and ideologically-motivated pseudo-scholarship is part of participating in political debates in modern democracy. I’m fine with no-holds barred debate–you can televise a it as a pay-per-view cage match for all I care–provided that the conditions of the debate be fair, that it be held in an appropriate forum where all involved have chosen to participate, and that it not come at the expense of another, more important activity due to a dirty trick or prank (e.g., injecting an extremely polarizing figure into a forum on community outreach for no apparent reason and without normal consultation).

      What I do want is for normal rules of professionalism and common courtesy to prevail, which brings me to a second point. I find it hard to imagine that you, an apparent teacher of philosophy, find it so difficult to grasp the procedural and policy objections being raised.

      Perhaps you think that Spencer is a much better scholar than I do–many out there obviously do, though I suspect there’s an inverse relationship between his popularity and solid grounding in the specific disciplines he writes on–but surely you understand the notion that an event or forum has a certain previously agreed-upon purpose and agenda and that a speaker lacking the requisite relevance and qualifications to address the specific matter at hand should not be included merely for the sake of having an entertaining spectacle, or appeasing the unjustified demands of a constituency that is in practice against the event’s mission (in this case, improving outreach efforts to Muslims, a task for which Spencer is by any standard singularly and surreally unsuited).

      Putting your perspectives on Spencer, Islam, the political backdrop of this event, and so on, aside for a moment, are you saying that the programmatic decision to involve Spencer in a forum on *outreach to Muslims* isn’t highly counter-intuitive, if not downright bizarre? Would you furthermore not have to concede that even assuming that his charges against Islam and Muslim are ultimately justified his involvement in the round table would likely to turn the event into a rancorous debate over matters that are utterly outside EMIERT’s ambit? I realize that relevance can be subjective and that the lines between topics can be fluid, but the fact remains that this panel deals with matters of multicultural library policy (e.g., planning ethnic holdings planning and community outreach), not polarizing theological and historical debates.

      And he’s not a librarian, much less a community outreach professional, either. He’s an author of controversial and among-scholars widely panned works on Islam.

      I’m amazed how blithely Spencer’s supporters here side-step this extremely obvious objection. I realize a lot of you folks consider Islam and Muslims so threatening that all conventional social, ethical and legal restraints in dealing with Muslims are in abeyance till the Muslim Bogeyman is defeated, but you ought to at least provide a cursory justification of why the normal rules of event planning, academic decorum, and community relations don’t apply here. Before you can let loose your customary accusations of censorship, the onus is on you to establish why Spencer belongs on this panel despite the very obvious arguments against it. That case has yet to be made.

      Even if Spencer is as on-the-money as the Prophet Isaiah in his diatribes against Islam and Muslims, with his lack of scholarly credentials, irrelevant professional background, and obvious political baggage it makes as much sense for him to speak at a round table on multicultural outreach as Michael Jackson’s funeral. Or your wedding.

      Honestly, not every value and goal in life and society ought to be subordinated to these feuds over Islam. America’s awareness of the threat from Islam terrorist probably won’t be grievously harmed if a forum on outreach to Muslims actually focuses on questions of outreach to Muslims. And, you guys who are always itching for a fight with Muslims, fear not. Should common sense prevail and he be disinvited he will have many more opportunities to attack Islam and put Muslims “in their place.” I promise.

      • Philosophy Prof Says:

        Arguments, words and evidence have a tendency to mean what they mean, despite personal aspersions, bursting rhetoric, innuendo and ad hominem atmospherics, which you have so kindly managed to sprinkle in your response. If I can rephrase your response to my original question in a more direct way, it appears that you are saying that if one is not ‘well grounded’ in the subject matter of Islam (and let us leave alone the question just how much and what kind of ‘grounding’ one needs), and psychologically prepared (and let us hold off on the question of how to get psychologically prepared) for the barrage of cultural and political pressures that go along with topic, Mr. Spencer can be intellectually dangerous and should be avoided. And that he would pose such a danger to the attendees at this conference. Innocent, unsuspecting minds do indeed deserve protection from danger, and I am sure that the librarians, who will now not hear Mr. Spencer, are thanking the would-be panelists, and the ALA, for their intellectual parenting skills.

        I suppose that may be a reason for the subtle, belittling comments for me in your response—since I actually see merit in some of Mr. Spencer’s work, I must be one of those infected and in need of expert guidance, one who has the foolishness and audacity to read and think outside the purview of ‘expertise’—I am taking notes and will be sure to include that point in a future lecture for students.

        Regarding that expert guidance, I have read a couple of Spencer’s books, and I do not recall any major gaffe in which he, “explains everything about Muslims and Muslim history with reference to Islam”. His books are not written as scholarly tomes to be sure, and I have not read them all, but I did not notice this particular error. I am sure you have copious references handy and will share them forthwith.

        Finally, the issue of procedure: the inclusion of Spencer on this panel is indeed ‘counter-intuitive’. But, he was included. The curious and the unexpected happen sometime. And the panel was offered in a political spirit, as you point out, it is like Latino activists talking about building bridges. Political assumptions and purpose in academe, which you appear to admit applies here, have a tendency of liberating topics to other viewpoints, and that seems to have happened here on some organizational level. The analogy with weddings and funerals does not apply, of course—these sorts of events are normally not conceived in a political spirit as “information exchanges”. And, from what I know of Mr. Spencer, he is not against building bridges, he just wants them built on reality. I see no reason why panelists would not be willing to show him, the sly, persuasive deceiver that he is, why he is wrong–if they would disagree at all.

        Assumptions tend to be the death of arguments, you know, because so many turn up false.

        Finally, is the real reason for cancelling the panel because Spencer’s unepected presence changed the purpose of the panel, or because CAIR has applied pressure, the panelists do not want to talk to him, and those with power in this particular case do not want him heard?

        Procedure as a façade for censorship is censorship nonetheless.

      • svend Says:

        As I mentioned to John B., my sarcasm wasn’t intended for people who lack the prejudice and hatred that is so evident in some of our other supporters of Spencer here. My apologies to those of you who do not harbor such feelings but felt targeted.

        @SL
        I did not speculate about your beliefs. I analyzed the tropes of your comment. If you don’t like being so compared, don’t make it so inevitable.

      • svend Says:

        > Arguments, words and evidence have a tendency to mean what they mean, despite personal aspersions, bursting rhetoric, innuendo and ad hominem atmospherics, which you have so kindly managed to sprinkle in your response. Assumptions tend to be the death of arguments, you know, because so many turn up false. Finally, is the real reason for cancelling the panel because Spencer’s unepected presence changed the purpose of the panel, or because CAIR has applied pressure, the panelists do not want to talk to him, and those with power in this particular case do not want him heard? Procedure as a façade for censorship is censorship nonetheless. <

        Very true. And cries of censorship of the first refuge of the crank.

  127. Kamala Says:

    tarals, ahh those concerns of yours are finally alleviated, aren’t they?!

  128. Philosophy Prof Says:

    The panel has been cancelled, evidently. Spencer has been branded an “Islam basher”, and other panelists have withdrawn. Here is Marcia Hermansen justification for withdrawing, according to Library Journal,

    “[sic] While I heartily endorse the principles of free expression and diversity of viewpoints that are part of the ALA mission, the way in which this information session about Islam and Muslims for Ethnic and Multi-Cultural librarians was modified and politicized at the last moment raises serious concerns about the integrity of the session.”

    And so what was, apparently, in Hermansen’s eyes, a de-politicized panel on “dispelling stereotypes”, which svend above compares to Latino activists trying to build bridges, was politicized at the last moment by the presence of Mr. Spencer–an act that polluted any integrity the panel might have had.

    The demonization of folks like Mr. Spencer is horribly troubling. I am not simple-minded, nor ignorant, and I find some of the arguments in his books powerful and, at the very least, worthy of attention and response. And many of his arguments are based on simple empirical claims which have nothing to do with ‘reductivist textproofing’ or ‘oversimplified generalizations’ about Islamic thought, history, or Muslim attitudes. Members of the panel may have found themselves agreeing with him on many points–but now we will never know.

    And the context of this exclusion of Mr. Spencer chills me to the bone. A sociologist admitted to me once that she would never do research or express opinions on women and Islam because she was just plain afraid. There are writers, artists, and Muslim apostates, living with death threats over their heads because they criticize Islam. And in the current academic environment scholars criticize Islam at their own professional risk. Mr. Spencer has no coals in the academic fire, others do. Is it possible to raise a critical voice without being slapped with charges of ‘bigotry’, ‘racism’, ‘ignorance’, or that mysterious pathology, ‘Islamophobia’? Or is the very act of criticism a symptom of a mental defect that requires quarantine, until the mind fully understands all the correct and true tenents of “mainstream Islam”–undertanding that should placate and sooth the restless soul and create a person ready to enter the world as an enlightened builder of bridges–a stereotype-dispeller of the first order? Should one check oneself into a course on Islam, taught by just the right professor, reading just the right sources, for an intellectual readjustment?

  129. John C. Barile Says:

    Good point, above, Svend. Let’s take up the topic of the complicity of Christianity in the origin and perpetuation of anti-Semitism.
    We can then have another panel discussion; let’s anticipate 3/4ths of the panel boycotting it–not.

    • svend Says:

      Where? The political and cultural sensibilities of Western Christians are hardly universal, even among other Christians.

      In Africa or Asia–where Christians’ social, cultural and economic conditions are a lot closer to those prevailing in most of the Muslim world, and where Christians might feel comparably besieged by aspects of contemporary global culture–that’s hardly an implausible scenario.

      For example, there where calls to ban “The Da Vinci Code” from Christians in India and the Philippines. Only 3 decades ago, Christians in the US and the UK lobbied to ban “The Life of Brian,” and then protested the quite toothless “Last Temptation of Christ”. When Christians are in comparable circumstances, they don’t behave all that differently from Muslims, I’m afraid.

      • John C. Barile Says:

        Here, you silly, impish fellow, here. CAIR, it seems, is able to censor, directly or indirectly, more effectively here in America than Christians, by comparison, can censor anywhere in the world.

        The Organization of the Islamic Council wants to censor and criminalize silly cartoons universally, just like they do in their constituent countries; while CAIR wants to silence critical analysis of any impetus that strains of Islam give to martial jihad, supremacism, introduction of shari’ah wholely or incrementally, or such here in the West, and CAIR runs interference for HAMAS.

      • John C. Barile Says:

        Oh, and we’ll have to prepare to handle those riotous Methodists and Baptists–not.

  130. John C. Barile Says:

    Professional Librarians are custodians–more than gatekeepers–of information and ideas. It doesn’t fall to them to determine what everyone should think, nor their calling to instuct everyone how to think. For then, if they do, they reduce themselves to partisans of one politicized faction or another. They should abide by their commitments, but not be the ultimate arbiters of Truth.

    • John C. Barile Says:

      Above, read “. . . Nor their calling to instruct everyone how to think.””

  131. John C. Barile Says:

    Stephanie,

    The ALA is not planning and hosting this conference in a vacuum–there is outside pressure from the advocacy group–a story in itself–called CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, on both the ALA and on the other conference participants apart from Spencer.

  132. John C. Barile Says:

    Too bad that CAIR didn’t provide its own representatives to fill the void on this panel–a void which they lobbied to create. I am sure that those who bowed out of their commitments did so out of the highest of principles–not.

  133. SL Says:

    Just learned that the panel with Spencer has been cancelled due to the cowardice of the ALA “Professors” and due to their submission to the Islamic Terrorist group, CAIR. God, Jesus, save us from such “Professors.” What a joke you are.

    You Cowards, you total and complete Yellow Cowards.

    lol! Didn’t have the cojones to face Spencer! You knew you’d lose!

    Your next step? You must all move to an Islamic country, and live as Dhimmis under your Overlords, the Mohammedans. And female panelists? Make sure to purchase a Black Hefty Bag Tent, or the Barbarian Islamic males will throw acid on you. Additionally, reconcile yourselves to having no legal rights, as Mohammedan females have none in Islamic countries. Watch out for those Honor Killings, too – who knows? You could be next, if you look the wrong way at a Mohammedan male.

    ALA – Cowards! Our family will never donate another penny to the Cowards that call themselves the ALA.

  134. SL Says:

    Koran 9:29:

    Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

    Something you don’t understand about the above, ALA Cowards?

    Oh, excuse me, I see you’re already “subdued” by your Masters, the Islamic Barbarians. So, how is it being a slave to the ideology that mass-murdered 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001? You love your slavery to the Terrorist group CAIR? Well, do us all a favor, then, and re-locate to an Islamic country where you can joyfully experience your slavery as “kuffar” of the Mohammedan Barbarians. Good Riddance.

    Of course you’re not leaving the safety of America, you Hypocrites.

    • svend Says:

      Exegesis worthy of Spencer, and political commentary worthy of Storm Front.

      • John C. Barile Says:

        Dismiss me or any other poster here, but don’t resort to the same McCarthyite tactic you accuse Robert Spence of–tarring with a broad brush; constructing flimsy linkages. Worthy of Storm Front, you say? I don’t think so. Present your proofs, if you be truthful. You don’t know the man; ask him yourself!

        And let Robert Spencer do his own exegesis; care to tell him wherein he errs?

      • John C. Barile Says:

        Bottom line, Svend–I’m indignant that you make facile comparisons, and try to put another’s words into Mr. Spencer’s mouth–mine or anyone’s; your comrades-in-arms (hint, hint) have already denied him the opportunity to speak for himself.

      • SL Says:

        Excuse me, but I didn’t do an “exegesis,” which is a critical explanation or interpretation, esp. of Scripture. I just quoted the verse. So, get your terms straight, and if you want an exegesis, get one from Spencer. He’s got lots of published books you can purchase filled with exegeses from your “holy” book.

      • svend Says:

        John, I’m sorry if you’re offended, as that observation was not directed at you, or the others here who have been civil.

        SL’s 2nd point was most certainly in the style of Storm Front and the like. His/her tone, the ethno-cultural chauvinism, the xenophobia, and fantasy of society being besieged by a small, marginalized minority are all in keeping with White Supremacists.

        You’ll notice I did not try to link Spencer to Storm Front. It’s not my problem both statements occurred in the place and were uttered by one of his supporters.

        As for my exegesis quip, yes that’s the point. Spencer takes snippets of texts from works that are embedded in complex hermeneutic traditions and which often can only be correctly understood in reference to the whole from which they are drawn, and treats them as if they speak for themselves when the reality is that they need to be explicated in light of how they have been understood over the centuries.

        This is, as I said, very familiar to those of us who’ve dealt with Wahhabis and kindred “hadith-throwing” ideologues. They too employ a robotic surface-meaning approach to scripture and canonical texts that traditional scholars never relied on and are likewise fond of “proving” points by lobbing out decontextualized texts, often utterly oblivious to how polyvocal said texts are or how widely interpretations of them have varied among scholars.

        Then there’s the coy game Spencer plays of refraining from making explicit the message that he clearly intends to convey, instead providing isolated and selective quotes to “speak for themselves.” True to form, he dodged the question in his 1st response to the open letter when he refused, after quasi-disassociating himself from the Islamofascism quote to clarify what his take really is. This way, the worst can be insinuated without the bother of being held accountable for one’s message. A slick approach, and a standard strategy of hate-mongers in a social environment where it is socially acceptable to openly promote bigotry.

        So, I think both quips were quite apropos.

        Yes, I’ve been snarky. I fight fire with fire and I’m afraid someone in my position must address more than one faction at a time. There are the raving bigots (e.g., SL), the militants who are openly discussing Muslims as enemies (Amy), and then the more civil and thoughtful defenders of Spencer such as yourself.

        Let’s face it, I think Spencer’s a bigot. A lot of people do, for that matter. Even if he’s been completely misunderstood, a large chunk of the movement(s) Spencer leads unrepentantly spouts prejudice, xenophobia and jingoism towards Islam. I direct my barbs at those elements (whom I do not believe to be a tiny fringe and whom I believe are indeed acting in the spirit of Spencer’s message).

      • SL Says:

        svend, I read your smug description concerning what you think my beliefs are. Storm Front? White Supremacist? That’s funny coming from someone whose belief system considers them to be the “superior peoples” (Mohamet). Spencer does call Islam “Supremacist,” and that is exactly right. So, can the hypocrisy, k? And take a look at your own Supremacist “Kill the Infidels” belief system. Islam doesn’t assimilate – Islam’s goal is to dominate. Ever read this:

        “One day, millions of men will leave the Southern Hemisphere to go to the Northern Hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory.”

        – Houari (Mohamed) Boumedienne, President of Algeria, 1965 – 1978, in a 1974 speech at the UN

        This is happening right now in Western Europe, and if you deny it, you’re a liar. And you call me “Supremacist.” That’s quite funny. Such hypocrisy.

        Next, you call me a “raving bigot.” That’s also quite funny as Mohammedans are known Jew-Haters, which is a huge part of your God-forsaken ideology, which is utter nonsense, but very, very, dangerous nonsense, as the whole world knows, esp. the victims of your Islamic Jihads. Here’s a few apt sayings from your false prophet in the Hadiths:

        “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.’” — Mohamet, the false prophet Jew-Hater

        When judgment day arrives, Allah will give every Muslim a Jew or Christian to kill, so that the Muslim will not enter into hell fire.” — Mohamet, the false prophet Jew/Christian Hater

        Indeed, it’s YOU people who are the “raving bigots,” billions (thanks to 1350 years of polygamy and child brides) of Islamic raving Jew and Christian-Hating Islamic bigots. Everyone knows that the goal of Islam is to subjugate and murder all non-Muslims until the world is “all for allah,” and Judaism and Christianity are destroyed – by Jesus (!) nonetheless, assisting his Master Allah! What a laugh! That you people actually believe that total BS is just incredible.

        So, there’s a response to your insults. Hope you enjoyed it. Have a nice evening.

      • SL Says:

        One more thing, svend:

        Mohammed said, “War is deceit.” (Bukhari Vol 4 Bk 52 No 268).

        Sorry, but we’re not deceived. Islam is quite a simplistic ideology – “Kill” being it’s primary tenet – and despite the PC slaves, such as the panel-leaving “Professors” here, many more people know exactly what the deal is with Islam. So, Mo, we’re on to you and your hate-filled, racist, bigoted, 100% intolerant war/conquest ideology.

        Have a nice evening.

      • John C. Barile Says:

        Svend,

        Thanks for your civil response. I do hope you grasp the point I’m making; that is, that neither I, nor SL, nor any other poster here is a proxy for Robert Spencer–whose own voice has been muted; and that it is slick and shallow to liken racists, neo-Nazis, nativists, and Storm Front to–or another poster’s style, substance or demeanor to that of–Spencer himself.

        And please know that any surliness of mine is an affectation–e.g.,“comrades-in-arms” in an accusative sense.

      • John C. Barile Says:

        Yes, finally; I know that you do grasp my point.

        Good night. Peace to you.

      • SL Says:

        “I do hope you grasp the point I’m making; that is, that neither I, nor SL, nor any other poster here is a proxy for Robert Spencer–whose own voice has been muted; and that it is slick and shallow to liken racists, neo-Nazis, nativists, and Storm Front to–or another poster’s style, substance or demeanor to that of–Spencer himself.” — posted by John C Barile

        Hi John. Yes, you’re exactly right. Everyone here speaks FOR THEMSELVES, not for anyone else, including Spencer. Including Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

        Do you get that, svend?

        As I said before, you want Spencer’s exegeses of your Koranic “Scripture?” Then, go purchase his books, knock yourself out ’cause there’s exegeses a-plenty contained within his books.

        Good Day.

  135. svend Says:

    That’s good news.

    In a perfect world, Spencer would have been summarily disinvited, but this is probably the smartest choice under the circumstances, as ALA was in a no-win situation politically. Had they kept him on the panel, they would have brought disrepute on the event and organization. Had they dumped him, that would’ve become a cause celebre among Islamophobes and right-wingers. It will, anyway, of course, but this will take some of the edge off the controversy. (And maybe they’ll be able to get something accomplished at the conference.)

    As I said in my last post (which I wrote before I got the glad tidings), this won’t clip Spencer’s wings much. The world outside of the more intellectually demanding halls of academia is still largely his oyster.

  136. SL Says:

    “Exegesis worthy of Spencer, and political commentary worthy of Storm Front. “- svend

    lol. Sorry you can’t handle the simple truth. But, I’m not surprised. What is it about Koran 9:29 you don’t understand? It’s not complicated, soooo, what?

    “In a perfect world…” – svend

    There would be no Islam, the ideology of War/Hate/Jihad/Misogyny

    Poor ALA “professors” – intimidated by the Islamic Terrorist Group, CAIR. Cowards.

    Apologize for the Islamic Jihad (mass-murder) of 9/11, Mohammedan Barbarians. No? I didn’t think so. Your Hate Manual has nothing whatsoever to do with apologies – just Subjugation and Killing.

  137. Amy Soldier Says:

    Similar to the Aztec and Mayan religions, someday the Islamist dinosaur will also grow tired (from a wound,) lay itself down and fall asleep, never to awaken. Patience, vigilance … .

    • SL Says:

      I don’t know, Amy – there’s a colossal difference between the demographics of the polygamous Mohammedans, numbering in the billions, and living in many different countries, and the demographics of the Aztecs/Mayans, who were insulated in only Mexico and Central America.

      What’s your opinion about the huge and ever-increasing demographics of the polygamous Muslims?

  138. Observer Says:

    Thus far then :

    A really interesting and lively discussion going on here but let’s focus on the state of play vis-a-vis Svend V Philosophy Prof.

    Svend is grinning like a Cheshire cat that’s turned a corner and found a saucer of milk to gloat over and cherish. Victory! In other words the dangerous, pernicious Spencer will not after all face three panel opponents radically opposed to his views and general MO. The whole thing’s been scrapped. A ” victory” for intellectual curiosity and discourse …not.

    On the other hand, in terms of style, substance and argument the Philosophy prof has wiped the floor with Svend. Completely and utterly.

    Yet above and beyond all that, the big winner is … CAIR.

    Yes, CAIR. Far more problematic and troublesome that any ” Robert Spencer”. But hey, it wouldn’t be too polite to go there, right? Right! Except if anyone did bother to go there they’d discover some uncomfortable truths about CAIR.

    ” Two men died ‘neath the Mississippi moon … somebody better investigate soon”

    Providing it’s not, Svend. :)

  139. Amy Soldier Says:

    The bigger they are the harder they’ll fall.

    The jugular of the Islamist dinosaur is the belief that the words and the thoughts generated by a reading of the Qur’an are the will, intentions, and ultimately the demeanor of the Creator to us, Its human creation. It is not. How to sever this jugular; render the legitimacy of the book to the level of nonsense the Aztec and Mayan religions hold in the minds of the masses today? It’s doable … .

  140. Hani Says:

    Scholars of Islam don’t debate Robert Spencer for the same reason scholars of race in America don’t debate David Duke.

    There is a reason Robert Spencer is a pamphleteerist and not an academic.

    Which isn’t to discount the fact that he is the most sophisticated of his breed. The only difference between Mr. Spencer and a Walid Shoebat (for example) is in presentation, articulation, and subtlety.

    • SL Says:

      Hani, your first sentence is not an analogy. Robert Spencer and David Duke are not analogous.

      David Duke is a Nazi. David Duke admires Adolph Hitler. David Duke hates Jews, and believes they should be exterminated.

      None of the above applies to Spencer. Spencer doesn’t hate any group of people, and of course he doesn’t believe that any group of people should be exterminated.

      Your attempt at a comparison between the two as having the same values is 100% erroneous.

      “pamphleteerist?” What is that? Spencer publishes scholarly books – you should try reading one some time. I recommend “The Truth About Muhammed.” Considering the ignorant and craven people who call themselves “Academics” these days – it’s in Spencer’s favor that he’s not employed by an ignorant and craven, shackled-by-political-correctness, University. They’re just all slaves at Universities these days, parroting the latest political correctness. Zombies, really. Like these “Professors” who walked out of the panel. Such irony – these people are supposed to be intelligent, but they’re so incredibly stupid they make a centipede look like a college graduate.

      • svend Says:

        I understand why his supporters find this comparison outrageous, but I would submit that to those who have a solid grasp of the subjects he writes on, his systematic bias and distortions put him a lot closer to Duke* on the ideological spectrum than anybody else in the field. There is a point at which “accidental” distortions and omissions reach the level of hatred.

        Also, in one respect the comparison certainly holds. Many experts indeed take Spencer with a grain of salt on Islam, just as Duke isn’t given credence on race. We might disagree on the reasons for Spencer’s credibility problems among professional scholars, but it’s undeniable.

        * Duke, like most prominent racists, denies being racist or anti-Semitic. In his telling, he’s just defending the “white race” and Christianity from corruption from “outside” influences; speaking inconvenient truths about non-whites to a PC and multi-culti establishment; blah blah. (From a certain standpoint, his rhetoric resembles that of Spencer and his ilk, in substance if not in tone.)

  141. Suzanne Davies Says:

    “He falsely treats Islam as monolithic and ignores the dynamic interpretation of Quran texts and ethics that have gone for centuries, and go on vigorously today, about the issues he treats.”

    Oh baloney. I repeat, Robert Spencer is correct about Islam. Muslim apologists and appeasers have their heads in the sand – and we will all pay for it.

    All the blather and doublespeak here will not erase the past 1400 years of slaughter and hatred wherever Islam goes. No amount of pathological denial will remove the stain of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan as Muslim countries that hideously abuse their citizens, especially women. All you are doing is encouraging this dementia to spread to the rest of the world.

    Shame on you. What a disappointing species to allow this disgusting cult to fester – and to have “scholars” encourage its ugliness with their wimpy and disgraceful amoral positions.

    • svend Says:

      It’s fascinating to hear people who discuss complex issues with the nuance and sophistication of child declare, ex cathedra, “I repeat, Robert Spencer is correct about Islam.”

      I stand corrected, as you really sound like an astute judge of his expertise!

      • SL Says:

        Oh, please! Get off your ignorant Mohammedan high-camel.

        You’re the “child,” as a convert to islam. How puerile and stupid can you get. Only a one-celled amoeba could be more ignorant, and brainwashed.

  142. Suzanne Davies Says:

    “Your next step? You must all move to an Islamic country, and live as Dhimmis under your Overlords, the Mohammedans. And female panelists? Make sure to purchase a Black Hefty Bag Tent, or the Barbarian Islamic males will throw acid on you. Additionally, reconcile yourselves to having no legal rights, as Mohammedan females have none in Islamic countries. Watch out for those Honor Killings, too – who knows? You could be next, if you look the wrong way at a Mohammedan male.”

    Although I don’t agree with this person’s Christian bias expressed in other posts, what he has said about Islam throughout this thread has been TRUE. I am disgusted and appalled that these professors – that anyone – could have their heads so deeply in the sand that they can gleefully ignore all the horrible SUFFERING caused by Islam day in and day out for almost a millennium and a half. How utterly disgraceful. I repeat, shame on you!

    I’m sure you would have been front and center in defending Christianity a century and a half ago, when it was being criticized for endorsing slavery and oppressing women. You probably would have done exactly the same thing if someone like Robert Ingersoll had been placed on a panel with his sharp criticisms of Christianity. Now, I’m sure you would agree with him that Christianity has been oppressive and the cause of much discord and suffering.

    Double ditto with Islam – wake up and get your integrity back, for heaven’s sake.

    CAIR needs to be drummed out of business – what an absolutely foul CULT that is.

    • SL Says:

      “Although I don’t agree with this person’s Christian bias expressed in other posts, what he has said about Islam throughout this thread has been TRUE.”

      Thank You, Suzanne Davies. Thank You for saying that what I have said about Islam is true, despite the to-be-expected childish denials of the Muslims here. But, they never admit to anything, as we all know, except that Islam is 100% perfect, with no faults or flaws, and everything else is “corrupted.”

      Please explain to me what you mean by my “Christian bias,” with a few examples. I’m interested in knowing what you mean.

      I applaud your comments. This paragraph is especially good:

      “All the blather and doublespeak here will not erase the past 1400 years of slaughter and hatred wherever Islam goes. No amount of pathological denial will remove the stain of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan as Muslim countries that hideously abuse their citizens, especially women. All you are doing is encouraging this dementia to spread to the rest of the world.”

      This “dementia” has already spread like the black plague throughout Western Europe, and is in the process of destroying it. Sooner or later, as with Hitler and the Nazis, we are going to have to clean up the mess.

  143. Irfan Says:

    Apparently Robert Spencer is a scholar. Could he perhaps share with us his qualifications. What did he study? When? Did he stufy texts in their original languages? Where and when did he study Arabic and/or Persian and/or Urdu and/or Ottoman? Who were his teachers?

    • SL Says:

      Irfan, no one needs to go to all that trouble to understand what Islam is all about. Islam is a simplistic and infantile “Kill everybody not like us until we take over” genocidal 7th century AD ideology. A 10-year-old can read the Qur’an without any “teachers,” and immediately comprehend what Islam is all about. No one needs any “qualifications” other than their own mind to understand the Supremacist, totalitarian nature of Islam. So, please. “See Spot Run” is more complex.

  144. Shefah Says:

    I wish to thank all of you for sharing your point of view with all of us equally; I wish to thank Ahmad Rehab for taking all of his time to protect me from the hate mongers. I am also sad to know that on Sunday many people won’t have an opportunity to hear the wonderful truth about Islam because ALA wishes not to provide a healthy setting for true scholars to reveal the true spectrum of Islam. So saaaaaad

    • SL Says:

      Oh, baloney.

      “the wonderful truth about Islam”

      You mean the terrible truth about a terrible belief system. Which is what the ALA panel members were afraid of. Which is why they jumped ship.

      So glad you were “protected,” Shefah, you poor little victim. Now, who’s going to protect the West against the Global Jihad and Islamic Supremacism?

      Who is going to stop the over-breeding “Might Makes Right” Mohammedans and their sick, Supremacist ideology?

      As Hitler and the Nazis once had to be stopped, there will come a point in time, perhaps as little as 20 years from now, when we will have to stop the early-twenty-first-century Global Jihad of the followers of a false “prophet” Warlord.

  145. M.R. Khan UC Berkeley Says:

    The bigotry expressed by Spencer’s supporters here clarifies how African-Americans, Native Americans, Asian-Americans, and Hispanics were subjected to centuries of genocide, slavery, and ethnic cleansing in this land by Bible thumping racial and religious supremacists who apparently now think it is kosher to direct their hate at Muslims. It is interesting that Spencer takes issue with the concept of dhimmitude or “protected status” of Christians and Jews in traditional Islamic societies because of its imposition of second class status. Yet the fact remains that Jewish and Christian populations survived for centuries in Muslim lands unlike in Europe where Muslim and Jewish minorities were systematically wiped out the moment they lost power in Spain, Sicily, and the Balkans. The Holocaust was a crime of Western Christendom not of Islam and the most recent genocide in Europe was directed against Balkan Muslims by devout Serbian and Croatian Christians espousing many of the same views as Spencer and his ilk. The reason Spencer is a bigot and not merely a critic of Islamic extremism is that he doesnt hold rightwing Christianity or Judaism to the same undifferentiated standards he does the varied faith and practises of 1.3 billion Muslims. For example unlike the Quran the Bible has explicit passages where the Israelites are commanded by G-D to committ genocide against various indigenous populations of the Holy Land such as the Amalikites. These passages were enthusiatically cited by Western Christians in their crusades and conquests from Asia to Africa and the Americas as warrants for slavery and genocide. Today Zionist settlers cite them to justify the ethnic cleansing of the native Palestinians with the enthusiastic support of many Southern Evangelical churches such as the one Sarah Palin belongs to. Where is the outrage or condemnation by the ostensibly scholarly Spencer over this? Would the ALA have invited a neo-Nazi with anti-Semitic views to render his criticism about the inherently “avaricious” nature of Judaism or the centrality of the “racist” view of goyim to the “chosen” Jewish faithful? Obviously and appropriately not since such views while espoused by the likes of the Gush Emunim can hardly be taken to represent the self-understanding of all Jews in all times and places. However the fact that such an established and mainstream academic organization could invite a notorious anti-Muslim bigot on a panel dealing with stereotyping speaks volumes about the rancid bigotry which still infects the American establishment and why we need far reaching reparations for past crimes against “minorities” which today make up half of our extremely diverse population.

    Sincerely
    M.R. Khan
    UC Berkeley

    • SL Says:

      I notice you’re living in the West, Mr. Khan. That speaks volumes. Also, I couldn’t care less that you’re at Berkeley, that doesn’t impress.

      You remark about slavery. The Middle East still has slavery, as does Africa, esp. the Islamic African nations, such as Sudan. Meanwhile, slavery has been ended in the West for quite some time.

      Your remark about “kosher to direct their hate at Muslims.” Excuse me, but, Muslims bring the hate onto themselves. People don’t especially like mass-murder Islamic Jihads, such as 9/11, which was inspired, as everyone knows, by this especially hate-filled verse in your Hate Book:

      “Allah has purchased from the faithful their lives and worldly goods, and in return has promised them the Garden. They will fight for the cause of Allah, they will slay, and be slain.” — Q 9:111

      And

      “Believers, make war on the Infidels who dwell around you.” — Q 9:123

      Two examples of many Jihad verses in the Q, a total of 164 Jihad verses. Of course the violence exhibited by many Muslims is inspired by the texts and teachings of Islam. These verses command Muslims to wage war on all non-Muslims around them. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure this out.

      Nor does the Q teach equality of any kind between the Muslims, “the best of people” (3:110) and the Unbelievers, “the most vile of created beings” (98:6). Islam is 100% intolerant of all others.

      Excuse me, but the “Muslim Lands” you speak of were Judeo-Christian Lands for millenia and hundreds of years. Until the war/conquest 7th century AD ideology invented by Warlord Mohamet took root. Hey – we want our lands back! Give ‘em back!

      There was no Islam, and there were no Muslims, until Mohamet your false prophet Warlord invented your mass-murder ideology around 620 AD. So, get over yourselves. No, everyone was NOT “once a Muslim.” LOL! What a laugh that is, but the fact that you people believe such obvious falsehoods just shows how misguided you are. And, how Supremacist.

      Of course there’s violence in the Bible. There is some violence in all religions. However, the Judeo-Christian God NEVER instructs the wholesale genocide of all people who aren’t Jews or Christians, unlike Allah, your Islamic god, who repeatedly commands the annihilation of all non-Muslims. Here’s one example:

      Qur’an 9:5 – “Fight and kill the Disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”

      Right. Now, don’t give me any “taken out of context” bullsh*t, because that flimsy excuse is the biggest cliche going in your “al-Taqiyya” denial system to the “Infidels.”

      Since I have taken note of your extremely loaded name-calling, let me beat you to it, and reply, “No, YOU are the racist, bigot and hater, as your God-forsaken ideology instructs and teaches.”

      Postscript: Again, Muslims bring “the hate” onto themselves, Mr. Khan, so get off your “Oh, boo-hoo, we’re just poor innocent victims” false Victimhood high-horse.

      Good Day.

  146. Ali Zaki Says:

    Peace to all,

    I am surprised to read that the ALA has decided to invite Mr. Spencer to a panel discussion such as this, and even more surprised that they have not reversed their decision.

    As a practicing Muslim, I welcome and enjoy the opportunity to engage with those who respectfully disagree with my beliefs. However, what I find is that when I engage with those who have already made up their mind about what Islam teaches it’s followers without even the ability to read the Quran (which is only in Arabic), much less to understand exegesis of it the discussion bears no fruit (either for myself or for the other party).

    I have no illusions that my comments will influence such individuals, however, I would hope that if their are any members of the ALA leadership are not so inclined that they would reconsider their decision to invite Mr. Spencer.

    • SL Says:

      “without even the ability to read the Quran (which is only in Arabic),”

      That’s not necessary. Arabic is no different than any other language being translated into another. We are so over that ridiculous excuse it’s not funny.

      What is humorous is the childishness of Muslims thinking they’re “pulling one over” on the adults, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists etc. People who *aren’t* mass-murdering others in the 21st century. People who don’t have “Jihad” in their belief systems. People who aren’t instructed in their holy texts to kill others, and then receive a reward for that killing:

      “Allah has purchased from the faithful their lives and worldly goods, and in return has promised them the Garden. They will fight for the cause of Allah, they will slay, and be slain.” — Q 9:111

      No, we don’t have to read that in Arabic to understand it! You’re like children. Stuck in the 7th century AD following a text that has no basis in reality. Newsflash: There is no “allah,” and it didn’t “recite” the Koran. You’re only following a false prophet Warlord. The joke’s on you, but all others have to pay for it. For 1400 bloodthirsty years.

      The Western PC Apologists are like adults mollycoddling their errant children. It’s such a sad sight to see. Appeasing their little brats, like Chamberlain appeasing Hitler.

      Sorry Ali – we know exactly what Islam is all about. And we don’t need any “Arabic,” either. There’s just always an excuse, isn’t there?

      There will come a day, however, when the appeasing will stop. Because the billions (thank you, polygamy) Muslims and their “Jihad” ideology will have gotten too out-of-control. To use Churchill’s words, currently is “the gathering storm:”

      The first Islamic invasion of Europe was stopped at Poitiers by the Frankish king, Charles Martel, in 732. The second was halted at the gates of Vienna by the Polish king Jan Sobieski, in 1683. Now we have to stop the current stealth (demographic) invasion,” asserts Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom, which claims that Islamic doctrine encourages terrorism.

      Exactly right.

      Now, Ali, I realize that all of this is waaaay over your head, and that you’ll resort to the to-be-expected name-calling should you reply. So, let me just assert ahead-of-time that, “YOU are the racist/bigot/hater.” K?

      Good Day.

  147. Irfan Says:

    Once again, I would request that Mr Spencer share with us his qualifications, if any, in the subjects on which he writes. His failure to do so can lead one to conclude that he has no qualifications.

    • SL Says:

      Again, Irfan, Mohammedan,

      Irfan, no one needs to go to all that trouble to understand what Islam is all about. Islam is a simplistic and infantile “Kill everybody not like us until we take over” genocidal 7th century AD ideology. A 10-year-old can read the Qur’an without any “teachers,” and immediately comprehend what Islam is all about. No one needs any “qualifications” other than their own mind to understand the Supremacist, totalitarian nature of Islam. So, please. “See Spot Run” is more complex.

      Get it?

  148. laguna Says:

    Irfan,

    Robert Spencer holds an MA in Religious Studies. Esmail Koushanpour is an Emeritus professor, Northwestern University MEDICAL School in Chicago;
    Dr. Marcia Hermansen, Director, Islamic World Studies Program, Loyola University Chicago (no indication of what her graduate studies were);
    Alia Ammar, Ph.D. CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, Loyola University Chicago and member of the Islamic Foundation North. I fail to see where Robert Spencer is more lacking in academic knowledge on this topic than any of the other panelists who withdrew from an impartial discussion.

  149. laguna Says:

    Better to ask what the qualifications of the other panelists were, aside from their belief in Islam.

  150. laguna Says:

    Dr. Hermansen seems to be the only ex-panelist with academic credentials on Islam other than Robert Spencer. So perhaps there should have been only the 2 “credentialed” panelists. But you must bear in mind that, according to the Qu’ran, a woman’s words are only half as valuable as a man’s.

    • svend Says:

      > But you must bear in mind that, according to the Qu’ran, a woman’s words are only half as valuable as a man’s.

      Yet another illustration of the truth of the old maxim, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

      The verse in question–there is only one–has always been understood to concern commercial transactions, especially debts, where one’s level of expertise would have a critical bearing on the veracity of one’s observations. Women rarely worked outside the home in 7th century Arabia. Seen from that perspective, it’s not all that unfamiliar a legal principle.

      Very few Muslim jurists consider it to apply today.

      Here’s an insightful analysis by noted legal scholar Sheikh Taha Jaber al-Alwani. http://www.alhewar.com/TahaTestimony.htm

      • SL Says:

        Verses against Women in the Qur’an:

        The Qur’an likens a woman to a field (tilth), to be used by a man as he wills: “Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will” (2:223).

        The Qur’an also declares that a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man: “Get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her” (2:282).

        It allows men to marry up to four wives, and have sex with slave girls also: “If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice” (4:3).

        It rules that a son’s inheritance should be twice the size of that of a daughter: “Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children’s (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females” (4:11).

        Worst of all, the Qur’an tells husbands to beat their disobedient wives: “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them” (4:34).

        It allows for marriage to pre-pubescent girls, stipulating that Islamic divorce procedures “shall apply to those who have not yet menstruated” (65:4).

        Nor is that all. There are ahadith in which Muhammad says that hell is filled with many more women than men, there are Islamic legal justifications for child marriage, stoning for adultery, honor killing, and female genital mutilation, and there is abundant evidence that these views of women have created hardened cultural attitudes across the Islamic world that institutionalize misery for women and discrimination against them.

        Oh yeah – The barbaric 7th century AD ideology of Islam HATES women. Girls, too. How are those “marriages” to middle-aged men working out for you, 9-year-old girls?

      • SL Says:

        People – if svend denies these verses against women, then he’s denying the Koran! Great! A hoax “religion” fabricated by Mass-Murderer Warlord Hater Muhammed. There is no “allah.” Thank God.

      • svend Says:

        I gave one example of how off-base SL’s portrayal of the Quran is. Do a little research (or, if you’re sincere, feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to point you to good resources) and you’ll see that this cut & paste propaganda is equally shallow.

        Atheist hardliners can, and do, make equally hard-hitting critiques of the Bible. Westerners just process them differently, automatically contextualizing and digging deeper as opposed to taking them at face value.

        I mentioned the Fundamental Attribution Error fallacy earlier. That’s at the heart of these kinds of ahistorical rants.

      • SL Says:

        How is it “off-base” when you are quoting DIRECTLY from the Qur’an? Always, always, ALWAYS, an excuse. Nothing can ever be wrong with Islam!

        “cut & paste propaganda?” They are actual verses, quoted from the Qur’an! You call Qur’an verses “propaganda?” OK. That’s true.

        “Verses against Women in the Qur’an” a rant? OK. That’s true. “Allah” goes on quite a number of rants in the Koran. In fact, I’d call Allah a Ranter Extraordinaire.

        Nothing can ever, ever, ever! be wrong with perfect ‘ol Islam to Mohammedans! So, what’s the point of even engaging in a discussion with them? Islam’s always perfect, and if it isn’t, they always have an excuse.

  151. John C. Barile Says:

    This is an animated, passionate discussion, punctuated by broad insinuations from both pro- and anti-Spencer partisans. I’m rather sad that it is now a moot one.

    The salient issues can’t be resolved here, but I will try to articulate them.

    M. R. Khan expresses the heart of his argument in a single sentence of an omnibus paragraph:

    The reason Spencer is a bigot and not merely a critic of Islamic extremism is that he doesn’t hold rightwing Christianity or Judaism to the same undifferentiated standards [as] he does the varied faith and practises of 1.3 billion Muslims.

    Robert Spencer is no anti-Muslim bigot; he is, essentially, a critic of Islamic extremism–and of the fact that many Muslims and apologetic non-Muslims strenuously deny that “extremism” can be called “Islamic” in any sense, while he argues that empirical evidence suggests otherwise. He further argues that those who deny a particular Islamic religious basis for extremist theories and practices fail to make their case; that they overlook or suspend disbelief of much empirical evidence, and the rational bases of his views.

    Spencer’s positions are, arguably, impolitic; he sins, then, in that his focus and analyses are not Christiane Amanpour’s! In this, he is a pariah and, at the very least, unforgivably indecorous.

    Well, then, is Robert Spencer–more than once a NYT Best-Selling Author, given his academic grounding and his library as formidable as a senior cleric’s–able to pass muster and to fall within the pale of Polite Society? I answer with an emphatic YES.

    Yours humbly,

    John C. Barile, earnest citizen

  152. SL Says:

    “1.3 billion Muslims.” — M.R. Kahn

    Right. Due to the BARBARIC practice of polygamy. Disgusting. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Lets switch that – 4 wives get to have one husband. How would you like that? You male Barbarians. Primitive savages.

  153. Amy Soldier Says:

    SL, where’s svend’s rebuttal?

    Even were your points to be acknowledged, when and where would it bring change? Even were Mr. Spencer to bring his views to the ALA, obfuscation and denial would prevail. Talk is cheap.

    • SL Says:

      “SL, where’s svend’s rebuttal?” — Amy Soldier

      You mean, against the Qur’an verses I posted about women? How could he *have* a rebuttal? lol But, I don’t know. Who cares? What he says is all Moslem BS anyway.

      Oh, no matter how much the Mohammedans continue to deny the obvious, we must keep “talking” – No, not all talk is “cheap,” indeed, “talk” like Spencer’s and others who speak the truth about Islam, Mo, “allah” and the Q IS VALUABLE AS ALL-GET-OUT. MORE VALUABLE THAN DIAMONDS.

  154. SL Says:

    CAIR: A bunch of Muslim thugs who silence any opposing viewpoints. Which is just like Islam. Just like intolerant mass-murderer Mohamet/allah.

    Get out of our country, CAIR – Islamic Mafia.

  155. svend Says:

    The horse is dead and I’m done beating it. I’m moving on.

    Thanks to those who engaged constructively and thoughtfully and my apologies for not always communicating as well as I should have. Things get messy in these exchanges.

    Those one the other side of the aisle interested in a serious and respectful exchange of ideas are welcome to drop me a line.

    Peace.

  156. John C. Barile Says:

    Thanks, Mr. White; I’ve run across your site and gotton the flavor of it, so I’ll know where to find you.

    I’m tempted to run-on and on about some of the non-sequiturs that another has presented, but Robert Spencer himself has devoted an entire book to such as these, in answer to the absurdly leveling moral they mean to support.

  157. John C. Barile Says:

    Ooh, I hate typos–”gotten.”

  158. SL Says:

    You see, Amy, svend had no rebuttal to the actual Qur’an verses against women that I posted (again, see below), so he bailed, just like the PC panel Professors. Muslims never admit to anything wrong with Islam. That’s a huge problem with “discussing” Islam/Mohamet/allah/Qur’an with Muslims – they NEVER admit one fault, one flaw, in their belief system, and every other belief system is, of course, “corrupted.” Islam, however, is perfect. Uh Huh. Right. And it never rains in Seattle.

    Verses against Women in the Qur’an:

    The Qur’an likens a woman to a field (tilth), to be used by a man as he wills: “Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will” (2:223).

    The Qur’an also declares that a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man: “Get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her” (2:282).

    It allows men to marry up to four wives, and have sex with slave girls also: “If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice” (4:3).

    It rules that a son’s inheritance should be twice the size of that of a daughter: “Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children’s (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females” (4:11).

    Worst of all, the Qur’an tells husbands to beat their disobedient wives: “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them” (4:34).

    It allows for marriage to pre-pubescent girls, stipulating that Islamic divorce procedures “shall apply to those who have not yet menstruated” (65:4).

    Nor is that all. There are ahadith in which Muhammad says that hell is filled with many more women than men, there are Islamic legal justifications for child marriage, stoning for adultery, honor killing, and female genital mutilation, and there is abundant evidence that these views of women have created hardened cultural attitudes across the Islamic world that institutionalize misery for women and discrimination against them.

  159. True-Jewish Says:

    To SL,

    You almost wrote a reply to everyone who wrote something positive about islam. That is really impressive!
    You and MR. Spencer are very contradicting, Mr. Spencer said there are “Muslims of good will” and then say “believers in evil”, someone here wrote “The reason Spencer is a bigot and not merely a critic of Islamic extremism is that he doesnt hold rightwing Christianity or Judaism to the same undifferentiated standards he does the varied faith and practises of 1.3 billion Muslims” and then SL replied by ignoring the whole sentence and saying thanks for the polygamy!!! Not even into the point raised.
    So I just want to ask you a simple and straight question, and I hope I will get a simple and straight answer, what should we do with the 1.3 Billion muslims around the world to make you happy?

    • SL Says:

      In reply to your last sentence, stop following a doctrine of Jihad and Islamic Supremacism.

      But, yes, you need to stop with the mass-polygamy. It’s uncivilized, cruel to women, and over-populates the world needlessly. If you’d like to read about the cruel effects polygamy has on females, get yourself a copy of Nonie Darwish’s “Now They Call Me Infidel.”

      BTW, you’re not Jewish.

  160. Jaynie59 Says:

    There is no need for any kind of advanced scholarly degree in religious studies to form an accurate, and negative, opinion of Islam. All anyone needs to do is to do what I did more than 5 years ago. Go to Google, type in the word “Islam” and start reading. Do not read any Christian or Jewish sites. Do not read any anti-Islam sites. It is very easy to spot them, and there are a lot of them, so just hit the BACK button and go on to the next pro-Islam site you find.

    Pro-Islam sites, alone, are enough to chill any idea that Islam is like other religions. Just read what Muslims who are trying to promote Islam have to say about it. That’s enough.

    The basic premise of the Islamic faith, even if you ignore the thousands of it’s followers who routinely kill in its name, is more than enough to guide any person with any curiosity about what the average Muslim believes.

    Every Muslim believes that Mohamed was God’s last messenger, and that the Koran is the last, literal, true word of God. Every Muslim believes that every word of the Koran is the literal, and last, word of God and the Koran is the only Holy text that has never been corrupted by the hand of man. Every Muslim believes that all other religions are superceded by Islam and that Islam is the only true religion on Earth. Not only do all Muslims believe that, they are very proud of that fact.

    The extent of how much they believe that followers of other religions are mistaken, fooled, or deliberately working to attack Islam, is the determining factor in how threatened they feel, and their defense of Islam is what allows them to reach into the Koran and Hadiths for justification of their actions in defense of Islam. Like any fanatic with a cause, they look to justify their actions. The Koran, Hadiths, and words of contemporary Islamic scholars give that justification today. What Robert Spencer does is quote what Muslims themselves say and how they justify what they do under Islam.

    The vast majority of Muslims are peaceful because the vast majority of people are decent, kind, compassionate human beings. But for those Muslim men looking for justification to do whatever he wants to whoever he wants whenever he wants, he will find it in the texts.

    The proof of this is in the news everyday, and has been for many years now. It never ceases to amaze me how many people write comments using this amazing thing called the internet who don’t even bother to find out what it is they are defending, while defaming someone else for telling the truth that they could so plainly see with their own eyes if they just made half an effort.

    It’s extremely depressing.

    • svend Says:

      Very inconsiderate, posting such and interesting comment now, after I’ve announced my retirement from the lists.

      I do think you are underestimating the complexity of these questions and the barriers to people assessing them properly, but I don’t disagree with you as much as you might think. Putting aside your conclusions about the implications of core Muslim beliefs, our biggest differences of opinion probably center on the question of causation (namely, how these problems came about and why they persist into our day) and their significance (what these problems tell us). But that’s another, very long discussion.

      > What Robert Spencer does is quote what Muslims themselves say and how they justify what they do under Islam.

      This is certainly what Spencer claims (and perhaps believes himself) to do, but as you might guess I think he goes far beyond that humble task. In my view, he consistently jerrymanders the discussion with selective surveys of facts and spins the issues so as to make inevitable a conclusion that the interpretations of the fanatics you mention reflect the core values of Islamic faith and tradition.

      Such a conclusion is not only unjustified in my view, it has very far-reaching and dire consequences for the prospects for peace. Which is why I think it’s so harmful.

      I won’t presume to speak for other Muslims, but my objection is to that spinning–the manipulation employed to lead the reader to a conclusion that isn’t clearly supported by the facts–*not* the conclusion itself, however subversive it may be to orthodox faith or Islam’s image. It’s frankly no skin off my nose what others believe believe about my religion so long as those beliefs don’t translate into conflict or discrimination of some sort. And I don’t expect non-Muslims to have a particularly positive view of Islam, either. (If they did, they’d probably be Muslim.)

      • Jaynie59 Says:

        svend said:
        “This is certainly what Spencer claims (and perhaps believes himself) to do, but as you might guess I think he goes far beyond that humble task. ”

        If you consider what Mr. Spencer does to be a “humble task” you obviously have not spent enough time reading a fraction of what he writes. What I said was that you don’t have to be a scholar to understand what Muslims say about Islam. All you have to do is read the news. They tell you every day. All you have to do is read pro-Islam websites. As your last sentence proves, Muslims are very proud of Islam. I spent 6 years posting on a liberal message board that had many self proclaimed Muslims and not one of them was ever rude to me. Quite the contrary. Liberals are the nastiest people on the planet, but Muslims are polite to a fault. Many of the links I got were from Muslims who sincerely wanted to educate me.

        svend said:
        “Putting aside your conclusions about the implications of core Muslim beliefs, our biggest differences of opinion probably center on the question of causation (namely, how these problems came about and why they persist into our day) and their significance (what these problems tell us). But that’s another, very long discussion.”

        I will not get into any discussion about “root causes”. The Root Cause crowd are more than happy to discuss what makes Muslim terrorists do what they do as long as the blame begins at the hands of America and the West and ends at Islams door. Unlike Mr. Spencer, I gave up a long time ago. There is no causation, there is no reason, there is no explanation for Beslan. Islam is the only thing that explains how a grown man could deliberately aim his gun at the back of child fleeing for his life and pull the trigger. The deafening silence of “Muslim scholars” after Beslan, and the continued defensiveness of it’s defenders after Beslan is what made me stop even trying get people to learn even the basics of Islam.

        It was after I gave up that I finally started reading Jihad Watch. In my opinion, Robert Spencer is a saint. How that man continues to do what he does in the face of such ignorant hatred directed at him is beyond me. Robert Spencer, as anyone who reads what he writes and listens to his speeches, has more respect for Islam and Muslims than most people who blindly defend it.

        Eight years after 9/11 Robert Spencer should be holding a cabinet level position in the United States government, and yet here he is defending himself to a group of librarians.

      • svend Says:

        Just to clarify one point, my last, rather off-the-cuff sentence was not intended as you interpreted it.

        My point is simply that to my mind it’s neither shocking that many non-Muslims have serious differences of opinion with Muslims about Islam. I don’t find them threatening. To the contrary, it’s pretty natural in a lot of ways. My concerns begin only when such opinions reach a lead to violations of other people’s rights and dignity.

        And I completely understand why many normal people are scared of Islam today, even if I think much of the news and analysis they get is misleading.

      • Jaynie59 Says:

        “My concerns begin only when such opinions reach a lead to violations of other people’s rights and dignity.”

        You sound like just the kind of Muslim who should be reading and contributing to Jihad Watch.

        Of course, you have to respect others rights before you can expect them to respect yours.

    • SL Says:

      “There is no need for any kind of advanced scholarly degree in religious studies to form an accurate, and negative, opinion of Islam.”

      Exactly.

      Just as there is no need for any advanced degree to understand the violent, hate-filled, and genocidal political ideologies of Fascism and Nazism.

  161. Irfan Says:

    So I can start performing surgery after going to google and typing in the word “surgery” and then start reading.

    He has a mere MA in religious studies. Where from? In which religion?

    Spencer engages in the interpretation of classical Arabic texts. He extracts rules from these texts and then uses them to explain isolated news reports from different parts of the world to find some trends in persons of nominally Muslim heritage.

    What qualifications does he have to interpret classical Arabic texts? I ask the exact same questions of those claiming to be imams.

    The reality is that Robert Spencer is about as qualified as Osama bin Ladin.

    • Jaynie59 Says:

      Ifran said:

      “So I can start performing surgery after going to google and typing in the word “surgery” and then start reading.”

      As your post proves, yet again Muslims refuse to discuss what Muslims themselves say and simply attack the person who repeats it.

      Your post also proves that there is no criteria that will ever be good enough or satisfy you when it comes to any truth about Islam and how the Bin Laden’s of the world interpret it. I learned very early in my attempt to discuss Islam that it was pointless to quote anything from the Koran and Hadiths.

      Lets try this little exercise:

      As a Muslim, do you disavow the belief that Islam is the only true religion and that it has the God-given duty to subjugate unbelievers?

      Do you, as a Muslim, believe that all peoples have the right to freedom of conscience and the right to openly and freely practice their religion and have the right to live in equal status with Muslims even in countries that are under Muslim rule?

      You cannot claim to believe the second statement if you refuse to allow discussion of the first.

      The concept of Islamic supremacy is what Mr. Spencer talks and writes about. In my opinion, that’s the only “root cause” that needs discussion.

      • SL Says:

        “I learned very early in my attempt to discuss Islam that it was pointless to quote anything from the Koran and Hadiths.”

        Right, because the Muslim will always call it “out-of-context,” “it’s not in Arabic,” or it just flat-out doesn’t mean what it says!

        We are so over those ridiculous and flimsy excuses it’s not funny.

        Also, Irfan, your “analogy” is absurd. In addition, a “mere MA?” lol, what do you have? A GED? Finally, the entire world is “qualified” to read about Islam, take notice of current events, and form an accurate opinion about your “religion” of bigotry, hate, and mass-murder. Let me just post this well-known Verse of the Sword:

        Qur’an 9:5 – “Fight and kill the Disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”

        It means exactly what it says. There is nothing like this in Judaism or Christianity. That’s because a hate-filled power-mad Warlord didn’t write the Bible.

  162. Irfan Says:

    Can someone show me a single even mildly positive thing Spencer has said or written about Islamic religion or Muslim cultures? Surely 14 centuries of tradition and 1.2 billion people alive today could produce at least one positive.

  163. laguna Says:

    My, my Irfan!

    And I suppose you have a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies? And maybe even a post-doctorate degree? Just what, exactly, are YOUR qualifications? Aside, that is, from being the official sneerer?

    • SL Says:

      Yes, it’s funny, isn’t it?

      These people are so conceited, so grandiose, and so narcissistic, that apparently a degree located somewhere in the stratosphere is required for even a rudimentary understanding of their highly-complex belief system!

      Hogwash.

      Here’s Islam in a nutshell: “Since we’re the “superior peoples” (as Mohamet lied to his minions), we hate Jews and Christians because they wouldn’t convert to Islam. So, that justifies our beheading the J/C males and enslaving their females. Next on the agenda, “Jihad,” or Islamic Holy War against the “Infidel” (Jews and Christians), which is eternal, never-ending, for-all-time, until the world is rid of Judaism and Christianity, (with Jesus’s assistance!) and only Allah, the moon god from pre-Islamic Arabian myth, is worshipped.”

      Nope, no stratospheric degree required. Simple. Simple and horrifying.

      • Jaynie59 Says:

        SL, you and me would get along just fine. Unfortunately, people like you and me don’t help Robert. We’re too angry.

        It’s too easy for others to blame him for what we say. The simple truth is that, like the movie Jaws, too many people will ignore this particular problem until it swims up and bites them on the ass. If Jaws was made today Brody, Hooper, and Quint would be arrested for animal cruelty. Oh, and called sharkaphobic bigots.

        Although, there is some humor to be found in the attempt. When I was posting about Islamic texts, I was called a racist many times by people who would then go on to explain how the worst aspects of Islamic teachings had nothing to do with Islam but was more a reflection of Arab culture.

        Get it? People calling me a racist bigot would explain how I was wrong by about a religion, that has no foundation in any race, to say that the real problem was those dirty towel headed Arabs. When I’d reply to them to get them to clarify just what it was about the Arab race they hated so much they would, of course, call me a liar for repeating back their own words.

        I actually had fun arguing with some of them. But after Beslan I just couldn’t find anything funny about any of it.

    • SL Says:

      Hi Jaynie,

      I think you had some great spot-on comments. But, I can’t agree with you here – you should go to Jihad Watch and check out the “anger” there. Especially when a Muslim “troll” gets on and baits , hoo-boy!

      RS has explained his positions many times concerning Islam, and they’re very easy to find. So, everyone else gets to have their own positions as well, which have nothing to do with RS’s.

      “Jaws” is one of my favorite movies (the dialogue and acting are fantastic). But, if there was such a monster shark devouring people today, no, I don’t think arrests for animal cruelty would be made. A shark lives to “swim, eat and make little sharks,” as Hooper describes them (you probably remember!), that’s all. Muslims, however, are humans, and there are billions of them, not just one, and they have a theology to defend which is basically indefensible, so they have to go on the attack against those who clearly see that their theology is bogus.

      To those Muslims that call you “racist,” just reply that Islam is not a race. It’s a belief system, an ideology. I don’t know, I’ve never encountered anyone who put the blame for the worst of Islam on the Arabs! Right, but they’re not racist or anything, lol!

      I agree there’s nothing funny about Islam. As the Ayatollah Cockamamie, er, excuse me, Khomeini (!) famously declared, “There is no humor in Islam.” Boy is that right, and it’s a total drag and a blight on the world. That’s my view.

      Hope to see you again, Jaynie.

      P.S. “We’re gonna need a bigger boat!”

  164. American Library Association Panelists Refuse to Appear with Robert Spencer | Weblogs Says:

    [...] July 7th, a group of nine members sent the ALA an open letter regarding Robert Spencer’s participation. This led to the withdrawal of Dr. Marcia Hermansen, a professor of Islamic Studies at Loyola [...]

    • SL Says:

      Right, she’s a Coward. Marcia, you’re nothing but a yellow-bellied Coward. You knew Spencer would defeat you, so you withdrew. I pity the poor naive students who take your misguided, uninformed classes. Pity them.

      Marcia, I suggest you garb yourself in a Black Hefty Bag, you know, the garb Mohammedan females are forced to wear or they’ll get acid thrown on them by Islamic males. Or, “honor killed,” a specialty of Islamic fathers, uncles, brothers, sons. Well, Marcia, where’s your Black Tent, you hypocrite?

  165. Robert Spencer Says:

    Svend:

    You respond to this statement — “What Robert Spencer does is quote what Muslims themselves say and how they justify what they do under Islam” — by saying this: “This is certainly what Spencer claims (and perhaps believes himself) to do, but as you might guess I think he goes far beyond that humble task. In my view, he consistently jerrymanders the discussion with selective surveys of facts and spins the issues so as to make inevitable a conclusion that the interpretations of the fanatics you mention reflect the core values of Islamic faith and tradition.”

    I have never stated that “the interpretations of the fanatics…reflect the core values of Islamic faith and tradition,” and challenge you to prove that I have.

    But leave that aside for now. What I want to ask you is this: I have heard innumerable times that I offer “selective surveys of facts.” Very well. Please supply what I’m leaving out. This is a serious request. Please supply, specifically, rulings by jurists from any of the recognized Sunni or Shi’ite madhahib, declaring that jihad is not to be waged against unbelievers in order to bring them under the authority of Sharia, but rather that non-Muslims and Muslims are to coexist peacefully as equals under the law on an indefinite basis, even when the law of the land is not Sharia. Please show evidence of any orthodox sect or school of jurisprudence that teaches this.

    If, on the other hand, you find that you cannot supply such evidence, and instead restrict your argument to demonstrating that the Qur’an and Sunnah teach that jihad is only and at all times to be defensive in character, please explain why the fard kifaya/fard ayn distinction was elaborated in Islamic law, and why the various madhahib elaborated guidelines for offensive jihad — and how you propose to convince them today to discard those guidelines, even were a caliphate to be restored.

    Thanks in advance for filling in the gaps here.

    Cordially
    Robert Spencer

    • svend Says:

      Hello, Mr. Spencer:

      I’m flattered that you should even take notice of me.

      An entirely fair request and one to which I try to respond this evening after work.

      Thanks.

      Svend

      • SL Says:

        I saw this on Jihad Watch a little while ago:

        Dear Robert,

        I’m incensed (though you will not be surprised) that Svend White has deleted several posts on his website, including mine. You will note, moreover, that he does quote me, obliquely; he sets me up as a foil for his Joke du jour, an exemplar of the same kind of credulity that infected the ALA, that caused the unwary to accept your–as I said facetiously [now deleted]–”posturings and pontifications at face value”; “to fall for such laughable absurdity.”

        Mr. White–even though he did invite thoughtful and considerate replies–Johnsonizes his website to package and showcase his own points.

        Regards,

        John C. Barile.

        John C. Barile – what else did you expect? I wouldn’t trust “svend” as far as I could throw him. Hope you’ve learned a valuable lesson. Best Wishes.

      • John C. Barile Says:

        More precisely, SL, I meant “including [one of] mine.”

      • svend Says:

        I’m not promising to respond to comments here in perpetuity, but I will eventually get around to to responding to those that I think warrant a response. Have less time during the week.

        @John
        I have no idea what you’re talking about. With very rare exceptions, I only delete spam.

        What’s more, I responded to a comment by you (I think) in a fairly conciliatory manner. http://tinyurl.com/mexlss

        So I’m mystified as to what you’re going on about.

      • John C. Barile Says:

        And I mean to be conciliatory, too. I’m sorry I raised a peripheral matter, as if it were an issue in itself. I see how things said and done carry an echo.

      • John C. Barile Says:

        Moreover, if my tossed-off comment hasn’t been deleted (as I secretly hoped it was), then I am quite mistaken and doubly foolish.

        My comment (in the link you give) is a sarcastic aknowledgement that the unflattering context (as I perceive it) in which my very first comment here is shown on your blog is borne out. I also saw that other posts on your blog, such as (as I seem to recall) Kamala’s were deleted.

      • John C. Barile Says:

        More precisely: “I thought I also saw that other posts . . . were deleted.”

        You see, I couldn’t find the page you link to, above, on your site when I last looked; I haven’t seen the conciliatory reply that you posted there before, either.

      • John C. Barile Says:

        ‘Nuff said.

      • svend Says:

        @John:
        A misunderstanding then. Thanks for following up here and on JW (whose comments I seem to have trouble accessing from work).

        I’m not so insecure as to delete criticism. Providing of course that it’s not completely out of bounds in terms of tone (though even those ironically are sometimes my favorites).

        I don’t moderate comments and haven’t removed anything in weeks other than a bunch of spam 4-5 days ago. Someone else on JW seems to have gotten the same impression, though, so it’s odd.

    • Philosophy Prof Says:

      Svend has not posted a reply here (at least not one I can see) to a very direct and focused question that he admits in the post above is “an entirely fair request”. Mr. Spencer has posted on the JihadWatch web site a response from Svend. I paste it here:

      “Dear Mr. Spencer,

      Some corrections and clarifications: First (and perhaps you can be forgiven for overlooking this fact given the number and chaotic arrangement of comments on the blog), I made it quite clear in my contributions that I was questioning your credibility and qualifications not to discuss “Islamic issues” but rather to participate in a forum on library policies and outreach to Muslim communities. Second, you neglected to note the backdrop of lively and blunt give and take regarding Islam—some of it quite crudely prejudiced or hostile—in the comments which inevitably colored my comments at times. Third, despite my inclusion of a link to the term’s definition you neglected to note that “Islamophobe-e-Azam” was a play on the title Quaid-e-Azam (“Great Leader”) used by Pakistanis for their nation’s founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, rather than some obscure insult or malediction; given your already established fame as a critic of Islam and, thus, little need for introduction to Muslim readers in the Blogosphere, it functioned as a joke more than anything else. Fourth, the quip about your writings representing a “personal crusade” involved a bit of poetic license, but I think it’s a defensible interpretation of your career as a public figure. More generally, my comments were frank and opionated [sic] —in keeping with the medium—but hardly “defamatory.” In fact, I took another commenter to task for engaging in ad hominem attacks against you. (Still, there is a limit to how diplomatic one can be when confronting what one sees as bigotry; a spade must be called a spade.)

      I am not particularly inclined to write a treatise on special topics in Fiqh for Jihad Watch or otherwise play games with you (emphasis added). My comments on the blog in question were undoubtedly a bit disjointed and off the cuff, but they captured the gist of my concerns reasonably well. People who dismiss those objections out of hand aren’t likely to be a very receptive audience for further reflections by me here.

      Islamic law is besides the point in a way, though. In my view, the flaws in your writings on Islam transcend simple factual points and speak to far more fundamental conceptual problems. There is a critical dearth of social scientific awareness in the writings I have seen by you, this manifesting itself most strikingly in an acute overemphasize of jurisprudence, as if Islamic civilization and Muslims were simply the sum of their laws. (Nor coincidently [sic], I suspect, this narrow, legalistic approach dovetails nicely with the agenda of those in contemporary politics intent on discouraging consideration of the many non-religious factors at play in the Muslim world’s problems.)

      The graver problem, though is systematic bias, and the point at which it rises to the level of outright prejudice and hate. As you must know, a new definition of anti-Semitism added to the Western political lexicon in recent years holds that criticism of Israel that demands of the Jewish State that it adhere to standards never applied to other nations is anti-Semitism. It is a reasonable criterion for prejudice and method of detecting more insidious forms of bias. It is also at the crux of this debate: Analyses of Muslims—or any other community, for that matter—that discuss them in a vacuum and hold them to ahistorical and/or unique standards are equally immoral and intellectually disreputable. (Sadly, it has become second nature in wide swathes of American political life to view Muslims through such a dehumanizing, Islamophobic prism, thanks in part to the attacks of people such as yourself.)

      That will have to do for now. Perhaps another time.

      Sincerely,
      Svend”

    • Philosophy Prof Says:

      Mr. Spencer has been accused a variety of horrible sins in this thread, both intellectual and moral—on the intellectual side of things he is said to traffic in “oversimplified generalizations”, he engages in “reductivist textproofing”, he confuses “mainstream Islam with Islamism”—he has been branded a “bigot”, a “racist”, and compared to a neo-Nazi and David Duke, and yet not a single passage has been cited by any of his critics in any of works to support any of his claims. Even in the Open Letter the quote chosen comes from another author on the JihadWatch web site, Gregory Davis, and attributed to Spencer. Did the Open Letter writers go the web site, hastily browse for the most prejudicial quote they could find, and then copy and paste. Does this explain the false attribution to Spencer?

      And when finally a very clear and reasonable questions are posed by Mr. Spencer himself to a critic, a request which could initiate a dialogue demonstrating that some of Spencer’s substantive claims on Islam are dubious or false, the critic walks away, saying at first Mr. Spencer makes “an entirely fair request”, and then saying “I am not particularly inclined to write a treatise on special topics in Fiqh for Jihad Watch or otherwise play games with you.”

      Mr. Spencer has offered to debate any of his critics at their convenience. Mr. White says, “another time”.

      Will “another time” ever come?

      In any case, the demonization, marginalization, and exclusion of Robert Spencer without even one cogent, specific refutation of his work (from Mr. White or anyone else) is, from a scholarly point of view, absolutely scandalous.

  166. Bob Smith Says:

    Islam is nothing more than a successful cult. Its organizational structure is responsible for its success.

    All religious belief is predicated on accepting as true something that cannot be proved. Islam is the best example.

    Why would anyone believe the Koran was the true, unchangeable, word of God? Especially considering there are a number of different Korans. Why would anyone believe a child pedophile, murdering warrior was a messenger of God? Islam is preposterous, and cannot stand up to vigorous scrutiny or questions.

    So what keeps Islam alive? Fear. Fear that some devout believer will kill anyone who questions, criticizes, or tries to leave the “religion”.

    Muslims are trapped inside a system they did not create, a system they cannot change, a system they cannot criticize, a system they cannot leave.

    The reality is this: Islam has become a disease process that affects a society. Like a virus affects a human. A society that has contracted Islam is stuck in a 7th century intellectual disease, created by a mad man to feed his lust for power.

    Islam is an intellectual plague.

    • Jaynie59 Says:

      Did you mean it’s lack of organizational structure is responsible for its success?

      Robert goes out of his way to cite sources that Muslims themselves rely on as legitimate authorities on Islam. Whether they are 1000 years old, 500 years old, or from yesterday. That’s noble of him to make the effort, but I learned, just by reading pro-Islam websites, that Muslims will take any advice from any authority where they can get it. Leaving out the differences between Shiite and Sunni for a moment, there is no real central authority in Islam.

      Just go to any pro-Islam website that has a Q&A page and read what Muslims say to each other. Here is one example I use often and one I think illustrates the problem of the “tiny minority of extremists” argument so often used by Muslims and their defenders:

      A reader wrote to the Iman that as an amateur astrologer he had a quandary he needed help with. The previous year, the start of Ramadan was off by a day. He asked what he should do if the same thing happened again this year. 1)Should he inform the local cleric that his calculation was wrong, 2)should he keep quiet but celebrate Ramadan when he knew it should start and end, or 3) should he keep quiet and celebrate along with everyone else.

      The Iman’s answer was that he should keep quiet and celebrate along with everyone else. The Iman, very politely, told him that his being right was not as important as unity under Islam.

      Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. This Iman told that man that he should ignore something as tangible as the phases of the moon in order to support other Muslims.

      That’s a very common philosophy amongst Muslims. That’s why Islamic “scholars” come out of the word work at the slightest hint of any insult to Islam, like the Danish cartoons, but are nowhere to be seen or heard from when Muslims target and deliberately kill school children. No true Muslim can condemn such actions by other Muslims because it’s allowed in defense of Islam.

      • Timmy Says:

        The organizational structure of Islam that is the problem is not any organization of people but the basic stated beliefs of the system itself. Given these elements of structure it is more or less impossible to stop. They are, a written doctrine that is perfect and cannot be changed, the death penalty for those who do try to change it or leave it. Beyond that basic level the laws that disallow selling property to non-Muslims or marrying non-Muslims – except where it will increase the Islamic fold, that is Men can marry non-Muslim women who then become Muslim, women cannot marry out of Islam however, Christian churches cannot be built, laws that allow people to escape punishment if they become a Muslim, etc. etc. In the analogy to disease that often is made, this would be a disease that permanently takes each part of the body and cannot be reversed. Think of the wasting disease which requires amputation of an arm or leg in order to save the body. There is just no reversing Islam. Spain is the one success in all of history and the Muslims are itching to this day to take it back. It is the way Muhammad wrote Islam that makes it self-reinforcing. There can be NO doubt, absolutely zero, that IF there were no coercion in Islam, that is anyone could freely choose to become a Muslim or reject Islam, and if other religions could freely build churches and temples, and preach their messages anywhere, that Islam would have shriveled up and died one thousand years ago. Force, and force along, sanctioned by the organizational structure of the doctrines themselves are the problem.

  167. Timmy Says:

    To the extent that Hell itself includes among other things a state of constant confusion and bickering it is interesting how Islam itself promotes so much confusion and bickering, even among themselves. Satan must be smugly satisfied with the what Islam has wrought. In addition to the millions of souls lost, the constant bickering and confusion also puts “all religion” in a bad light in the eyes of many which atheists then use to bash the peaceful religion of Christ lessening the chance they will see the truth. Someone really needs to consider what the world would look like had it continued to develop as it was had Muhammad and Islam never come along. Imagine the beautiful wonderland that the Middle East would be.

    • SL Says:

      “Someone really needs to consider what the world would look like had it continued to develop as it was had Muhammad and Islam never come along. Imagine the beautiful wonderland that the Middle East would be.”

      Oh, yes. Without the evil that is Islam? Oh, yes. Imagine a wonderful Judeo-Christian Middle East.

      I’m sure MANY have “imagined” that. The Warlord fake “prophet” ruined and destroyed the Middle East. And his brainwashed followers have continued that ruination and destruction. Poor lost souls. Of course they’ll learn the truth, when it’s their time to pass. There’s no “allah,” Mohammedans, which you will eventually discover.

  168. Mentat Says:

    Robert Spencer’s critics refuse to refute the arguments that Mr. Spencer makes about Islam. Why do they do this? A number of possible reasons present themselves: 1) They cannot; 2) If they tried to do so, they would actually end up confirming Mr. Spencer’s views; 3) Any attempt to do so would reveal many unflattering aspects of Islam to non-Muslims that they would prefer to remain hidden and not discussed in public. Yet at the same time, for those of us who are interested in logic and debate, Mr. Spencer’s critics show us that they could almost write the book on logical fallacies or mistakes in reasoning. For the analysis below, I am going to be using as a source the excellent website, Fallacyfiles.org.

    The most often used mistake in reasoning used by Mr. Spencer’s critics is the argumentem ad hominem. As the Fallacyfiles define it: “A debater commits the Ad Hominem Fallacy when he introduces irrelevant personal premisses about his opponent. Such red herrings may successfully distract the opponent or the audience from the topic of the debate.” A fine example of this logical fallacy is provided by Anti-Zionist Jew who states above: “he [Mr. Spencer] is a current day reactionary as bad as the Nazis were, if not worse and spreads filthy lies and hate about our Muslim Brothers and sisters. His invitation to this panel is like inviting Dr. Goebbels, the book burner, to a book lover’s meeting.” You will notice how Anti-Zionist Jew simply makes a personal attack on Mr. Spencer and makes no attempt to address any of the arguments, facts or analysis that Mr. Spencer so eloquently provides in his books and on his website.

    Another logical fallacy frequently used by posters against Mr. Spencer is the appeal to authority. As the Fallacyfiles define it: “Authority A believes that P is true. Therefore, P is true.”

    A fine example of this is used by poster “Yahya says” when he quotes the words of Imam W. Deen Mohammed. First of all, the fact that Imam W. believes something does not make it true; secondly, the fact that Imam W. believes something does not refute anything that Mr. Spencer says. As the Fallacyfiles quotation from Bertrand Russell makes perfectly clear (outlined below), what matters is the quality of the argument: “It is not what the man of science believes that distinguishes him, but how and why he believes it. His beliefs are tentative, not dogmatic; they are based on evidence, not on authority or intuition.” Simply appealing to another authority in no way refutes the arguments that Mr. Spencer makes because it does actually address those arguments.

    Regretfully, time does not permit me to make a complete catalogue of all the logical fallacies outlined by Mr. Spencer’s opponents but I invite all posters to avail themselves of the Fallacyfiles and have some fun thinking logically.

  169. theWordTruthLight Says:

    Islam has been fighting an unholy war against Jews and Christians since muhammed “founded” his political cult.

    The quote that the Pope used was perfect: nothing new but evil and inhuman, spreading islam by the sword. muhammed and the muslims spread islam by the sword, in fact it was mandated by muhammed. St. Mark walked peacefully into Egypt and spread the Word of Jesus but the muslims used the sword to force those to SUBMIT to Islam, be beheaded if they didn’t comply or pay an excessive tax. This continues throughout anywhere muslims are the majority. The msm fails to report it because they are liberal dhimmis but it happens daily nonetheless. muslims have never admitted their atrocities and constanlty point to the Crusades, which were defensive wars, as some proof of Christian hatred. But there exists no peace or equality for anyone in muslim majority lands that is not muslim. The fact that muslims who become baptized Christians are both persecuted and murdered by muslims, as decreed by muhammed, says it all.

    • SL Says:

      “…the Crusades, which were defensive wars,”

      Exactly.

      And I am going to quote Spencer on this:

      “The Crusades were not acts of unprovoked aggression by Europe against the Islamic world, but a delayed response to centuries of Muslim aggression.” — from “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades.”

      Bravo Crusades. So sorry you lost.

  170. Vito Esposito Says:

    It is clear that Mr. Spencer’s work is finally being recognized. Why are islamists so upset at Mr. Spencer? It seems when muslim organizations do not agree with the counter voice, they throw out words like “Hate Speech”, “Radical” or “Islamophobe”. But what are islamists really afraid of? Are they afraid of being outed? They use our First Amendment Right of Free Speech to stifle who they deem to be dissenters. They berate them and label them. And of course then play the victim card. All those nice politically correct multi-cultural liberals lapp it up and fall prey to islams intent.

    Unfortunately for islamists, Robert Spencer sees through the facade being put up by organizations like CAIR, Muslim Brotherhood, Muslim Student Association and Islamic Society of North America. All these really caring sounding organizations who fight for Civil Rights of the deprived (can you hear the harps playing now).

    When Omar Ahmad – Co-Founder of CAIR – states that islam is not in America to be equal, but to be superior and the highest authority should be Sharia Law – That statement should give EVERY American pause as to what the real intent of islam is in America? Just take a look at what is happening in other Western Democracies like the United Kingdom.

    No islamists do not want the counter voice speaking in America, nor at any venue where they appear. Al-Takiyya is their basis for dealing with Non-Muslims, the ability to lie. If they should have to share the stage with an individual who understands their mission in America, like a Robert Spencer, islamists would not be able to give a straight answer and chance exposing themselves what they really are and what their mission in America really is, just like Omar Ahmad stated himself.

    Let’s not forget it wasn’t 19 Catholics, 19 Baptists, 19 Methodists who flew planes into the Twin Towers and Pentagon Buildings, it was 19 muslims! How soon Americans forget……..

    • SL Says:

      “Let’s not forget it wasn’t 19 Catholics, 19 Baptists, 19 Methodists who flew planes into the Twin Towers and Pentagon Buildings, it was 19 muslims! How soon Americans forget……”

      It is truly shocking that after 9/11 we are dealing with this Muslim cr*p. Unfortunately, George W Bush is to blame, a day after the Jihad mass-murders calling Islam a “religion of peace.” Which it most certainly IS NOT, and NEVER HAS BEEN.

  171. Charles R.L. Power Says:

    There seems to be confusion about the stated goal of the panel. Was it to tear down stereotypes of Islam or to demonize negative opinions about Islam?

    Islam is a religion, a group of ideas. A group of ideas should be subject to criticism. Islam seems to be among the more monolithic of the major religions — there is nothing parallel to the Protestant movement, but mostly a political disagreement about the succession of political leaders dating back several centuries creating two major branches of Islam in still violent disagreement with each other. (That such a disagreement, not unlike the controversy of Gore vs. Bush, should still provoke bloodshed already says much about the culture of Islam.)

    It is possible to discuss Islam not on the basis of equivalents of Origen, Augustine or Aquinas, but going directly to the speeches and actions of the religion’s founder Muhammad. This is largely what Robert Spencer does, citing in addition confirmatory writings of Muslim scholars that say essentially that Muhammad meant exactly what he is recorded as having said, and that what he said still applies. This includes injunctions to violently extend the territory where Muslims dominate and those of other faiths who refuse to submit to Muslim authority are killed.

    I fear that it was President Bush, with his respect for religion per se, who stereotyped Islam as a “religion of peace.” Robert Spencer’s writings expose this stereotype.

  172. Elizabeth Says:

    I don’t understand why, when it comes to Islam, one cannot have a public forum in which various POVs are discussed.

    • Timmy Says:

      Islam is built on lies, it requires that people have only a very superficial knowledge of it. For instance, regarding Jesus, they claim to “respect” Jesus the prophet, and they like to mention how many times Mary is mentioned, but mentioning Mary is only done to say that Jesus was just a man, born of a woman, not as the filthy Christians say, God on Earth in human form. So they can smile to your face and say some words about Jesus and Mary while simultaneously denying Christ and the entire basis for your religion, and you just stand there and smile back at them. In a public forum someone could challenge this matter and others and it would quickly become clear there are problems. Only when they can just present what they want, how they want, can the facade be maintained.

  173. Amy Soldier Says:

    This entire dialog after svend’s response to Mr. Spencer will be saved as a pdf file.

    …,

    • Jaynie59 Says:

      Svend won’t be back. Muslims are great with lofty, floral language about Islam. It’s the details they can’t answer to.

      Small details like the deliberate targeting and slaughter of non-Muslims in defense of Islam.

      Teddy Bears named Mohamed are enough for a mob.

  174. theWordTruthLight Says:

    Unfortunately, the msm and koolaid drinking pc liberals refuse to accept the truth about islam. The public schools and the dhimmi teachers continue to teach nonsense about Islam being superior and its adherents as being victims of the bad Christians. As an educator, I am a lone voice among the ignorant pc crowd. The books that children read from grades 1-12 would make your head spin as Islam is presented as superior and Christianity is barely mentioned (mostly in a negative fashion). muhammed gets psecial treatment in several chapters, while Jesus barely gets his Name mentioned. Films on muhammed are presented, but films on the teachings of Jesus in historical context are prohibited. Islam was spread through “trade”; explain that to the millions of oppressed and beheaded masses that didn’t comply to moslem oppression. They are not “Arabic” numerals; they came from India.
    I agree “Bravo crusades. So sorry you lost”. The world would be a safer place. And yes, Bush with his idiotic comment that Islam is a religion of peace deserves blame. Bush is wrong; Islam is a political cult that wants the world to submit to sharia and nothing in its history has indicated peace was involved. Pieces, yes, as your heads roll after being beheaded.

    Even St. Francis boldly and courageously faced Islam and called it a “false religion”.

  175. Amillennialist Says:

    Allah and his false prophet command the faithful to convert, subdue and humiliate, or kill non-Muslims to make the world Islam

    Devout Muslims wishing to deceive ignorant and gullible non-Muslims (and those craven, ignorant and gullible non-Muslims who wish to be deceived) often attempt to discredit and demonize critics of Allah and his prophet by accusing them of “Islamophobia,” “racism,” or “extremism.”

    Often, they falsely accuse them of presenting Islamic “sacred” texts out-of-context.

    When allowed to speak for themselves, Allah and his apostle prove such accusations to be only pitiful and deceptive ad hominem attacks and red herrings. The words of Allah and the example of Mohammed are recorded in Qur’an, ahadith collections, and sira. In these texts, Allah commands the converting, subduing and humiliating, and killing of non-Muslims to make the world Islam.

    Following is some of that which the devout fear you’ll discover.

    I. MOHAMMED THE GENOCIDAL MONSTER

    These open-ended, universal commands for offensive warfare against those who refuse to convert to Islam or submit to its tyranny sum up nicely the predicament that’s faced non-Muslims around the world for nearly one and one-half millennia:

    “the Messenger of Allah . . . would say: ‘Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war. . . . When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. . . . Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. . . . If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them . . .’” (Muslim Book 19, Number 4294).

    “fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war) . . . ” (Qur’an 9:5).

    “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” (Qur’an 9:29).

    “Allah’s Apostle said: ‘I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle . . . ‘” (Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 24).

    “It is not for any prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land. Ye desire the lure of this world and Allah desireth (for you) the Hereafter, and Allah is Mighty, Wise” (Qur’an 8:67).

    “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘I have been made victorious with terror’” (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220).

  176. Amy Soldier Says:

    Jaynie59, svend doesn’t come across like a schlub. He may return.

    Stella and Kristin have flew the coop, though, it seems. Strange that those two who appeared to have some influence in the ALA and with contrary POV and opinions that should have been changed by this dialog, remain obstinate to change. Humiliation may have gotten the better of them, too. So it goes.

  177. traeh Says:

    In several places in the most canonical hadith collections, Muhammad says, “If someone changes his Islamic religion, then kill him.” On this basis, among many others, all the schools of Islamic law support the death penalty for apostasy from Islam. Meanwhile, human rights groups report that Islamic nations, on the whole, have the worst records on civil liberties and political rights of any group of nations. Even Turkey and Indonesia, sometimes vaunted as examples of the compatibility of Islam and democracy, have limits on their democracies that no liberal Western democracy would find acceptable. The compatibility of Islam with democracy, given all these facts, and many, many others to found in the Qur’an, hadiths, and Sira, should at least be cause for serious concern about anyone who cares about liberal democracy. Perhaps Islam is compatible with democracy. But given its history, its doctrines, the character of states with Muslim majorities, and Muhammad’s role as a theocratic ruler, non-Muslims can be forgiven for vigorously vetting Islam’s ability — or relative lack of ability — to support liberal democracy.

  178. awake Says:

    svend Says:

    July 13, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Reply
    Hello, Mr. Spencer:

    “I’m flattered that you should even take notice of me.”

    Apparently, not “flattered” enough to allow Spencer to enunciate his “distorted” views about Islam, as proclaimed by svend, views that svend maintains are so selective and easily refuted.

    Actually, not “flattered” enough to even evoke a response to Spencer until after svend finishes his inordinately long shift at McDonalds. Whew! Those are some tough, long hours that svend is required to work. One might even be inclined to call it slavery, no?

    Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick?

  179. Odkin Says:

    Cowards and hypocrites. Typical educrats who bray about freedom of expression and thought, then deny debate to anyone who deviates from liberal mainstream orthodoxy.

    You should all be ashamed.

  180. AsimG Says:

    Robert Spencer is a very interesting character. I give him more “credit” than I would give to blatant liar like Daniel Pipes, but an Islamophobe is still an Islamophobe (hey we can make labels too).

    To those that say they want “discussion”: Let’s be real, that’s not what you want.

    If you did, you would be visiting your local mosque, speaking to imams/scholars and/or visiting a site like http://www.whyislam.org or http://www.gainpeace.com

    Instead, you act like typical internet trolls who haven’t done an iota of research except regurgitating whatever has been fed to you by your “experts” in Islam.

    But what is to be expected, your own “experts” do the same thing.

    A colleague of mine attended one of Mr. Spencer’s talks in Wisconsin and approached him afterwards for discussion.
    Mr. Spencer responded with 3 points to dismiss any sort of discussion, one of which was to claim we Muslims will lie about our religion.

    How entertaining.

    So come to our mosques, come to our conferences, come speak to our imams and scholars. Talk to us there. We will gladly speak to you.

    If you don’t have the gall to levy such vile insults against Muslims and Islam in person, feel free to visit one of our sites and get a phone number to call or initiate online communications.

    If this is still not enough for you, then I’ll speak to you myself. And no, I won’t call you a liar and end the discussion, lol.

    • SL Says:

      “…one of which was to claim we Muslims will lie about our religion.”

      Exactly. That’s called “al-Taqiyya,” which you know very well. In addition, there’s also “kitman.” We “Infidels” are well-aware of these Islamic verbal methods of deception as sanctioned by your false prophet Warlord, Mohamet. “War is deceit” – Mohamet

      “So come to our mosques, come to our conferences, come speak to our imams and scholars. Talk to us there. We will gladly speak to you.”

      No thanks. I have a brain and can read and think for myself. In addition, I’m not interested in hearing any “al-Taqiyya” and “kitman.”

      Islam is a simple belief system. It is not complex. We didn’t need to personally speak to Hitler and his minions to understand Nazism, we didn’t need to personally speak to Mussolini and his minions to understand Fascism, and we don’t have to speak to your Ayatollah Cockamamies’ or other Islamic primitives to understand Islam.

      You seem to think that people can’t insult. Of course they can. That’s called “Freedom of Speech.” Mockery and ridicule included. In your Islamic societies, insulting, mocking, and ridiculing are against the law, indeed questioning of Islam/Mohamet is against the law. Not so in America. We can insult, mock, ridicule any dang thing we please. Here’s a quote from Sir Salman Rushdie you might not enjoy:

      “What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it doesn’t exist.”

      You’re offended? Who cares! I don’t like Islam, I don’t have to like Islam, I don’t like Mohamet, I don’t have to think he’s a prophet, I don’t like allah, I don’t have to think he’s God (it’s not), I don’t like the Qur’an, and I don’t have to think allah recited it (your Warlord recited it). ["Qur'an" means "Recitation"].

      Ahhhhh….Free Speech. Wonderful.

      “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘I have been made victorious with terror’” (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220).

      Mohamet, the first Islamic Terrorist. Islam, a Terror ideology.

      BTW, *you* are the “internet troll.”

      Have a nice day.

    • Timmy Says:

      “So come to our mosques, come to our conferences, come speak to our imams and scholars. Talk to us there. We will gladly speak to you.

      If you don’t have the gall to levy such vile insults against Muslims and Islam in person, feel free to visit one of our sites and get a phone number to call or initiate online communications.”

      You may not appreciate that because so many Muslims are incapable of intellectually dealing with criticisms of their religion and instead choose to just physically kill those whose criticisms they don’t care for, the suggestions you make actually sound like a threat. You may have been naively suggesting that he just randomly visit mosques and Islamic conferences and state his views and “discuss” these matters but to any non-Muslim infidel it has to be taken as a threat. Even when he attends secular conferences great attention to security is required to be certain some crazed Muslim is not able to physically attack him. You can write him 10,000 words if you like and send it to him at his website and he will meticulously answer every sentence publicly, no need for any physical visits by him to your compounds.

      • AsimG Says:

        Oh get over yourself.
        Whenever anyone brings up a valid point, all that you hear is “Robert Spencer risks his life to the truth”!

        Yawn.

        Nobody cares that much about Robert Spencer or his cult-like followers (as witnessed on this thread).

        But forget Spencer. What about you? When have you done the legwork to speak with Muslims?

      • Timmy Says:

        How nice of you to ask, I’m planning a trip to Mecca to witness for Christ to all the Muslims there. Wish me luck!

      • AsimG Says:

        Jesus is a Prophet and the messiah, but God is one not three.

        The people of Makkah know this and won’t be letting you in lol

    • Jaynie59 Says:

      Do you have a forum or a message board? I’d love to register there and engage in discussions. I found Muslims to be more than willing to discuss Islam with non-Muslims.

      • AsimG Says:

        To be honest, online discussions tend to just become shouting matches. People don’t tend to stick to one subject and just continue crazy copy/pasting to make their point.

        Still, there have been many fruitful discussions with those who respectfully seek discussion.

        I’ll suggest these two for now:
        1. http://www.maniacmuslim.com/forums
        -A high school/college aged comedic website.

        2. http://forums.almaghrib.org/
        This is a forum dedicated to students of an Islamic academy.
        Note: like every large Muslim organization, Mr. Spencer and his ilk have demonized it :)

  181. Rycher Says:

    The people on the ALA are not interested in having an “academic” discussion. They just want to bend over (forwards) for this Islamists.

    Sitting at some table and feeling all self-important while trading niceties about Islam will not change a damn thing. The Islamization of Europe and the West is well underway and one need only look at history to truly understand the urgency of the situation. No amount abject groveling by some self-designated panel of spineless cowardly scholars (read: “panderers”) of Islam could have changed the fate of the Persians, Bysantines, Egyptians or Hindu Polytheists.

    Svend, like many, many others before him is throwing up smoke and mirrors in response to Robert Spencer’s arguments. I haven’t witnessed anyone able to refute Mr Spencer’s work. Robert Spencer is a HERO because he has the courage to speak out against this growing tide of Islamism in our midst. And no this post isn’t fake, this post is the real deal, Robert Spencer has an actual FOLLOWING. Jealous much?

    May God Bless Robert Spencer.

  182. AsimG Says:

    SL,

    I was reading your posts from before. It seems you have nothing else to do as you have responded to almost every post and even went on to attack your anti-Islamic brethren because they disagreed with your tactics and your false commentary. I don’t think anyone fits the description of an internet troll as well as you do.

    The fact that you refuse to meet with any Muslims for discussion speaks volumes to your intentions and your illiteracy (and yet you think you understand taqiyya lol)

    When I have serious questions about Christianity, I don’t visit anti-Christian sites. I talk to my Christian friends, visit a church and talk to pastors/ministers (which I have done on several occasions).

    But that’s ok. People like you have existed for centuries and will continue to exist.

    Although you know what’s funny? People like you also tend to become Muslim lol.
    A person can only hate and lie to themselves to a certain point.
    A friend of mine used to post on JW all the time and now he’s Muslim.

    Anyway, enjoy your unfruitful discussion. The truth and falsehood is clear. If you can’t see it in this life, then we all will in the next.

    • SL Says:

      lol, “become Muslim?” – what a JOKE! Why would anyone, including myself, want to become a 7th century AD Islamic Barbarian? Again, lol.

      Such a troll you are. How’s that bridge you’re living under doing, good?

      As I said, I have a brain. I don’t have to consult primitives, such as yourself, to know about the hoax ideology called Islam, which is nothing but a blight and a plague on the world, for 1350 years.

      You get over yourself – *yawn* – yet another primitive Islamic Barbarian. Just one in a brainwashed billion, following your pedophile “prophet,” and mythological moon god that doesn’t exist. Pity you. You’ll find out the truth when you pass.

      Best Wishes.

  183. awake Says:

    Svend wrote (to Spencer):

    “There is a critical dearth of social scientific awareness in the writings I have seen by you, this manifesting itself most strikingly in an acute overemphasize of jurisprudence, as if Islamic civilization and Muslims were simply the sum of their laws.”

    This is the only example of an actual criticism of Spencer by Svend, specifically that Spencer displays an “acute overemphasize [sic] of jurisprudence.”

    The problem with that criticism, is that it is not factually incorrect, nor is it “hateful” of Spencer to make that claim. Svend doesn’t like the emphasis on that fact, but that is Svend’s issue to get over, not Spencer’s.

    Truth be told, if this is the crux of Svend’s argument against Spencer, he essentially doesn’t have one.

    Instead of criticizing Spencer, why not call out for a new ijtihad, for the Muslims who can and are willing to re-shape Islamic jurisprudence, to do so?

    Why does the accurate reporting of fact by non-Muslims like Spencer about Islam, with merely a disagreement about emphasis, draw the ire of supposed Muslims of goodwill, Muslims who supposedly do not subscribe to the Islamic tenets of offensive Jihad and the global implementation if Islamic Shariah at the expense of non-Muslims?

    Why?

  184. awake Says:

    AsimG wrote:

    “If you don’t have the gall to levy such vile insults against Muslims and Islam in person, feel free to visit one of our sites and get a phone number to call or initiate online communications.”

    Now that sounds more like the Muslim bravado that I am used to. I see you are linked to Muslim Matters.org, a site unlike Jihad Watch, that does not allow any dissenting discussion for everyone’s information. Anyway, once again, we see more statements presented alone as facts by Muslims.

    For example:

    “A colleague of mine attended one of Mr. Spencer’s talks in Wisconsin and approached him afterwards for discussion.
    Mr. Spencer responded with 3 points to dismiss any sort of discussion, one of which was to claim we Muslims will lie about our religion.”

    Who?

    “A friend of mine used to post on JW all the time and now he’s Muslim.”

    Who?

    “Although you know what’s funny? People like you also tend to become Muslim lol.”

    Based on what?

    Not only are these baseless claims unless supported, but they are only put out in a attempt to mock. There is no substance to them.

    I ask you AsimG. Is there anything about Islam that you believe needs reforming with regards to the current conclusive positions of the four major schools of Islamic jurisprudence. Is there anything wrong in the Muslim community, what is being taught in Mosques, madrassas, etc, anything at all, that the removal of Islamophobia alone won’t cure?

    Is there anything that you personally disagree with as a mainstream accepted Islamic tenet?

    Anything?

    • AsimG Says:

      I’m not a representative of Muslimmatters, I just love the site :)

      And no, that site does allow dissent, but not the sort the JW would like i.e. respectful, academic and on-topic.

      Who #1?
      So you need proof of such discussion? Heck, I’m pretty sure Mr. Spencer does this with all well-versed Muslims who speak to him at colleges. There’s just not enough time to deal with all their counterarguments.
      Hidayath is a Phd student and if you would like to speak to him regarding this discussion I’ll ask if I can give his contact info.

      Who #2?
      Scott, a former Mormon, came to our mosque in the Chicago suburbs a year back. He used to be like SL and forced himself to read the entire Qur’an to increase his anti-Islamic knowledge. The opposite happened :) Would you like his social security #?

      Based on?
      Throughout Islamic history, you will find the most hateful enemies of Islam end up becoming Muslim. Even in the time of the Prophet (s), you had people like Abu Sufyan, Hind and Umar.
      That doesn’t mean everyone will. We still have our Abu Jahl’s and Daniel Pipes. But it is an interesting trend to study and more interesting is how the leaders of Muslims in America are predominately converts.

      As for the 4 schools of thought, what needs to be reformed? When did jurisprudence become central tenet of Islam?

      First the Islamophobes tried attacking the Qur’an, but those with any knowledge gave up as they know it is an amazing book.

      Then they tried attacking the ahadith and Prophet Muhammad (s).
      Now we are on to fiqh?

      What’s next, various recitation styles of the Qur’an?
      Oh wait they already started that lol!

      The central tenet of Islam is this: God is One.

      Take it or leave it.

      • SL Says:

        God is Jesus. End of story. There is no “Islamic Jesus,” made up by your Warlord. You worship a moon god from pre-Islamic myth – doesn’t exist!

        Pity you. You’ll find out the truth when you pass.

        Have a great day.

      • AsimG Says:

        You worship a man, I worship the Creator.

        No pity for me. We will both see the truth at the end :)

      • SL Says:

        Nope, Asim-el-Kaboom,

        YOU worship a “man” – Mohamet, 100% MAN, a mass-murderer pedophile fraud “prophet” – LOL!

        And, you worship a non-existent pagan moon idol!

        Enjoy yourself, you lost soul, down in hell with your Mass-Murderer MAN Warlord pedophile who made “Islam” up! Pity you. Enjoy yourself in hell.

        LOL – If you think you’re getting “72 virgins” and “pearly boys” you’re even more insane than your Warlord!

  185. Timmy Says:

    The problem Asim is that the very definition of basic words elemental to the truthful discussion of Islam vs. Christianity or other infidel religions are different. When some infidel unaware of this “discusses” Islam with a Muslim they think they are hearing one thing but it actually means something totally different. Those infidels are not concerned liberals or brave truth seekers, they are pathetic fools. And the Muslims can’t hide the contempt they have for them as pathetic fools. They actually deserve to be held in contempt by Muslims and Christians alike for being such pathetic fools.

    As an aside, please check out Bill Warner at PoliticalIslam. He is one infidel who gets it.

  186. awake Says:

    “Take it or leave it.”

    I’ll leave it, thanks much. Once again, when directly challenged, if a Muslim can find a single thing within the Muslim community, subscribers to Islam, that might need to be addressed and or corrected, we get a non-answer.

    I was speaking about things like the penalty for adultery, alternate limb amputation for theft, the proper and acceptable context to wage (defensive/offensive) jihad, etc. It is disingenuine of you to try to portray a mystical spiritual embodiment of Islam as disassociative from real-life Shariah. They are one in the same. Islam is Shariah and vice versa.

    I was inquiring if you thought there was a single thing conclusion by the four schools of fiqh that you disagree with or deem as independent from or at odds with what you deem Islam to be?

    For example, in your estimation, does the next Islamic caliphate have the divine right to enact a call for, as obligatory for all Muslims, an offensive jihad of pain of death against Peoples of The Book, after a call to conversion has been offered and rejected by them and a refusal to accept the imposition of jizyah upon them in the social order?

    That provision mentioned above is a foundational accepted article of figh in Sunni Islam, is it not?

    Is Spencer a “hater” for reminding you about your own laws, or is it just inconvenient that he has enlightened us non-Muslims to a central theme, supported in writing in your holy Qur’an, of that “religion of peace” of yours?

  187. traeh Says:

    Again, Muhammad said, “If someone changes his Islamic religion, then kill him.”

    He says this in a number of different places in the most canonical hadiths. That is why all the schools of Islamic law still prescribe the death penalty for apostasy.

    For me, this and a number of other actions and statements canonically attributed to Muhammad forbid me to accept him as an exemplary religious leader. Such statements and actions also cause me concern about the influx of Muslims into non-Muslim nations. If, despite such statements by Muhammad, Muslims around the world maintained a high standard of pluralism, I wouldn’t worry in the least about these statements by Muhammad. I would assume that the whole tenor of his religion must somehow override his “death to apostates” command, and his willingness to set up and rule a theocracy. But Muslim-majority nations have a very poor human rights record, and even the least bad — perhaps Indonesia — is not impressive in terms of human rights. Thus a tendency toward dictatorial practice seems to match Muhammad’s dictatorial statements. Further, Islam is more prominent than any other force in violent conflicts going on all around the globe. The Philippines, Thailand, Sudan, Somalia, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Israel all are engaged in deadly conflicts involving Islam. Maybe Muslims will not be concerned about this, or will think it only an indication of Islam’s superior righteousness. So far, I don’t see that. I see a religion whose founder set up a government that was to become a world government ruled by “Allah’s” law as revealed by Muhammad. This is very different from the other world religions.

    Those who agree with Robert Spencer might be mistaken in their views of Islam, but there is more than enough evidence out there to make that “mistake” understandable. So instead of calling Spencer an Islamophobe, or using ad hominem and so on, his concerns, which are the legitimate concerns of many, should be addressed, if possible.

    Comparing doctrine of Islam with the practice of Muslim-majority nations, we find what appears to be a dictatorial pattern in both. Muhammad said Muslim apostates should be killed. Anyone who says that that statement, and similar statements and actions by Muhammad, are no legitimate cause for concern by non-Muslims who favor liberal democracy, has either gotten into a defensive polemical crouch that blinds, or is intentionally trying to blow smoke in our eyes.

  188. awake Says:

    traeh wrote:

    “Muhammad said Muslim apostates should be killed. Anyone who says that that statement, and similar statements and actions by Muhammad, are no legitimate cause for concern by non-Muslims who favor liberal democracy, has either gotten into a defensive polemical crouch that blinds, or is intentionally trying to blow smoke in our eyes.”

    Wonderfully put traeh.

    In my opinion, it has to be the latter of the two choices. Shariah is based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah, period. Shariah is Islam and Islam is Shariah. There is no distinction, therefore the historical conclusions of the major schools of figh (e.g. death for apostasy) cannot and should not be dismissed as peripheral in this discussion whatsoever.

    One of the most important verses in the Qur’an:

    33:21 “You have in (Muhammad) the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern of conduct for any one to follow.”

    To Muslims, the Qur’an is divine, uncorrupted and immutable, therefore that verse validates and provides legitimacy and relevance to the entire Hadith.

  189. SL Says:

    “Islamic Tolerance Alert. Here is Qur’an 9:29 in action: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

    Wow. Check that out. Hey Asim el-Kaboom,

    Allah sucks. Mohamet sucks. Islam sucks. Oh, and the hoax Koran? Sucks.

    Any questions, you mass-murderers? Enjoy yourselves down in hell with your Mass-Murderer “prophet” and non-existent pagan moon idol. You people are the most depraved people on planet Earth. Even worse than Hitler, is Mohamet, a 7th century AD Nazi that is still brainwashing people today. Such as Asim el-Kaboom.

  190. SL Says:

    Rycher Says:
    July 14, 2009 at 12:28 pm | Reply

    “The people on the ALA are not interested in having an “academic” discussion. They just want to bend over (forwards) for the Islamists.”

    Right. How is it being butt-f*cked by the Islamic Barbarians, ALA? ‘Cause that’s just how they want you Dhimmis, Slaves-to-Barbaric-Islam.

    The ALA Slaves-to-Islam should have been the ones to die horrible deaths on 9/11, not the innocent Americans who did. ALA Slaves-to-Barbaric-Islam – why don’t you just jump off the Twin Towers shouting “allahu akbar?” Well, why don’t you????

  191. Amy Soldier Says:

    I won’t be saving any of this to pdf. svend ran away. And none of the Islamists commenting here write to deny the accusations brought up. Just round and around and around clucky verbiage.

    “The central tenet of Islam is this: God is One.”

    These are the bumbling responses. Everything else that’s written for discussion the Islamist is oblivious, and obstinate towards conducting rational conversation with pagans.

    The Creator is not reflected or understood by a reading of the Qur’an. This is the central tenet of those against Islam.

    • Timmy Says:

      “The Creator is not reflected or understood by a reading of the Qur’an. This is the central tenet of those against Islam.”

      Not really. There are many many religions in the world. Some worship hundreds or more gods or idols. Since they do what they do among themselves and don’t bother others with it no one really cares. Sure, a Christian might “care” to the extend that they would share the message of Christ with them but ultimately it is their business what their religion is. Islam is totally different, NO ONE WOULD CARE AT ALL WHAT THEY WANT TO BELIEVE, WHO CARES – SERIOUSLY, the problem is that Islam contains provisions about others and how those others are to be treated, it contains lies about others religions and religious figures. That is what makes it other peoples business. If Muslims just minded their own damned business and kept the hell out of everyone elses business that would be a gigantic start to them existing peacefully in the world with the rest of us who really truly wish they would just go away.

      • True-Jewish Says:

        yeh yeh, Muslims are the ones invaded Afganistan & Iraq, Muslims are the ones spreading their secrete agencies all over the world, Muslims are the ones controlling the economy in the gulf area…etc.

        what you sre saying is simply wrong, go read the Quran first and do not base your opinion based on the saying of others.

      • Timmy Says:

        No, Muslims are the ones who invaded the Holy Land and all the surrounding lands that were Christian and Jewish and IMPOSED their religion on everyone. Free the OCCUPIED TERRITORIES (all the land held by Muslims outside of Arabia – they can keep that.) And make sure Islam is not allowed to spread in the West or the West will be destroyed just like the historic lands now held by Muslims.

      • True-Jewish Says:

        Holy land, Arabia, Imposed… Define the holy land (borders, territories…etc), and also define arabia land!!! you are very confused between arab and muslims. It is God’s land my friend, not muslims, jews or christians.

      • Timmy Says:

        All of the definitions are the standard normal infidel definitions not the alternate universe Muslim definitions.

      • Amy Soldier Says:

        A little fast and free with my words of response.

        “Think of what the Creative entity is all about. Creator of the electron to do what electrons do. Creator of the rainbow, strawberries and apple trees, the smile on a little girl, etc., and this same Creative entity transmitted information to ‘Mo and now the entire human race should read and follow these words that ‘Mo then wrote inside the Qur’an?”

        The above was a comment of mine in a previous post. If anyone is of the frame of mind to believe in some kind of Creative entity, that is, someone not agnostic or atheist, and to allow their thoughts to contemplate the wonder of what It is for any length of time, …? well, I’m amazed anyone could seriously consider the words and the thoughts generated by a reading of the Qur’an to be from this Creative entity. One has to be raised with this view of the world from family and environment, and with this to find difficulty rejecting these beliefs that are contrary to others. I mean, pick some verses in the Qur’an and then ask yourself in all sincerity, “Are the thoughts I have from a reading of these verses the transmitted intention or demeanor of the Creator to us, Its human creation?” So many verses in the Qur’an are so obviously contrived. As if ‘Mo heard a few itinerant Jews and Christians speak about their religious thoughts and then incorporated these thoughts to suit his own. Interview a living Aztec or Mayan priest today and who would believe their dogmas about the Creator, or state that they may be correct? Baloney to them and the Islamist views of the Creator.

      • Timmy Says:

        While the Bible is filled from start to finish with miraculous language and stories and interconnected themes that one could continue to investigate and learn about until the day you die, the Koran is as you say nothing more than a jumbled collection of mishmash having no more meaning beyond what any given sentence commands, a true absurdity.

  192. awake Says:

    Timmy Says:

    July 15, 2009 at 12:20 am | Reply

    True ‘dat, Timmy.

  193. Merritt MacArthur Says:

    (1) Stephen Schwartz is a Muslim. Svend, your calling him a Muslim-basher when he is a principal proponent of Sufism in the English-speaking world and, to my knowledge, has not EVER “bashed” a moderate Muslim, just clarifies the fact that you aren’t one. And I find it amusing, too, that he whines “Islamophobia” just about as often as you do when today’s non-Muslim “niggers” have the audacity to tell you that you need to RAPIDLY clean up your own religion — which we can’t do for you, or God knows we would. Instead, you jockey for position and shift blame for what is ideologically underpinned using your own religious texts. If you want this “Islamophobia” (whine, whine, whine, whine, whine) to stop, then YOU need to start taking the real enemies, not the straw enemies whose HELP YOU COULD ACTUALLY USE. It is the hallmark of yellow-bellied Muslim cowardice that you scream at Americans, whose laws you can use and who are NOT a danger to you in any way, shape or form. But then, they don’t behead you and film for your family to see when you piss them off, do they? But YOUR POINT is that we are not ALLOWED to speak freely about retrograde interpretations of Islam (and, yes, you are going to have to get rid of most of the hadith and reinterpret or get rid of virulent Qur’anic verses that imperil all those of other religions and particularly women). So I guess that any Muslim — the immature (but that is not a crime) Schwartz among them — is NOT REALLY A MUSLIM IF THEY DON’T TAKE ***YOUR*** POINT OF VIEW. So is this just more of that “declare them an apostate so somebody kills them” takfir crap??? Declaring him an apostate. And, to his credit, he blew the whistle in the cancerous Wahhabism earlier than anybody.

    (2) Robert Spencer has never been wrong once when he has challenged Muslim irresponsibility in dealing with inhuman and inhuman Qur’anic verses and hadith. And the reason this ALA conference REALLY went down is that the three Muslim involved got so scared they all withdrew so that they wouldn’t have face him — and then they do the usual tawdry PR crap of claiming “victory” as the yellow stripe down their backs recedes from view as they haul *ss away from the meeting site as fast as they possibly can.

    Disgusting. Start to finish, including this letter. TAKE SOME DAMNED RESPONSIBILITY. You owe it to the world after there have been almost 14,000 MUSLIM terrorist attacks in 22 countries against the peoples of 5 religions since 9/11, killing tens of thousands and wounding perhaps 200,000 more.

    Now shut up and get to the REAL work of this. Nobody who reads AT ALL on this subject thinks anything but that the Emperor strutting around claiming to speak with the tongues of men and angels is NAKED AS THE DAY HE WAS BORN. You are an embarrassment to your religion — as well as being dishonest to the point that you will screw around with organized character assassination to cover your exposed backside.

  194. Merritt MacArthur Says:

    Awake …

    Shari’ah is 90% hadith, not Qur’an or sunnah. And that’s the principle problem with it. But collective identity in any form is a dangerous thing because the individual no longer is responsibile for his/her actions, responsibility being transferred to the group. “I was just following … filled in the blank (orders, shari’a law, what the tribal chief said to do, what have you).

    • Amillennialist Says:

      Do you know what those terms mean? The implication of the fact you state for Islamic doctrine and practice?

      Qur’an is the revealed word of Allah, but without Muhammad’s words (ahadith) and example (sira), it would be difficult or impossible to understand the meaning of Qur’an’s isolated statements.

      So, tell us, how are the Qur’anic texts arranged? What is the doctrine of naskh? What was the progression of jihad throughout Muhammad’s career as Allah’s prophet? Whom did Allah call “a beautiful pattern of conduct for those who want to please” him, so that even what he saw and allowed is normative for Islam?

      The answers to those questions are:

      -By size

      -Abrogation; later revelations abrogate the earlier ones they contradict

      -Cooperation to allowing defensive war to requiring defensive/retaliatory war to offensive warfare to make the world Islam.

      -Muhammad. Since he commanded and/or committed genocide, pedophilia, rape, slavery, theft and deceit in Allah’s cause, so too must the faithful Muslim.

  195. Merritt MacArthur Says:

    In the history books of the future, THIS generation of Muslims will be the generation known to have destroyed Islam. They will let this go until some nutjob group gets a chemical or biological or nuclear weapon and sets it off. And then every nation in the world — and every people in the world — will set Islam aside, if not illegalize it. And it won’t matter then if Muslims continue to whine instead of taking responsibility for straightening out the religion so that it can co-exist with other religions and treat other peoples as sacred to God rather than peons to be trampled by supremacist Muslim ego.

    This is the generation of Muslims that will destroy Islam, just in the same way that Islam was stripped of its Mecca-verse intent and turned with hadith and sunnah and “reinterpretations” to serve desert tribalist lust for power and glory.

    I can hear it coming … “But Christianity had its own bad period.” Yes, it did, and THAT WAS A HALF A MILLENNIUM AGO, and one religion having an Inquisition does NOT excuse another’s supremacist ego, beheadings, bombings, mutilations, amputations, stonings, and gender apartheid — and it doesn’t excuse the stripping of other groups of their rights, the deportation of and attacks on Christians, Baha’i, Amaddiyyah, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and animists, which in Darfur has attained the level of genocide — while Muslims whine that to try a genocidalist on charges of crimes against humanity “insults Islam.”

    Svend, are you going to sit here and argue this when in Saudi Arabia, whose “law” is shari’a, which you seem to want to defend against Schwartz’s so-called “Islamophobia” that he points out the FACT that Wahhabism has spread an anti-human form of Islam that threatens all the world’s people — AS WELL AS THE SURVIVAL OF THE RELIGION ITSELF.

    And, of course, as soon as 9/11 happened, did we see Muslims rallying against the use of their religion for purposes of the establishment by DEBASED VIOLENCE of an extremely repressive worldwide regime which routinely BASHES moderate Muslims — Jasser is noteworthy, as well as the late Tashbih Sayyed — threatening them back into a subservient silence even in Western countries, abrogating the freedoms that YOU, SVEND, now yourself use for YOUR freedom of speech while doing everything you can to silence anybody who doesn’t agree with you.

    I have lost all respect for you, Svend. And no, that’s not my real name, and yes you DO know who I am.

    And this is NOT over and it’s NOT going to be restricted to this quiet little forum in the backwaters of American consciousness..

    • John C. Barile Says:

      MMA,

      Grandly eloquent. This is a passionate dissent and a stirring, heart-felt plea.

  196. True-Jewish Says:

    The ultimate objective that Mr. Spencer and Co. (Savage, Glenn Beck…) want to achieve is another Holocaust against Muslims here in the U.S. within the next ten to fifteen years. would you guys be happy about that?

    • Timmy Says:

      The holocaust is what the Muslims have done to the historic peoples of the lands they invaded and subjugated under their cult of Islam. What is urgently needed now is just that all further expansion of Islam in the West be stopped and turned back so that some few countries of the world can retain the freedoms that are destroyed wherever Islam gains power. There is no need to kill Muslims just contain them in as few lands as possible to keep the damage they do to civilizations as limited as possible. As centuries pass perhaps they will realize how pathetic their cult is and reject it for freedom. Until then they must be quarantined.

      • SL Says:

        “The holocaust is what the Muslims have done to the historic peoples of the lands they invaded and subjugated under their cult of Islam.”

        Exactly. Warlord Mohamet’s mass-murder of the Jewish males in Arabia who wouldn’t convert to Islam is the first Jewish Holocaust.

        Hitler’s is the second.

    • SL Says:

      “another Holocaust against Muslims here in the U.S. ”

      What? When was the first one? Talk about Freudian Projection – it’s YOU people who perpetrated a Holocaust on us, called 9/11. Remember that?

      Why do you pretend to be Jewish when you’re obviously Mohammedan?

  197. awake Says:

    Merritt MacArthur wrote (to svend):

    “But YOUR POINT is that we are not ALLOWED to speak freely about retrograde interpretations of Islam (and, yes, you are going to have to get rid of most of the hadith and reinterpret or get rid of virulent Qur’anic verses that imperil all those of other religions and particularly women).”

    Although I agree, I say good luck with that endeavor. Islam’s entire foundational validation is that the Qur’an is uncorrupted and the direct, immutable word of God. Strip it of its divinity and Islam tumbles like a house of cards. It then becomes what it is, cheap plagarizm of its predecessors, nothing more than assertions against Judaism and Christianity and wholy self-serving to Muhammad alone.

    Throw out or re-interpret God’s word? Not at all likely, and that is the unique problem with Islam.

    Merritt wrote:

    “Shari’ah is 90% hadith, not Qur’an or sunnah.”

    I do not, nor feel the need to differentiate between the Sira and the Hadith. They are all one in the same contained in the Sunnah. In Islam, the Qur’an, Hadith and Sira are all inter-related and cannot stand alone without the support of the others.

    The point that I made, was that the Qur’an, specifically 33:21, validates the Sira and therefore, the Hadith, which I encapsulated in the descriptive Sunnah.

  198. awake Says:

    True-Jewish Says:

    July 15, 2009 at 3:16 am | Reply

    “The ultimate objective that Mr. Spencer and Co. (Savage, Glenn Beck…) want to achieve is another Holocaust against Muslims here in the U.S. within the next ten to fifteen years. would you guys be happy about that?”

    Another holocaust implies that there was a previous one, but frankly, I don’t even want to hear your description of what it might have been. That ridiculous claim warrants that you be completely ignored going forward on this thread.

  199. Jaynie59 Says:

    Since this thread seems to have run its course I’d like to point out one more thing about Islam that I haven’t seen mentioned here yet and it relates to a poster using a name that is deliberately intended to deceive people into thinking he or she is a Jew.

    Islam is unique among religions in the fact that not only does it have no respect for other religions, it has contempt for the history of other religions and other cultures. Though out Islam’s history it has repeatedly gone out of its way to supplant any and all signs of previous religious monuments, shrines, artifacts. After Muslims conquer a land, they set out to claim or destroy the sacred religious sites of others to show dominance.

    Examples of this are legion throughout history, which Muslims have no problem re-writing to advance their claim on an area. Jerusalem being the most blatant example of building over Christian and Jewish holy sites. If they can’t claim a site, or build over it, they destroy it. The destruction of the Buddhist statutes in Afghanistan is a very recent example how Muslims will destroy ancient symbols and artifacts if they can’t be used to shore up Islams claims over another religion or culture. Just wipe out any trace it ever existed.

    I suspect the only reason the Pyramids of Egypt still stand is because they bring in too much revenue in tourist dollars and are too revered by so much of the world that Muslims know if they ever tried to get rid of them the entire world would probably stop giving Muslims the benefit of the doubt and realize what crazy fanatics they really are.

    But my bet is on the money aspect for why the Pyramids are still there. There is a lot about money in the Koran. If the Buddhist sculptures weren’t in such a remote place the Taliban may have decided to keep them. Although, maybe not. Not unless they wanted to build hotels and resorts for more targets to kill. Then? Maybe.

  200. SL Says:

    “…and it relates to a poster using a name that is deliberately intended to deceive people into thinking he or she is a Jew.” — Jaynie

    Right, you’re talking about “True-Jewish.” lol – We know you’re a Mohammedan. A two-year-old could figure that out. But, that’s your intellectual speed – 2 years old. The blame for that? Islam. The “religion” for two-year-old adults. Believing in a false prophet and pagan moon idol.

  201. SL Says:

    The obvious Mohammedan – “True-Jewish” (lol) has vanished.

    No surprise.

    Don’t you know how much more intelligent we are than you? You couldn’t fool kids at a birthday party with you as Clown.

  202. theWordTruthLight Says:

    Exactly!! Muslims urinate and defecate on Bibles ,on altars and destroy all churches in the most hideous manner. They have done the same to Jews Buddhists and any other group that is not muslim. Detestable!!! Let’s not forget the Armenian Genocide nor the Ottoman Empire that forced Christian boys to submit to islam and then fight in the frontlines their wars. The muslims managed to successfully wipe out Chritian boys in one sweep; future Christian progeny and Christian men to defend the Faith. My favorites are the Templars who died to the end defending The Faith. The Templars fought all defensive wars. Muslims complain about and hate the Cross; they have complained in every Western nation and in some instances have been successful in eliminating the presence of the Cross.
    Christians don’t need the Cross, mohamedans; “Where two or more are gathered in My Name there will I Be”….I will be with you until the end of time”. The Cross offends the muslims…then leave our countries!!

  203. True-Jewish Says:

    SL,

    You are full of hate, you better go treat your self lady. I have not vanished i just have a job to do during the day. not like you, got paid to write your hate here.

    • SL Says:

      lol

      “got paid to write your hate here.”

      You truly are nuts. Delusional.

      Also, you’re an obvious Mohammedan, so, you can quit with the “True-Jewish” BS.

    • Timmy Says:

      This is a good example of how pointless “inter-faith” dialog is since the definitions and understanding of basic elemental words is 180 degrees different between Muhammadans and those of other religions. In this case “hate” is the word in question. Although it is true that many minority groups toss around the accusation that those criticizing them are using “hate” speech, in the case of the Muhammadans given their religion of Islam it goes to an entirely different level. Christians, Jews and other non-Muslims who appreciate what the Koran actually says find it to be hate speech. The very religion of Islam is a religion of hate. So for a Muhammadan to accuse someone else of being full of hate with regard to commentary about Islam, well you can see how confusing it gets. Up is down, down is up, white is black, love is hate, hate is love. No wonder so many Muhammadans blow themselves up.

      • SL Says:

        “The very religion of Islam is a religion of hate.” — Timmy

        Exactly. And the only people who bandy-about the word “hate” are Mohammedans. Which is a huge reason why we know that “True-Jewish” is a Mohammedan.

        Islam *deserves* to be hated, just as Fascism and Nazism *deserve* to be hated.

        You listening? Mohamet Abdullah el-Kaboom?

        The en masse immigration of Mohammedan mass-breeding Barbarians is destroying Western Europe. Stay in your own Crapistans, Islamic Barbarians. Procreate like rabbits there.

  204. theWordTruthLight Says:

    mahomets love to procreate and abuse Western women. Many foolish Western women have married them and they have been coerced to submit to Islam. Their lives are never the same after that. Wherever muslims go they bring violence, hatred and death. The death cult is infecting the West and westerners need to awaken to this cancer and speak out. The muslims use our laws to get what they want to benefit soley themselves. In the public schools in NYC they were arguing repeatedly that the boys had a right to leave the high schools at 12:30 to go to their hate-filled mosques on Fridays which I am sure they said many prayers to curse me especially since I wore my cross visibly. Many times they told me that Islam is the best religion and I should submit to it. They are brazen enough to say these things in the classroom. The boys were allowed to leave my classes to got to mosque (entitlements) and when the public school system stopped accomodating them they demanded that the princ. of the school set aside a special room for them to go to pray. When 911 happened the muslims in my class told me I had to accept their side and that Americans deserved it. I’m no dhimmi, I replied not in my classroom will that viewpoint be accepted. Now they are demanding that the schools celebrate their killing days and close the schools in their honor.
    Now we have airports and colleges equipped with areas where they can wash their feet in order to pray for our destruction. All with our taxes! It seems nothing is ever enough—their desire is simply to take over.
    My prayer is that more people become enlightened of the hateful/murderous cult. The Left in the USA, unfortunately, advocates for the cult.
    So many Christian heroes (such as Charles Martel) fought so valiantly to keep the moslems out of the West; now with open arms they are invited to invade and stay. And we are suffering the consequences…..

  205. Amillennialist Says:

    Muhammad was a racist, too:

    Allah’s Apostle said, “You should listen to and obey, your ruler even if he was an Ethiopian (black) slave whose head looks like a raisin” (Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 89, Number 256).

    • Timmy Says:

      Islam itself is an Arabic supremacist cult, Arabs are the supremo tops and all others even non-Arab Muslims are lower. It is tragic to see people give up their own heritage only to replace it with that of the Arabs.

  206. SL Says:

    The “Religion of Pieces” has struck again, in Jakarta.

    By now, is anyone surprised?

    • Timmy Says:

      Someone needs to add up the total cost of Islam to the world. In addition to the direct cost of lives and property lost due to the actions of Muslim terrorists there is the cost of the added security measures, the cost of the increased worry that anyone must deal with internally knowing that they could be blown to bits by a Muslim terrorist at any second, the cost of all the lost opportunities where people will not be able to do things they would otherwise do, whether that be pursue business or pleasure or raise a family in certain areas due to the constant threat from Muslims. The West is certifiably insane to be allowing Islam to spread here. ALL of the freedoms that are taken for granted will be lost eventually and for the most unlucky their very lives will be lost in an instant from a monstrous explosion set off by a follower of Muhammad.

      • SL Says:

        “The West is certifiably insane to be allowing Islam to spread here.” — posted by Timmy

        Exactly. Islam is insane and we are insane to permit it infiltrating our countries.

        Hey Nancy Pelosi – you live near any Islamic Barbarians? No? I didn’t think so, you hypocrite.

  207. John C. Barile Says:

    R E D H E R R I N G A L E R T:

    A link has appeared, posted immediately below the text of this Open Letter, under the heading, Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)–which has only recently been added above the only other link posted there. It seems to emanate from this address–”muslimsareterrorists.wordpress.com”–and is highly inflammatory, indiscriminately sweeping in accusation, and absurdly hysterical. There is reason enough to believe that THIS IS A WHOLESALE FABRICATION–one which, I suspect, is meant to tar and discredit Mr. Spencer and his advocates. As it stands as of the time of this posting, the link in question DELIBERATELY MISQUOTES BOTH ROBERT SPENCER AND AHMED REHAB. Acute skepticism is in order here.

  208. John C. Barile Says:

    Red Herring Alert!

  209. John C. Barile Says:

    This link I describe, “Terrorists once again bully and threaten to get their way”; just below the text, above, is transparently contrived and all-out nuts–the slogans at the top of the linked page are calculated to shock and outrage everyone, regardly of stripe or convictions.

    This may end up being a classic example of the psychological phenomena called projection.

  210. John C. Barile Says:

    Read, “regardless of stripe or convictions.“

  211. John C. Barile Says:

    This link posted above, “Terrorists once again bully and threaten to get their way” is the most incendiary incitement to violence and hate that I have ever seen on an “informational” link, with both parties clearly misquoted, in remarks falsely supposed to be from the Washington Times; thus, I smell a rat. Whoever purposely PLANTED this page have no shame or scruple. The vile slogans smack of charicature or of the projection of sick minds.

    I HEARBY DEMAND THAT THE ADMINISTRATORS/MODERATORS OF THIS EXCHANGE IMMEDIATELY ERASE THIS OBSCENE PROVOCATION AND SMEAR !!

    • John C. Barile Says:

      “. . . Of charicature and of the projection of sick minds.”

    • Timmy Says:

      At first I thought you were overreacting as aside from the inflammatory title the rest of the article appears to just rehash other newspaper accounts until the falsified “quote” at the end.

      Anyone seeing this can appreciate however the extreme vile hate of the people who attack Mr. Spencer. AND the MORE TROUBLING thing is that ANYONE who speaks out about Islam or Muhammad EVEN IN COUNTRIES ALREADY CONQUERED AND SUBJUGATED BY ISLAM face similar relentless attacks of all kinds. No aspect of their life is safe from harassment. Even people working in the official organized societies in lands that have fallen to Islam get in on the act, for instance a policeman might “look the other way” since they know what you said about Islam or Muhammad, etc. etc. Any society overtaken by Islam is essentially lost and all attempts by the West to democratize or change them should be ceased, total separation is the answer along with stopping absolutely any spread of Islam in the West.

  212. John C. Barile Says:

    Well, as I note elsewhere, this comments thread is an impassioned exchange, to say the least.

    • Timmy Says:

      The West really is in a strange place right now. If you saw someone standing on a train track and saw the train heading toward them and KNEW that unless they moved off the track that they would die you would scream and holler, maybe even push them off the track, basically do whatever you could do to save them. You wouldn’t just coolly look on and rub your chin and comment how it appeared that person was going to be horribly killed. The West is facing such a destruction, it is really committing civilizational suicide, and yet even in the face of that very few people are screaming trying to get it to “move off the tracks” to save itself, in this case, stop the spread of Islam. Even the cool analysis of Mr. Spencer lulls some into a false sense of security as they don’t see him screaming at people saying that the West must save itself from Islam. The situation is so bad that it is almost as if someone did scream at the person standing on the tracks in the above example others would shout them down and condemn them for being intolerant of the person or HATEFUL.

  213. Amy Soldier Says:

    Timmy, think to be a hero. The jugular of Islam is the belief that the words and the thoughts generated by a reading of the Qur’an are the will, intentions, and the demeanor of the Creator can be gleaned by us, Its human creation, through study. Totally false assumptions these are. And similar to the Aztec and Mayan religious practices, Islam is also capable of being put down

    You’re the hunter of a dangerous dinosaur. You’re watching it from the blinds. The Beast is calmly grazing while wandering upon the verdant pastures of the West. At times the Islamist dinosaur appears spooked, nervous while feeding. Rising it’s head up and scanning the horizon …, you try to stay downwind, thinking it may be picking up a scent. Maybe it’s hearing something you’re not … . Have fun hunting, and good luck.

  214. Amillennialist Says:

    Ataturk didn’t go far enough in Turkey.

    The way America dealt with Imperial Japan’s emperor cult upon its surrender would be more effective.

    It’s that, or time to go Roman.

    Free men are absolutely justified in defending Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Guilt for innocent blood belongs to the tyrants and butchers who seek to enslave or slaughter all who refuse the “invitation” to Islam, per Muhammad’s command and example.

Comments are closed.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: