Archive for Andrew Bostom

MEQ Report Claims 81 Per Cent of US Mosques Promote “Violent Jihad”

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2011 by loonwatch

A good article from Richard Bartholomew on a “recent” report by Middle East Quarterly (part of Daniel Pipes Middle East Forum) that 81% of US mosques promote violent jihad. This is the same number that Islamophobes have been promoting for years now.

The report is filled with methodological flaws.

MEQ Report Claims 81 Per Cent of US Mosques Promote “Violent Jihad”

by Richard Bartholomew

At the American Thinker and Big Peace, Andrew Bostom discusses  ”Sharia and Violence in American Mosques”, a new article  by Mordechai Kedar and David Yerushalmi published the Middle East Quarterly (Summer 2011, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 59-72). The somewhat inflammatory title is par for the course: Yerushalmi (perhaps best-known as Pamela Geller’s lawyer) is the brains behind the ideologically-driven “Mapping Shariah” project, which has a number of methodological problems that I outlined here. The paper is being published today; it appears that Bostom has been given an advance copy.

According to quotes in Bostom’s post (itself a diatribe entitled “Mosques as Barracks in America”), a number of US mosques were chosen at random,

(a) to observe and record 12 Sharia-adherent behaviors of the worshipers and the imam (or lay leader); (b) to observe whether the mosque contained the selected materials rated as moderate and severe; (c) to observe whether the mosque contained materials promoting, praising, or supporting violence or violent jihad; and (d) to observe whether the mosque contained materials indicating the mosque had invited guest speakers known to have promoted violent jihad.


51 percent of mosques had texts that either advocated the use of violence in the pursuit of a Shari’a-based political order or advocated violent jihad as a duty that should be of paramount importance to a Muslim; 30 percent had only texts that were moderately supportive of violence like the Tafsir Ibn Kathir and Fiqh as-Sunna; 19 percent had no violent texts at all.

…The survey found a strong correlation between the presence of severe violence-promoting literature and mosques featuring written, audio, and video materials that actually promoted such acts. By promotion of jihad, the study included literature encouraging worshipers to engage in terrorist activity, to provide financial support to jihadists, and to promote the establishment of a caliphate in the United States. These materials also explicitly praised acts of terror against the West; praised symbols or role models of violent jihad; promoted the use of force, terror, war, and violence to implement the [strange gap here – RB] Sharia; emphasized the inferiority of non-Muslim life; promoted hatred and intolerance toward non-Muslims or notional Muslims; and endorsed inflammatory materials with anti-U.S. views… [O]f the 51 mosques that contained severe materials, 100 percent were led by imams who recommended that worshipers study texts that promote violence.

[M]osques containing violence positive materials were substantially more likely to include materials promoting financial support of terror than mosques that did not contain such texts. A disturbing 98 percent of mosques with severe texts included materials promoting financial support of terror. Those with only moderate rated materials on site were not markedly different, with 97 percent providing such materials.

These results were comparable when using other indicators of jihad promotion. Thus, 98 percent of mosques that contained severe-rated literature included materials promoting establishing an Islamic caliphate in the United States as did 97 percent of mosques containing only moderate rated materials.

Further details on methodology are provided in an Appendix, which has been posted on-line here. The list of “Sharia Adherent Behaviors” includes: “gender segregation during prayer service”, “alignment of men’s prayer lines”, the imam’s beard style, whether the imam has a head covering or not or is wearing Western-style clothing, and whether the imam wears a watch on his right wrist. Also significant is the percentage of men wearing beards or hats, whether boys have head-coverings, and whether girls and women are wearing hijabs or niqabs – “Non-Shari’a-adherent behavior”, we are told, “is to wear the modern hijab (a scarf that does not completely cover the hair) or to not wear any hair”.

For reasons that are not immediately clear, we then segue into the issue of violence, as the list continues:

If the surveyor found the Fiqh as-Sunna or Tafsir Ibn Kathir, but not more extreme materials, then the mosque was categorized as containing moderate-rated material. If the surveyor found the Riyadh as-Salaheen, works by Qutb or Mawdudi, or similar materials, then the mosque was categorized as containing severe-rated materials.

If the surveyor found no violence-positive materials or if the violence-positive materials constituted less than 10% of all available materials, then the mosque was categorized as containing no materials.

…Following the prayer service, the surveyor asked the following question: “Do you recommend the study of: (a) only the Quran and/or Sunna; (b) Tafsir Ibn Kathir; (c) Fiqh as-Sunna; (e) Reliance of the Traveller; or (f) the works of Qutb, such as Milestones, and Maududi, such as The Meaning of the Qur’an?”

If the imam or lay leader recommended studying any of the materials mentioned above except the Qur’an and/or Sunna, then the imam or lay leader was recorded as having recommended the study of texts promoting the rated material.

The “10%” principle here is a welcome nod towards proportionality, but it’s undermined by what follows. The Reliance of the Traveller and the Tafsir Ibn Kathirare both pre-modern compendiums of Islamic law; of course they contain some troubling material, like many other pre-modern texts. But they also contain a lot else: we need to understand why the imams recommend these texts, not just note that they do and therefore chalk up one more extremist. It’s also unclear whether the imams are being asked about their general recommendation practices in relation to these texts or whether they are simply advising the questioner.


If materials available on mosque premises promoted joining a known terrorist organization, such as “mujahideen” engaged in jihad abroad, then the mosque was recorded as having promoted joining a terrorist organization.

That may seems reasonable so far as it goes, but again it begs a lot of questions. Some general sympathy for a mujahideen group involved in military conflict in somewhere in central Asia is a very different proposition from supporting al-Qaeda, so we need more than just a broad-brush “terrorism” label if we are to understand what is going on and why. And we need to know more about how the materials are made available, and in what ways they are promoted. Are leaflets given out to attendees, or is “promotion” simply an obscure poster pinned to an unmoderated noticeboard somewhere on the premises? There’s scope for various interpretations there.

If materials available on mosque premises indicated that speakers came to the mosque to raise money for specific terrorist organizations, then the mosque was recorded as having openly collected money at the mosque for a known terrorist organization.

…If any of the materials featured on mosque property promoted engaging in terrorist activity; promoted the financial support of terrorism or jihadists; promoted the use of force, terror, war, and violence to implement Shari‘a; promoted the idea that oppression and subversion of Islam should be changed by deed first, then by speech, then by faith; praised acts of terrorism against the West; or praised suicide bombers against Israelis, then the mosque was recorded as having promoted violent jihad.

This raises further questions: are we talking about organisations which are banned under US law, or organisations around which there are suspicions (reasonable or contrived) of links to terrorism?

We all know that some mosques in the USA and elsewhere promote radicalisation and extremism. We also know that others need to do more to ensure that radical elements do not gain a toe-hold. But this kind of inquisitorial and quantitative approach is of very limited value and is probably even misleading. If one wants to know whether a mosque “promotes jihad”, one needs to get a sense of the overall teaching and the general perspectives of those who attend. Simply totting up whether an undercover visitor can spot or elicit something troubling is an insufficient methodology. And what purpose is served by mixing all this in with a list “Sharia Adherent Behaviors”, other than to give Muslim cultural practices a sinister hue?

The Middle East Quarterly has a note on its peer-review process here. Previously, it rejected peer-review on the grounds that most specialists were not interested in “American interests” or were hostile to USA; however:

…In 2009, circumstances have begun to change. This journal finds itself part of a growing community of specialists not hostile to the United States and its allies. As other journals and organizations have joined our ranks, they increased the circle of those with professional and expert knowledge of the Middle East and created a larger pool of reviewers to engage in a constructive process of refereeing.

The Great Blog Wars: Andrew Bostom vs. Robert Spencer

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2010 by loonwatch
Happier times, Andrew Bostom and Robert Spencer

Wow. How the mighty have fallen. It might be too early to call it the end but it looks like ex-booze buddies Andrew Bostom and Robert Spencer are at each others throats. Bostom is accusing Spencer of plagiarism, and Spencer is replying that he is “miffed” by the accusation.

The sorry fact is that both of them plagiarize from Orientalists who have made the same arguments and presented the same research centuries ago.

Spencer wrote on his blog yesterday in reference to Bostom,

Department of Corrections: No plagiarism

It is a shame that this kind of thing has to be done, but occasionally it must.

A certain writer claims that I plagiarized his work. He presents no direct evidence (i.e., textual comparison) to support his claim, and that is because he cannot do so: I have not plagiarized his work, or anyone else’s.

The above is a reply to Bostom’s withering attack on Spencer’s theft of his work. Bostom refers to Spencer as the “little king,” and “swine.”

The Little King

This fine morning, what did I see?

Little King Plagiarist, running behind, desperately…to plagiarize me.

From here (mostly)herehereetc.etc.etc.


Update: The Little King Doth Protest My Original Posting


According to Webster, there is no doubt The Little King “plagiarized,” and therefore is a “plagiarist.”

transitive verb: to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own : use (another’s production) without crediting the source intransitive verb : to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

The plagiarism, and accompanying complete lack of attribution are so obvious one need go no further than review Jihad Watch postings by The Little King himself, from 2007 and 2008

The Little King posted my review/essay on “Jihad and Jew Hatred,” and subsequent debate with Matthias Kuntzel—the earliest and most definitive debunking of the bizarre, ahistorical “Nazi-origins” of Islamic Antisemitism (and modern jihad) theory,  in December, 2007

One can also simply go to Jihad Watch and see the following extensive material on the Antisemtic motifs in the Koran, hadith, and sira drawn from the opening survey of The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism from two essays posted there by The Little King in 2008:

Update 2. Oy vey, this is tedious and obnoxious! Some important clarification is required to jog the Little King’s apparently lapsed memories. Here gentle reader you will find it edifying to go online and read a copy of The Little King’s “Religion of Peace,” published in 2007. On pp. 125-126, he uses a block quote from Lawrence Wright’s, The Looming Tower, that has also appeared in some of my essays, and in “The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism.” But who does the Little King himself cite as his source for this Wright quote?  Proceed to the citation for the reference (ref. 80) to this quote on p. 232 of “The Religion of Peace” and you will see this: “Quoted in Andrew Bostom, The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, 2007” Now my Islamic Antisemitism book was delayed in publication till 2008, but Little King was given an advance copy manuscript that he read, and it provided him with the Wright quote and six other sources for that chapter, including primary sources, which are cited on pp. 232-233 of his 2007 book.

Apparently Little King is now claiming I got the Wright quote from him!

“My (i.e., Little King’s) April 21 article is a chapter from my 2007 book “Religion of Peace?”. If Bostom used the quote from “Looming Tower” in a 2009 piece, he got it from me (i.e., Little King).”

At least as egregious, is this unattributed material which comes from The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, (pp. 259-260):

Notably, Maimonides directed that Jews could teach rabbinic law to Christians, but not to Muslims. For Muslims, he said, will interpret what they are taught “according to their erroneous principles and they will oppress us. [F]or this reason … they hate all [non-Muslims] who live among them.” But the Christians, he said, “admit that the text of the Torah, such as we have it, is intact”–as opposed to the Islamic view that the Jews and Christians have corrupted their scriptures. Christians, continued Maimonides,” do not find in their religious law any contradiction with ours.”

Indeed, Spencer quotes and paraphrases without attribution from, specifically, footnote 222 of a magisterial 70 pp. 1937 essay by Georges Vajda on the Antisemitic motifs in the hadith. My first time English translation of Vajda’s unique, seminal work required both French and Hebrew text translations of contents within this single, complex footnote.

And I will cast no more pearls before such “royal” swine.

Hilarious. I love how nasty these Islamophobes get with one another when they turn on each other.
Spencer continued to comment,


My April 21 article is a chapter from my 2007 book “Religion of Peace?”. If Bostom used the quote from “Looming Tower” in a 2009 piece, he got it from me.

The April 21 piece has no footnotes. I don’t generally footnote blog entries. There is material sourced from Bostom in the original chapter from “Religion of Peace?,” and lo and behold, it is footnoted to Bostom. In fact, he knows this, as he and I discussed this material at the time.

Which fact makes his current attack all the more gratuitous and libelous.

Robert Spencer

Frank Hesp:

Your continued insistence that personal disputes between individuals must be aired out in public is to me inexplicable and unseemly. I have a public presence in regard to the jihad, and that’s it. I don’t have any obligation to you or to anyone else to make any aspect of my private life public. I have responded to Bostom’s substantive charge with a substantive reply. No other details, should any exist, are anyone’s business but Bostom’s and mine.

Robert Spencer

Frank Hesp — one other thing:

You should look up the term “plagiarism” in a dictionary. It is a verbal dependence. There is no verbal dependence anywhere in my work on any part of Bostom’s work.

In my book “Religion of Peace?,” the source for my April 21 post, Bostom is footnoted where appropriate. But he apparently believes that if he discovered, or thinks he discovered, salient quotes from this or that Islamic authority or anyone else, that they belong to him forever, and anyone who ever cites the same quote has to also mention Bostom. That is not the case according to any standard of academic usage that has ever prevailed in any part of the globe at any time in history. It is a form of academic megalomania that has no justification, and no warrant, and I am not going to be cowed by it.

Robert Spencer


One other thing. I cited Richard Fletcher in my 2003 book “Onward Muslim Soldiers,” long before Bostom wrote his “Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism.” I know Bostom read “Onward Muslim Soldiers.” For all I know he got the Fletcher material from me. Should I then indict him for plagiarism because he doesn’t mention me in his citation?

The very idea is absurd. And it shows up the absurdity of Bostom’s charge against me.

Robert Spencer

Well folks, sit back with a bag of popcorn and enjoy the fireworks. Who knows maybe Barack Obama can bring the two back together over some beers on the White House lawn.


Andrew Bostom Takes on Mike Kruse–Loses

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs, Loon Sites, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2009 by loonwatch
Andrew Bostom and Robert Spencer
Andrew Bostom and Robert Spencer

Andrew Bostom (well over due for a LoonWatch piece), a close friend of Robert Spencer’s, and another self-proclaimed “Islamic scholar” is lauded on JihadWatch as having “taken on and crushed” Mike Kruse, the St.Petersburg Times reporter who has been covering the Fathima Rifqa Bary case.

It’s a popular tactic amongst Islamophobes, especially Robert Spencer to try and twist what is clearly a negative outcome for themselves into a self-declared victory with a peppering of congratulatory self-adulation. This was the case with Spencer in his confrontation with Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni, when his alter-ego Hugh Fitzgerald proclaimed “victory” for Spencer and “defeat” for Bassiouni.

The truth is Spencer and company are ever more becoming isolated on the fringes of an increasingly radicalized segment of the Right-Wing, the company he keeps consists of neo-fascists, birthers, conspiracy theorists, Glenn Beck types, etc.

Michael Kruse

In this recent episode Bostom says that Kruse was wrong for stating that Spencer believes that “Muslims are in America to take over,” which from the body of Spencer’s work and the company he keeps is more than likely an accurate presumption, in context it is also the impression that he was trying to give at the press conference outside the courtroom of the Fathima Rifqa Bary case.

A case which is proving to be very embarrassing for Spencer, as evidence after evidence keeps coming out that the charges made by bloggers such as him and Pamela Geller that Rifqa’s life was/had to be in danger and that she was abused by her parents turn out to be bogus. Spencer’s reputation has taken a big hit and he is doing everything in his power to try to salvage some face. Continue reading