Archive for debate

Robert Spencer to Debate Achmed the Dead Terrorist and The Dictator

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2012 by loonwatch

Sheila Musaji of The American Muslim (TAM) has been keeping a close eye on the loons who write for Jihad Watch.  The chief loon of JW, Robert Spencer, had initially been slated to debate David Wood, another Christian loon like himself.  Realizing no doubt that they are on the same side of the loony equation, the debate has been scrapped.  Instead, both Spencer and Wood have agreed to face off against Anjem Choudary and Omar Bakri.

As Musaji presciently noted, “[b]oth Choudary and Bakri are part of the Muslim lunatic fringe.”  The nefarious duo are very familiar to the Muslim community of the U.K., not because they have a large following (they don’t), but because they are routinely trotted out by anti-Muslim right-wingers.  The set-up is always the same: a right-winger pundit will invite one of these two clowns onto their show for a “debate.” By making the hated Choudary and Bakri the representative for the Muslim side, the debate is of course already won.  Muslims are left thinking, “with friends like these, who needs enemies…”

Anjem Choudary and Omar Bakri are absolutely despised by the vast majority of the Muslim community, even by the ultra-conservative and radical Muslims they pretend to represent.   They are caricatures, just one step away from being Achmed the Dead Terrorist or a character thought up by Sacha Baron Cohen (like Ali G or Admiral General Aladeen, A.K.A. The Dictator).  Choudary and Bakri play the part of terrorists and radical Islamists, which is why hateful Islamophobes love giving them ample air time: look at how crazy those Moozlums are!

It’s absolutely no surprise then that Robert Spencer and David Wood, two loons in their own right, would debate two even loonier loons.  Spencer wastes his time engaging such unserious clowns, because–just as Sheila Musaji noted long time ago–he has a pattern of seeking out complete fools to debate with so that he can then crow in victory afterward.  Meanwhile, Spencer will doggedly avoid debating anyone (1) with a serious grasp of knowledge of the topic at hand and (2) the debating skill to back it up.  And of course, (3) anyone named Danios.  What’s interesting is that even Robert Spencer’s debating partner, David Wood, seemed to imply on his website that Anjem Choudary and Omar Bakri are weak debaters.  Wood agrees with Choudary and Bakri’s view that Muhammad existed, but he doesn’t think that they will be able to make the convincing argument.  Why not just debate Achmed the Dead Terrorist or The Dictator?  It would certainly be just as enlightening and perhaps a bit more entertaining.

Robert Spencer’s homepage boldly declares that he is “the acclaimed scholar of Islam”, and yet he has no educational qualifications to validate that lofty claim.  In fact, all he has is an M.A. in Christian studies…If I get an M.A. in Buddhist studies, does that mean I get to be “the acclaimed scholar of Judaism”?  Spencer has never had his work submitted for peer review in the academic world, and so his arguments–while they certainly might pass off in the non-scholarly world–have never been tested by the real experts in the field.  Spencer’s version of peer-review is debating the equivalent of Achmed the Dead Terrorist and The Dictator.

In any case, let’s not beat around the bush.  It’s me in particular who Robert Spencer fears. One would think that he would want to debate me now that I’ve won the Brass Crescent Award for Best Writer last year (and was runner-up the year before), in no small part due to my writings against Spencer.  I have been refuting his book for a long time now, decimating his arguments one by one.  Spencer can’t respond intelligently, so of course, he naturally fears facing off in debate.  It has now officially been 684 days–that’s 1 year, 10 months, and 14 days–since I agreed to have a radio debate with Robert Spencer.  In that time, Spencer has furiously been generating excuse after excuse to avoid the debate.

Spencer continues to use my anonymity as an excuse to cover up his cowardice.  I’m an anonymous blogger and I have expressed my intent in preserving that anonymity for now.  Yet, Spencer repeatedly insists on a public venue–so that I “show my face”–knowing full well that I won’t accept such a condition.  In this way, Spencer gets out of the debate and can then disingenuously claim that I was the cause of the impasse.

Robert Spencer engages in typical right-winger projection: look how cowardly Danios is that he doesn’t show his face.  But, it is Spencer who is the coward, at least when it comes to defending his views.  What difference does it make who I am or what I look like?  The obvious answer is that Spencer wants to engage in ad hominem attacks against me, instead of focusing on the substantive value of his arguments, which my writings have shown to be severely lacking.  It’s now quite evident to all who want to see it: my refutations of his book are irrefutable.  I know it, you know it, he knows it.

And that’s why Robert Spencer will keep running away from me.  Instead, he’ll debate fools and loons.  Yawn, what’s new?

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.

*  *  *  *  *

Here is Sheila Musaji’s article from TAM:

David Wood and Robert Spencer “Debate”?

by Sheila Musaji

David Wood is not as well known as Robert Spencer, so a little background is in order.  Wood is an Evangelical pastor and has a series of polemical articles on Answering Islam.  His focus seems to be on anti-Muslim polemics.

Kiera Feldman reported on an incident in 2010:

Organized by Stop the Islamization of America, the first rally against the “Ground Zero mosque” was held in a plaza near the site of the Twin Towers on June 6th—D-Day. “We are not hatemongerers!” Pamela Hall proclaimed from the podium. “We just want our families and our future to be safe from the racist, bigoted ideology that murdered 3,000 people.” In the crowd, signs ranged from “Everything I need to know about Islam, I learned on 9/11” to crude drawings of Mohammed with the label “beast.”

Toward the end of the rally, two dark-skinned men were overheard speaking Arabic. The crowd transformed into an angry mob, surrounded the men, and shouted, “go home” and “get out.” The Bergen Record reported that the two scared men, Joseph Nasralla and Karam El Masry, had to be extricated by police. It turned out they weren’t even Muslim. They were Egyptian Coptic Christians who’d trekked cross-country from California to join the cause against the “Ground Zero mosque.” Nasralla later told John Hawkins of Right Wing News that the Record coverage was indeed accurate, adding that he’d been shoved and his camera knocked to the ground. “He said he was worried that things might have really gotten out of hand if the police hadn’t escorted him and Karam El Masry away,” Hawkins wrote.

“I actually caused that by accident,” an evangelical pastor named David Wood told me with a chuckle. He meant the near race riot. Wood is a PhD student in philosophy at a respectable New York institution whose name he didn’t want me to use. Passionate about proselytizing to Muslims, Wood’s expertise is Christian apologetics, the practice of arguing unbelievers into faith. He is best known as the creator of a viral video “Of Mosques and Men,” which argues all Muslims—even those who seem “peaceful,” like “good citizens in public”—had an urge to “smile when there were terrorist attacks.” But Wood allows himself a little laugh about violence when Muslims are on the receiving end.

As he tells the story of that day, “[The Copts] were complaining about not having anything to hand out. And I said, ‘I’ve got some pamphlets on Islam, specifically on whether Islam is a religion of peace.” The pamphlets contained passages of the Qur’an selected to suggest the answer is no. “People thought they were there to defend the mosque and promote Islam,” Wood explained. “Lots of people were fired up about that.” But it was a goofy case of mistaken identity, a funny little mix-up. “The guys who were doing it were actually Christians,” Wood told me as if clearing up the whole matter. “They weren’t Muslims.” In other words: the mob’s anger and actions were justified, but misdirected. Aim better next time?

Garibaldi of Loonwatch has written exposes about Wood in two articles here and here

Wood and Robert Spencer will have a “debate” this coming Sunday on the thesis of Spencer’s new book Did Muhammad Exist?  This “debate” will be moderated by Pamela Geller.  That may be the only time that you will see the combination of Pamela Geller and moderation in the same sentence.

Wood made the “challenge to a debate” by video and Spencer accepted the “challenge”.

Spencer is still falsely claiming that Muslims are afraid to debate him, and says in his acceptance: So David Wood will do their work for them.  Read my article Danios vs Spencer:  18 months and Spencer still avoiding a debate for the Saga of Spencer’s avoidance of a debate with Danios.  See The Muslim Communities Useful Idiots for information on some of Spencer’s past debates with Muslims, and why I believe that engaging with bigots is not productive.

These are not individuals who hold respectable, if controversial opinions.  These are bigots, and engaging them in such a forum only provides them with some veneer of respectability.

Hosts like Hannity, or Bolling can claim that they have been “fair and balanced” because they included a Muslim.  And, full time, paid mercenaries in a “holy war” against Islam like Spencer, will claim “victory” no matter what the outcome.  If they have no “facts” that will stand up to scrutiny, they will stoop to ridiculous slurs, as they did with Christina Abraham.  And, when all else fails, if any Muslim says anything reasonable, they will say that it is taqiyya.

This sort of devious, unethical, and downright childish behavior, is not surprising from individuals who consistently “get it wrong” when it comes to Islam and Muslims, and who see no ethical problem with simply removing articles from a site when they are proven to be inaccurate.  Not too surprising for individuals who are co-founders (Spencer & Geller) of a group, Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  The group is also described by the ADL in the following terms: “Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), created in 2009, promotes a conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda under the guise of fighting radical Islam. The group seeks to rouse public fears by consistently vilifying the Islamic faith and asserting the existence of an Islamic conspiracy to destroy “American” values. The organization warns of the encroachment of shari’a, or Islamic law, and encourages Muslims to leave what it describes as the “falsity of Islam.”

I believe that it is not “cowardly” to leave these folks alone, just sensible.   It is not that their claims cannot be, and have not been answered, but rather that they have proven themselves time and time again to be untrustworthy and dishonorable in both their tactics and their responses to reasoned argument.

Spencer and Wood seem to have a mutual admiration society.  Spencer posted a notice about the “debate” with a note to watch Wood’s video, and Wood posted a notice with a note to read Spencer’s book.

The notice points out that this “debate” will be right after Geller and Spencer’s “Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference” (their most recent anti-Muslim hate fest) ends.  It is worth noting that David Wood will be a speaker at Spencer and Geller’s conference.  I’m sure their promotional video will be more exciting than the actual “debate”.

It seems pretty obvious that rather than a debate, this is a calculated publicity stunt to gain a little more notoriety for their conference, and to publicize Spencer’s book.  I’m sure that they will both have an opportunity to get in a few anti-Muslim zingers in the course of this “debate”.  Let the bigots talk among themselves.

UPDATE 4/30/2012

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more strange.  Robert Spencer just posted a new notice about tonights “debate”.  The debate is now to be between Spencer and Wood (on the same side) versus Anjem Choudary and Omar Bakri.

Both Choudary and Bakri are part of the Muslim lunatic fringe.  Just type their names or the term lunatic fringe into our TAM search engine for more information on these disreputable folks.

I’m curious as to how Spencer is going to talk to Omar Bakri since the last I heard he had been denied re-entry to England, and arrested in Lebanon.

JihadWatch Zombie Eric Allen Bell and Glazov Gang Lose Debate with Nadir Ahmed Want Rematch

Posted in Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2012 by loonwatch

Eric_Allen_Bell_Jamie_Glazov

The “Glazov gangbangers”

Eric Allen Bell, the weirdo turned JihadWatch zombie was advertising about how he was going to debate a Muslim apologist by the name of Nadir Ahmed. I am unfamiliar with Nadir Ahmed, his past debates, level of debate proficiency or his positions but listened to it nonetheless to see what went down.

Nadir Ahmed accepted the challenge, knowing full well the deck was stacked against him. For one he was going to be on the hate-mongerers home turf, FrontPageMagRag. Second, the moderator was a hostile Islamopohobe; Jamie Glazov. Third, Eric Allen Bell was already slandering him on his facebook calling him a “Taqqiya artist” and “professional pedophile prophet apologist,” i.e. it was clear the debate wasn’t going to be fact-based or logical but one where Bell would try to slander his way to a self-declared victory.

To top it off the Glazov gang brought in Robert Spencer (By the way when will Spencer ever accept Danios’ debate challenge?), ostensibly to help the child-like Eric Allen Bell, because we know Bell is not only a poor debater who regularly reverts to lying but he is also plain…dumb.

As you can see the tactic blew up in the Glazov gangs face and for the most part they looked ridiculous to even their own fans, one commenter named Damon Whitsell noted,

I felt Nadir won a 3 on 1 and I bet he is gloating all over himself today.

Other such comments were magically deleted. The truth is after listening to this I believe an illiterate 12 year old Afghan child memorizing Quran all day in a madrassa could probably defeat Bell in debate.

Here is the debate:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/btrplayer.swf?file=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eblogtalkradio%2Ecom%2Fradio%2Djihad%2F2012%2F03%2F21%2Fthe%2Djamie%2Dglazov%2Dshow%2Fplaylist%2Exml&autostart=false&bufferlength=5&volume=80&borderweight=1&bordercolor=#999999&backgroundcolor=#FFFFFF&dashboardcolor=#0098CB&textcolor=#F0F0F0&detailscolor=#FFFFFF&playlistcolor=#999999&playlisthovercolor=#333333&cornerradius=10&callback=http://www.blogtalkradio.com/FlashPlayerCallback.aspx&C1=7&C2=6042973&C3=31&C4=&C5=&C6=&hostname=RadioJihadNetwork&hosturl=http://www.blogtalkradio.com/radio-jihad

Listen to internet radio with Radio Jihad Network on Blog Talk Radio

Bell’s initial reaction to losing the debate:

Bell wants a rematch and is sounding like quite the sore loser:

Ali Sina vs. Sheila Musaji: Will the Real “Savage” Please Stand Up?

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2012 by loonwatch
Sheila Musaji

Ali Sina has really been saber-rattling against The American Muslim’s Sheila Musaji.  As Musaji documents, Sina has received the support and blessing in this regard from the King and Queen of Islamophobia, Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch and Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs.

For those of you who don’t know, Sina is one of the oldest and most nefarious Islamophobes to troll the internet–if Spencer is the King, Ali Sina is the Last Emperor of Islamophobia.  It makes sense then that Sina, Spencer, and Geller would find themselves in bed together.  They are truly a hateful trio.

Ali Sina has defended his view that “Muslims are savages”.  Sheila Musaji, after carefully documenting her exchange with him, quips:

I leave it to the reader to decide who is civilized and who is savage in this discussion.

This was the thought that went through my mind when I read the exchange between the two: not only does the foaming-at-the-mouth, hateful, and maniacal Ali Sina look completely loony compared to the thoughtful, tolerant, and intelligent Sheila Musaji, but the exchange between the two also typifies the difference between “their side” (loons) and ours (anti-loons and loon-watchers).

To be clear, when I make this dichotomy between “their side” and “our side”, it doesn’t have anything at all to do with “Muslims” and “non-Muslims”.  “Our side” includes people of all faiths (or no faith at all) dedicated to spreading peace, tolerance, and mutual coexistence, whereas “their side” includes, well, loons.

Read Sheila Musaji’s record of the exchange and decide for yourself which side you are on:

Ali Sina Launches Sharpened Olive Branch of Hate – updated 1/29/12

by Sheila Musaji

Today I received this email from Ali Sina with the heading “Sending you an olive branch”:

Dear Ms. Sheila Musaji

I read s [sic] few of your articles and see you have dedicated your efforts in [sic] maligning apostates, those who are fed up with Islam and want to protect the non-Muslim world from its onslaught. Of course you don’t see it that way. That’s okay. Maybe one day you will.

I have an offer for you. How about I send you a copy of my book, Understanding Muhammad? You read it. I promise by the time you are done you will no longer want to be a Muslim.

Now you may think this is ridiculous because nothing in the world can change your views about Islam. That is okay. Read it anyway. Read it, not with an open mind but with hatred in your heart against me. Read it with close mind and strive hard to deny all the evidences I present and try to find errors in it. Resist all my claims. By the time you are done reading the book you’ll lose your faith.

And what if you don’t? I promise you will. I have sent my book to hundreds of Muslims. They all promised to read it and get back to me showing my errors. I told them that I will publish their rebuttal. A percentage of them wrote back to thank me for opening their eyes. They are now fighting alongside me helping other Muslims leave Islam. Another group wrote to say I have a diabolic ability to induce doubt in Muslims and hence they stopped reading further. But most of them never replied. Not a single person has wrote [sic] back to do what they promised they’d do, i.e. refute me and show my errors. Not one person! Isn’t that something? Are you willing to take this challenge?

Should you agree to read the book I promise and refute it, I will publish your rebuttal and if you are correct I will withdraw my book from circulation, my membership from SION, and will stop my sites faithfreedom.org and alisina.org. There is also a financial reward of $50 K that I would give to you so you can donate to the charity of your choice.

If you are sincere you’d admit that by doing that you’d achieve a lot more than writing against me, Wafa Sultan (who is by the way my spiritual daughter) and other people in anti-Islam movement. After all these years I have gained some “notoriety.” If you refute my book I will stop my anti-Islam activity and people will notice. I’ve led thousands of Muslims out of Islam. Maybe many of them will want to take another look at Islam. Don’t say I am insignificant. Maybe in real life I am, but in the anti-Islam movement I have a name and a reputation. You’ll lose two days reading a book that you hate. In exchange you may eliminate a “notorious” enemy of Islam and in fact may even win him to your side. You know the story of Islam. Many of its great supporters were originally its staunch enemies. I could be one of them. Why not!  Don’t you believe in Allah’s power? All you’ve to do is read my book, which I will send to you in hard copy or in PDF, whatever is your choice. You can get help from your Muslim husband or imam or anyone you wish.

I am not going to publish this email, unless you ignore it. If you ignore it, will be evidence of your lack of sincerity. My offer to you is sincere and generous. I’ve dedicated 14 years of my life fighting Islam. I am ready to stop and even apologize publicly, should you read my book and prove it wrong. Your investment is only two days of your time. You have nothing to lose except your faith in a lie. That is not bad at all.

If you ignore my offer, I will publish this email. Since you’ve dedicated your life to malign SION and its members I want the world to know you are not a sincere person. But if you reply and read my book, we’ve opened the line of dialogue. You’ll either leave Islam as I predict, or you’ll refute it and I will join Islam. I will also publish your rebuttal, which will help others to see the truth.

I am sending you an olive branch. The ball is now in your court.

Kind regards, Ali Sina

Dear Ali Sina (whoever that might be),

The book that you are offering to send to me has been in print since 2008 (4 years) and is published by your own Faith & Freedom Publishing company.  It is sold at Amazon.com, and it is listed as selling for $157.71.  Another of your books Understanding Islam & Muslims is listed as having only one new copy available for $999.99 although it was published in November of 2011.

If you are such an effective voice speaking against Islam that you can GUARANTEE that any Muslim reading your book will leave Islam, it would seem that you would want your books to be widely disseminated.  At these prices, that isn’t likely.  Perhaps this one on one method of soliciting readership from particular individuals is how the book was meant to be distributed.

I think that this offer is just a ploy.  I would not provide you with my mailing address, any more than you would provide me with yours.  Why would any sane person provide their mailing address to a total stranger who hides behind a pseudonym?

Ali Sina is a pseudonym, and not your real name.  I have no idea who you are.  I only know you by your writings, and in your own words I find evidence that you are an individual I would be wise to fear, not because of your ideas, but because of your hatred.  Here are a few of your own statements:

—  “We strive for the unity of Mankind through the elimination of Islam, the most insidious doctrine of hate. Islam can’t be reformed, but it can be eradicated. It can’t be molded, but it can be smashed. It is rigid but brittle. That is why Muslims do not tolerate criticism of it. To eradicate Islam, all we have to do is tell the truth. It’s that simple. The truth about Islam is out. It’s all here in this site. Now it is up to you to spread it. With truth, the decent Muslims will leave Islam and with each Muslim that leaves, we gain a new soldier in our fight against terrorism. We are growing exponentially. The days of Islam are numbered and world peace is around the corner. Many of us will see that day. We might have to go through very tough times meanwhile. The storm is approaching.

— “We do not want to reform Islam. We want to eradicate it. Just as cancer cannot be reformed and the only way to cure the patient is to eradicate it, Islam cant be reformed either and it must be eradicated for the world to be saved.”

— “Islam, like fascism, appeals to people with low self esteem and low intelligence. Both these ideologies are irrational. They disdain reason, and hail devotion and submission to a higher authority. Like fascists, Muslims are triumphalists. They seek power, domination and control. They pride themselves in their strength of number, in their mindless heroism, in their disdain for life and in their willingness to kill and die for their cause. Islam is political and political Islam is fascism.”

— “Tarek Fatah proves my point that there is no such thing as moderate Muslim … Every “moderate” Muslim is a potential terrorist. The belief in Islam is like a tank of gasoline. It looks innocuous, until it meets the fire. For a “moderate” Muslim to become a murderous jihadist, all it takes is a spark of faith.”

— “I promise that if we continue this campaign of discrediting Islam and Muslim scholars, in no more than a quarter of century, Islam will be defeated. Islam will fall, like communism fell. Mark my words today, even if you think I am nuts. If we all work together, especially the ex-Muslims, we can get rid of Islam sooner than anyone can imagine. Iran is already anti Islamic. More than half of Iranians do not call themselves Muslims anymore. We are demolishing Islam from its foundation. The edifice seems to be intact. But don’t let appearances deceive you. This high tower of lies will come down at once.

— “If any city in the West is nuked I am 100% for nuking tens of cities in Islamic countries. I don’t see Muslims as innocent people. They are all guilty as sin. It is not necessary to be part of al Qaida to be guilty. If you are a Muslim you agree with Muhammad and that is enough evidence against you.”

— “We love you Muslims because you are humans like us. We are all related to each other. We are all limbs of the body of mankind. But you are diseased. You are infected by a deadly cult that threatens our lives. Your humanity is destroyed. Like a limb infected by flesh eating disease, now you are a threat to the rest of mankind. We will do everything to save you, to make you see your folly, and to make you understand that you are victims of a gigantic lie, so you leave this lie, stop hating mankind and plotting for its destruction and it domination. But if all efforts fail and if you become a threat to our lives and the lives of our children, we must amputate you. This will happen, not because I say so, but I say so because this is human response. We humans are dictated by our survival instinct. If you threaten me and my survival depends on killing you, I must kill you. Please come to your senses. Muhammad was not a prophet of God. He was an instrument of Satan to divide mankind so we destroy each other. It is a demonic plot to end humanity. Muhammad lied. He brought hate. Wake up please. You are putting the world, including your own lives in danger for a lie. Read my book and learn the truth about Muhammad. … Islam is disease. What does moderate Muslim mean anyway? Does it mean you are moderately diseased? This makes as much sense as saying, I am a moderate Nazi, or I am culturally a fascist. I only participate in their rallies. Let us call you by your name. You are a hypocrite. You are a useful idiot. You are part of the problem. In fact you are THE problem. If it were not for you, we would easily recognize our enemy and eliminating it, would be easy. But you shield the enemy. You muddy the waters. You confuse us to hide the beast among you. You do not fool me, even though you may fool the non-Muslims. I know your hypocrisy. I know how you hide and support the terrorists secretly but publicly you denounce him and portray yourself as our friend.

If these words were not enough for me to form a judgement about whether or not I would want to interact with you, your email is filled with statements that make my decision very clear.

You open with a false accusation that I “malign apostates”.  I don’t malign people that you call apostates and that I call people who have chosen another faith than that they were born into. Actually, I strongly uphold freedom of faith, and am a signatory to a statement initiated by Muslims declaring our commitment to that freedom.

I have no problem with anyone, including yourself, choosing whatever religious path (or no path) for themselves that they find meaningful.  I am puzzled by the fact that some converts from one belief system to another find it necessary to disparage the faith that they have left.  Forty years ago, I chose Islam.  That was a very personal and private decision, and I feel no need to defend that choice by in any way disparaging my former faith.  In fact, to behave in such a manner would cheapen my choice.  There are different paths that are suitable for different people.  God will judge, not any human being.

I do respond, and respond strongly to those individuals who malign the faith of others whether through anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti-Mormonism, anti-Hinduism, or any other form of religious bigotry.  I respond particularly to Islamophobes because I believe that the poison that they spread directly endangers the safety and security of American Muslims including my own children.  Islamophobia is real and dangerous.  You can repeat “Islamophobia is a fallacy” as often as you want, and that won’t make it a fact.

You make an offer that you call “sending an olive branch” that includes a veiled threat “If you ignore my offer, I will publish this email … I want the world to know you are not a sincere person”.

Your patronizing statement You can get help from your Muslim husband or imam or anyone you wishshows your contempt for women and their ability to make their own choices and decisions.  I don’t need someone else to help me make my choices.

Your assumption that I might be motivated either by some need to gain notoriety by engaging in a polemical debate with a person who has attained “some notoriety” or by greed in considering the possibility of financial gain as an incentive is offensive.

I decline your offer. I have no time or interest in writing a rebuttal of your book. I am not interested in convincing people to leave whatever faith they have. I don’t need your help to distribute my writings on any topic that I choose to write about.  I don’t care what faith you hold.  I don’t care if your site is online or not, in fact it is good it is there so that people can judge for themselves what sort of poison you are spreading.

I don’t believe that declining your “challenge” proves my insincerity, but the challenge itself provides even more evidence of your own insecurity.  There is something wrong with a worldview that promotes the idea that demonizing others somehow increases your own stature.

I am ignoring your veiled threat and publishing your email myself.  Others can judge for themselves the meaning of your offer and of my rejection of that offer.

“If it had been the will of your Lord that all the people of the world should be believers, all the people of the earth would have believed! Would you then compel mankind against their will to believe?”  [Qur’an 10:99]

“There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.”  [Qur’an 2:256]

”(O Prophet Muhammad) proclaim: ‘This is the Truth from your Lord. Now let him who will, believe in it, and him who will, deny it.’”  [Qur’an 18:29]

“Say, O Muhammad.  I worship not that which you worship, nor will you worship that which I worship.  And I shall not worship that which you are worshipping, nor will you worship that which I worship.  To you be your religion, and to me my religion.”  [Qur’an 109:1-6]

UPDATE 1/25/2012

I was just sent a link to an article that Ali Sina posted about a twitter argument he participated in with someone calling themselves @Rabbi.Shaul.  Sina is an atheist and they debated whether or not reason can prove that God exists.  Sina attempted to provoke the Rabbi into debating with him in a more formal format that would be published, and ultimately another Rabbi responded to Sina in a Youtube video saying that such a debate will not take place, and calling Sina on the carpet for his ego.

The whole thing is extremely lengthy, but Sina shows much about himself in his response.  He repeats his claims about Prophet Muhammad, and then says

But there was another element in shaping his character: The influence of Rabbis.

Judaism and Islam have a lot in common. They have basically the same eschatology and very similar teachings. For example few people know that stoning adulterers that is widely practiced in Islam originates from the Bible. Muhammad did practice stoning but he did not insert it in his Quran. But he said when a law is not clearly stated, Muslims should look into the Bible for guidance.

These are all secondary influences of Judaism on Islam. The main common feature between these two faiths is their intolerance. This intolerance in Judaic texts gave the narcissist Muhammad the power to do as he pleased. He could make his claim without needing to prove it and expect others to believe without questioning him. If they didn’t, he would threaten them with hellfire.

How could he get away with that? Why would people believed in his unproven and often irrational claims? The answer to this question is in Judaism. The Rabbis in Arabia had laid the psychological foundation for Islam among the tolerant pagans. For 2000 years they had preached that Yahweh, their god, is beyond reason, i.e. he is irrational, that his ways are different and they may appear unjust and even evil. But it is not up to humans to question God’s wisdom.

That kind of authority and power is a narcissist’s wet dream. By claiming to be the messenger of God, the same intolerant god of the Jews, Muhammad did not have to prove any of his claims. The reason Arabs fell into his trap was because of the groundwork laid by the Rabbis in Arabia.

Sounds as if he is not only Islamophobic, but also anti-Semitic.  And, a little later in this article this gem appears which shows that at the very least, he is a racist: We Persians are of the same genetic stock as Germans and we had a far superior civilization than Arabs.

It is both surprising and not surprising that Ali Sina has now been named to the Board of Directors of the newly formed Stop the Islamization of Nations SION which is a coalition SIOA, SIOE, and other hate groups, and which will be led by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.  It is not surprising because of the animosity towards Islam that he shares with Geller and Spencer.  It is surprising because of the fact that Geller herself is Jewish, and Ali Sina seems to have as much animosity towards Judaism as he does against Islam.

The Southern Poverty Law Center published a report citing Geller for hate speech.  The AFDI has been named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  The American Freedom Defense Initiative is the parent group of the SIOA.  Spencer, Geller, and Yerushalmi are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.

Pay Pal at least temporarily suspended Geller’s site Atlas Shrugs for being a hate site.

Spencer and Geller attempted to patent the SIOA trademark, but were refused by the U.S. patent office The government response, posted on the site, states, “The applied-for mark refers to Muslims in a disparaging manner because by definition it implies that conversion or conformity to Islam is something that needs to be stopped or caused to cease.  “The proposed mark further disparages Muslims because, taking into account the nature of the services (‘providing information regarding understanding and preventing terrorism’), it implies that Islam is associated with violence and threats,” the government agency said.  Again, Loonwatch has more here which include a number of hateful screen grabs from the SIOA facebook page.  Geller says that I engaged David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise of the Thomas More Law Center to pursue this matter legally. Once again, these legal warriors did not hesitate to take the case pro-bono.

The Center for American Progress released a groundbreaking report Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America.  The key researchers for this report were Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matthew Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and Faiz Shakir.  The report itself is the result of a six month investigative project, and is 132 pages in length.  Geller is cited as part of this network.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) notes in a backgrounder about the SIOA “Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), created in 2009, promotes a conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda under the guise of fighting radical Islam. The group seeks to rouse public fears by consistently vilifying the Islamic faith and asserting the existence of an Islamic conspiracy to destroy “American” values. The organization warns of the encroachment of shari’a, or Islamic law, and encourages Muslims to leave what it describes as the “falsity of Islam.”

Abraham H. Foxman of the ADL wrote an article The new shape of anti-Muslim hatred in which he calls out Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller (the co-founders of SIOA) by name as purveyors of this hatred.

Geller is featured in the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism, and the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State, and the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.
UPDATE 1/26/2012

Ali Sina posted a response to this article rejecting his demand that that I engage in a debate with him.

There are only a few points in his response that I consider to be worth discussing, because they are about me personally.

He says

I read a few of your articles. You write exclusively about people in the anti-jihad movement. You don’t refute them. You vilify them. You engage in ad hominem. All your articles are personal attacks. I haven’t seen once you refute what we say. You are a Muslim and this is how the brain of a Muslim works. Muslims ignore the criticism made against Islam. Instead they focus on the person criticizing Islam and try to discredit them. This is a pattern.

Obviously he has read very few of my articles or he would know that I do not write exclusively about Islamophobes.  Here is a link to a list of articles that I have written.  This is not difficult to find as I refer to this list of my articles right on the main page of TAM.  It would be impossible for anyone to simply read through the titles of my articles and still make the claim with a straight face that I “write exclusively” about Islamophobes.

He says

You have written many articles maligning the critics of Islam. Show us one where you have condemned your own brethren for disparaging other faiths. Show us where you have stood for the rights of the victims of Islam. Did you write any article sending it to an Egyptian media denouncing the Muslims for killing the Coptic Christians? Did you write anything for Pakistanis denouncing them for their blasphemy law? Of course not! Your goal is not to stop the barbarity of Islam. Your goal is to bambuzzle your own people so they lower their guards and not see Islam as a threat. There have been many fools and traitors like you in history. We Persians had the Salman.

Yes you have written articles claiming Islam allows freedom of religion. Those articles are for the consumption of non-Muslims and to deceive them. You never call upon Muslims to be tolerant. You know that they will laugh at you if you do. First of all you are a convert and secondly you are a woman. Will Muslims listen to you and ignore their own scholars, and ignore the Quran and the hadith? They tolerate you for now. You serve their purpose. To borrow a term from Lenin, you are a useful idiot for them. They let you say what you want and pull the wool over the eyes of their targeted victims. You are a deceived woman and the best person to deceive the westerners.

Again, reading my articles would show that this statement is very simply not only wrong, but a lie.

Here on The American Muslim, I have published thousands of articles, many of them discussing issues such as:

— speaking out against the repulsive customs of – child marriage  including discussion ofparticular cases, – and punishments for victims of rape, – and female genital mutilation, etc.
—against the views of extremist clerics like Anjem Choudary, or Sheikh Abdullah El-Faisal, orAnwar Al AwlakiAyman Zawahiri, etc.
— against the views of extremist groups like Hizb-ut-TahrirMajlis, South Africa, etc.
— against particular actions of Islamic organizations like the Canadian Shia Muslim Organization (CASMO) publishing an article by David Duke, or some British Muslims threatening Imam Usama Hasan because of his views on the compatibility of the theory of evolution with Quranic teachings regarding God’s creation of the world and human beings, or the Arab European League (AEL) publishing an offensive cartoon against the Jewish people on their website
— against extremist interpretations or translations of particular Qur’anic verses, e.g. Qur’an 4:34 or the Hilali-Khan or translation of the Qur’an, or the Saudi’s “revised” edition of Yusuf Ali’s translation
— against individuals or organizations promoting extremist views about various issues like – Salwa Al Mutairi suggesting that sex-slaves are allowed in Islam, – or the Malaysian Catholic Herald being told that it could no longer use the word “Allah” to mean God, – or Dr. Zakir Naiksaying that Muslims can’t wish Christians a Merry Christmas, – or the Darul Uloom Deoband’sdivorce by phone fatwa, , – or the Saudi forced divorce case, etc.
— about particular individuals or organizations accused of particular crimes,  – like the Florida Imams arrested for aiding the Pakistani Taliban, etc.
— publishing condemnations of particular acts of extremism and violence such as – the attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt, – or the killing of U.N. workers in Afghanistan, – or attacks on Christians in Muslim countries, – or the Fort Hood massacre, – or the deaths of 15 Saudi schoolgirls in a fire because they weren’t “properly dressed” etc.
— or publishing condemnations of extreme reactions to various current issues like the South Park cartoonMolly Norris and “Draw Muhammad Day”, Opus cartoon
—publishing statements and articles advocating for   – protection of religious minorities and houses of worship, – and guardianship reform in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia pertaining to male control or ‘guardianship’ over women, – and confronting online radicalization of Muslim youth, – and freedom of faith and right to change one’s faith, – and freedom of speech, – and a spiritual jihad against terrorism, – and welcoming LGBT Muslims in mosques, – and a moratorium on all corporal punishment, including the death penalty, – and responsibility of Muslims to defend the Constitution of the U.S., – and condemning holocaust denial and anti-Semitism, – and promoting the value of being faithful Muslims and loyal Americans, – and against any laws for blasphemy – including Pakistan’s blasphemy law,  etc.
— publishing and regularly updating Muslim condemnations in statements, fatwas, articles, etc. of every form of extremism and terrorism as a major part of the work of The American Muslim

On TAM, we regularly call out those within the Muslim community that I identify as the “lunatic fringe”, discuss various interpretations of aspects of Sharia, condemn any interpretations that violate human rights.  The list above is a very short list of the thousands of articles on such subjects that we have published, many of which I have written myself.

He says

This is the truth about “no compulsion in religion.” You converted 40 years ago when you were young and inexperienced. We all did stupid things when we were young. Most of us gained wisdom as we aged. But once one converts to Islam the brain becomes numbed. Although others recover from their youthful follies a Muslim is trapped. But there is no reason to despair. My book can help. Whether you are old or young, when you learn the truth, you can no longer cling to lies.

This is simply a nasty, speculative, and meaningless attack on me as an individual that deserves nothing but contempt.

He closes his article with

Will you also publish my response to you?  Or if not, will you provide a link to this page in your site letting your readers see my response?  That would prove your sincerity.

In case anyone is in doubt about the sort of person attracted to and in agreement with Islamophobes like Ali Sina, here are a few comments at the bottom of his response article

— Sundried Atheist Why this maniacal obsession about Islam. Christianity and Judaism are just as dangerous and poisonous as Islam is. Their actions are just as diabolic.  In fact Islam owes its existance to the founders of Christianity and Judaism. So really, it is the Jews we should be taking it out on. All the silly rituals and barbaric rules, human/animal rights abuse all stem from Jewish laws. Jews are suibhuman, less evolved primates who should be eliminated in a peaceful manner. Such as by spraying them with mega toxic pesticides like you try to eliminate locusts and other field posts.
— Enlightened 25 “You’re not a racist, you’re a critique. You criticize those ideologies.” I am not talking about ideologies obviously it is absurd to hate the Koran, it is just a book (though a vile one). I am talking about the people that believe in those ideologies. Do you hate Nazis and communists? If you don’t then you should. If I am asked do I hate Muslims? Then my honest answer is yes. I cannot say I hate everything you believe in, everything you value, everything you stand for, but I don’t hate you personally, that would be a lie as well as self-deception on my part. Once I had a Muslim saying I should be put to death. Should I love that beast? Hell no, that person is my mortal enemy and I should hate him and if I was given the chance and was able to do it, I would destroy him. I say openly to the Muslims if you don’t hate me then you should, because I am out to destroy everything that is sacred to you.
— Ali Sina If your son becomes a Monster (or a good Muslims) you still don’t hate him. But you will allow him to be locked up for the protection of others. Your duty as a parent is to love your children. This does not mean you have to condone their evilness. Let the socity deal with your son according to the law. You don’t hide or protect him, but also you don’t have to hate him.  We humans are all sons and daughters, brothers and sisters in a large scale. Yes we have to stop the monsters among us, and if necessary eliminate them so they can no longer harm others. This does not mean we should hate them.

I have now responded to his attacks on me personally, and provided a link to his response which he says would show my sincerity.

UPDATE 1/28/2012

Today, Ali Sina wrote wrote a response to my comments of yesterday.  He objects to my saying that some of his previous statements seem to show that he is not only Islamophobic but also anti-Semitic and racist – and his response just makes his attitudes more clear.  This is part of what he said:

It seems that Ms. Musaji has some difficulty in comprehension. Or maybe she just pretends it, hoping she may confound her readers. I am against Islam. That does not make me Islamophobe. Islamophobia is a fallacy. You can say Islam-hater. That I agree. But one can’t be “phobic” of a belief. This is a deception. But as Hitler said, if a lie is repeated often it will be believed as truth eventually.

A good example is the word homophobia. This is also a deception. I believe homosexuality is a disorder no different from eating disorder or a personality disorder. Homosexuality is a sexual disorder, like sadomasochism, fetishism, zoophilia and pedophilia. Now these disorders are not all the same and have different implications, but they are all disorders. I am not a homophobe for considering homosexuality a disorder. Homo means same. I don’t have an irrational fear of men. But this lie was repeated so much that today most people have fallen for it. The idea was to stifle any criticism about this disorder and they succeeded. Now they even have gay pride parades, as if there is something to be proud of a disorder. This is how masses are manipulated through propaganda. They even shame you into silence. Few people dare to say homosexuality is not normal. They even gave it a chichi name “gay”, meaning happy. This is also a lie. Homosexuals are not happy.

Muslims are using the same deceptive tactic.  They want to stifle the legitimate discussion about Islam.  So they invented this lie and with the help of their leftist lackeys who gave us the fallacy of homophobia and they will repeat it until it is seen as truth.  But Islam is an ideology. No one can have an irrational fear of an ideology. You can strongly disagree with an ideology and you can even hate it, but you can’t be phobic of it.  Ideologies don’t have fangs. It is their believers who may have fangs. Now, it would be more logical to say Muslimphobia.  Muslims can hurt you. If you see a group of Muslims coming out of a mosque, you would be wise to run as fast as you can.

…  All cultures are not equal. Cultural relativism is another fallacy. We Persians had a much more superior culture that the Arabs. But after the invasion of Islam we were reduced into barbarians. We became like them. Now we are all barbarians. The first charter of human rights was written in Persia more than 2500 years ago.

…  It is not racist to say Muslims are savages any more than to say Nazis were savages. Islam is an ideology. It is not hacked into our genes. We can give it up and regain our civility. That is the whole purpose of what I do. Muslims are drowning in the cesspool of Islam. Just look at the pictures of Muslims when protesting in the streets. They are savages. I want to pull them out of Islam and restore their humanity.

Most Jews have given up their belief in the nonsense of their religion a long time ago. Most of them don’t believe in religion anymore. Those who do are like those rabbis, filled with bigotry and hate.  But they are the minority. Even when Jews go to synagogues it is for ceremonies. Religion can be a cohesive force. It brings out the spirit of fraternity and builds community.

The emphasis is mine.  Here is the gist of his argument:  I hate Islam, but that is not Islamophobia. I believe that “Muslims are savages”, but I am not a bigot.  I believe that “Homosexuality is a sexual disorder, like sadomasochism” but I am not homophobic.  I believe that Judaism is a religion of “nonsense”, those who believe in it are “filled with bigotry and hate”, but I am not an anti-Semite.  I believe that my culture is superior to others, but I am not a racist.  Terms like Islamophobia or homophobia are lies, there is no such thing.  I am sorry, but there is such a thing as anti-Semitism, there is such a thing as Islamophobia, there is such a thing as homophobia, there is such a thing as racism.  You can object to the use of one or all of those words, but the bottom line is that no matter what you call this ideology, it is hateful bigotry.

He also objected to my pointing out that the SPLC, ADL, PFAW, CAP, etc. have characterized SION and its leaders Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer as promoting an anti-Muslim agenda.  He refers to all of these organizations as “moon-bats”, “traitorous leftist organizations”, “lackeys”, who hate “the Judeo-Christian western values”, and “minions” of Muslims, that “are either run by Muslims or are sympathetic to Islam”.  He says that Paypal was “duped” and the U.S. government has been “misled” into believing that Islam is a religion.

Sina says that Pamela Geller “should be awarded the Nobel Prize for her humanitarianism and for her compassion.  Alas the Nobel Prize committee is so politicized that they think charlatans like Arafat, Obama and Al Gore are more deserving for that prize than good humans who truly serve mankind.”

He closes with “More on this subject tomorrow!”

Pamela Geller posted an article today titled Takedown which is a short introduction to Sina’s article by Geller.

I urge all Atlas readers, twitter followers, and facebook friends to go over to Dr. Ali Sina’s site and read this takedown of the nasty, libelous shill, Sheila Musaji of The American Muslim.

,,,  I have not fisked this liar and dissembler, because everything she has written about me, pages and pages, are lies, defamation and smear. All of it.  She serves the fourth reich, and she serves them well. And frankly, I was loathe to give her the notoriety and the traffic she so desperately craves. But Sina has been battling her lies (there is more here, Sheila Musaji and Fear of Freedom).

A minor point, but Paypal never suspended me. They sent me notice that complaints were lodged (by vicious trolls like Musaji no doubt), but they never did. Just another Islamic lie.

Dr.Sina honors me in his defense of my work.

Actually, Geller has written about me in the past, and shown herself in that case as in so many others to be confused about the meaning of truth-telling, and ready to attempt to conceal evidence of outright lies.

On April 30, 2008 Geller posted an article titled “Attacking Chesler: American Muslim Female Takes on Chesler”.  As could be expected she didn’t understand how I could possibly say anything negative about Chesler’s anti-Muslim writings.  Geller called me a “tool of jihad” who is tearing a “truthteller apart” while “doing nothing for my sisters”.  However, she did not directly address any of the specific points that I made in my article.  (Note:  Geller’s article still comes up on a Google search, and in a search of my name on her site, but if you click on the link you will only get an error message.  The article has been pulled).  My response to Geller’s claims in her article was the first item in a collection of information on Geller, who along with her partner Robert Spencer seem to be the most prolific Islamophobes. Please see my article   Pamela Geller Attempts to Make a Point, Muslims Shrug (SIOA/AFDI/Atlas Shrugs) for a complete background on this.

On May 2, 2008 Geller published an article titled Blah, blah, blah in which she accuses me of“deception, taqiyya- the deliberate dissimulation about religious matters that may be undertaken to protect Islam. And while this kind of double talk has the left doing the Islamists bidding, many of us know exactly what this shiz is. You can fool some of the infidels some of the times, but you can’t fool all of the kufirs all of the time.”

She opens this article with “Musaji over at American Muslim didn’t like my defending Phyllis Chesler.”  And she has included this link ( http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2008/04/attacking-chesl.html ) embedded in the words “defending Phyllis Chesler”.  This is a link to the now removed article that was written by Geller on April 30th.  Geller herself is sayng that she had written an article to which I responded, but the article is not there?  Why was the article removed?

As to my reference to PayPal, on June 12, 2010 Geller posted an article which she titled Paypal Cuts Off Atlas: Truth is the New Hate Speech in which she posts a copy of the email from Paypal which includes the statement However, after a recent review of your account, it has been determined that you are currently in violation of PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy.  Under the Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive payments for items that promote hate, violence, racial intolerance or the financial exploitation of a crime.  In Geller’s article and in PayPals email there is nothing about complaints being lodged, simply this statement that she is in violation of their acceptable use policy.  Geller’s own title says that PayPal had cut off Atlas Shrugs.  Although Geller and Ali Sina seem to want to blame me for some involvement with this PayPal incident, I had nothing to do with it.  So, if there was any confusion about exactly what happened with PayPal, that confusion came from Geller’s own statement.

And, of course Robert Spencer has to jump in and also post Ali Sina’s article with a short introduction by Spencer which doesn’t really add much to this saga.  Spencer does add one more insult by calling me an established liar and linking to a previous article of his attacking me by making this false claim.  Actually, if you read my article that Spencer is referring to Hutaree Christian Militia, Not an Isolated Phenomena you can make your own decision about this charge.  Spencer, like Geller has shown himself in that case as in so many others to be confused about the meaning of truth-telling, and ready toattempt to conceal evidence of outright lies.

I have just checked the comments on the article that I mentioned in my update of 1/26, and they are still there.  Calling Christianity, Islam, and Judaism “diabolic”, calling Jews “suibhuman [sic], less evolved primates who should be eliminated in a peaceful manner. Such as by spraying them with mega toxic pesticides like you try to eliminate locusts and other field posts”, saying “I hate Muslims”, suggesting that you “will allow him (i.e. Muslims) to be locked up for the protection of others” — these are comments that go beyond the pale of any sort of civilized discussion.  This goes beyond bigotry into the realm of hatred.  Allowing such statements to remain on his site is a choice that Ali Sina has made, and that choice does reflect on him.  I am most concerned about the comments clearly calling for a genocide against Jews, and for locking up Muslims…

Goebbels would be proud, and Ali Sina and the other Islamophobes’ tactics show all to clearly theremarkable similarities between Islamophobic and anti-Semitic propaganda.  Geller’s baseless claim that I “serve the fourth reich”, must be projection.
UPDATE 1/29/2012

Sina is still carrying on a debate with himself on his site.  He is still demanding that I answer his questions about the interpretation of some particular Qur’anic verse, or what some Muslim scholar has said, or some hadith, or (the list goes on and on).  This is nonsense.  I have no obligation to discuss any of these issues with him.  And, I have provided him with links to all of my writings over the past many years, many of which have already discussed many of these issues.

Just as Muslims have given lengthy explanations for example of why particular verses of the Qur’an have been taken out of context to “prove” false points – Jewish scholars have had the need to explain particular aspects of their religion that have been misunderstood – for example what the Talmud says about the permissibility of killing non-Jews.   Rabbi David Eidensohn has a site devoted to defending the Talmud against various accusations.   The fact that there are verses in the Qur’an that can be interpreted variously is also not unique –  that there are verses that be seen as cruel and violent in the Bible (Old and New Testaments) cannot really be disputed.   What can be done is to attempt to marginalize those who continue to promote extremist interpretations of religious texts, and to promote false worldviews like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion or the Protocols of the Elders of Islam.

You might want to read Hussein Ibish’s article Religion and violence: another look at Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, and the 2003 ADL report on The Talmud in Anti-Semitic Polemics  and ask yourself if you don’t see how closely Ali Sina’s tactics mirror classic anti-Semitic tactics.

There is a site that maintains an archive of Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda.  It is depressing reading, but over and over again I found examples of claims and statements that mirrored claims now being made by people like you Ali Sina against Muslims and Islam.  Here are a few examples:

– Nazi propaganda maintained that all Jews were responsible for the act of any Jew “The murder of Ernst vom Rath did not slow legal measures aimed at solving the Jewish Problem, but rather sped them up. The Jews living in Germany had to pay a fine of a billion marks to discourage them from repeating the cowardly murder.”http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/imbild1.htm
– Nazi propaganda maintained that Judaism was not a religion. “Argument 1: “You say that religion is a private matter. But you fight against the Jewish religion!” Counterargument: “Actually, the Jewish religion is nothing other than a doctrine to preserve the Jewish race.” (Adolf Hitler). “In resisting all government attempts to nationalize them, the Jews build a state within the state (Count Helmuth von Moltke). “To call this state a ‘religion’ was one of the cleverest tricks ever invented.” (Adolf Hitler). “From this first lie that Jewry is a religion, not a race, further lies inevitably follow.” (Adolf Hitler).” http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/responses.htm
– Nazi propaganda maintained that the Jews hated all non-Jews and they wanted to destroy the Gentiles and dominate the world http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/ds15.htm  Further “Whether or not there is an organized Jewish government recognized by all the Jews is less important that the fact that there is a unified and conscious Jewish desire for world power. This is proved by a variety of political events that are taking place in plain sight today.” http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/aufkla01.htm
– Nazi propaganda maintained that a war against Judaism was a war against the devilhttp://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/ds15.htm
– Nazi propaganda maintained by distortions of the Torah and Talmud that Judaism teaches hatred http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/ds3.htm
– Nazi propaganda maintained that “The goal of the Jew is to make himself the ruler of humanity. Wherever he comes, he destroys works of culture. He is not a creative spirit, rather a destructive spirit.”  http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/catech.htm
– Nazi propaganda maintained that “Nearly all major inventions were made by Aryans.”  The Jews had no real creativity http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/catech.htm  Further “Wherever Jewry has appeared, it has never built anything. It has always and everywhere destroyed or torn down, sucking others dry to fill itself. From the days of the Romans to our day, Jewry in every century, in every people, was and remained a foreign body, a destroyer of real and ideal values, a denier of any upward progress, a plague for body and soul. It sneaks in through deceit and treachery, trickery and slyness, murder and assault, understanding how to establish itself.”  http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/esser.htm
– Nazi propaganda maintained that A GOOD JEW COULD NOT BE A GOOD GERMAN, that it was impossible for a Jew to honestly say “I am a “good German” and a “decent Jew”! Only a Jew has the insolence to make such a claim. I answer it only to reach the public and finally dispatch the absurd notion of the “decent Jew.” The fable of the “decent Jew” is not a German fable that has been handed down by our people and therefore something with educational value, but rather it is a shameless lie designed to lull the host people to sleep and appeal to hysterical weaklings.”  http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/oberlindober1.htm  And further “And you think you can be a “good German”! True, you do speak German, just as your racial comrades in other countries speak English, French, Spanish, and Polish, but you are no more a German than they are Englishmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards, or Poles, since Jews are a foreign body in every people.” http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/oberlindober1.htm
– Nazi propaganda maintained “Each Jew individually, and Jewry as a whole, is without a home. Jewry undermines every people and every state that it infiltrates. It feeds as a parasite and a culture-killing worm in the host people. It grows and grows like weeds in the state, the community, and the family and infests the blood of humanity everywhere.  In brief, that is the pestilential nature of Jewry, against which every people, every state, every nation must, should, and wants to defend itself if it does not want to be the victim of this bloody plague.” http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/esser.htm

It is not possible for any decent human being not to see the incredible similarities between this Nazi propaganda and the propaganda of the Islamophobes.  In fact, many passages from Ali Sina’s work read as if he has simply taken one of these statements and changed “Jew” with “Muslim” or “Judaism” with “Islam”.

The Islamophobic echo chamber is reproducing Ali Sina’s articles and claiming that he has totally crushed me with his rapier wit.  Let the bigots continue discussing this among themselves, andcontinue stirring up a hornets nest of bigotry, and engaging in their what everyone “knows” distortions about Islam and Muslims, and following Baron Bodissey/Edward May’s Islamophobia manifesto and Nazi propaganda as their guide.

I leave it to the reader to decide who is civilized and who is savage in this discussion.  I will get back to reading the Qur’an.

“If your Lord had so willed, He could have made mankind one people: but they will not cease to dispute.” [Qur’an 11:118]

“And do thou be patient, for thy patience is but from God; nor grieve over them: and distress not thyself because of their plots. For Allah is with those who restrain themselves, and those who do good.” [Qur’an 16:127-128]

Oh mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (Not that you may despise each other). [Qur’an 49;13]

NOTE:  I do thank Ali Sina for correcting my spelling of pseudonym.
SEE ALSO

A Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industryhttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/a_whos_who_of_the_anti-muslimanti-arabislamophobia_industry

Islamophobia:  Real or Imaginedhttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/islamophobia_real_or_imagined

Ali Sina and Faith Freedom International, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/ali_sina

SION:  Hate Groups Unite to Form an International Hate Coalition, Sheila Musajihttp://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/sion

Robert Spencer Runs Away from Debating Danios – Again – in ABN Getaway Car

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2012 by loonwatch

Robert Spencer has complained for several years that “Muslims and Leftists” refuse to debate him on his ideas.  He issued an open challenge to debate.  I accepted this challenge and agreed to a radio debate over a year and a half ago, yet Spencer has been running away from me ever since.  To see the chronology behind Spencer’s debate-dodging with me, check out Sheila Musaji’s article Danios vs Spencer: 18 months and Spencer still avoiding a debate.

Initially, Spencer had used my anonymity as an excuse to get out of debating me.  After over a year and a half, he seemed to finally put this condition aside and agreed to debate me.  I offered Salon Radio as a possible choice for venue and moderator, to which Spencer initially agreed.  Shortly thereafter, however, Spencer chickened out of this, claiming that Salon Radio was not a neutral venue.  He then insisted upon ABN Sat, a loony right-wing Christian channel with anti-Muslim shows on it like Jihad Exposed.

Remember: Spencer rejected Salon Radio because it was not neutral enough, but meanwhile he has debated Muslims on ABN, which is the last thing on earth that could be called “neutral”.  Anyone see the double standard?

I agreed to ABN, just to get the debate moving along.  After this, Spencer emailed ABN saying: “It will be interesting in any case to see his face on camera.”  When did I ever agree to that?  Remember: I’ve always said that I am willing to engage in a radio (audio) debate with Spencer, so why the insistence that I do video?  After prolonged negotiations (designed to waste my time?), ABN finally refused to host the debate if I would be “audio-only” (as was my condition from the very beginning).

ABN claimed that it was against their policy to have one of the debaters be “audio-only” and that each debater must be on Skype (with video).  This seems to be nothing but a boldfaced lie made by ABN, since here is a debate they hosted just within this last year in which one of the debaters used Skype (video) and the other used the phone (audio only).  It seems that Spencer and ABN are colluding with each other in order to find an excuse to get out of the debate, because Spencer knows that he cannot defend his ideas.

So, the reality is that nothing has changed, and Spencer continues to use my anonymity to dodge the debate with me.

*  *  *  *  *

Moment of truth time for Robert Spencer: instead of wasting everyone’s time negotiating over venue and moderator (all of which seems to be designed to dodge the debate), I challenge you, Robert Spencer of JihadWatch, to a head-to-head debate using a format similar to bloggingheads.tv (no moderator needed) and audio only (like this debate or the one Spencer just did with “Spengler”–readers will note Spencer’s own words there: “Yes, it’s a video, but it’s audio only”).

We can make this debate happen right away.  Nothing fancy is required, no gimmicks, no third party needs to be negotiated with.  All we need is a recorded telephone conversation between you (Spencer) and I (Danios).  Then, we can put the recording of the debate on our respective websites (on LoonWatch and if Spencer wants, on JihadWatch).

As for the topic, we can debate the contents of Spencer’s book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).  I argue that this book is completely misleading, whereas Spencer argues that nobody has been able to refute the substance of it but just smear him instead.  We’ll go through the book chapter by chapter and see where the truth lies.  Spencer, if you can’t defend the contents of your book, what are you but a fraud?

A generous time limit can be set for the debate so that we can have a real substantive discussion.  I say we stick with what we both found reasonable initially: three hours.

Spencer, I’m trying to make this debate actually happen, whereas you keep trying to find ways out of it.  The ball is in your court now.

This is the moment of truth to see if Spencer wants to debate or just wants to flee from me.  I think the question most of us have is: what excuse will Robert Spencer come up with next to chicken out of the debate?  Is Spencer too scared to pick up a phone and debate with me?  I think so.

Update I:

Robert Spencer just went on a tweet splurge, attempting to do damage control in order to hide the fact that he is dodging the debate with me.  He argues: “Every debate [on ABN] has same format.”  This is clearly a lie that both ABN and Spencer are sticking to, despite the fact that we have clear evidence to the contrary: as I already pointed out above (a point Spencer ignored), here is an ABN debate in which one of the two debaters was “audio only”, just as I requested.  Their insistence that all debaters must appear on video is something new that they invented for me, just as a way to give Spencer an out.

Like I said, there’s nothing new here: Spencer has chickened out of the debate with me as usual, using my anonymity as a cheap excuse.  He has rejected my new debate offer above, saying about me: “He wants uneven playing field.”  How would that be an “uneven playing field” to have no moderator and just go head-to-head?  Here Spencer is guilty of projection: he is the one who insisted on ABN, a loony anti-Muslim Christian channel, that would be completely in his favor.  Meanwhile, I accepted this “uneven playing field”–to Spencer’s advantage!  This is yet another case of Spencer putting reality on its head.

Lastly, Spencer gets out of my new debate offer by arguing that he will only accept it if I accept a “university invitation.”  He knows that I won’t accept because it would require compromising my anonymity, something I am unwilling to do at this point in time.  Therefore, we’re once again back where we were, with Robert Spencer dodging me in debate, using my anonymity as his ultimate fall back excuse and cop-out.  Why, Spencer, did you waste all of our time by making us think a few days ago that you were ready to stop running?  Please don’t keep wasting everybody’s time.

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.

Danios vs Spencer: 18 months and Spencer still avoiding a debate

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2012 by loonwatch

(cross-posted from The American Muslim)

by Sheila Musaji

Danios of Loonwatch has had an ongoing online discussion with Robert Spencer in an effort to set up a debate.

Spencer has regularly challenged Muslims to debate him, but seems to prefer limiting those debates to marginal figures or useful idiots. As Danios has said in the past Spencer’s modus operandi: engage in debate with those who are weak debaters, fastidiously avoid debating with those who are skilled debaters (and who have solid grasp of the subject matter), and then crow in victory over one’s supposedly undefeated record.

Spencer has also shown a pattern of setting impossible conditions on even something as simple as a request for an interview, let alone a debate, as Dean Obeidallah found out just last month.

In the case of Danios attempt to accept Spencer’s challenge to debate, Spencer displays both of these propensities —  avoiding a genuine debate, and attempting to hide that avoidance by setting so many conditions that the other party will just give up.

First, a little background on the Spencer vs Danios debate saga, In June of 2010, Spencer stated thatThe list of the Leftist and Muslim academics and apologists who have refused my challenge to debate is very long; they know they can’t refute what I say on the basis of evidence, so they resort to broad-based smears and personal attacks — and haughty refusals to debate.

Danios of Loonwatch immediately responded to Spencer I accept your challenge, Spencer.  I agree to a radio debate with you on the topic of jihad and “dhimmitude”, namely chapters 1-4 of your book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).  It will then be seen if you can defend your own writing, which I argue is a load of sensationalist crock.  Will you accept my challenge to debate or cower in fear?  My guess is that you “know [you] can’t refute what I say” and will “resort to…haughty refusals to debate.”

Ahmed Rehab in an article stating why he personally was not interested in debating Spencer reminded Spencer of Danios acceptance of his challenge to debate:  And now for some irony. Spencer, you are claiming you are ready to debate anyone but that alas no one wants to debate you because no one can. But, is this actually true? Does the name Danios of Loonwatch ring a bell Spencer? You may be burying your head in the sand hoping no one will notice, but a simple Google search on “Robert Spencer debate” reveals your hypocrisy. How come you are ignoring an invitation from another blogger who has challenged you numerous times and whose articles shredding your arguments to pieces are all over the web without a peep of a rebuttal from you? Are you conceding defeat? Are you “running away?”

Robert Spencer at first said that I am willing: if “Danios of Loonwatch” reveals his real name, finds a university willing to host the debate and contracts an impartial moderator, I’m ready when he is.  Spencer expanded on the issue of Danios pseudonymn saying Sorry, I don’t debate fictional characters or pseudonyms. “Danios of Loonwatch” can go debate Scot Harvath or Harold Robbins.

ROUND 1:  Danios agrees to debate Spencer in a radio debate.  Spencer sets conditions:  Danios must reveal his real name, hold the debate at a university, and find an “impartial” moderator.

Danios responded Of course, Spencer’s two conditions–both of which involve revealing my identity–are completely bogus.  I have offered to debate Spencer on the radio. Does Spencer not do radio interviews?  In fact, Spencer has appeared on the radio countless times …   Danios also said This is of course strange since Hugh Fitzgerald, the Vice President of JihadWatch since 2004, himself operates under an anonymous pseudonym.  Fitzgerald is a co-administrator of the site, alongside Spencer.  Is Fitzgerald then a “fictional character” who is only worthy of debate with Scot Harvath or Harold Robbins?  If that is the case, I challenge Hugh Fitzgerald–co-administer and Vice President of JihadWatch–to a radio debate.  The topic will be Jihad, “Dhimmitude”, and Taqiyya (Stealth Jihad), namely chapters 1-4 of Robert Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).

ROUND 2:  Danios says that if Spencer doesn’t want to debate an individual using a pseudonym, then he will agree to debate Spencer’s Jihad Watch site’s Vice President, Hugh Fitzgerald, who also uses a pseudonym.  (Note: Spencer’s fellow Islamophobes whose work he publishes and promotes often use pseudonymns — e.g. Hanan Qahwaji, Nour Semaan, Rachael Cohen and Brigitte Gabriel are the same person.  Nonie Darwish and Nahid Hyde are the same person.  “Sultan Knish” is actually Daniel Greenfield.  “Baron Bodissey” of Gates of Vienna is actually Edward May.  “Bonni” of Bare Naked Islamis actually Bonni Benstock-Intall.  Fjordman is actually Peder Jensen.  Hugh Fitzgerald has been writing for Jihad Watch since 2004, although no biographical information on this individual appears anywhere else, and no photographs exist even on Jihad Watch.  No one knows who Jihad Watch contributorsHugh Fitzgerald or ]Henry Rochejaquelein, or Marisol actually are.)

Now, we jump forward to January 10, 2012, and the Spencer vs Danios debate saga heats up again.  Here is what Danios posted on Loonwatch about this development

Just yesterday, Robert Spencer posted an article with the title of “Why can’t Muslims debate? (Again)”, saying:

For example, an Islamic supremacist hate site that defames me and lies about what I say regularly charged that I was refusing to debate them:

I responded by repeating yet again something I had reiterated several times in the preceding weeks, when other Muslims had thrown up this site to me:

No response to that at all.

A simple Google search will reveal how this is a great big lie.  Spencer has adamantly refused to engage in a radio debate with LoonWatch and me in particular, using my anonymity as a face-saving excuse.

Do his recent tweets reflect a change in attitude or is he still cowering in fear of me?  Spencer, are you willing to back your words with action and “debate [me] anytime”?  I will debate the accuracy of your book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), with regard to the topics of jihad, “dhimmitude”, and taqiyya.  Are you ready to defend your arguments or not?

I think most of us anticipate “no response to that at all.”

This time, it didn’t take months for Spencer to respond.  Two days later, on January 12th, Danios posted this

When I first read Robert Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) a couple years ago, I knew I could not just refute it but (proverbially speaking) blow it out of the water.  After I penned my first few articles against it, I also knew that Spencer could not issue any substantive reply.  Soon, I began to detect fear in Spencer’s eyes.  It is no wonder then that he has refused to debate me for so long.  I have documented Spencer’s evasion here.

Yet, Robert Spencer is also keenly aware of the fact that his refusal to debate the one site that is dedicated to refuting him–and was voted by his “target population” to be the number #1 non-Muslim blog with the number #1 writer–makes his fear obvious to the world.  When his fear of debating me was pointed out in a recent Twitter war, Spencer finally agreed to debate me.  (Of course, in true Spencer fashion, he accused us of “lying” when we said that he had been refusing to debate us for almost two years.)

Even so, I had predicted–as had many others–that Spencer would try to weasel his way out of the debate.  Lo and behold, this now seems to be the case.

Initially, Spencer sent me an email saying “[t]here needs to be a thesis…So propose one.”  I proposed the following thesis:  Islam is more violent than other religions, specifically Judaism and Christianity.  This is not only the central argument in Robert Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) but is also the title of another book of his: Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t.

Yet, Spencer emailed me back and said:

Actually, I am not interested in debating about Judaism and Christianity. I am only interested in debating regarding Islam and Jihad.

Spencer, the title of your book is a comparison between Christianity and Islam.  So, are you saying that you can’t defend the central tenet and title of your book!?

He goes on:

Your tu quoque arguments are silly and have had abundant airing already. Propose another.

When you write a book titled “Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t”, then to you that’s a valid comparison, but when someone refutes that comparison by pointing out how Christianity, by the very same standards you apply to Islam, couldn’t be considered a “religion of peace,” then you cry “tu quoque”!

If my arguments “are silly,” then why don’t you debate me on them and show me how silly they are?  Do you accept my counter-argument that “Judaism and Christianity are just as violent as Islam, if not more so”?  If yes, then please state it openly so that we can declare victory and move on; otherwise, if you disagree with it, then refute it in debate with me.

The entire premise of Spencer’s book, the one I have been refuting all along, is the thesis I have proposed.  It represents the fundamental difference of opinion I have with Robert Spencer and JihadWatch, so why should we debate something else?  Does Spencer think we should debate on just any topic?  Maybe we can debate the following thesis then: Arrested Development should never have been canceled because it is the single best comedy show ever.

I have never said or believed that the Islamic tradition does not have its violent aspects to it.  I have only argued that Islam is not alone in this and that the religious tradition of the dominant group (the Judeo-Christian tradition) is just as bad in this regard, if not worse.  That is my central argument, so why should we debate something else?

To be clear: I will only debate this thesis (Islam is more violent than other religions, specifically Judaism and Christianity) and no other, since (1) it is the central tenet of Robert Spencer’s book and (2) it represents the fundamental difference I have with him.  The fact that Robert Spencer cannot defend his central tenet (and the fundamental difference between us) indicates that he knows he doesn’t stand a chance in defending the thesis.  That’s why he must insist on “propos[ing] another.”

*  *  *  *  *

Additionally, there is an issue regarding “venue.”  He has suggested we debate on ABN SAT–a Christian channel.  Ludicrously, he calls them “neutral,” even though the channel airs a show (the one Spencer debated on) called Jihad Exposed, with the email addressjihadexposed@abnsat.com. Yeah, real “neutral.”

I had earlier complained that Spencer tends to debate only on Christian or conservative channels, to which Spencer accused me of “lying.”  In any case, he asked that I propose another venue other than ABN and in the same email adamantly stated: “I will debate anywhere.”  OK, if that is the case, how about we debate on Salon?

Initially, Spencer responded (bold is mine):

I have no problem with Salon but I guess you mean a print debate, in that case.

I actually had meant Salon Radio, so it would be a recorded audio debate that they could reproduce on the Salon site.  In any case, I emailed somebody at Salon, only to later get this follow-up email from Spencer (bold is mine):

Also, Salon in print is not what I had in mind. If you have a radio show in mind, I wasnt aware that Salon had one, but in that case Salon is not a neutral forum with a neutral moderator.

ABN — they offer a completely neutral forum. Let’s do it there.

Initially, he will “debate anywhere” and he has “no problem with Salon,” only to follow-up with an email rejecting Salon as a venue.  And then he goes back to the same silly Christian channel as an option.

Whether or not Salon will agree to host the debate is still up in the air, but if they accept will Spencer stick by his word that he will “debate anywhere” and that he has “no problem with Salon”?  Spencer?

ROUND 3:  Spencer asks Danios to set a topic, Danios does, Spencer rejects that topic and asks for another.  Spencer agrees to a radio debate “anywhere”, but then refuses the venue proposed by Danios and demands a different venue, ABN and with ABN’s moderator.  (ABN, by the way is a Christian TV ministry whose mission statement says:  ABN is a non-denominational ministry committed to presenting the Word of God and its transforming message of Jesus Christ to Arabic and Aramaic speaking people worldwide through media.  Their approach to this missionary work is not to set a good example of what Christianity is, but to attack Islam.  I could find nothing on their site except such biased attacks.)

This attempt by Danios to arrange a debate with Robert Spencer has now gone on since June of 2010, but perhaps, we are actually getting close to seeing this debate happen.  Here is what Danios posted today, January 15, 2011:

A few days ago, it looked like Robert Spencer of JihadWatch had stopped running away from me and finally agreed to debate me.

But then (surprise, surprise), Spencer tried weaseling out of the debate.

One of Spencer’s sticking points was the issue of venue and moderator.  I had recommendedSalon Radio, whereas he suggested ABN Sat (a loony anti-Muslim Christian channel with shows like Jihad Exposed).  In our email exchanges, Spencer kept insisting that ABN is “neutral” (ha!).

The funny thing is that in my initial email to Spencer I pointed out that he always tends to only debate on Christian or conservative channels.  This observation angered Spencer to no end, who insisted that he would “debate anywhere.”  He even seemed to accept Salon as the venue for the debate.

Spencer then had an about-face, rejecting Salon, and once again bringing up ABN, reinforcing what I said earlier: Spencer’s M.O. has been to debate Muslim floozies on Christian or conservative channels, only to then thump his chest when he wins.  The fact that I suggested Salon (a respectable and award-winning site) and Spencer kept insisting on ABN Sat (a loony anti-Muslim Christian channel) speaks volumes about what company we prefer: I like the legendary Glenn Greenwald, whereas he likes loony Christian bigots.

The choice of ABN was designed to stack the cards in his favor.  That’s fine.  I am so utterly confident in the searing truth of my argument–and the absolute falsity of his–that I acceptABN as the venue and moderator of the debate.  

[Naturally, I would insist that they give me equal time to speak, reproduce the debate in its full, unedited form, and give our website (and any other website) the right to reproduce our own recording of the debate.  (Spencer has already agreed to a 2-3 hour long debate; if this is too long for ABN to air on their show, they can do what the Daily Show does by airing the first part of the debate and then putting the rest of it online.)]

Readers should understand this decision of mine (i.e. accepting such a hostile venue and moderator) as a reflection of my low regard for Robert Spencer’s arguments and views.  This is especially bold of me, considering the fact that he has engaged in numerous debates whereas I am a novice in this field: I prefer written medium.  Even so, I have absolutely no doubt that I will trounce him in debate.

Now that I have accepted Robert Spencer’s own choice of venue and moderator–one that is heavily slanted in his favor–what excuse will Spencer come up with to avoid debating me?

*  *  *  *  *

I must, however, insist on the following thesis:

Islam is more violent than other religions, specifically Judaism and Christianity.

As I stated before, this is not just the main theme in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), but it is even the title of one of his booksReligion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t.  More than this, it reflects the fundamental differencebetween he and I: whereas I accept the violent and intolerant aspect inherent in all religious traditions, Spencer specifically targets Islam.

Under this thesis, I will individually debate the following sub-points:

1.The Islamic prophet was more violent and warlike than the Judeo-Christian prophets.  This is the main argument in chapter 1 of Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), entitled “Muhammad: Prophet of War”. On p.4, Spencer compares Muhammad to Jesus and to all other prophets in order “to emphasize the fallacy of those who claim that Islam and Christianity–and all other religious traditions, for that matter–are basically equal in their ability to inspire good or evil…[T]hrough the words of Muhammad and Jesus, we can draw a distinction between the core principles that guide the faithful Muslim and Christian.”  In fact, throughout his book Spencer has sidebars that compare Muhammad to Jesus.  (Yet, somehow when you refute this, it’s a “tu quoque fallacy!”)

2. The Quran is more violent and warlike than the Bible.This is the focus of chapter 2, which he entitles “The Qur’an: Book of War”.  On the very first page of this chapter (p.19), Spencer states unequivocally: “There is nothing in the Bible that rivals the Qur’an’s exhortations to violence.”  (When I want to refute this claim, then “tu quoque, tu quoque!”)  He says on the same page: “The Qu’ran is unique among the sacred writings of the world in counseling its adherents to make war against unbelievers.”  On pp.26-31, Spencer explains why the Quran is far more violent and warlike than the Bible.  (But refute this claim and you are guilty of committing a “tu quoque fallacy.”)

3. The Islamic religious tradition was more violent and warlike than the Jewish and Christian traditions.This is what chapter 3 of his book is about, entitled “Islam: Religion of War”.  This argument is also spread throughout his book and blog.  For example, on p.31, Spencer argues that in Judaism and Christianity there have been “centuries of interpretive traditions” that have moved away from violent and warlike understandings, whereas “ in Islam, there is no comparable interpretative tradition.” Chapter 14 of his book is entitled “Islam and Christianity: Equivalent Traditions?”  (But if you question this point by showing that yes indeed the two traditions are at least equally violent, then get ready to be accused of committing “tu quoque!”)

4. Contemporary Muslims interpret their religion in a much more violent and warlike way than Jews and Christians. Again, this claim is found throughout his book and blog; on p.31, for example, he argues that, unlike Muslims, “modern-day Jews and Christians…simply don’t interpret [their scripture] as exhorting them to violent actions against unbelievers.”

5. Jews had it much better in Christian Europe than the Muslim world.This is addressed in chapter 4 of Spencer’s book, in which he talks about “dhimmitude.”  On the very first page of this chapter, he states: “The idea that Jews fared better in Islamic lands than in Christian Europe is false.”  (OK, so are you ready to defend this statement of yours, Spencer?  Or do you cry “tu quoque, tu quoque” when asked to do so?)  Spencer quotes “[h]istorian Paul Johnson” (a conservative Christian ideologue–surprise, surprise) who says: “the Jewish dhimmi under Moslem rule was worse than under the Christians,” and Spencer himself says that “the Muslim laws were much harsher for Jews than those of Christendom.”  (But ask Spencer to defend that statement and see how it’s automatically a “tu quoque fallacy” to do so.)

6. Islamic law, unlike Judaism and Christianity, permits lying and deception against unbelievers. This is the import of chapter 6 of Spencer’s book, entitled ”Islamic Law: Lie, Steal, and Kill”.  On the very first page of this chapter, Spencer argues that “Islam doesn’t have a moral code analogous to the [Judeo-Christian] Ten Commandments” and that “the idea that Islam shares the general moral outlook of Judaism and Christianity is another PC myth.”  On p.84, he writes that Islam is alone among religions and civilizations in that it fails to espouse “universal moral values.” On the very next page, Spencer bellows: “This is what sets Islam sharply apart from other religious traditions.”  (Try to disagree and suddenly you will hear chants of “tu quoque, tu quoque!”)

7. Islamic history was more violent and warlike than Jewish and Christian history. This argument is found in chapter 9 of Spencer’s book, entitled “Islam–Spread by the Sword? You Bet”.  On the first page of this chapter, Spencer writes: “The early spread of Islam and that of Christianity sharply contrast in that Islam spread by force and Christianity didn’t.”  On p.116, Spencer rejects the “myth” that “Christianity and Islam spread in pretty much the same way.”  (Reject that claim–and yep, you got it: “tu quoque, tu quoque!”)

8. In the modern day (twentieth and twenty-first century), Muslims are more violent and warlike than Jews and Christians.  This is of course the general theme found not only throughout Spencer’s book but also on his blog.  This is the ultimate fall-back argument of Islamophobes, who routinely ask: “why are there no Jewish or Christian suicide bombers?”

Spencer claims these are “tu quoque fallacies” (his favorite phrase), but in fact he himself is the one making these comparisons.  He makes such comparisons, and then shields himself from all counter-attack by invoking “tu quoque, tu quoque!”  How very convenient.

There is a very important reason that Robert Spencer refuses to debate me on this topic and thesis–he knows that he doesn’t have a leg to stand on.  Even when I let him choose the venue and moderator (one that slants the debate in his favor), he still cannot–at all costs–debate me on the central theme of his book and ideology.  That’s why Spencer is not a real scholar: he has never been forced to defend his thesis, nor had his work peer-reviewed, challenged, and intellectually critiqued.  I’m merely asking Spencer to defend the substance of his book.  This refusal in and of itself is a very powerful reminder of how his ideology is fraudulent, how he himself is nothing more than a hateful ideologue and huckster, and how he is so scared that I will expose him.

The fact that I want to debate him–and that he wants to run away from me–is now self-evident: I have removed any possible barrier by agreeing to his venue and moderator.  So, what excuse will Robert Spencer come up with now to chicken out of this debate?  Will he continue to run away from me on the one hand and on the other hand continue to lament why no liberal or Muslim will debate him?

Don’t hold your breath for a debate: Spencer can’t debate me.  It would be the end of him.  So, he will continue to run.

ROUND 4:  Danios accepts ABN as the venue even though it is not “neutral” but hostile, but insists on the original topic.

Spencer has said in an article bemoaning the fact that Muslims just won’t debate him:

…  other Muslims claimed they wanted to debate me, but never followed up on my invitation to email me and set a topic, date and venue.  … So the real reason why no Muslims will debate me is this:

They know that what I say about Islam and jihad is true, and don’t want that fact to be illustrated to a wider audience.

Why can’t Muslims debate? Because the truth is something they don’t generally wish the Infidels to know. So they do all they can to shut down those Infidels by other means.

There is an ancillary reason also: Islam doesn’t encourage critical thinking. It has no natural theology, only a series of laws declared by fiat. In some contemporary forms of Islam, hardly any premium is put on reasoning—after all, the Qur’an itself warns Muslims not to question (5:101). Consequently, even superficially intelligent Islamic supremacists such as Reza Aslan and Ibrahim Hooper are abjectly incapable of building a cogent intellectual argument and defending it. All they and so many others like them can do, as is clear from their track record, is heap abuse upon those who oppose them.

It seems as if Danios has followed up on all of Spencer’s demands.  Now all that is left is to set a date.  I am holding my breath to see what ROUND 5 will be.

Danios of LoonWatch Accepts Robert Spencer’s Choice of Venue and Moderator: Will Spencer Keep Chickening Out?

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2012 by loonwatch

A few days ago, it looked like Robert Spencer of JihadWatch had stopped running away from me and finally agreed to debate me.

But then (surprise, surprise), Spencer tried weaseling out of the debate.

One of Spencer’s sticking points was the issue of venue and moderator.  I had recommended Salon Radio, whereas he suggested ABN Sat (a loony anti-Muslim Christian channel with shows like Jihad Exposed).  In our email exchanges, Spencer kept insisting that ABN is “neutral” (ha!).

The funny thing is that in my initial email to Spencer I pointed out that he always tends to only debate on Christian or conservative channels.  This observation angered Spencer to no end, who insisted that he would “debate anywhere.”  He even seemed to accept Salon as the venue for the debate.

Spencer then had an about-face, rejecting Salon, and once again bringing up ABN, reinforcing what I said earlier: Spencer’s M.O. has been to debate Muslim floozies on Christian or conservative channels, only to then thump his chest when he wins.  The fact that I suggested Salon (a respectable and award-winning site) and Spencer kept insisting on ABN Sat (a loony anti-Muslim Christian channel) speaks volumes about what company we prefer: I like the legendary Glenn Greenwald, whereas he likes loony Christian bigots.

The choice of ABN was designed to stack the cards in his favor.  That’s fine.  I am so utterly confident in the searing truth of my argument–and the absolute falsity of his–that I accept ABN as the venue and moderator of the debate.  

[Naturally, I would insist that they give me equal time to speak, reproduce the debate in its full, unedited form, and give our website (and any other website) the right to reproduce our own recording of the debate.  (Spencer has already agreed to a 2-3 hour long debate; if this is too long for ABN to air on their show, they can do what the Daily Show does by airing the first part of the debate and then putting the rest of it online.)]

Readers should understand this decision of mine (i.e. accepting such a hostile venue and moderator) as a reflection of my low regard for Robert Spencer’s arguments and views.  This is especially bold of me, considering the fact that he has engaged in numerous debates whereas I am a novice in this field: I prefer written medium.  Even so, I have absolutely no doubt that I will trounce him in debate.

Now that I have accepted Robert Spencer’s own choice of venue and moderator–one that is heavily slanted in his favor–what excuse will Spencer come up with to avoid debating me?

*  *  *  *  *

I must, however, insist on the following thesis:

Islam is more violent than other religions, specifically Judaism and Christianity.

As I stated before, this is not just the main theme in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), but it is even the title of one of his books: Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t.  More than this, it reflects the fundamental difference between he and I: whereas I accept the violent and intolerant aspect inherent in all religious traditions, Spencer specifically targets Islam.

Under this thesis, I will individually debate the following sub-points:

1. The Islamic prophet was more violent and warlike than the Judeo-Christian prophets.  This is the main argument in chapter 1 of Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), entitled “Muhammad: Prophet of War”. On p.4, Spencer compares Muhammad to Jesus and to all other prophets in order “to emphasize the fallacy of those who claim that Islam and Christianity–and all other religious traditions, for that matter–are basically equal in their ability to inspire good or evil…[T]hrough the words of Muhammad and Jesus, we can draw a distinction between the core principles that guide the faithful Muslim and Christian.”  In fact, throughout his book Spencer has sidebars that compare Muhammad to Jesus.  (Yet, somehow when you refute this, it’s a “tu quoque fallacy!”)

2. The Quran is more violent and warlike than the Bible.  This is the focus of chapter 2, which he entitles “The Qur’an: Book of War”.  On the very first page of this chapter (p.19), Spencer states unequivocally: “There is nothing in the Bible that rivals the Qur’an’s exhortations to violence.”  (When I want to refute this claim, then “tu quoque, tu quoque!”)  He says on the same page: “The Qu’ran is unique among the sacred writings of the world in counseling its adherents to make war against unbelievers.”  On pp.26-31, Spencer explains why the Quran is far more violent and warlike than the Bible.  (But refute this claim and you are guilty of committing a “tu quoque fallacy.”)

3. The Islamic religious tradition was more violent and warlike than the Jewish and Christian traditions.  This is what chapter 3 of his book is about, entitled “Islam: Religion of War”.  This argument is also spread throughout his book and blog.  For example, on p.31, Spencer argues that in Judaism and Christianity there have been “centuries of interpretive traditions” that have moved away from violent and warlike understandings, whereas “[i]n Islam, there is no comparable interpretative tradition.” Chapter 14 of his book is entitled “Islam and Christianity: Equivalent Traditions?”  (But if you question this point by showing that yes indeed the two traditions are at least equally violent, then get ready to be accused of committing “tu quoque!”)

4. Contemporary Muslims interpret their religion in a much more violent and warlike way than Jews and Christians. Again, this claim is found throughout his book and blog; on p.31, for example, he argues that, unlike Muslims, “modern-day Jews and Christians…simply don’t interpret [their scripture] as exhorting them to violent actions against unbelievers.”

5. Jews had it much better in Christian Europe than the Muslim world. This is addressed in chapter 4 of Spencer’s book, in which he talks about “dhimmitude.”  On the very first page of this chapter, he states: “The idea that Jews fared better in Islamic lands than in Christian Europe is false.”  (OK, so are you ready to defend this statement of yours, Spencer?  Or do you cry “tu quoque, tu quoque” when asked to do so?)  Spencer quotes “[h]istorian Paul Johnson” (a conservative Christian ideologue–surprise, surprise) who says: “the Jewish dhimmi under Moslem rule was worse than under the Christians,” and Spencer himself says that “the Muslim laws were much harsher for Jews than those of Christendom.”  (But ask Spencer to defend that statement and see how it’s automatically a “tu quoque fallacy” to do so.)

6. Islamic law, unlike Judaism and Christianity, permits lying and deception against unbelievers. This is the import of chapter 6 of Spencer’s book, entitled ”Islamic Law: Lie, Steal, and Kill”.  On the very first page of this chapter, Spencer argues that “Islam doesn’t have a moral code analogous to the [Judeo-Christian] Ten Commandments” and that “the idea that Islam shares the general moral outlook of Judaism and Christianity is another PC myth.”  On p.84, he writes that Islam is alone among religions and civilizations in that it fails to espouse “[u]niversal moral values.” On the very next page, Spencer bellows: “This is what sets Islam sharply apart from other religious traditions.”  (Try to disagree and suddenly you will hear chants of “tu quoque, tu quoque!”)

7. Islamic history was more violent and warlike than Jewish and Christian history. This argument is found in chapter 9 of Spencer’s book, entitled “Islam–Spread by the Sword? You Bet”.  On the first page of this chapter, Spencer writes: “The early spread of Islam and that of Christianity sharply contrast in that Islam spread by force and Christianity didn’t.”  On p.116, Spencer rejects the “myth” that “Christianity and Islam spread in pretty much the same way.”  (Reject that claim–and yep, you got it: “tu quoque, tu quoque!”)

8. In the modern day (twentieth and twenty-first century), Muslims are more violent and warlike than Jews and Christians.  This is of course the general theme found not only throughout Spencer’s book but also on his blog.  This is the ultimate fall-back argument of Islamophobes, who routinely ask: “why are there no Jewish or Christian suicide bombers?”

Spencer claims these are “tu quoque fallacies” (his favorite phrase), but in fact he himself is the one making these comparisons.  He makes such comparisons, and then shields himself from all counter-attack by invoking “tu quoque, tu quoque!”  How very convenient.

There is a very important reason that Robert Spencer refuses to debate me on this topic and thesis–he knows that he doesn’t have a leg to stand on.  Even when I let him choose the venue and moderator (one that slants the debate in his favor), he still cannot–at all costs–debate me on the central theme of his book and ideology.  That’s why Spencer is not a real scholar: he has never been forced to defend his thesis, nor had his work peer-reviewed, challenged, and intellectually critiqued.  I’m merely asking Spencer to defend the substance of his book.  This refusal in and of itself is a very powerful reminder of how his ideology is fraudulent, how he himself is nothing more than a hateful ideologue and huckster, and how he is so scared that I will expose him.

The fact that I want to debate him–and that he wants to run away from me–is now self-evident: I have removed any possible barrier by agreeing to his venue and moderator.  So, what excuse will Robert Spencer come up with now to chicken out of this debate?  Will he continue to run away from me on the one hand and on the other hand continue to lament why no liberal or Muslim will debate him?

Don’t hold your breath for a debate: Spencer can’t debate me.  It would be the end of him.  So, he will continue to run.

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.

Surprise, Surprise: Robert Spencer of JihadWatch is Weaseling Out of Debate with Danios of LoonWatch

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2012 by loonwatch

When I first read Robert Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) a couple years ago, I knew I could not just refute it but (proverbially speaking) blow it out of the water.  After I penned my first few articles against it, I also knew that Spencer could not issue any substantive reply.  Soon, I began to detect fear in Spencer’s eyes.  It is no wonder then that he has refused to debate me for so long.  I have documented Spencer’s evasion here.

Yet, Robert Spencer is also keenly aware of the fact that his refusal to debate the one site that is dedicated to refuting him–and was voted by his “target population” to be the number #1 non-Muslim blog with the number #1 writer–makes his fear obvious to the world.  When his fear of debating me was pointed out in a recent Twitter war, Spencer finally agreed to debate me.  (Of course, in true Spencer fashion, he accused us of “lying” when we said that he had been refusing to debate us for almost two years.)

Even so, I had predicted–as had many others–that Spencer would try to weasel his way out of the debate.  Lo and behold, this now seems to be the case.

Initially, Spencer sent me an email saying “[t]here needs to be a thesis…So propose one.”  I proposed the following thesis:  Islam is more violent than other religions, specifically Judaism and Christianity.  This is not only the central argument in Robert Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) but is also the title of another book of his: Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t.

Yet, Spencer emailed me back and said:

Actually, I am not interested in debating about Judaism and Christianity. I am only interested in debating regarding Islam and Jihad.

Spencer, the title of your book is a comparison between Christianity and Islam.  So, are you saying that you can’t defend the central tenet and title of your book!?

He goes on:

Your tu quoque arguments are silly and have had abundant airing already. Propose another.

When you write a book titled “Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t”, then to you that’s a valid comparison, but when someone refutes that comparison by pointing out how Christianity, by the very same standards you apply to Islam, couldn’t be considered a “religion of peace,” then you cry “tu quoque”!

If my arguments “are silly,” then why don’t you debate me on them and show me how silly they are?  Do you accept my counter-argument that “Judaism and Christianity are just as violent as Islam, if not more so”?  If yes, then please state it openly so that we can declare victory and move on; otherwise, if you disagree with it, then refute it in debate with me.

The entire premise of Spencer’s book, the one I have been refuting all along, is the thesis I have proposed.  It represents the fundamental difference of opinion I have with Robert Spencer and JihadWatch, so why should we debate something else?  Does Spencer think we should debate on just any topic?  Maybe we can debate the following thesis then: Arrested Development should never have been canceled because it is the single best comedy show ever.

I have never said or believed that the Islamic tradition does not have its violent aspects to it.  I have only argued that Islam is not alone in this and that the religious tradition of the dominant group (the Judeo-Christian tradition) is just as bad in this regard, if not worse.  That is my central argument, so why should we debate something else?

To be clear: I will only debate this thesis (Islam is more violent than other religions, specifically Judaism and Christianity) and no other, since (1) it is the central tenet of Robert Spencer’s book and (2) it represents the fundamental difference I have with him.  The fact that Robert Spencer cannot defend his central tenet (and the fundamental difference between us) indicates that he knows he doesn’t stand a chance in defending the thesis.  That’s why he must insist on “propos[ing] another.”

*  *  *  *  *

Additionally, there is an issue regarding “venue.”  He has suggested we debate on ABN SAT–a Christian channel.  Ludicrously, he calls them “neutral,” even though the channel airs a show (the one Spencer debated on) called Jihad Exposed, with the email address jihadexposed@abnsat.com. Yeah, real “neutral.”

I had earlier complained that Spencer tends to debate only on Christian or conservative channels, to which Spencer accused me of “lying.”  In any case, he asked that I propose another venue other than ABN and in the same email adamantly stated: “I will debate anywhere.”  OK, if that is the case, how about we debate on Salon?

Initially, Spencer responded (bold is mine):

I have no problem with Salon but I guess you mean a print debate, in that case.

I actually had meant Salon Radio, so it would be a recorded audio debate that they could reproduce on the Salon site.  In any case, I emailed somebody at Salon, only to later get this follow-up email from Spencer (bold is mine):

Also, Salon in print is not what I had in mind. If you have a radio show in mind, I wasnt aware that Salon had one, but in that case Salon is not a neutral forum with a neutral moderator.

ABN — they offer a completely neutral forum. Let’s do it there.

Initially, he will “debate anywhere” and he has “no problem with Salon,” only to follow-up with an email rejecting Salon as a venue.  And then he goes back to the same silly Christian channel as an option.

Whether or not Salon will agree to host the debate is still up in the air, but if they accept will Spencer stick by his word that he will “debate anywhere” and that he has “no problem with Salon”?  Spencer?

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.

Why Can’t Robert Spencer Debate Danios of LoonWatch (Again)?

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2012 by loonwatch

For several years, pseudo-scholar Robert Spencer of JihadWatch has claimed that he would be willing to debate any “Leftist or Muslim” to defend his arguments.  For example, on the 13th of June 2010, Spencer bellowed:

The list of the Leftist and Muslim academics and apologists who have refused my challenge to debate is very long; they know they can’t refute what I say on the basis of evidence, so they resort to broad-based smears and personal attacks — and haughty refusals to debate.

Just a few days later on June 17th, I responded by accepting Spencer’s debate challenge:

Danios of LoonWatch Accepts Robert Spencer’s Challenge to a Debate

I accept your challenge, Spencer. I agree to a radio debate with you on the topic of jihad and “dhimmitude”, namely chapters 1-4 of your book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). It will then be seen if you can defend your own writing, which I argue is a load of sensationalist crock.

Will you accept my challenge to debate or cower in fear? My guess is that you “know [you] can’t refute what I say” and will “resort to…haughty refusals to debate.”

I predict that the JW minions will give excuses to explain away why their master Robert Spencer will refuse to debate me, instead of urging him to enter into a debate as they always do with other people who challenge his ideas. They already know that Spencer does not stand a chance in a debate with me, which is why they will continue to generate excuses to exonerate him from his intellectual cowardice. This is because deep down inside they know–as does everyone else who has followed his and my writings–what the outcome would be.

Spencer backing down from a debate with me would be curious, considering that he has already conceded that my writings are “rare occasions when the opposition does offer a substantive response.” Spencer, are you saying that you can debate with people so long as they don’t give you a substantive response, in which case you flee?

As most readers are aware, LoonWatch has become the most popular anti-Islamophobia website, giving birth to a sister site called SpencerWatch.  In fact, LoonWatch won the Brass Crescent Award in 2010 and I (Danios) won the Brass Crescent Award for Best Writer in 2011.  The people have spoken, and they clearly want to see a debate between Spencer and I.

To this effect, Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago, asked Robert Spencer in October of 2010 why he was dodging the debate with me.  A few days later, Spencer issued a furious response, in which he said:

Debating such a compromised and dishonest individual would be a waste of time

I responded to this saying:

Isn’t that the exact same reasoning that Rehab gave for refusing to debate you, Spencer? The same reasoning you were so opposed to and called cowardice?

Spencer needs another excuse to weasel out of a debate with me. What will it be? Aha! It will be my anonymity! As many of you know, I write anonymously under a pseudonym. Spencer and his fellow fans desperately want to know who I am. Some of them are convinced I am XYZ, and others that I am ABCD. Some have even engaged in textual analysis, trying extremely hard to find out who this cursed Danios is. My question is: who cares? Deal with my arguments, not who I am. Spencer says:

…Since Rehab invokes [Danios] and others have referred to his site [LoonWatch] recently, I am willing: if “Danios of Loonwatch” reveals his real name…

Spencer places this condition on me, knowing full well that I will refuse to reveal my name, since he knows that I like writing anonymously.

On November 1st, 2010, I posted another response:

JihadWatch, a vitriolic hate site run by pretend scholar Robert Spencer, has propelled itself to the forefront of the Islamophobic movement in the United States.  The fear-mongering Spencer has used his hate site to demonize Islam and Muslims.  To bolster his credibility, Robert Spencer had long ago issued an open challenge to “Muslims and leftists” to debate his ideas.

I accepted Spencer’s challenge to a debate on June 17th, 2010.  Since then, several influential Muslim-American spokesmen have expressed their interest in such a debate between Spencer and I.  This includesAhmed Rehab (Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago), who issued a scathing statement against Spencer.  However, it has now been over 135 days since I accepted Robert Spencer’s challenge.  JihadWatch has generated excuse after excuse as to why this radio debate cannot take place.

The latest set of excuses was that I must reveal who I am before a debate can take place.  Spencer issued this pre-condition knowing full well that I value my anonymity too much to do that.  He naturally thought that this was a creative way to get out of a debate with me while at the same time saving face.  Said Spencer:

Sorry, I don’t debate fictional characters or pseudonyms. “Danios of Loonwatch” can go debate Scot Harvath or Harold Robbins.

This is of course strange since Hugh Fitzgerald, the Vice President of JihadWatch since 2004, himself operates under an anonymous pseudonym.  Fitzgerald is a co-administrator of the site, alongside Spencer.  Is Fitzgerald then a “fictional character” who is only worthy of debate with Scot Harvath or Harold Robbins?

If that is the case, I challenge Hugh Fitzgerald–co-administer and Vice President of JihadWatch–to a radio debate.  The topic will be Jihad, “Dhimmitude”, and Taqiyya (Stealth Jihad), namely chapters 1-4 of Robert Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).

Hugh Fitzgerald of JihadWatch uses a pseudonym like myself, and he remains completely anonymous like myself.  Surely two “fictional characters” are worthy of debating each other, right?

Now what excuse will be generated by JihadWatch to avoid this debate with LoonWatch?  I can just see Robert Spencer’s brain churning in order to generate a reason to get out of this one.  The truth is that JihadWatch is a bully, and as soon as someone steps up to a bully and delivers a solid punch to the mouth, the bully backs down like the coward he is.

That was where we last left off, with Robert Spencer coming up with the excuse of my anonymity to dodge a radio debate with me.  In other words, it has been 572 days since I issued my radio debate challenge–and Spencer has never manned up.

Until now?

Just yesterday, Robert Spencer posted an article with the title of “Why can’t Muslims debate? (Again)”, saying:

For example, an Islamic supremacist hate site that defames me and lies about what I say regularly charged that I was refusing to debate them:

I responded by repeating yet again something I had reiterated several times in the preceding weeks, when other Muslims had thrown up this site to me:

No response to that at all.

A simple Google search will reveal how this is a great big lie.  Spencer has adamantly refused to engage in a radio debate with LoonWatch and me in particular, using my anonymity as a face-saving excuse.

Do his recent tweets reflect a change in attitude or is he still cowering in fear of me?  Spencer, are you willing to back your words with action and “debate [me] anytime”?  I will debate the accuracy of your book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), with regard to the topics of jihad, “dhimmitude”, and taqiyya.  Are you ready to defend your arguments or not?

I think most of us anticipate “no response to that at all.”

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.

Omer Subhani: “Spencer debates fool; Avoids LW’s Danios like the plague”

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2011 by loonwatch

Robert Spencer recently debated Moustafa Zayed, and from what I’ve heard, Zayed did not fare so well.  Zayed authored a book entitled The Lies About Muhammad: How You Were Deceived into Islamophobia, in which he attempted to refute Robert Spencer’s book The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion.

LoonWatch’s sister site SpencerWatch had publicized Zayed’s book when it first came out (see here).  This was the first I had heard of Zayed or his book, so I immediately ordered it.  After reading just half of it, I’d made my judgment: the book sucked.  Here is what I wrote then in the comments section of SpencerWatch (just under a year ago from today):

Danios says:

August 29, 2010 at 7:32 pm

I have read about half the book [by Moustafa Zayed]. Sadly, it is very poorly written and the arguments are weak. Overall, the “refutation” was highly ineffective. In fact, I would go so far as to say the book is childish. It was painful to read, and was quite simply tiresome.

Waste of money in my humble opinion. Worse than that, the author’s failure to effectively refute Robert Spencer’s arguments will give the impression that Spencer’s arguments are strong. So in a way, this book does more harm than good. More likely, however, the book will simply be disregarded.

I was honestly skeptical of the book when I bought it, simply because I have seen so many “Muslim scholars” fail so miserably when debating Spencer. Even then, however, the author managed to surprise me by how poorly it was written.

This is not to say that Spencer’s book is well-written or convincing. I will eventually devastate the arguments in his book, just like I am doing now with The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). The inability of “Muslim scholars” to write dispassionately and from a neutral analytical perspective hampers their effectiveness quite considerably…

No wonder then that Spencer chose to engage in debate with Zayed.  This follows Spencer’s modus operandi: engage in debate with those who are weak debaters, fastidiously avoid debating with those who are skilled debaters (and who have solid grasp of the subject matter), and then crow in victory over one’s supposedly undefeated record.

Robert Spencer has repeatedly chickened out of debating me, making excuse after excuse to get out of it, which prompted us to write an article entitled Internet Sociopath Robert Spencer Scared of Debate.  So when he saw Spencer crowing in victory over his recent debate with Zayed, Omer Subhani wrote the following post calling Spencer out:

Spencer debates fool; avoids LW’s Danios like the plague
Zayed, deceit, and body language – Jihad Watch

Why is Robert Spencer too cowardly to debate Danios of Loonwatch?

He will debate this fool, Zayed, but dodges Danios like the plague. I smell something. And it smells like chicken.

Danios has repeatedly told Spencer he would debate him, but Spencer just makes excuses. I think the bigot knows deep down he will be disposed of like the trash that he is.

Perhaps it is a bit too harsh to refer to Zayed as a “fool.” I’m sure he’s a lovely guy and I don’t want to insult him.  Having said that, I don’t think he’s adequately equipped to take on Spencer.  And in doing so, he is doing a disservice to those he is trying to defend.  Sheila Musaji at The American Muslim recently published an excellent article, in which she notes that “useful idiots” (again, perhaps too harsh a term) lose in debate against the Islamophobes, only to give the illusion to the audience that the Islamophobes have a strong argument.  They are doing more harm than good.

In any case, so long as Spencer keeps making up excuses to avoid debating me, he will be quite the cowardly hypocrite, whining that so-and-so is too scared to debate him while at the same time fastidiously avoiding debating me.

Update I: On an unrelated note, check out page IV of The “Allah is the Moon-God” Nonsense Could be the Stupidest Anti-Muslim Conspiracy Theory Yet, which I just published.

France plans nation-wide Islam and secularism debate

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on February 17, 2011 by loonwatch

Maybe its time for Freedom fries again?

France plans nation-wide Islam and secularism debate

(Reuters)

France’s governing party plans to launch a national debate on the role of Islam and respect for French secularism among Muslims here, two issues emerging as major themes for the presidential election due next year.  Jean-François Copé, secretary general of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP party, said the debate would examine issues such as the financing and building of mosques, the contents of Friday sermons and the education of the imams delivering them.

The announcement, coming after a meeting of UMP legislators with Sarkozy on Wednesday, follows the president’s declaration last week that multiculturalism had failed in France. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron have made similar statements in recent months that were also seen as aimed at Muslim minorities there. France’s five-million strong Muslim minority is Europe’s largest.

Copé said the debate, due to start in early April, would ask “how to organise religious practice so that it is compatible in our country with the rules of our secular republic.”

UMP parliamentarians said Sarkozy told them they had to lead this debate to ensure it stays under control. The far-right National Front, reinvigorated with its new leader Marine Le Pen, has recently begun a campaign criticising Muslims here.

“Our party, and then parliament, must take on this subject,” they quoted Sarkozy as saying. “I don’t want prayers in the streets, or calls to prayer. We had a debate on the burqa and that was a good thing. We need to agree in principle about the place of religion in 2011.”

France has sought to keep religion out of the public sphere since it officially separated the Catholic Church and the state in 1905. The growth of a Muslim minority in recent decades has posed new challenges that lead to sometimes heated debates. The government banned headscarves in state schools in 2004 and outlawed full face veils in public last year. But there are no rules about halal meals in schools, for example, or whether Muslims can pray in the streets outside an overcrowded mosque.

The French government held a country-wide debate on national identity in 2009-2010 that preceded the full face veil ban. Many Muslims criticised the debate, saying it turned into a forum to stigmatise them and let people air biased views about Islam.

Marine Le Pen, daughter of National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, stole a march on the UMP in December when she compared Muslims praying in the streets to the wartime Nazi occupation. “Marine Le Pen is getting ratings higher than her father, so at 18 months before the presidential election, you can see why it’s getting urgent (for the UMP) to debate the place of Muslims in France and how they practice their religion,” said RTL radio commentator Marie-Bénédicte Allaire.

When journalists asked Copé if the UMP’s Islam debate would only give credence to Le Pen’s campaign, he said: “Marine Le Pen highlights problems but doesn’t work too much on solutions.”Copé said the UMP would invite “numerous civil and religious personalities (for) broad debates about this absolutely major question. It would be wrong not to deal with this.”

According to the daily Le Figaro, Sarkozy asked the UMP deputies for concrete suggestions within a few months for solving disputed issues about religion in the public sphere.

According to a 2009 Gallup poll, 80 percent of French Muslims said they were loyal to France, but 56 percent of the general public doubted their Muslim neighbours were loyal to the country.

 

Robert Spencer of JihadWatch Becomes Desperate Against LoonWatch

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on November 20, 2010 by loonwatch
Robert Spencer

Hate-blogger and career bigot Robert Spencer issued an open challenge to debate numerous times on his vitriolic site.  LoonWatch accepted his challenge.  It has now been officially 155 days since Spencer has avoided the debate.  By Spencer’s own logic (whereby anyone who dodges a debate is a chicken), this makes him a big fat chicken.  This is why I recently published an article entitledJihadWatch Afraid to Debate LoonWatch.

Instead of taking up his own challenge to debate, Robert Spencer now tries to take the chicken’s way out and has started throwing out wild Glenn Beck style accusations against LoonWatch.  Of course, this is no different than his normal M.O., which involves saying absolutely outlandish things and then simply repeating them over and over.  And so, Spencer now calls LoonWatch an “Islamic hate site.”  Next thing you know, Glenn Greenwald will be an “Islamic supremacist” and “stealth jihadist” to JihadWatch!

To give “proof” that LoonWatch is an “Islamic hate site”, the best Spencer can do is reproduce a comment posted by a random reader of our site by the name of Mosizzle.  Amazingly, Mosizzle (whoever he is) is not even a part of the LoonWatch team, nor has ever worked for us, nor has anything to do with us!  He’s just one of the thousands of people who read our website and decided to post a comment under one of our articles.

Is Robert Spencer to be held accountable for what every commentator on his site posts underneath his articles?  OK, let us apply this standard to him.  Even in the blog post itself (the one in which he decries Mosizzle’s alleged “threat”), we see the crazy minions on his site saying completely absurd things, like this (posted by the always classy SaleemSmith):

Muhammad was an insane goat and camel f**ker.

Will Robert Spencer condemn SaleemSmith for saying this?  And is it now fair to say that “JihadWatch calls Muhammad an Insane Goat and Camel F**ker”?

The sheer number of hate-filled comments on JihadWatch is in fact astounding.  One does not need to dig far to find them.  Simply clicking on the comments to any post will do.  For example, just yesterday, we have one dedicated JihadWatch reader (by the user name of dumbledoresarmy)advocating ethnic cleansing of Germany:

evict from Germany, back to various parts of dar al Islam, all known Muslims (including native German converts to Islam; converts have shown a distressing tendency to involve themselves in Jihad plots).

How to reduce the danger of raids carried out from outside?

Don’t let any more Muslims into Germany. Not students, not tourists, not businesspeople, not diplomats, no nothing.

No Muslims allowed on German soil, would make life much more difficult for planners of jihad raids.

Another JihadWatch reader takes offense at this comment, arguing that it should be extended to all countries, not just Germany:

Could we not amend that fine premise to ‘No molsems allowed on non-moslem soil.’?

The next commentator (by the name of TJ) weighs in with a possible solution, arguing that Mecca should be nuked:

I believe a decent leader should prevent an attack by issuing threats that islams capital would be nuked (mecca) is theres a single attack in the country.

Another JihadWatch reader cheers on, likening Muslims to animals:

Do NOT surrender to these animals.

One has to scroll halfway down to find anyone who criticizes the “nuke Mecca” option offered by TJ.  In this case, it is a user by the name of Roland, who takes issue with nuking Mecca…Except only because it would mean destroying the oil that America so desperately needs:

TJ please do not spread such vile mischief. Believe it or not, America cannot use nukes against any land that is filled with oil, it will be slow suicide.

Ronald could care less that millions of civilians would be killed.  He cares about the oil over civilians, like all good neocons do.

The next commentator after Roland (by the name of El Cid) voices his support for ethnic cleansing, arguing for a policy involving “throwing them all out.”  The next commentator after him decides to go back to the “nuke Mecca” option, and prays for an earthquake to destroy Mecca.  (Why nuke when you can pray for an earthquake to do the same thing?)

Then R.K. MacUalraig decides to give his two thumbs up to the idea of ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Germany, saying:

Yes! Staright talk, straight solutions.

The poster after him also extends his support to the “throwing the Muslims out of Germany” solution (remember how the “throwing the Jews out of Germany” thing worked out?).  Then, he says:

Fortunately, slowly but surely, we are getting to that stage.

“That stage” refers to the Final Solution, i.e. ridding Germany of Muslims.

Then finally, we have someone who opposes this Final Solution to Rid Germany of Muslims idea.  Ahh, the voice of reason on JihadWatch.  Of course, the same poster offers his own solution which involves “dropping a load of old shoes over the grand mosque and kaaba stone of mecca”.  He argues that this is a “perfect solution” because it would “be pure insult and humiliation.”  He also notes that he has many other such ideas which are even more insulting than this, and then encourages the other readers to come up with “their own creative suggestions.”  So, this is the voice of reason on JihadWatch, the only user who actually opposed the Final Solution idea in the entire thread.

The next poster isn’t having any of it, and says:

I think it is time for a mass roundup and deportation, There is plenty of room in the sands of Arabia for all of them.

The commentator after that decides to give his own “creative solution”, arguing:

Pig parts, pig blood and perhaps waste towels from the bath houses of the lower east side (Village) NYC could be dropped on the holy land.

Then we have the last commentator on the page, the same one who came up with the idea to ethnically cleanse Germany of Muslims, chastise Ronald for being against the “nuke Mecca” idea.  In Ronald’s defense, however, it should be noted that he never claimed we shouldn’t nuke Mecca because it would kill filthy Muslim civilians, but because of the oil.  So c’mon crazy JihadWatch readers, cut him some slack!

Dumbledoresarmy addresses the crazed JihadWatch crew with the words “ladies and gentlemen” and then explains why nuking Mecca is a good idea.

And that’s the last post in the article.  Thirty-five comments by JihadWatch readers, and not a single one who opposed the idea of ethnic cleansing of Germany (or the entire non-Muslim world) and the nuking of Mecca on ethical grounds (with the notable exception of Ronald who thought that it would mean losing the oil reserves and another user who thought there are more creative ways to deliver “pure insult and humiliation” upon Muslims).  Not a single commentator on the thread opposed either of these two ideas on moral grounds.

Not a single peep from the ever vigilant Robert Spencer or any of the other moderators on the website either.

If Robert Spencer is claiming that LoonWatch must be held responsible for the solitary comment by Mosizzle, then by this logic, Spencer and JihadWatch are to be held accountable for the above comments advocating ethnic cleansing and genocide of Muslims.  Notice that JihadWatch has a disclaimer at the bottom saying:

The fact that any comment remains on the site IN NO WAY constitutes an endorsement by Jihad Watch, or by Robert Spencer or any other Jihad Watch writer, of any view expressed, fact alleged, or link provided in that comment.

If Spencer can use this defense of his site, then why does not the same apply to LoonWatch?  Therefore, even if–hypothetically speaking–an “Islamic supremacist” were to post a threat against Spencer on our site, it would not be (by Spencer’s own logic) attributable in any way to LoonWatch.  After all, JihadWatch commentators had threats against not just one person but against an entire religious group!

Having argued that point from a hypothetical standpoint, the reality is that no threat towards Robert Spencer was ever posted on LoonWatch.  Mosizzle’s comment was simply:

Like all cancers, this one needs to be cut out before it spreads.

Anyone who has ever spent more than three minutes of their lives on the internet well knows that people are “proverbially speaking” when they say such things.  For example, when the Huffington Post says “Jon Stewart Destroys Fox News…” or Fox News says that “O’Reilly Destroys Eminem and Media Matters”, nobody actually seriously thinks that Fox News has actually literally been destroyed or that Eminem or Media Matters are actually dead.  Or when someone says “Stewart Rips Maddow”, nobody actually thinks that Maddow has been literally ripped into little pieces.  Or when someone online says “Maddow eviscerated [someone]“, nobody actually thinks that the person has beenliterally eviscerated.

Mosizzle’s comment, in the context of epic blog language, is the most normal thing in the world.  In fact, the “[blank] is a cancer that must be cut out” phrase has been used only just a million times on the internet, never once being interpreted as an actual death threat.  For example, this neocon clownasks “Is Progressivism a ‘cancer’ that must be cut out of the American system?”  I am a progressive in the American system; should I claim that I have been threatened?  Glenn Beck also uses the “[blank] is a cancer that must be cut out” phrase.  Maybe Glenn Beck is not a good example (because he is nuts), but the point is that most people would not think that Beck is actually advocating physical violence by such a phrase.  Interestingly, the “Islam is a cancer in America that must be cut out” is very familiar and Spencer never seems to object to it.

In any case, Mosizzle himself clarified his statement, by saying that he was “just implying that we must refute Spencer’s lies now before he become more influential…”  So, it is exactly as I initially thought it was: it was not a threat of physical violence at all.  Instead, it was a call to refute his lies before his influence spreads.  The phrase was used in the same way “destroys”, “eviscerated”, etc. is used in blog talk.

Robert Spencer, on the other hand, physically threatened me (Danios), calling for me to be lashed 100 and 101 times on two different occasions respectively, saying about me (“the slick liar”):

The slick liar who penned that piece ought to get 100 lashes

And:

The slick liar who penned that piece ought to get 101 lashes

Calling for someone to get lashed 100 or 101 times cannot really be understood as “proverbially speaking” nor is it a common saying. (Admittedly, I think it was nothing more than him just losing his temper…) So basically on the one hand we have on LoonWatch a comment using a phrase most commonly used in the proverbial sense by a random reader of our site who is not even a part of the LoonWatch team…(Nowhere in the quote by Mosizzle is violent action called for.)  And on the other hand we have a threat that explicitly says I should be lashed, a threat issued not by some random reader of JW, but by the main man himself!

Furthermore, this entire idea of “the commentators on my site don’t reflect on me at all” is a bunch of baloney.  The fact that JihadWatch attracts so many crazy bigots speaks volumes about what JihadWatch is all about.  It’s food that fuels the bigots, and that’s why so many of them are there.  We at LoonWatch have some crazies who roam our site (which website on earth doesn’t!?) but unlike JihadWatch, they are just a tiny percentage.  Not only that, but someone will challenge a person if he says something crazy like that.  As for Mosizzle’s comment, I am sure that most loyal readers thought like me that his comment was proverbial in nature.  And Robert Spencer knows that.  The fact that he’s forced to use the words of random visitors to our site–and superimposing it upon us–tells us very clearly that he knows he has got nothing on us, so he must rely on indirect means. How desperate is Spencer to get at us, and how truly far he has to go to find something against us!

Remember I told you that Robert Spencer is a liar?  He feels no compunction in misleadingly titling his article: “Islamic hate site says Spencer is like a ‘cancer’ that must be ‘cut out.’”  Yet, our website never said that. It’s not just poor form to write like this; it’s outright lying and libel.  This from the man who keeps crying about people supposedly doing that to him.  He can dish it out, but he can’t take it.

The way Robert Spencer tries to superimpose a “threat” on the words posted by Mosizzle show how truly desperate Spencer is to get a death threat.  In the deranged world of Islamophobia, the more death threats and fatwas you have against your head, the more cred you have and the more books you can sell.  No wonder the cover of Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) is emblazoned with a death threat against Spencer made by some crazy internet Islamic extremist, and no wonder it boasts “[Robert Spencer] lives in a Secure, Undisclosed Location.”  And yet in an interview available to the whole wide world to see, Spencer reveals his “undisclosed location” as “New England.”  If his life is really in such great peril from the Bad Guys (which no jail but Gitmo can stop apparently), why is he revealing his location?   And then why is he simultaneously printing books claiming that his location is “Undisclosed”?  All of this shows his sheer fraudulence.  It’s all histrionic theatrics and sensationalism designed to sell books.  The whole “I-have-death-threats-against-me-for-this-book” thing is as trite as the “Warning: Images too graphic for some”…These are just gimmicks designed to entice the viewer.  Oh, you’re getting death threats?  Then I must read your book to find out what you say!

Again, if Spencer wants to attribute one singular comment (that too which is simply proverbial in nature) to LoonWatch, then all those ethnic cleansing and nuclear genocide quotes are attributed to JihadWatch.  Having said that, it is not right to strike some sort of equivalency here.  LoonWatch has never advocated physical violence against Robert Spencer or the people who run his site.  On the other hand, Robert Spencer has himself advocated the same things that dumbledoresarmy and TJ did.  Dumbledoresarmy called for a ban on all Muslim immigration, which Spencer himself advocates:

Officials should proclaim a moratorium on all visa applications from Muslim countries, since there is no reliable way for American authorities to distinguish jihadists and potential jihadists from peaceful Muslims. Because this is not a racial issue, these restrictions should not apply to Christians and other non-Muslim citizens of those countries, although all should be subjected to reasonable scrutiny.

Reduce all this to its essence and you have exactly as dumbledoresarmy said: “No Muslims allowed on German soil.”

As for dumbledoresarmy’s support for ethnic cleansing, Robert Spencer was caught joining a white nationalist genocidal facebook group that advocated the same exact thing that dumbledoresarmy did on JihadWatch: ethnically cleansing a country (Turkey in this case) of all Muslims.

As for nuclear annihilation of Muslim lands, Robert Spencer posted a video advocating the nuclear annihilation of Pakistan.

So there can be no equivalence between the singular comment found on LoonWatch and the countless comments on JihadWatch.  Had anyone actually threatened Spencer, we would have called him out as a loon.  Will Robert Spencer strongly condemn as loons those people who post on his site calling for ethnic cleansing and nuclear genocide against Muslims?  We’re not asking just to reject what they are saying, but to clearly say that any who say such things are nutjobs.

The truth is, however, that such people characterize the vast majority of JihadWatch’s loyal readers.

Anyways, it is amazing how Robert Spencer chooses to focus on one teeny-tiny comment from someone who is not even a LoonWatch writer, instead of tackling the hefty arguments I have thrown his way.  Quite telling.  Also interesting is the fact that Robert Spencer and his minions mine our site looking for stuff to use against us even reading our comments section (whereas I would blow an aneurysm were I to read the comments section of JihadWatch for longer than a few minutes!), and yet Spencer still can’t get himself to say the name of our website.  How truly juvenile.  In that regard, I dedicate this song to him.

In the above article, I eviscerated Robert Spencer–proverbially speaking I assure you.

 

JihadWatch Afraid to Debate LoonWatch

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , on November 1, 2010 by loonwatch

JihadWatch, a vitriolic hate site run by pretend scholar Robert Spencer, has propelled itself to the forefront of the Islamophobic movement in the United States.  The fear-mongering Spencer has used his hate site to demonize Islam and Muslims.  To bolster his credibility, Robert Spencer had long ago issued an open challenge to “Muslims and leftists” to debate his ideas.

I accepted Spencer’s challenge to a debate on June 17th, 2010.  Since then, several influential Muslim-American spokesmen have expressed their interest in such a debate between Spencer and I.  This includes Ahmed Rehab (Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago), who issued a scathing statement against Spencer.  However, it has now been over 135 days since I accepted Robert Spencer’s challenge.  JihadWatch has generated excuse after excuse as to why this radio debate cannot take place.

The latest set of excuses was that I must reveal who I am before a debate can take place.  Spencer issued this pre-condition knowing full well that I value my anonymity too much to do that.  He naturally thought that this was a creative way to get out of a debate with me while at the same time saving face.  Said Spencer:

Sorry, I don’t debate fictional characters or pseudonyms. “Danios of Loonwatch” can go debate Scot Harvath or Harold Robbins.

This is of course strange since Hugh Fitzgerald, the Vice President of JihadWatch since 2004, himself operates under an anonymous pseudonym.  Fitzgerald is a co-administrator of the site, alongside Spencer.  Is Fitzgerald then a “fictional character” who is only worthy of debate with Scot Harvath or Harold Robbins?

If that is the case, I challenge Hugh Fitzgerald–co-administer and Vice President of JihadWatch–to a radio debate.  The topic will be Jihad, “Dhimmitude”, and Taqiyya (Stealth Jihad), namely chapters 1-4 of Robert Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).

Hugh Fitzgerald of JihadWatch uses a pseudonym like myself, and he remains completely anonymous like myself.  Surely two “fictional characters” are worthy of debating each other, right?

Now what excuse will be generated by JihadWatch to avoid this debate with LoonWatch?  I can just see Robert Spencer’s brain churning in order to generate a reason to get out of this one.  The truth is that JihadWatch is a bully, and as soon as someone steps up to a bully and delivers a solid punch to the mouth, the bully backs down like the coward he is.

 

Internet Sociopath Robert Spencer Scared of Debate

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2010 by loonwatch

Robert Spencer, the notorious anti-Muslim hate blogger, issued an open challenge to a debate:

The list of the Leftist and Muslim academics and apologists who have refused my challenge to debate is very long; they know they can’t refute what I say on the basis of evidence, so they resort to broad-based smears and personal attacks — and haughty refusals to debate.

He has issued similar challenges on numerous occasions, steadfastly claiming that he would be willing to defend his ideas in debate.  I had accepted Spencer’s challenge to a debate, saying:

I accept your challenge, Spencer.  I agree to a radio debate with you on the topic of jihad and “dhimmitude”, namely chapters 1-4 of your book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).  It will then be seen if you can defend your own writing, which I argue is a load of sensationalist crock.

Will you accept my challenge to debate or cower in fear?  My guess is that you “know [you] can’t refute what I say” and will “resort to…haughty refusals to debate.”

It’s been 129 days since I accepted Spencer’s challenge, yet he continues to dodge taking me on.  That’s no surprise to most of our readers, since I have written several articles refuting his book and ideas, which he has failed to respond to.  It is well-known that my articles have stopped Spencer in his tracks, and finally he has been effectively silenced on those issues.  For the first time ever, someone managed to spend the time necessary to respond in a thorough fashion.  That’s why Spencer is avoiding a debate with me at all costs, even if it means going back on his open challenge to “leftists and Muslims.”

Even so, this doesn’t stop Spencer from claiming that other leftist or Muslim spokesmen are scared of debating him and can’t refute him.  Spencer claimed that Muslim-American spokesman Ahmed Rehab “ran from debate with me [Spencer].”  Rehab responded, saying:

Spencer, I never agreed to debate you in the first place, and it is highly unlikely that I ever will.

Rehab then mentions Spencer’s hypocrisy, pointing out that Spencer has been dodging yours truly (Danios of LoonWatch) for quite some time:

And now for some irony. Spencer, you are claiming you are ready to debate anyone but that alas no one wants to debate you because no one can. But, is this actually true? Does the name Danios of Loonwatch ring a bell Spencer? You may be burying your head in the sand hoping no one will notice, but a simple Google search on “Robert Spencer debate” reveals your hypocrisy. How come you are ignoring an invitation from another blogger who has challenged you numerous times and whose articles shredding your arguments to pieces are all over the web without a peep of a rebuttal from you? Are you conceding defeat? Are you “running away?”

Of course, this got Robert Spencer worked up in quite the tizzy, and he blogged a furious response.  In it, the sociopath Robert Spencer starts ranting about the Soviet Union and Stalin, something all delusional right-wing nut jobs are prone to do some time or the other.

The irony of Spencer’s response cannot be understated.  His post is entitled “CAIR’s Ahmed Rehab and the use of ridicule,” and he complains of how Rehab supposedly resorts to “adolescent ridicule and abuse rather than substance.”  It is truly special that Spencer can say this with a straight face while at the same time lampooning the very same opponent by posting a photograph of Ahmed Rehab with a caption accusing him of wearing lipstick and eye shadow.  His readers take great delight in this picture, gleefully snickering at this “adolescent ridicule and abuse.”  The photograph is likely photoshopped, but even if it is not, what relevance does it have to do with the debate at hand?  Here, Spencer has lowered himself to the lowest possible schoolyard tactic: accuse your opponent of being gay.  To an extremist Catholic apologist like Robert Spencer being called “gay” is a very bad insult.  Of course, to a proud “leftist” progressive like myself, I don’t find it a slur to be labeled “homosexual”, which is clearly what Spencer is hinting at.  Even if Ahmed Rehab really did wear make up like gay popstar Adam Lambert, so what?  What’s your point?  Other than expose your underlying homophobia?

Let me be clear though: we here at LoonWatch don’t mind adolescent ridicule.  To wit: Robert Spencer is a fat slob.  His belly is so protuberant that he can’t see his feet.  (Watch Robert Spencer cry about “personal attacks” when he himself has been doing the same to Ahmed Rehab!)

Have you noticed how Spencer has a thing against what he calls “meterosexual guys” like Ahmed Rehab and Reza Aslan?  Do I sense jealousy?  Both Rehab and Aslan are fairly good-looking guys.  In fact, Rehab was involved with the current Miss USA and Aslan with Jessica Jackley.  Maybe Spencer’s antipathy towards these chic Muslim spokesmen is that they are too damn good-looking.  Compare Spencer’s frumpy body with Rehab’s toned body.  That could also explain Spencer’s burning hatred of Dr. Tariq Ramadan, as one user on his site complains about “his handsome lying face.”  I wouldn’t be surprised if Spencer’s burning hatred is a reflection of his own inferiority complex…He certainly wouldn’t be the first loser to embrace a hate-filled ideology to boost his own inner lack of self-worth.

The issue is not Spencer’s “use of ridicule”, but his hypocrisy: he cries that leftist and Muslim spokesmen–Ahmed Rehab specifically here–resort to “adolescent ridicule and abuse”, which is what Spencer himself engages in on his hate site, against Rehab no less!  He cries about “adolescent ridicule” and in the same post say that Rehab and Aslan “richly deserve lampooning.”  So you can’t use adolescent ridicule, but lampooning is OK.  Does pointing out how fat and ugly Spencer is fall into the former or the latter?

Anyways, back to the point: I had long ago accepted Robert Spencer’s open challenge, agreeing to a radio debate.  So why does Spencer dodge me?

Spencer needs to generate excuses and a way out from debating me.  His first attempt was to minimize my importance, which somehow does not fall under “haughty refusal to debate.”  He can no longer rely on this excuse, since Ahmed Rehab himself, the Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago, messaged me: “You are amongst the top writers on this topic, far more effective and relevant than 99% of the countless Muslim writers out there.”  That’s high praise from the man whom Spencer considers an adequate spokesman for Muslims.  Will Spencer refuse to debate someone considered in the top 1%?  I suspect so.  Spencer says of me:

Debating such a compromised and dishonest individual would be a waste of time

Isn’t that the exact same reasoning that Rehab gave for refusing to debate you, Spencer?  The same reasoning you were so opposed to and called cowardice?

Spencer needs another excuse to weasel out of a debate with me.  What will it be?  Aha!  It will be my anonymity!  As many of you know, I write anonymously under a pseudonym.  Spencer and his fellow fans desperately want to know who I am.  Some of them are convinced I am XYZ, and others that I am ABCD.  Some have even engaged in textual analysis, trying extremely hard to find out who this cursed Danios is.  My question is: who cares?  Deal with my arguments, not who I am. Spencer says:

…Since Rehab invokes [Danios] and others have referred to his site [LoonWatch] recently, I am willing: if “Danios of Loonwatch” reveals his real name…

Spencer places this condition on me, knowing full well that I will refuse to reveal my name, since he knows that I like writing anonymously.  Spencer asks:

What is “Danios of Loonwatch” afraid of?

Do I have to be “afraid” of something?  I enjoy writing anonymously.  Having said that, I do plan on eventually “coming out of the closet” (will Spencer now accuse me of being gay too [although for the record I am not]?), but not just yet…When the time is right and of my own choosing. And when I do come out, I am sure that Spencer will attack my “meterosexual looks”.  Ah, why o why was I cursed with such handsome looks?

More importantly, I am currently a post-doctoral fellow at an Ivy League university and instructor at a state university.  Coming out of the closet at the present time would pose some logistical problems for me, which is why I have chosen to do it at a later date.  Does this answer your question, Spencer?

Then Spencer places his second condition:

I am willing: if “Danios of Loonwatch” reveals his real name, finds a university willing to host the debate and contracts an impartial moderator, I’m ready when he is.

So (1) I have to reveal my real name, and (2) the debate can only be at a university.  The second condition is odd, considering that it is Spencer who has no affiliation to any university.  In fact, Spencer failed to respond to this point by Rehab:

Spencer claims to be a scholar of Islam, Islamic Law, and Theology but holds no degrees in any of those subjects and has never even published a single peer-reviewed paper.

Why, in your epic rant, did you not respond to this argument against you?  How is it, my portly friend, that you consider yourself a “scholar of Islam”–which your site so claims–when you do not even have a single degree in any subject of Islam, let along a single peer-reviewed paper?  Exactly what type of scholar are you, then?

Anyways, Spencer’s second condition is tied to the first: a university debate can only be arranged if I reveal my true identity and university affiliation, which he knows that I am not willing to do just yet.  Spencer concludes:

But I won’t be holding my breath.

I’m sure Spencer was actually holding his breath, for fear that I might accept his two pre-conditions, and then how to avoid the challenge!?

Of course, Spencer’s two conditions–both of which involve revealing my identity–are completely bogus.  I have offered to debate Spencer on the radio.  Does Spencer not do radio interviews?  In fact, Spencer has appeared on the radio countless times, doing interviews for Jawa radio, Spirit Catholic Radio, Western World Radio, etc. To completely negate Spencer’s generated excuse, here we have Spencer himself saying how he engaged in a radio debate with a CAIR spokesman:

In April 2007, I participated in a heated hour-long radio debate with CAIR’s Hussam Ayloush…

So why does Spencer agree to a radio debate with Hussam Ayloush but now he doesn’t agree to the same with yours truly?  What’s that sound?  Oh, it’s the sound of a chicken.

UPDATE:

One of our readers Jack raised a great point:

Isn’t Robert Spencer great friends with Bat Ye’or? That’s not her real name… Does Spencer require of her to dispense with the nonsense (everybody knows her real name by now). Does Robert Spencer refuse to quote ‘Fjordman’? ‘Baron Boddissey’? And so on and so forth.

Not to speak of Ali Sina, Ibn Warraq, and countless other fellow anti-jihadists (read: Islamophobes).   The truth is: Robert Spencer is scared out of his wits.  He will continue to generate excuse after excuse…

 

Robert Spencer Fuming Over LoonWatch, Threatens Danios With 101 Lashes

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs, Loon Sites with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2010 by loonwatch
As his arguments become exposed, so does he.As his arguments become exposed, so does he.

As many of you well know, I have taken it upon myself to refute Robert Spencer’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), cover to cover, page by page, and line by line.  I have already written several articles refuting Spencer, exposing him for the fear-mongering fraudster that he is.

Omer Subhani, a reader of our website, blogged it out best:

Spencer dodging LoonWatch… again

Robert Spencer has said something like the following many times:

“…I am always happy to debate any serious Muslim spokesman…”

Really?

Then why not debate the writer of multiple refutations of your work?

That writer goes by the name of Danios and he or she writes over at Loon Watch. Danios has written numerous refutations of Spencer’s work without much of a peepleaking from Spencer. Yet, Spencer was more than happy to share with his audiencea list of people he has formerly debated.

But no mention of anything written by anyone at Loon Watch.

I smell something. And it smells like chicken.

What’s the excuse? Danios is writing anonymously? That shouldn’t matter. Spencer, you have continuously proclaimed from the day you started writing your blog that you would debate anyone, anywhere, any time. Well, Danios has penned multiple refutations of your work and yet you have failed to reply. You have hinted at Danios’ work in previous posts, but you haven’t gotten around to refuting Danios. You havecalled Danios a “slick liar,” but have failed to respond substantively to what Danios wrote.

Why are you chickening out, Spencer?

You’re aware of Danios’ refutations of your work, but you won’t engage in dialog. Usually when someone doesn’t respond to another person’s argument it means that they’ve conceded the point. Maybe Danios’ refutations of your claims were so absolute that it really isn’t worth debating. If that’s the case, then be a man about it and say so.

Subhani notes that Robert Spencer referred to me as a “slick liar,” but it may interest you to know that Spencer was so frustrated that he went even further, declaring:

The slick liar who penned that piece ought to get 100 lashes

In another article, Spencer upped the ante, and decided that 100 was just not enough, and threw in one more for added effect:

The slick liar who penned that piece ought to get 101 lashes

Instead of using such violent language, why doesn’t Spencer just refute the points I raised?  Isn’t that always his gripe against those who write about him negatively in the media?

The “piece” I wrote for which I became a “slick liar” can be found here: Robert Spencer Rapes the Truth, Part 1: Does Sharia Reject the Testimony of a Rape Victim? In that article, I contest Spencer’s bold claim that in rape cases a woman’s testimony is rejected under Sharia.  And I promised that in part 2 (coming to a theater near you soon) I will discuss Spencer’s claim that under Sharia a woman is lashed if she claims rape but cannot produce four witnesses.

So let’s read Spencer’s response, which is as follows:

Recently someone forwarded me a pseudo-scholarly piece by a smooth Islamic apologist purporting to prove that I was wrong, wrong, wrong (and therefore evil as well, of course) about Islamic rules of evidence for crimes of zina (adultery, fornication, and other sexual offenses), and claiming that rape victims in the Islamic world are never punished for being raped. The slick liar who penned that piece ought to get 100 lashes instead of “Camille” for his obfuscation and enabling of this kind of torture of women.

OK, let’s take that one line at a time, shall we?  First, Spencer writes:

Recently someone forwarded me a pseudo-scholarly piece

Here is a really bad case of projection.  Robert Spencer tries passing himself off as a scholar, and therefore assumes that I would too.  Apparently, Spencer has no idea what a scholarly paper looks like, because if he did, he would know that my article is far too irreverent a piece to be scholarly.   Does that mean that every piece of writing that is not scholarly becomes pseudo-scholarly?  What an absurd understanding.  Do newspaper articles or op-eds then become pseudo-scholarly works?

Then, Spencer says:

by a smooth Islamic apologist

I haven’t revealed what religion (if any) I follow.  In fact, I think the fact that I approach these debates as a neutral outsider–instead of approaching them as a vested Muslim–is what gives me the edge over other people who have debated with Spencer.  And in any case, Spencer can then be considered “a smooth Catholic apologist.”  Actually, he’s more like a Catholic crusader who attacks the infidel Islamic world with his vitriolic pen.

He goes on:

I was wrong, wrong, wrong (and therefore evil as well, of course)

No complaints here.

Here is the real doozie:

and claiming that rape victims in the Islamic world are never punished for being raped.

I’ve noticed that Robert Spencer always does this in his polemical pieces.  First, he builds up his argument with half-truths, and then near the end he will insert an outright lie.  Nowhere did I claim that “rape victims in the Islamic world are never punished for being raped. “  This is a complete strawman argument.  Clearly, there are uneducated fundamentalists who do that, and who need to be stopped.  My contention with Spencer is his claim that such a thing is inherently part of Islam itself or the Islamic jurisprudential tradition.

Spencer then proceeds to report a case of a rape victim being punished in the Islamic world.  So instead of critically analyzing the arguments I put forward in my article (Robert Spencer Rapes the Truth, Part 1: Does Sharia Reject the Testimony of a Rape Victim?), Spencer constructs a strawman argument (claiming that I think or said that rape victims are never punished in the Islamic world) and then proceeds to knock it down by citing a case of just such a thing.  Clearly, Spencer’s need to construct a strawman is rooted in his inability to address any of my arguments.  Meanwhile, my own arguments against him are always precision guided surgical strikes.

My ever so dearest Robert Spencer: please do address the actual points I raised in the article.

Spencer Responds to My Latest Article on Dhimmitude

Awhile back, I published part 1 of my rebuttal of Robert Spencer on the topic of dhimmitude.  I alreadyaddressed Spencer’s bumbling reply to part 1.  Once again, he was absolutely unable to debate the actual topic, which was the historical treatment of dhimmis (vs perpetual serfs).  After Spencer refused to respond, I called him out as a chicken.

Then a few days back, I published part 2 of my dhimmitude series.  Just now, Spencer issued a response.  For some odd reason, however, Spencer refuses to take my name and suffices himself with veiled (but painfully obvious) references.  (Similarly, he refused to take LoonWatch’s blessed name when one of our intrepid writers broke the story about how FuckAllah.com and FuckIslam.com mysteriously redirected to his website; instead, he somehow chose to target CAIR, who simply reproduced our article.)

Spencer writes (emphasis is mine):

More or less on a regular basis I am sent purported refutations of what I say here and in my books — essays that purport to show that Islam doesn’t really teach warfare against unbelievers and their subjugation as inferiors under the rule of Islamic law,

Clearly a reference to yours truly.

Spencer goes on:

although these purported refutations usually content themselves with showing that Christians or someone else were doing something worse,

Completely false.  I only contented myself after proving that contemporary Muslims reject the Pact of Umar (a document which is so central to your Islamophobic viewpoint that you call it the “the foundation for Islamic law regarding the treatment of the dhimmis”).  So yes, I was quite pleased with myself after I toppled the foundation of your argument.  (I treated myself with ice cream.)

If you are referring to part 1, I had already been quite clear that my rebuttal would come in multiple parts, and that the first part would simply contest your claim that historically Muslims treated Jews worse than Christians did. And I have already answered this argument of yours in my response to your bumbling reply.  Or do we have to go through this again?  You had said earlier:

It is an extended (very extended) example of the familiar tu quoque fallacy in which Islamic apologists always indulge: other people have done evil, and therefore our evil is not so bad or not to be spoken of.

To which I had replied:

I certainly never said that the “evil is not so bad.”  What I said was that the “evil” (your choice of words) done to infidels in the Islamic realm was historically less than that done to infidels in Christendom.  And I said that to negate chapter four of your book, in which you specifically wrote “the idea that Jews fared better in Islamic lands than in Christian Europe is false,” and “the Muslim laws were much harsher for Jews than those of Christendom.”  I am fact-checking your book, and you made a claim, and I refuted it.  Simple as that.  Now it is up to you to either defend your initial claim or concede that you were wrong to state it.

Back to Spencer’s recent response, he goes on:

or that some document or other to which I refer in my books is held in no esteem by Muslims

That’s it?  You’ve conceded the point?  Wow.  This was easier than I thought.  Suddenly, you’ve moved the goalposts, as evidenced by what you say next:

or virtually anything other than actually proving that there exists a sect or school of Islam that teaches that Muslims must live with non-Muslims as equals on an indefinite basis

I’m starting to sense a pattern here.  Every time I refute one of your arguments, you will move to the next one.  But don’t worry, Spencer my love, your wish is my command.  In fact, the third (and final) part of my dhimmitude series will prove exactly what you asked for, namely that contemporary Muslims do believe that they should live with non-Muslims as equals.  Stay tuned for that.  (I’m sure by that time you’ll skip to another topic, never standing up like a man and defending the actual issue I write on.)

Then Spencer goes off on another tangent, writing:

In any case, the fundamental problem with all these alleged refutations is that if I am misunderstanding Islam, an awful lot of Muslims, including Islamic clerics who have devoted their lives to studying the Qur’an and Sunnah, misunderstand it in the same way. And here we have another. Afzali says he betrayed his religion, but that is, I suspect, just in order to bamboozle the unbelievers yet again.

Notice how Spencer tries to prove that there is a “fundamental problem with all these alleged refutations” by giving the example of Ahmad Afzali, an Imam who tipped off an Al-Qaeda militant.  Ummm…am I missing something here?  What does Ahmad Afzali have to do with any of my refutations of Spencer?  What does Afzali tipping off an Al-Qaeda militant have to do with the historical treatment of dhimmis vs perpetual serfs (part 1) or the Pact of Umar (part 2)?  It’s completely nonsensical and shows the sheer desperation Spencer is feeling right now.

How about instead of going off on random tangents you address the points I raised?  You obviously have enough time to rant about me on your website (although in a veiled manner), yet don’t have the time to construct a few decent logical arguments? Why then did you make the claim that “I am always happy to debate any serious Muslim spokesman”?  You after all call me an “Islamic apologist”, and I assume “Islamic apologists” are also “Muslim spokesmen”, so why don’t you debate me?  Your loyal readers argue that LoonWatch is “beneath you,” and thus “unworthy of your time.”  Yet, here you are ranting about me (albeit in a veiled manner); so why not better use that time to give more substantive responses?

Well, the answer is obvious: you’re a bully, and you’ve been bullying people for a very, very long time.  But like all bullies, when you meet someone your own size, you run away like the coward you are.  Sorry to burst your bubble, but I’m not going anywhere.  You are in quite a bind: if you try to respond to my arguments, the weakness of your case will become even more apparent.  If you decide not to engage me due to this fear, you still lose by virtue of forfeiture.  Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.  Either way is fine by me.

"The time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end."“The time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end.”

 

Robert Spencer Dodges Debate with LoonWatch

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2009 by loonwatch
One artist's depiction of Robert SpencerOne artist’s depiction of Robert Spencer

LoonWatch.com, recently published a devastating rebuttal of chapter four of Robert Spencer’s bookThe Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades.

The article no doubt knocked Spencer flat on his backside.  In one swift move, LoonWatch completely neutralized one of his main lines of argumentation against Islam and Muslims–his pet issue of “dhimmitude” which he recurrently brings up to fear monger.  One cannot underestimate the importance he gives to this issue–after all, he registered DhimmiWatch[dot]com!  It is arguably his favorite topic.

Spencer issued a half-hearted (non)reply to the rebuttal.  LW immediately counter-replied, completely pummeling Spencer.

And now…silence.  Spencer, who has no real job other than this, has suddenly become as quiet as a mouse.  What happened, Spencer?  Cat got your tongue?  Where did all the bravado go?

It’s not like Spencer is averse to going twelve rounds in debate…In fact, he had a debate with Omer Subhani on this very issue, and Spencer churned out not one but three (!) articles rebutting Subhani.  (See herehere, and here.)  Notice the blustering confidence Spencer exudes in those articles.  Unfortunately, Subhani was by his own admission very busy during the time that he wrote his rebuttal (he’s a law student) and therefore was unable to do the in-depth research that we did.

Notice how detailed Spencer’s replies to Subhani are (complete with photographs that Spencer took of his own personal library and rotund self). It is clear that Spencer’s multiple replies took a lot of effort and time (he doesn’t have a real job like Omer Subhani does).  So how come LoonWatch doesn’t get just one article rebutting our article on the same exact topic that Spencer was earlier willing to write three rebuttals of?  Well, we all know the answer to that: Spencer has been defeated in debate, is boxed in, and has no possible way to respond to the points raised.  And so the once ferocious Muslim eating tiger has turned into a cowardly chicken.

Omer Subhani recently blogged about my rebuttal and Spencer’s non-response:

…An entire chapter of Spencer’s book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), was refuted and his response was monumentally weak and disingenuous…

Spencer is always whining about debating these issues. Now someone has come up and punched him in the nose. Will he respond, or will he avoid the conversation, thus proving the falsity of his claims that Islam treated Jews worse than Christianity? I ain’t holding my breath.

Mr. Subhani, we aren’t holding our breath either.

Further reading:

The Church’s Doctrine of “Perpetual Servitude” was Worse than “Dhimmitude”

Robert Spencer is on the Ropes; Spencer’s Bumbling Reply to LoonWatch

Update:

Robert Spencer argues in his book that the Jews historically fared (much) better in Christian Europe than they did in the Islamic world.  It was this claim which I thoroughly debunked.  After I published my article, two of our readers (hat tip: Reza and Nabeela) pointed out that even Daniel Pipes–an Islamophobe and one of Spencer’s own buddies–said in an interview:

Rachael Kohn: As an historian, you would know that Jews had comparatively better time under Muslim rule than they did under Christian rule. When did it change so radically?

Daniel Pipes: It was very radical and quick. The Jewish experience from the origins of Islam in the 7th century, until rather specifically in 1945, was better under Muslim rule than under Christian rule. And since 1945, it’s been better under Christian rule than Muslim rule. One can see it for example by exchange of populations. Jews fled the Christian countries for the Muslim countries, until 1945.

As late as the 1930s, when Jews fled Germany to go to Turkey. Since then, it’s been the reverse. I think this points to the fact that things change. You know, what looked like it was a permanent thing, the fact that Jews were better off in Muslim countries, just changed on a dime, in a moment, just changed. It also points to the fact that the Muslim world is going through a very difficult stage now, and it’s presumably a temporary one. It’s comparable again to Germany in the middle of the last century. It was a horrible, horrible period, did a lot of damage to Germany and to the outside world, but the Germans came out of it. And so the key now is to figure out how the Muslim world can come out of this particularly difficult time that it’s in.

Daniel Pipes even refers to Professor Mark R. Cohen’s book Under Crescent and Cross as an “excellent study.”  (It is this book which I used as a template, and which convincingly outlines why life for Jews was so much more tolerable in the Islamic East as compared to the Christian West.)

Pipes noted (as did I in my rebuttal) that although dhimmis were second-class citizens, at least they were citizens–unlike the Christian world where they were excluded from society altogether; saysPipes:

…Non-Muslims were allowed to live under Muslim rule with the legal status of dhimmis (protected persons). They paid higher taxes and enjoyed fewer privileges, in return for which they had the right to practice their own religions. Such sanctioned toleration has no Christian counterpart; under Islam, Jews were second-class citizens but they were part of the legal landscape, not the problematic anomaly they presented the Christian world.

And he concludes:

In pre-modern times, they lived markedly better under Islam than under Christianity.

(Notice the words “markedly better.”)

To be clear, I don’t consider Daniel Pipes to be a reliable source, simply because he is a biased Islamophobe.  But the point here is that Spencer considers Pipes to be a reliable scholar.  Furthermore, it illustrates how even a staunchly anti-Islam ideologue such as Pipes (and Spencer’s comrade-in-arms) is forced to admit what Spencer in his unbelievable revisionism cannot: Jews fared better in the Islamic world than the Christian one.  In other words, Pipes could not keep a straight face and argue Spencer’s point. This indicates the depths of Spencer’s lack of scholarship and sophistication.

 

Robert Spencer is on the Ropes; Spencer’s Bumbling Reply to LoonWatch

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2009 by loonwatch

For those of you just joining us, let’s recap: Robert Spencer wrote a book entitled The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades.  Chapter four of this book is entitled “Islam: Religion of Intolerance.”  On p.47, he summarizes the chapter into three points:

*Islamic law mandates second-class status for Jews, Christians, and other non-Muslims in Islamic society.

*These laws have never been abrogated or revised by any authority.

*The idea that Jews fared better in Islamic lands than in Christian Europe is false. [1]

I then wrote a rebuttal of the third point, promising to write a follow up article dealing with the first two.  Spencer took a look at my rebuttal and replied, as follows:

As for the one you did link, I took a look. It is an extended (very extended) example of the familiar tu quoque fallacy in which Islamic apologists always indulge: other people have done evil, and therefore our evil is not so bad or not to be spoken of. There are two chief problems with this:

1. I have never said or implied that Muslims have a monopoly on evil. Every group has been guilty of some wrongdoing. Does this mean we should not discuss the threats to human rights constituted by Islamic supremacism? I don’t think so.

2. Even if what this person is saying were true, the whole premise is wrong: the church never had a “doctrine” regarding these matters. These were practices applied in various times and places, never universally, and not based on any church law. In fact, the Popes consistently opposed the persecution of the Jews. This is in sharp contrast to the laws of dhimmitude that are taught by all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence.

And most importantly, no church is behaving in such ways as are described in this article today, but Islamic jihadists in Gaza and elsewhere have declared their intention to reimpose the dhimma on Jews and Christians when they are able to do so.

Cordially
Robert Spencer

Here is my counter-reply, as follows:

Dear Robert Spencer,

You said:

It is an extended (very extended) example of the familiar tu quoque fallacy in which Islamic apologists always indulge: other people have done evil, and therefore our evil is not so bad or not to be spoken of.

I certainly never said that the “evil is not so bad.”  What I said was that the “evil” (your choice of words) done to infidels in the Islamic realm was historically less than that done to infidels in Christendom.  And I said that to negate chapter four of your book, in which you specifically wrote “the idea that Jews fared better in Islamic lands than in Christian Europe is false,” and “the Muslim laws were much harsher for Jews than those of Christendom.”  I am fact-checking your book, and you made a claim, and I refuted it.  Simple as that.  Now it is up to you to either defend your initial claim or concede that you were wrong to state it.

You have a problem with Islamic apologists who downplay or whitewash the abuses of the Islamic past.  But you yourself are a Catholic apologist who downplays and whitewashes the abuses of the Christian past. You replace myth with counter-myth.  I, on the other hand, look at the cold hard facts.  And the facts are quite clear: the Islamic apologists are wrong to claim that there was an interfaith utopia, but you were wrong to claim that it was worse for infidels in the Islamic world than in Christendom.

As for the claim that I think the “evil…is not to be spoken of,” I never said that either.   My article was rigidly fair, speaking of the discrimination prevalent in the Islamic world.  The issue here, however, isyou, who speaks so much on the topic, yet downplays and completely ignores the even greater abuses in Christian history.

The reason that you are forced to downplay and ignore the abuses in Christian history is obvious: it would completely neutralize your argument which could then no longer be used as a stick to beat the Muslims over the head with.  I don’t have a problem with discussing history.  I do, however, have a problem with weaponizing history, which is what you do; you downplay and ignore one side’s abuses, exaggerate the other sides, and then top it off with sensationalist fear mongering.  In your own words on the cover of your book: “Muslim persecution of Christians has continued for 13 centuries.”  I guess replacing that with the more balanced “Muslims and Christians persecuted each other” would not sell as many books, eh?

You call it a tu quoque fallacy.  I call it common sense.  You cannot possibly single out and demonize the Muslim community–and Islam–when in fact the same criticisms apply equally if not more to all other religious communities and religions–and yours in specific! It’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black.  One can and should discuss shortcomings and even horrific abuses of the past, but this can be done without the singling out and demonizing which you specialize in and have made into a career.

But in any case, we need not discuss the implications of your statement yet.  Right now, the issue is about the veracity of your statement that the Jews were persecuted more in the Islamic world than in Christendom.  That is a false claim.  You can try to muddy the waters as much as you want, but the bottom line is that your book is based on a horrendous error at best–if not a boldfaced lie.

You said:

1. I have never said or implied that Muslims have a monopoly on evil. Every group has been guilty of some wrongdoing.

Did I ever say that you said the Muslims have a monopoly on evil?  Or that you deny that every group has “some” wrongdoing?  You implied in your book that historically the Muslims persecuted Jews much more than Christians ever did.  That was your statement which I refuted, so stop moving the goalposts.  Either defend the thesis in your book, or admit that you were wrong.

You then said:

Does this mean we should not discuss the threats to human rights constituted by Islamic supremacism?

Who said otherwise?  Once again, stop trying to squirm your way out of this.  It’s very simple: you made a claim in your book, and I refuted it.  Your claim was that the Muslims persecuted Jews more than the Christians did.  This was your explicit claim, and your implicit claim was that there was a monumental difference between the persecuting Islamic society on the one hand and the supposedly freedom-loving Christian society on the other.  (As you put it: “In Christian lands there was the idea, however imperfect, of the equality of dignity and rights for all people.” [2])  The reality of course is anything but.  Again: either defend your thesis, or concede; don’t change the topic to something else.

You said:

…the church never had a “doctrine” regarding these matters. These were practices applied in various times and places, never universally, and not based on any church law.

Spencer, this is now getting frustrating.  Yes, the Church had a doctrine; they are the ones who founded it!  The doctrine of Witness, and of Perpetual Servitude of the Jews,  was enunciated by theChurch, and the state later adopted it into their concept of Serfs of the Royal Chamber. This was adopted virtually “universally” in the realm of Christendom.  Perhaps you ought to read my rebuttalagain.  Clearly, it was the Church who originated the concept of Perpetual Servitude, propagated it, and championed it.  In fact, as I discussed in my rebuttal the Church competed with the state over which would own the Jews.

The anti-Jewish laws were based in Church doctrine.  Again, read my rebuttal again before saying something so absolutely false.  It leads me to believe that either (1) you don’t possess adequate reading comprehension abilities, or (2) you’ve been refuted so thoroughly that you can’t come up with any counter-point.

Then you said:

In fact, the Popes consistently opposed the persecution of the Jews.

It was through the infallible papal bulls that such ideas as Perpetual Servitude became preponderant in Christendom.  Just to give one such example: the Pope in 1452 issued a bull that called for the Christians to “reduce into perpetual servitude” the infidels.

It is true that the papacy forbade killing off the Jews, but the reason for that–as I discussed in my rebuttal–was due to the doctrine of the Witness: Jews were to endure in order to witness the triumph of Christianity and Christ.  According to this doctrine, the Jews were to live in a miserable state of “perpetual servitude” which would then serve as a living proof of their misguidance.  So yes, the popes did prevent the complete elimination of the Jews, but only that they may live in serfdom/slavery.  Similarly, the Church fathers ruled that all of a Jew’s property could be confiscated except the absolute bare minimum which was needed for his survival; again, the Jew must endure to serve as Witness.

Spencer’s statement was challenged by the anti-Islam bigot sheik yer’mami (of all people!) whowrote:

With all due respect, Robert: “In fact, the Popes consistently opposed the persecution of the Jews” – really? I have a problem with that.

There were some pretty awful popes in the history of the church, and all the things that were done to Jews could hardly have been done without their consent. Throughout the history of the Catholic church we see consolidated efforts to reign in the bishops who were getting too powerful and who were also warlords, something which is probably very little known.

That aside, I don’t think you can find much evidence that popes were opposed to the persecution of Jews….

Spencer then replied with:

Sheik

The record is not monochromatic, but actually, yes, I can find plenty.

First, the bad news. Pope Zachary reaffirmed a prohibition on intermarriage. Leo VII directed the archbishop of Mainz to expel Jews who refused to convert to Christianity from cities within his diocese. Pope Gregory VII forbade Jews to hold authority over Christians.

The Fourth Lateran Council decreed in 1215 that Jews must wear distinctive garb—a directive initially emphasized, then suspended, then insisted upon again by Pope Honorius III. Gregory IX led a campaign against Jewish books that led to a massive book-burning in Paris. Nicholas III required Jews to assemble to hear proselytizing sermons and ordered that those who had been baptized but then returned to Judaism be “turned over to the secular power”—which meant almost certain execution. Honorius IV wrote a letter to the English bishops warning them about Jewish efforts to convert Christians—which ultimately led to the expulsion of the Jews from England. Pope John XXII resumed the campaign against Jewish books, ordering the Talmud suppressed. Centuries later, in 1858, police of the Papal States seized a six-year-old Jewish boy, Edgardo Mortara, from his family because a Catholic servant girl who worked for the family had baptized him. Pope Pius IX refused numerous entreaties to return the boy to his family. Mortara became a Catholic priest and died in 1940. Many consider the incident one of the chief obstacles to the canonization of Pius IX.

But as I said, the papal record is not monochromatic. Historian and Rabbi David Dalin says this: “The historical fact is that popes have often spoken out in defense of the Jews, have protected them during times of persecution and pogroms, and have protected their right to worship freely in their synagogues. Popes have traditionally defended Jews from wild anti-Semitic allegations. Popes regularly condemned anti-Semites who sought to incite violence against Jews.”

This is not, as some might think, a strictly modern phenomenon. For instance, Pope Gregory I, who wrote harshly of the Jews’ rejection of Christ, nevertheless issued an edict dictating that Jews “should have no infringement of their rights. … We forbid to vilify the Jews. We allow them to live as Romans and to have full authority over their possessions.” When a bishop in Palermo seized a synagogue and converted it into a church, the building could not be returned to its former owner because it had now been consecrated; however, Gregory ordered the bishop to pay the owners a fair price, so that the Jews “should in no way appear to be oppressed, or to suffer an injustice.” He also forbade forced conversion of Jews, a prohibition later repeated by Gregory IV.

Pope Gregory I’s directives formed the basis of the Jews’ status in Western Europe for a considerable time thereafter. Pope Alexander II commended bishops in Narbonne and Spain for protecting Jews from attacks by Christians. When would-be Crusaders massacred Jews in Speyer, Worms, Mainz, Cologne, and elsewhere before the First Crusade, it is noteworthy that local bishops often acted to end these slaughters. Pope Calixtus II thereafter reaffirmed Gregory’s prohibition of attacks on Jews, and also forbade forced conversion and attacks on synagogues.

The popes also held fast against forced conversions and attacks on the Jews. Pope Innocent III, although he condemned Jews as “the sons of the crucifiers, against whom to this day the blood cries to the Father’s ears,” stated: “For we make the law that no Christian compel them, unwilling or refusing, by violence to come to baptism.
Too, no Christian ought to presume…wickedly to injure their persons, or with violence to take away their property, or to change the good customs which they have had until now in whatever region they inhabit. Besides, in the celebration of their own festivals, no one ought to disturb them in any way, with clubs or stones, nor ought any one try to require from them or to extort from them services they do not owe, except for those they have been accustomed from times past to perform. In addition to these, We decree…that no one ought to dare to mutilate or diminish a Jewish cemetery, nor, in order to get money, to exhume bodies once they have been buried.”

Those who dared transgress these prohibitions were threatened with excommunication. Innocent also noted that Calixtus and four other popes had extended the same protections to the Jews. According to Dalin, “Calixtus’s defense of the Jews, with its promise of continuing papal protection, was reissued at least twenty-two times by successive popes between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries.”

Of course, this reissuing wouldn’t have been necessary if Jews were not continually being attacked in Europe. Many of these attacks centered around the “blood libel,” the contention that Jews killed Christian children and mixed their blood into their Passover matzoh. Pope Innocent IV issued a strong denial of the blood libel, as did Gregory X, Martin V, and Sixtus IV. Paul III denounced those who “pretend, in order to despoil them of their goods, that the Jews kill little children and drink their blood.” That this had to be repeated over several centuries testifies to the persistence of the libel in Christian Europe, but nevertheless, excommunication was consistently the penalty for those who spread such stories or victimized Jews on such a basis.

Gregory X also affirmed the validity of Jewish testimony, declaring, “An accusation against Jews based solely on the testimony of Christians was invalid; Jewish witnesses must also appear.” Clement VI defended Jews from charges that they were responsible for the Black Death; Boniface IX granted full Roman citizenship to Jews; Martin V directed that “every Christian treat the Jews with a humane kindness” and forbade preachers “to preach against the Jews, to attempt to interrupt their normal relations with their neighbors, to infringe upon their religious rights, or to exclude them from normal activities (including attendance at universities).” He also reaffirmed the repudiation of the blood libel.

Leo X ordered the entire Talmud to be printed by a Christian printer in Rome so as to discourage anti-Semitic rumors about its contents. Clement VII commissioned a new translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Latin, to be completed by six Christians and six Jews working together.

Innocent X and Benedict XIV both worked to end the blood libel and the persecution of Jews in Poland. Leo XIII spoke out in defense of Alfred Dreyfus, a French military officer wrongly accused of treason in a notorious case. Pius X and Benedict XV acted against anti-Semitism in Italian politics and media. It was thus not without justification that Pius XI was able to write in 1928: “Moved by this Christian charity, the Holy See has always protected this people [the Jews] against unjust vexations, and just as it reprobates all rancour and conflicts between peoples, it particularly condemns unreservedly hatred against the people once chosen by God: the hatred that commonly goes by the name of anti-Semitism.” Pius XI used his encyclical letter Mit Brennender Sorge — pointedly written in German instead of Latin, and directed to the German bishops — to condemn the anti-Semitism of the Nazi regime. The Nazis, in response, forbade its publication in Germany and denounced Pius XI as half-Jewish. That encyclical, drafted by Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, who two years later became Pope Pius XII, declared: “Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community—however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things—whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.”

When Vienna’s Cardinal Innitzer rang the city’s church bells to celebrate Hitler’s entry into the city after the Anchluss in 1938, Pius XI called Innitzer to Rome and rebuked him — and, according to historian Michael Phayer, had the rebuke “communicated through diplomatic channels to the United States so that world governments would know where the Vatican stood regarding Hitler’s Germany.” On September 6, 1938, he told a group of pilgrims from Belgium that “anti-Semitism is inadmissible; spiritually, we are all Semites.”

The record of Pope Pius XII is controversial, but there has been a good deal of misinformation publicized about it. In reality, he helped save many hundreds of thousands of Jews and was memorialized at Yad Veshem. The campaign to blacken his name began later.

Cordially
Robert Spencer

With regards to the papacy, it held a somewhat contradictory position throughout history; it was a source of great intolerance but at the same time it placed some limits to intolerance which benefited the Jews.  This is all because the Church adopted the doctrine of Witness, which–as I have explained in some detail in my rebuttal (and reiterated above)–argued that Jews ought not to be killed in order that they might endure as living witnesses of the triumph of Christianity and Christ.  But they were to live in a state of perpetual servitude, in order that their pitiful condition prove to the world their defeat for supposedly slaying Jesus.  To this effect, we read:

The Catholic Church, in its triumphant march toward the spiritual unification of the world, was mortified that among all the cults that had flourished in the Roman Empire, only the Synagogue had been able to withstand Christian propaganda.  The only obstacle in the path of the Christians toward religious supremacy was the handful of Jews “stubbornly entrenched in their satanic blindness.”  It is not surprising that the Church yielded to the temptation of using its secular power and influence with the princes to reduce these stubborn, unyielding unbelievers to a state of pariahdom on the fringes of society.

A distinction must be drawn, however, between the attitude of the Papacy and that of the lower clergy.  The Papacy was on the whole much less hostile, and maintained in principle the attitude of genuine ambivalence that had developed out of the original schism.

The official attitude of the Church had been defined by Pope Gregory the Great (590-604) in his Constitutio pro Judeis, wherein he established the principles protecting the religious practices of the Jews within the strict limits of the Law.  The thirteenth century Popes reaffirmed the principles of Gregory I but emphasized the more hostile aspects of his pronouncements.  Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) defined the theological position of the Jews in Christian world thus:

“The Jews’ guilt of the crucifixion of Jesus consigned them to perpetual servitude, and, like Cain, they are to be wanderers and fugitives…the Jews will not dare to raise their necks, bowed under the yoke of perpetual slavery, against the reverence of the Christian faith.”

And yet these same thirteenth century Popes appealed to Christian charity to protect the Jews from excessive persecution.  The theological reasons adduced from this protection were that the Jews were witnesses of the true Christian faith; their very existence was proof of the Gospels and their abasement proof of the triumph of Christianity…Therefore, though the Jews might be oppressed, they must not be exterminated–another example of the strange paradox of tolerance and hatred which has always characterized Christian ambivalence towards Judaism. [3]

This explains the ambivalence of the Church; on the one hand they were promoting a doctrine of intolerance, but at the same time they were placing limits to the manifestation of this intolerance, stopping short of wholesale slaughter.

Spencer, you said:

Historian and Rabbi David Dalin says this: “The historical fact is that popes have often spoken out in defense of the Jews, have protected them during times of persecution and pogroms, and have protected their right to worship freely in their synagogues. Popes have traditionally defended Jews from wild anti-Semitic allegations. Popes regularly condemned anti-Semites who sought to incite violence against Jews.”

This is consistent with what I have said earlier.  It is true that the papacy often stepped in to prevent wanton violence against Jews (such as massacres and forced conversions or baptisms), because–loyal to the doctrine of Witness–they wished the Jews to survive so that they might remain as perpetual serfs.

Professor Mark R. Cohen of Princeton University writes:

In his writings, Augustine articulated the doctrine of “witness,” which, over the centuries, served to justify the preservation of the Jews within Christendom…The Augustinian doctrine of witness, with its pragmatic rationale for accepting Judaism within Christendom, may have restrained Christian intolerance; but it could not efface a fundamental and potentially dangerous ambivalence in early Christianity regarding the other…

Inevitably, Jewry law appeared in pronouncements by the Catholic church…In keeping with both Augustinian doctrine and the protections guaranteed in the bull Sicut Judeis, throughout the Middle Ages the papacy maintained staunch and fairly consistent opposition to forced conversion of the Jews as well as to unwarranted physical brutality toward them.  Indeed, from time to time, a Pope might even add a clause to the “Constitutio pro Judeis” defending the Jews against some new, current threat.  For example, in 1247, Innocent IV reissued his own version of the bull within a year of the first promulgation, adding a section denouncing the newly risen blood libel.

I do not mean to imply that the papacy went out of its way to nurture Jewish life among Christians.  Quite the contrary, during the eleventh, twelfth, and especially the thirteenth centuries, as the papacy struggled to assert its supremacy over secular rulers, it also asserted its authority of the Jews.  This was done by inculcating the complementary ideas of Jewish subservience and inferiority.  Beginning with Pope Innocent III, in 1205, the idea of subservience was expressed in the revival of an old patristic doctrine about the “perpetual servitude” of the Jews, which gave ideological ballast to Innocent’s newly intensified campaign to segregate and subjugate the Jews. [4]

Spencer, you then said:

This is not, as some might think, a strictly modern phenomenon. For instance, Pope Gregory I, who wrote harshly of the Jews’ rejection of Christ, nevertheless issued an edict dictating that Jews “should have no infringement of their rights. … We forbid to vilify the Jews. We allow them to live as Romans and to have full authority over their possessions.” When a bishop in Palermo seized a synagogue and converted it into a church, the building could not be returned to its former owner because it had now been consecrated; however, Gregory ordered the bishop to pay the owners a fair price, so that the Jews “should in no way appear to be oppressed, or to suffer an injustice.” He also forbade forced conversion of Jews, a prohibition later repeated by Gregory IV.

Pope Gregory I’s directives formed the basis of the Jews’ status in Western Europe for a considerable time thereafter.

Indeed, it did.  I completely agree with you Spencer that Pope Gregory I’s directives “formed the basis of the Jews’ status in Western Europe for a considerable time thereafter.”  But again, you are only showing one side of the coin, not the other.  As I quoted above:

The official attitude of the Church had been defined by Pope Gregory the Great (590-604) in his Constitutio pro Judeis, wherein he established the principles protecting the religious practices of the Jews within the strict limits of the Law.  The thirteenth century Popes reaffirmed the principles of Gregory I but emphasized the more hostile aspects of his pronouncements…Though the Jews might be oppressed, they must not be exterminated–another example of the strange paradox of tolerance and hatred which has always characterized Christian ambivalence towards Judaism. [5]

Spencer, you then said:

Pope Alexander II commended bishops in Narbonne and Spain for protecting Jews from attacks by Christians. When would-be Crusaders massacred Jews in Speyer, Worms, Mainz, Cologne, and elsewhere before the First Crusade, it is noteworthy that local bishops often acted to end these slaughters.

Yes, Pope Alexander II stepped in to prevent the wholesale slaughter of Jews by Crusaders.  But you didn’t tell us why.  The reason was, in the words of Pope Alexander II himself, that the Jews–unlike the Muslims–were willing to be the perpetual serfs of the Christians, and thus ought to be tolerated:

[A] Papal pronouncement mentioning Jewish servitude was issued by Alexander II in the middle of the eleventh century…In a letter to the archbishop of Narbonne, the local viscount and the bishops of Spain, Alexander II praised them for protecting the Jews from persecution by knights setting out for war in Spain.  He [Alexander II] wrote:

“…the case of Jews and Moslems is certainly different.  For one may justly fight those who persecuted Christians and drive them from their towns and habituation.  They [the Jews], however, are willing to serve Christians everywhere.”

Alexander II used the service of the Jews as a reason to justify their protection–even though his wording was derived from the pejorative language commonly employed in relation to Jews and Judaism.  The entire phrase was incorporated by Gratian into canon law…

Theologians in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries undermined the civil status of the Jews in both theory and practice.  They made outright statements to this effect, and increased the restrictions on the Jews.  Councils of the Church naturally fell in step, and sometimes used even stronger language [against Jews].  Bernard of Clairvaux, in a letter warning crusaders not to kill Jews, also referred to the punishment the Jews were receiving [i.e. perpetual servitude] for their crime [of killing Jesus].  On another occasion, he stated: ‘There is no more dishonourable or serious serfdom than that of the Jews.  They carry it with them wherever they go, and everywhere they find their masters.’ This view was shared by Rupert of Deutz, Thomas Aquinas and other theologians.  Thomas, among others, drew practical conclusions from the theological argument: ’since by law[!], Jews were subject to perpetual servitude, thus the rulers of the land may receive their property as if it were theirs [the rulers’s]‘ and, since the Jews were the servi of the Church, the Church could dispose of their property. [6]

Spencer you go on to say:

Pope Calixtus II thereafter reaffirmed Gregory’s prohibition of attacks on Jews, and also forbade forced conversion and attacks on synagogues.

Pope Calixtus II had a similar view to Alexander II, in that he goaded Christians to fight the Muslim infidels instead of killing Jews.  (If I were Spencer and this was about Muslims, I would ask: why did Christians have this bloodthirsty desire to slaughter Jews instead of fighting on the front against the enemy?  As I mentioned in my rebuttal, some 100,000 European Jews were slaughtered by the Crusaders. [7]) Again, the entire issue revolved around the Islamic intransigence and the (supposed) Jewish willingness to accept subjugation.  Even though he did protect the Jews from wholesale slaughter, Calixtus II reinforced the Church’s possessory control over Jews:

It is not surprising, then, that Innocent III and his thirteenth-century successors began playing up the theme of Jewish serfdom in an unprecedented fashion.  The veryConstitutio pro Judaeis, first hesitantly enacted by Calixtus II, became an instrument in the hands of his powerful successors for the reassertion of the Papacy’s ultimate control over Jews.  This is why Innocent III, anything but a friend of Jews, considered it his duty to renew that bull on September 15, 1199, within a year after his ascendancy to the see of Saint Peter…The phrasing, quos propria culpa submisit perpetue servituti and sub timore servili became a standard usage in the vocabulary of later popes and canon jurists. [8]

Spencer, you then said:

The popes also held fast against forced conversions and attacks on the Jews. Pope Innocent III, although he condemned Jews as “the sons of the crucifiers, against whom to this day the blood cries to the Father’s ears,” stated: “For we make the law that no Christian compel them, unwilling or refusing, by violence to come to baptism. Too, no Christian ought to presume…wickedly to injure their persons, or with violence to take away their property…”

I almost agree with you Spencer when you say that the papacy “held fast against forced conversions and attacks on the Jews.”  Generally (though not always), that part is true.  However, what you fail to mention is that the papacy argued that although the Jews ought not to be subjected to wanton physical violence (such as “forced conversions and attacks”), they also held that the Jews were to be perpetual serfs; in fact, the only reason the papacy forbade the former was so that the Jews may endure as the latter!  Spencer, you used the example of Pope Innocent III above as a proof that the popes forbade wanton physical violence against Jews.  But Pope Innocent III said all the above because he adhered to the doctrine of Witness (and the belief of Perpetual Servitude); here’s what you didn’t quote from the words of Innocent III:

Crucifiers of Christ [the Jews] ought to be held in continual subjection. [9]

Pope Innocent III relegated the Jews to a status of perpetual servitude, saying:

Christian piety accepts and sustains living with Jews who, by their own guilt, are consigned to perpetual servitude because they crucified the Lord. [10]

And Innocent III said further:

…The Jews, as servants rejected by that Savior Whose death they wickedly contrived, should recognize themselves in fact and in creed the servants of those whom the death of Christ has set free, even as it has rendered them bondmen. [11]

In complete consistency with the doctrine of Witness–and of Perpetual Servitude–Pope Innocent III likened the Jews to Cain, who would not be killed but rather live an existence worse than death, one of shame and misery; Innocent III opined:

The Lord made Cain a wanderer and a fugitive over the earth, but set a mark upon him, making his head to shake, lest anyone finding him should slay him.  Thus the Jews, against whom the blood of Christ calls out, although they ought not to be wiped out, nevertheless, as wanderers they must remain upon the earth until their faces are filled with shame and they seek the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. [12]

So yes, the papacy protected the Jews from annihilation.  (Spencer, if this had been about Muslims, you would have said something nasty like “Muslim mobs had a propensity to annihilate the Jews.” )  The reason for the papal protection was so that the Jews may live in perpetual servitude as a proof of the victory of Christianity over the Jewish serfs.

Spencer, you go on to say:

According to Dalin, “Calixtus’s defense of the Jews, with its promise of continuing papal protection, was reissued at least twenty-two times by successive popes between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries.”

Yes, it was–invariably along with the doctrine of Witness and of Perpetual Servitude.  In fact, “papal protection” was in the form of papal possession.

Spencer, you say:

Pope Innocent IV issued a strong denial of the blood libel

Yes, and he also ordered the King to burn the Talmud, leading to the burning of twelve thousand Jewish religious books, which the Jews would call a religious “catastrophe”. [13] Pope Innocent IV decreed:

[I order] that you [the King] order both the aforesaid abusive books [Talmud]…to be burned by fire wherever they can be found throughout your entire kingdom. [14]

And again, he was a strong proponent of the doctrine of Witness and of Perpetual Servitude; Pope Innocent IV decreed:

The Jews…[have] been punished by the Lord to be slaves as it were, for whose death they sinfully plotted, they shall recognize themselves, as a result of this act, as slaves of those whom the death of Christ set free, and made them slaves. [15]

Spencer, the rest of your post is along the same vein.  You simply cherry picked the good things the popes did, and highlighted those, ignoring all the “evil” they did.  So for instance, if a pope opposed the ritual murder libel (which many did), then you would make sure to mention that, without also discussing how the same pope burned tens of thousands of copies of the Talmud.  If a pope overturned a ban on the Talmud, you would make mention of this, but not mention that the same pope only permitted heavily censored versions of the Talmud to be read.  And so on and so forth.

It is of course a game that you easily play because most of your receptive right-wing audience is ignorant, and unable to see the other side of the coin.  The reality, however, is that the papacy had both a protectionist and intolerant role to play in the treatment of the Jews.  The Jews were protected from wanton physical violence and loss of life, but at the same time severely restricted and forced into perpetual servitude.  The Augustinian doctrine of Witness–and its corollary of Perpetual Servitude–was the papacy’s general attitude towards Jews. To give just a few more examples…

Pope Pius V declared:

We order that, within 90 days, all Jews in our entire earthly realm of justice–in all towns, districts, and places–must depart these regions…their property [to be] confiscated and handed over to the Siscus, and they shall become slaves of the Roman Church, live in perpetual servitude and the Roman Church will have the same rights over them as the remaining [worldly] lords [have] over slaves and property. [16]

Pope Alexander III opined:

Jews ought to be slaves to Christians. [17]

Pope Gregory IX decreed:

We order all our brother bishops absolutely to suppress the blasphemy of Jews in your dioceses, churches, and communities, so that they do not dare raise their necks, bent under eternal slavery, to revile the Redeemer. [18]

And he said further:

They ought to know the yoke of perpetual enslavement because of their guilt.  See to it that the perfidious Jews never in the future become insolent, but that they always suffer publicly the shame of their sin in servile fear. [19]

Pope Innocent III declared:

It is absurd and improper that Jews–whose own guilt has consigned them to perpetual servitude–under the pretext that Christian piety receives them and tolerates their presence should be ingrates [adeo sint ingrati] to Christians, so that they attempt to exchange the servitude they owe to Christians for dominion over them. [20]

Pope Benedict XIV observed:

It is fitting for Jews to serve Christians…The Jews, as slaves rejected by that Saviour Whose death they wickedly contrived, should recognize themselves in fact and in creed the slaves of those whom the death of Christ has set free, even as it has rendered them bondmen. [21]

Keep in mind that Benedict XIV was one of the many popes who condemned the blood libel; yet, at the same time, he was an adherent of the doctrine of Perpetual Servitude.  It is in fact his very loyalty to this doctrine which caused him to prevent the blood libel massacres.  Again, there was a protectionist aspect coupled with great intolerance–all of which typified the Church’s ambivalent attitude towards Jews.

The Church’s doctrine was a seemingly intolerant policy, but in Christian Europe–where Jews lived in a “veritable hell” [22]–it did afford Jews protection from the antagonistic Christian masses.  It should be noted that the papacy often did seek to prevent physical assault on the Jews, but even this was marked by recurrent lapses, and Jews were often expelled at the behest of none other than the pope.  Yet, we ought to be fair and speak in generalities–unlike our opponents who take exceptional cases and posit them as the norm–so we must say that the papacy generally operated to preserve the lives of Jews in order that they serve as perpetual serfs:

The repeated mention of Jewish servitude in papal pronouncements lost none of its pungency; when applied to practical affairs, it lost none of its efficacy…[and] pointedly underscored the…perfidy of the Jews, who were condemned to perpetual slavery (perpetua servitute) because they called upon themselves and upon their children the blood of Christ…the Jews’ own sin subjected them to perpetual servitude, and they should suffer the shame of their sin in servile fear (sub timore servili)…In 1263 Urban IV…consigned both Jews and Moslems to ‘perpetual servitude.’…The servitus of the Jews was repeated by popes and other churchmen. [23]

Spencer, going back to your original reply, let me now deal with what you said here:

In fact, the Popes consistently opposed the persecution of the Jews. This is in sharp contrast to the laws of dhimmitude that are taught by all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence.

It is important here to understand what you mean by the word “persecution.”  If by it you mean discrimination, humiliation, and the like, then in that case the papacy did not at all oppose that.  In fact, they consistently supported the reduction of Jews to a status of perpetual servitude.  But if by “persecution” you mean physical violence (massacres, forced conversions, expulsions, etc.), then in that case it cannot at all be said that the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence condone that.  In fact, the dhimma pact granted the dhimmis protection from such persecution.  So quite the contrary, all four schools of Islamic jurisprudence forbid such persecution, to such an extent that Muslims were obligated to fight to defend the dhimmis should they come under attack.

Therefore, no matter which way we interpret your argument, it is weak.  If you use the former definition of the word “persecution” then in that case the papacy reduced the infidels to a far worse state of degradation than the Islamic clerics ever did–for it was the difference between perpetual servitude/slavery on the one hand and free (albeit second-class) citizenship on the other.  But if you rely on the second definition of “persecution,” in that case it is simply an inaccurate statement, for even the discriminatory Pact of Umar strictly forbade any persecution (i.e. physical violence) against infidels.

Furthermore, it is altogether curious how you first say that “the Popes consistently opposed the persecution of the Jews,” but when sheik yer’mami questioned your statement, you responded by saying “the papal record is not monochromatic” and even listed some of the “bad news.”  Well, which is it?  Do you see how you have contradicted yourself here?

In any case, it is debatable whether or not the papacy was consistent in its prevention of persecution–by either definition.  Yes, the papacy generally reigned in on wanton physical violence, but not always.  Indeed, there were numerous instances in which the Church took part in the expulsion of the Jews. But if we expand our definition of persecution to discrimination (as you seem to do when talking about the realm of Islam), then there is no question at all about the matter: the papacy surpassed the Muslim discrimination by far.

Lastly, it is important to note here that it would be inappropriate to exclusively focus on the papacy, as you have done.  Rather, we must look at the Church overall and the realm of Christianity in general.  The clergy underneath the papacy were generally far more intolerant.  Indeed, when the papacy did step in to prevent wholesale slaughter of Jews, it was often the clergy who were involved in the persecution.  Why should you exclude this from our analysis, Spencer?  The reality is that the actions of the clergy in general–not just the popes–had significant impact on the Jews.  When we take into consideration the fact that the intolerant papacy was the better of the two, one can begin to imagine the plight of the Jews under the even more intolerant clergy.

Moving on, you conclude:

And most importantly, no church is behaving in such ways as are described in this article today, but Islamic jihadists in Gaza and elsewhere have declared their intention to reimpose the dhimma on Jews and Christians when they are able to do so.

Spencer, did I not explicitly say in my rebuttal that I will address the first two points in a follow-up article?  My rebuttal was simply of your third point.  We can debate about the first two points after I churn out my follow up article (which I guarantee will not disappoint).  But until then, let’s focus on the third point instead of trying desperately to move the goalposts.

You made the explicit claim in your book that Jews fared better in Christendom than in the Islamic world, and your implicit argument was that it was a monumental difference between the two, in that one was freedom and dignity loving and the other discriminatory and persecuting.  The reality is that your entire claim is false.

Is it any wonder that your reply did not deal with the actual point I refuted at all?  The reason you were forced to move the goalposts is obvious: you have no leg to stand on.  The entire premise of your line of attack was this made up idea that history was characterized by an evil Islamic menace that terrorized the Jews, Christians, and other non-Muslims. My rebuttal deflated your entire cartoonish paradigm, because it rightly pointed out that the Judeo-Christian tradition that you so champion has been–to use your words and your standards–more “evil”.  When this fact becomes known, that mighty stick you use to beat Muslims over the head with–that dishonest weaponization of history–becomes as useless a blunt object as the daintiest of feathers.

All you ever do is cherry pick the absolute worst examples from Islam and compare them with the cherry picked best examples from Christianity, and then draw erroneous conclusions from this unequal comparison.  This sort of selective and shoddy scholarship typifies your entire ideological camp, and epitomizes your modus operandi.  And it is for this very reason that refuting your book will be ever so easy for me, because I will continue to expose your hypocrisy and absurd double standards.  With regard to this particular issue, if you repeatedly harp on dhimmitude, we will remind you of perpetual servitude, in order that your xenophobia be thwarted.

Perhaps it be that when your own religion and religious community is held to the same absurd standard that you set for Islam and Muslims [24] you might realize the error in your ways.  It is my sincere hope that you reflect on your behavior, and correct yourself.  Robert, I call on you to eschew xenophobia and fear-mongering, opting instead for tolerance and cautious optimism. Do you really want hate to be the sum total of your life’s work?  It is not too late to set your course aright.

Sincerely,
Danios.

Summary:

1. Robert Spencer’s hypothesis is that the Jews were historically (far) better off in the Christian world than the Islamic one. He is wrong about this. Nothing in his counter-reply to my rebuttal addresses this point, making his entire reply extraneous.

2. He claims that the Church never had a doctrine regarding these matters.  He is wrong.  The Church had the doctrine of Witness, and of Perpetual Servitude, as enunciated by the papacy repeatedly.

3. Spencer claims that such discriminatory policies were never applied universally, nor based in Church law.  He is wrong on both counts.  The discriminatory laws were applied almost universally throughout Christendom and were widespread, often originating from the Church’s direct and indirect influence.

4. He claims that the papacy consistently acted to prevent the persecution of Jews.  He is wrong.  Spencer’s own follow up comment directed to sheik yer’mami refutes his claim!  (It’s tough to stay consistent when you have no fidelity to facts.)  Second, the papacy was involved in the expulsion of Jews on numerous occasions, something which by all definitions would be considered persecution, and therefore negates the idea that the papacy was very consistent.

5.  Yes, the papacy did frequently step in to prevent the wholesale slaughter of Jews (from none other than Christians–which Spencer seems to think doesn’t count in our analysis of the Christian and Islamic realms), but it was in order to preserve the Jews as perpetual serfs.

6. Spencer claims that all four schools of Islamic jurisprudence advocate persecution of dhimmis.  He is wrong.  None of them do.  Physical violence, forced conversions, and expulsions against dhimmis were not permitted–which is what the papacy would often reign in on, so we must assume that this is what Robert Spencer is referring to, due to his usage of the words “this is in sharp contrast to…”

7. His last point about Gaza is a red herring designed to move the goalposts.  Spencer’shypothesis–which I refuted–had nothing to do with the situation nowadays.  I simply refuted his argument that Jews were historically treated worse in the Islamic world than in Christendom.  The situation in Gaza today does not prove or disprove the hypothesis.  I have promised to debate this ancillary topic in a future article, but it has no relevance to Spencer’s hypothesis above.  Even if I concede that Muslims today want to reimpose the dhimmitude (which I do not), this would not prove Spencer’s hypothesis that Jews were historically treated better in Christendom than in the Islamic world.

Update: Click here to read my refutation of Cassidy, a frequent visitor to our site.

Footnotes

refer back to article 1. Robert Spencer, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades, 47. ISBN 0-89526-013-1

refer back to article 2. Ibid., 59

refer back to article 3. Rudolph M. Lowenstein, Christians and Jews: A Psychoanalytic Study, 97-98. ISBN 140675868X, 9781406758689

refer back to article 4. Mark R. Cohen, Under Crescent and Cross: Jews in the Middle Ages, 20-38. ISBN 069101082X, 9780691010823

refer back to article 5. Rudolph M. Lowenstein, Christians and Jews: A Psychoanalytic Study, 97-98. ISBN 140675868X, 9781406758689

refer back to article 6. Shlomo Simonsohn, The Apostolic See and the Jews, 98. ISBN 0888441096, 9780888441096

refer back to article 7. David H. Solomon, A History of My Family, 8

refer back to article 8. Salo Wittmayer Baron, A Social and Religious History of the Jews, 137-138. ISBN 0231088469, 9780231088466

refer back to article 9. Innocent III, Epistle to the Hierarchy of France, 7/15/1205, PL 215

refer back to article 10. Norman Roth, Medieval Jewish Civilization: An Encyclopedia, 131. ISBN 0415937124, 9780415937122

refer back to article 11. Nathan Zuckerman, The Wine of Violence: An Anthology on Anti-Semitism. Association Press, 1947. 138

refer back to article 12. Innocent III, Epistle to the Count of Nevers

refer back to article 13. Isaac Unterman, The Talmud: An Analytical Guide to its History and Teachings, 260

refer back to article 14. Lynn Thorndike, University Records and Life in the Middle Ages. Columbia University Press, 1949. 50

refer back to article 15. Shlomo Simonsohn, The Apostolic See and the Jews, 100

refer back to article 16. Pius V, Hebraeorum Gens

refer back to article 17. Third Lateran Ecumenical Council, Canon 26

refer back to article 18. Maurice Pinay, The Plot against the Church. St. Anthony Press, 1967. 651

refer back to article 19. Gregory IX, Epistle to the Hierarchy of Germany

refer back to article 20. Magda Teter, Jews and Heretics in Catholic Poland, 16. ISBN 0521856736, 9780521856737

refer back to article 21. Quoting Pope Innocent III, Etsi Judaeos

refer back to article 22. Nissim Rejwan, Israel’s Place in the Middle East: A Pluralistic Perspective, 47. ISBN 0813016010, 9780813016016

refer back to article 23. Shlomo Simonsohn, The Apostolic See and the Jews, 100-101

refer back to article 24. It is important here to note that I am not at all trying to bash Christianity, Catholicism, or even the papacy. I understand that times were different back then and that the papacy was not “monochromatic”. Furthermore, I certainly do not wish to weaponize history; it would be despicable to use Christian history as a stick to beat Christians over the head with. But detailing Christian history in order to counter the bigotry of some Christian Islamophobes–to bring them to their senses–is a powerful means of exposing the horrific double standards that are at play.

Update

A frequent visitor to our site, Cassidy, tried desperately to respond to my rebuttal, as follows:

Actually Jews in Ireland, Scotland and Wales were treated better than Jews in the Islamic world; Ireland only had one violent incident of anti-semitism in it’s history, the limerick pogrom which took place in the 20th century and was widely criticized outside of limerick. Scotland also provided a sanctuary for Jews fleeing England, here’s a quote from the Scottish declaration of  Arbroath:

“there is neither bias nor difference between Jew or Greek, Scot or English”

My response is as follows:

Not only is everything Cassidy said incorrect, but it is not even in the same ballpark as reality.  Cassidy wrote:

Actually Jews in Ireland, Scotland and Wales were treated better than Jews in the Islamic worlds

1. Ireland:

No record of or reference to Jewish life in Ireland exists up until the eleventh century.  The first mention we have of Jews in the region is in 1079, when five Jews migrated to Ireland, only to be turned back.  Five Jews in Ireland were considered five too many, and a ban on Jewish residency was established:

‘Five Jews’ we read ‘came from over sea with gifts to Toirdelbach, and they were sent back again over the sea’. [25]

Historians lose any reference to Irish Jews for about another century.  In 1174, Jews are afforded the right to exist in Ireland, but only as the property of the King–the familiar theme of Serfs of the Royal Chamber (refer to my rebuttal), the Christian state’s corollary to the Church’s Perpetual Servitude.  In 1290, Jews are expelled from Ireland, and do not return for hundreds of years…until about 1665.  (You’re really making this argument right, Cassidy?)

Upon their return to Ireland, Jews faced severe discrimination, and legislation proposing citizenship for Jews was roundly defeated in 1743.  Irish Jews, like their coreligionists in the rest of Christian Europe, were forbidden from entering guilds–a crushing occupational and financial burden that explains why Jews of Europe had it so much worse than their counterparts in Islamdom (refer here).

In the 1890′s and early 1900′s, antisemitism made a resurgence, resulting in a boycott of Jews and culminating in the Lemirick pogrom which you mention.  In the 1920′s and 30′s, antisemitism reached a fever pitch due to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion conspiracy.  In the 1940′s, thousands of Jews fleeing from Nazi Germany were denied refuge in Ireland.  In the 1960′s, a Jewish synagogue–one of only four in Ireland–was burned down to the ground…It burned to the ground just like Cassidy’s argument that Irish Jews fared better than the Jews of Islam.

We read:

The earliest evidence of Jewish settlement in Ireland is a grant made in 1232 to a certain Peter de Rivall, giving him “custody of the King’s Jews in Ireland.”  In 1290, Irish Jews, like their English brethren, were expelled from Ireland and did not return until around 1655. [26]

And:

Although officially refused residency in 1079, a number of Jews immigrated to Ireland after the Anglo-Norman invasion…The Irish Jews were expelled along with the English Jews in 1290, and with the exception of a few Spanish conversos [Jewish converts to Christianity], there were no Jews in Ireland until the Cromwellian Settlement [during the mid-seventeenth century]…Jews, along with Catholics, were excluded from the guilds in the eighteenth century: Legislation offering Jews citizenship was defeated in 1743…

In the 1890s, there were anti-Jewish demonstrations in Dublin and Cork and a major anti-Jewish boycott and attack in Limerick in 1904.  This mirrored an increase in anti-Semitism…Throughout the 1920s and 1930s…[there was] virulent anti-Semitism premised on the Protocols…During the Holocaust, thousands of entry requests were denied on economic and anti-Semitic grounds.  After the war, a few Jews were admitted. In the 1960s, a Dublin synagogue was set on fire.  To describe modern alienation and exile, James Joyce made the protagonist of his masterpiece Ulysses(1922) a Jew. [27]

And:

Jews are first mentioned as resident in Ireland in eleventh-century documents; Henry II acknowledged their presence (and legitimated it) by assigning custody of the King’s Judaism in Ireland to one of his lords in 1174.  From the time of the Norman Conquest the King’s Judaism meant that the Jews were literally the king’s chattel…Jews were expelled from Ireland, as from England, in 1290 and were resettled in both countries under Cromwell in the mid-seventeenth century. [28]

2. Wales:

Perhaps one of the reasons Cassidy mentions Wales is because there were no Jewish communities in the region up until the eighteenth century, a fact which of course reveals her ignorance on the subject.  Yes, the Jews were treated wonderfully because they did not exist!  (Actually Jews were denied residence.)  Nonetheless, there may have been a few Jews here and there, who were then expelled in 1290:

Jews were expelled from Wales in 1290 with the rest of the Jews in Britain, but in the eighteenth century they began to return. Prior to the Expulsion, there were individual Jews living in places like Caerleon and Chepstow, but Wales was not a hospitable place for Jews, and regions of the country were legally permitted to deny Jews residence. [29]

Subsequently, there is no historical record of any Jewish existence in Wales up until 1665.  The first Jewish community in Wales came into existence as late as the eighteenth century!

3. Scotland

Similarly, “the first reference to a Jewish settler in Scotland is on 1st September, 1665.” [30] The Jewish immigrants faced anti-Jewry laws, as Scotland was under the jurisdiction of the British.  Admittedly, the Scottish Jews faced far less discrimination than their counterparts in the rest of Europe.  For example, they were not barred from universities as in other Christian nations: in 1787, the first Jewish graduate from Glasgow University matriculated, and the first Scottish Jew entered the field of medicine.  [31] (Jews in the Islamic world had always been able to attend university, and had long since excelled in the field of medicine.)

Scottish historian David Daiches argued that Scotland was the only European country in which there was no state persecution of the Jews. [32] At first, this statement would seem to support Cassidy’s stance–yet in reality it is a damning statement of Christendom’s treatment of Jews.  In other words, there was only one small sliver of land–no more than 32,000 square miles–in which Jews were not persecuted by the Christian state…And that too only after the 1700′s when Jewish communities emerged in the area.  To further illustrate the complete absurdity of such a comparison, it is interesting to note that–according to a 2001 census–there are only 6,400 Jews in Scotland…as if the treatment of a handful of Jews can offset the way the great majority of them were treated in Christendom!

Cassidy’s approach typifies the Islamophobic mindset, as I already discussed in my reply to Robert Spencer above:

All you ever do is cherry pick the absolute worst examples from Islam and compare them with the cherry picked best examples from Christianity, and then draw erroneous conclusions from this unequal comparison.  This sort of selective and shoddy scholarship typifies your entire ideological camp, and epitomizes your modus operandi.

Robert Spencer’s argument was that the Jews of Europe were treated better than the Jews of the Islamic world.  Clearly then, we should compare the overall treatment of Jews in all of Christendom, with that of the general treatment of Jews in all of Islamdom.  Instead, Cassidy is trying to foist upon us this unfair comparison, taking the absolute best of Christian Europe and comparing it with that of the absolute worst–or even the average–situation in the realm of Islam.

Even if I were to concede that Irish Jews were treated better than their counterparts in the Islamic world (which I do not!), this would not at all prove Spencer’s claim that the Jews were treated better in Christendom than in the Islamic East, because an exception to the rule (which Scotland clearly was!) can hardly be used in a just comparison.  If Cassidy wants to use the absolute best case scenario under Christendom, then she ought to compare it to the best case scenario in the realm of Islam.  Certainly there were times during Islamic history in which the dhimmis flourished, with little discrimination.

Instead, it is as if the Islamophobes seek to compare the Almohad tyranny with that of the best situation in the realm of Christianity!  This is of course quite typical of their entire approach.  Furthermore, even if I concede that the Jews of Scotland were treated better than the Jews of Islam (which I do not!), then I could argue back that the Jews of Islam were treated better than all of the rest of Europe other than a few thousand Jews on a small sliver of land in a remote corner of the continent!  If perpetual servitude was the miserable lot of Jews throughout all of Europe but a tiny area, what then would be the efficacy of the anti-Muslim battle cry of “dhimmitude”?

In any case, Cassidy would have to prove that the Jews of Scotland were treated better than the Jews of Islam by providing a citation from a reliable academic/historian/expert, as I have done.  I will not simply take her word for it, considering how unbelievably off the mark she was about Ireland and Wales!

Cassidy wrote:

Scotland also provided a sanctuary for Jews fleeing England, here’s a quote from the Scottish declaration of  Arbroath:

“there is neither bias nor difference between Jew or Greek, Scot or English”

This is a deceptive argument, which relies on the reader’s ignorance of said document.  Historians consider the Document of Arboath to have been “royal propaganda.”  It was simply a letter written to the pope to convince him of Scottish independence.  As such, it cannot be used as a reliable indication of what the actual situation was in Scotland:

The unanimity implied by the Declaration of Arbroath was much more apparent than real…The Declaration was primarily a piece of propaganda, directed at an audience both within and outside Scotland. [33]

And:

Such language is dramatic and inspiring but should be read in its context…The letter of the barons was, like these documents, a piece of royal propaganda, presenting a case to the curia[34]

In any case, I am not denying that the Jews of Scotland fared relatively well as compared to their coreligionists in the rest of Europe.  I have already addressed this point above.

To conclude: Cassidy attempted (futilely)  to find a way to overcome my rebuttal, but was unable to.  Her claims–that Jews were treated better in Ireland and Wales as compared to the Islamic world–are comically incorrect.  As for Scotland, she has no proof to verify her claim; furthermore, the condition of a few thousand Jews in Scotland–who only lived there since the eighteenth century–is hardly relevant to a discussion of the historical treatment of Jews in the Middle Ages. As for the treatment of minorities in the modern day, that is an issue I have promised to tackle in a follow-up article.

SECOND UPDATE: First things first, Cassidy is a male, so I apologize for mixing that up in my response above. Secondly, he has conceded the debate, saying: “I admit I was wrong about Ireland, Scotland and Wales.” Well, thank you for your honesty and courage to admit fault.  Cheers.

Footnotes

refer back to article 25. Aubrey Gwynn, The Irish Church in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries. 383. ISBN 1851820957, 9781851820955

refer back to article 26. Mordecai Schreiber, The Shengold Jewish Encyclopedia, 126. ISBN 0520253973, 9780520253971

refer back to article 27. Lelia Ruckenstein, Everything Irish: The History, Literature, Art, Music, People, and Places of Ireland, From A-Z, 211. ISBN 034544129X, 9780345441294

refer back to article 28. Don Gifford, Ulyesses Annotated: Notes from James Joyce’s Ulysses, 40. ISBN 0520253973, 9780520253971

refer back to article 29. Toni Kamins, The Complete Jewish Guide to Britain and Ireland, 107-108. ISBN 0312244487, 9780312244484

refer back to article 30. The Jewish Quarterly, V. 3-5. Jewish Literary Trust, 1972. 30

refer back to article 31. Jewish Virtual Library, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vjw/Scotland.html

refer back to article 32. David Daiches, Two worlds: An Edinburgh Jewish Childhood. Canongate, 1987. ISBN 0862411483, 9780862411480

refer back to article 33. Andrew D.M. Barrell, Medieval Scotland, 122. ISBN 052158602X, 9780521586023

refer back to article 34. Michael Brown, The Wars of Scotland, 218. ISBN 0748612386, 9780748612383

 

Cenk Uygur Obliterates Closet Islamophobe

Posted in Loon TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2009 by loonwatch
Cenk, posing as a Bollywood hero
Cenk, posing as a Bollywood hero

Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks Obliterates Closet Islamophobe

Cenk Uygur, the host of The Young Turks, rips this closet Islamophobe a new one.  I especially like how he made sure to mention George Bush’s intention behind invading Iraq (the Biblical prophecy of Gag and Magog), which resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians.  (But of course those civilians don’t count, since they are brown Moozlems.)

Cenk could have sealed that argument by mentioning the Christian version of Al-Qaeda, none other than the fundamentalist Evangelical Blackwater group, which has killed scores of civilians.  And he could also have mentioned the thousands of Christians who believe in the Joel’s Army theology and the general surge of Christian fanaticism in the U.S. military.

One other point: the conservative loon mentioned the idea that 90% of mosques in America are owned and operated by Saudi Arabia.  This is a blatant lie commonly peddled by Islamophobes.  “But you can google it!”  Believe it or not: but not everything on the interwebs is true.  *gasp*  In fact, the vast majority of mosques in America run on local donations.

Joy "7 million Muslims in the World?" Tiz
Joy “7 million Muslims in the World?” Tiz

Then in that same breath she says that they are funded by the Muslim Brotherhood, when in fact the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood runs contrary to that of the “Wahhabi” (Salafi) strain of Islam followed in Saudi Arabia.

But anyways, I must say that Cenk did a great job (and I give him a 10 out of 10).  Here is the debate:

Cenk vs Conservative [Loon] on Muslims in the Military

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFsV1tHEvzA 300 250]