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The Blog Wars: Robert Spencer Goes Postal on Charles Johnson

Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer

The blog wars have started again. Charles Johnson, seems to have gotten under the skin of good ole’ Robert Spencer once more. In a recent post on Little Green Footballs, Johnson lays out the top 10 reasons he has parted ways with the Right-wing, of which he was formerly a solid member. He writes in his ninth reason that he left the Right because of,

9. Anti-Islamic bigotry that goes far beyond simply criticizing radical Islam, into support for fascism, violence, and genocide (see: Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, etc.)

Spencer, takes umbrage at being accurately described as a bigot and responds with what can only be described as a volley of insults calling Johnson a “CAIR tool,” “libelblogger” who has “betrayed all his principles, friends, and associates.” He also plays the victim card and states that Johnson is a thug who is inciting his followers to hate and frenzied hysteria,

The thuggish libelblogger incites his sycophants and whips them into a frenzy of hate.

It is pathetic and ironic to watch Spencer, who we have exposed as a persistent Islam hater, Muslim basher, disingenuous liar, supporter of Euro-Supremacism and neo-Fascism to project onto his ex-ally, his own failings. Spencer, along with the rest of the Right-wing is in the throes of a strange evolution that sees it devolving into a group of hate-filled conspiracy theorists who either have to reform and transform or will remain defeated, forced by their own hand to witness the slow migration of its more sane and rational members to other platforms.

Spencer ends his diatribe by waxing ineloquent and asks,

One can only wonder what sickness of soul would lead this man to devote so much time and effort to lying about other people and trying to destroy them.

“Sickness of soul” indeed. The irony is overwhelming. Spencer is one of the biggest liars in the blogosphere, he has a whole website devoted to bashing Islam and skewing reality while destroying anyone who disagrees with him. All Johnson did was write a single sentence about Spencer, yet it seems it is enough for Spencer to think Johnson is stoking a (excuse the term) crusade against him. It seems some one’s conscious is bothering them.

Meanwhile, in the same post one of Spencer’s supporters takes a shot at LoonWatch. After deleting one commenters link to a LoonWatch truth piece on Spencer, Darcy writes,

lol,You think we would actually check out the repellent, idiotic, “loonwatch?”

Only loons go there, like you. Take your trash elsewhere, loonatic (misspelling deliberate).

The truth hurts. The fact is Spencer and his drones can’t bear to feel the fire, and are despondent at ever adequately and substantively rebutting any of the facts provided here on LoonWatch, such as the latest piece by Danios which all but obliterates Spencer’s Dhimmi argument.

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  • notascam

    Hey this website isn’t about bird watching!

  • DrM

    You nailed it, Nissa. Pagan doesn’t like Spencer when it comes to his own “religion” but agrees with the him when it comes to Islam. Sounds hypocritically petty to me. He also obscured the history of Kashmir and Bosnia. These idiots all recycle each other horse manure…the stench is recognizable.

  • Nissa

    @Pagan
    Your comment makes no sense. You say Muslims can’t propagate Islam through the media and therefore when they commit any crimes or atrocities this is well known…then you bring up Kashmir and Serbia where like I said before it has been overwhelmingly Muslims who have suffered.

    You ignore their suffering and try to pain them as the aggressors in both regions? In case you don’t know…Muslims were ethnically cleansed from Serbia..and as for Kashmir, please! Muslims in that region are Kashmiri, they have had a strong and distinct identity for centuries (like a lot of Indian states) and everyone knows they are Muslim. I don’t know what media you watch but Indian media always always mentions their Muslim identity, it is a key reason for them wanting autonomy. No doubt there has been a lot of animosity and the removal of Hindu priests and citizens is wrong but they are also living in a militarised zone, under occupation by the Indian army, men are ‘disappeared’ regularly, women raped and people living in poverty and displacement also. Why wouldn’t they want autonomy? since the early 80s things have deteriorated there and that is mainly due to the Indian and Pakistani leadership and a complete lack of concern by the international community.

    Also, as an anthropology student your ‘red indian like tribes with head dresses and all’ really tells me all I need to know about you.

  • pagan

    “I’m confused…Muslims are not that sophisticated so we know about the atrocities being committed against them? All the countries you mention are those in which the majority of victims and the oppressed are Muslims.”

    By Nissa

    “Where? And which church is protecting the murderers?”

    By Andrew Brehm

    Answer to Nissa : Muslims are not sophisticated enough to control mass media and spread propaganda about islam, and therefore news does come out as to who the real perpetrators are. (Such is not the case with christianity, which controls TV channels and newspapers. Yes, I know about the existence of Q(stands for Qoran) TV, but it is not a part of Main Stream Media.) For example, in India Kashmir is the only state where muslims are a majority, and they have literally kicked out the Hindus from that state. About half a million of Hindus are living as refugees in their own country while government after government mollycoddles the muslims referring to them as “Kashmiris” (never once stating that they are muslims). And oh, they are also asking for a seperate country. The same story in Serbia.

    Answer to Andrew Brehm : There is a state in India called as Nagaland. It is in the North East India, and cut off from mainstream India. These people had very little to do with the independence movement (Brits), and even the muslim invaders did not reach this place. The state was comprised of tribals, literally Red – Indian like tribes complete with head dresses and all. Then the Baptists (from America) heard of this place, and now it is 95% Baptist. The state of Mizoram that adjoins this state, is also 87% Christian. And both of them want independence. Recently the true saved people (christians) displaced thousands of Hindu tribals of Mizoram, for being heathens.

    No TV channel reports on news from the North East India. Nobody. Do you know why ? The major news channels of India are controlled by churches. There is NDTV, with Prannoy Roy being its owner and head, only thing is, his full name is Prannoy James Roy and he is a Catholic. There is yet another mainstream channel in India and that is CNBC controlled by Rajdeep Sardesai, another christian who hates the guts of Hindus. Now these people are Catholics, yet they support their Baptist brothers by not reporting on these issues.

  • HGG

    “Does anyone know what Johnson’s new views are?”

    He really, really dislikes Creationism/Intelligent Design, and writes many posts against it. He’s also a strong supporter of Anthropogenic Global Warming. More than expressing his own views, he goes against the most visible members of the Dumb Right like Beck, Palin, Bachmann, Teabaggers, etc.

    Regarding Muslims, he posted about the Ft. Hood killing with minimal commentary. But he has also posted about other examples of Christian extremisn, so it’s not as if he ignores them as *other* bloggers do.

  • Andrew Brehm

    “Christians are killing animists big time in Africa, and Asia, but they are not reported because the churches control quite a lot of media.”

    Where? And which church is protecting the murderers?

  • nat

    This guy has been too influential for far too long. Not because its difficult to rebut his arguments – it’s not – mostly because he is a repetitive drone who will wear you down with his hate filled and well rehearsed screeds. Loonwatch’s consistency at keeping the fire at his feet is going to finally do him in, God willing.

    If his hate is even too much for Charles Johnson who is no friend of the Muslims, then thats a great sign. Who does Spencer still have at his side? Pam Gellar, the neo-Nazi lover? I think the end is nigh.

  • Nissa

    ” I may get based for this, but I agree with Spencer on islam. I know that most conflicts in the world involve either christians or muslims. Christians are killing animists big time in Africa, and Asia, but they are not reported because the churches control quite a lot of media. The muslims are not that sophisticated, and therefore we know about Kashmir, Serbia, Chechenya, and Palestine.”

    I’m confused…Muslims are not that sophisticated so we know about the atrocities being committed against them? All the countries you mention are those in which the majority of victims and the oppressed are Muslims.

    So fundamentalist Christianity is the mirror opposite of Islam? Last time I checked, I hadn’t killed anyone and I am not a ‘fundamentalist’,I am however a very committed Muslim.

  • pagan

    I used to hang around jihadwatch a lot, and there are a few points that I would like to make –

    1. Robert Spencer never said openly that he is funded by David Horowitz. He gets $10,000/month from the foundation that Horowitz runs, but Robert kept making out that he was dependent on book sales and donations.

    2. Robert Spencer also keeps trying to whitewash the bloody history of the church in Europe, and openly advocates turning Turkey into Byzantium (read his posts on Byzantium, and you will understand he is longing for the glory of the crusaders).

    3. Spencer never tolerates any comment against any church. Post one and you are history on his blog. He makes out that christianity, or judeo-christianity is the perfect faith. He does allow hateful lies about Pagans, though, like they were barbarians, and killed their children, etc.

    4. I may get based for this, but I agree with Spencer on islam. I know that most conflicts in the world involve either christians or muslims. Christians are killing animists big time in Africa, and Asia, but they are not reported because the churches control quite a lot of media. The muslims are not that sophisticated, and therefore we know about Kashmir, Serbia, Chechenya, and Palestine.

    I don’t like Spencer because he is a mirror image of islam – and that is fundamentalist christianity. I don’t think that we would be better off turning christians, just like we would not be having a nice time living under sharia.

  • This episode has been very entertaining. Spencer’s spluttering is beyond absurd. I hope more people realize what dangerous ground they’ve been treading and come to their senses like Charles Johnson did.

  • retaane

    Robert Spencer has a NEW name “Robert Sphincter”

  • Imad

    Well, I can see Spencer responds well to criticism :p

  • Zingel

    Nabeela,

    Spencer is mostly funded by David Horowitz, who in turn is funded by a lot of unsavory characters which we will get into in the near future.

  • Dan

    “And yes, I apologize on behalf of my race (half, anyways) of Ionian Greeks that any Ionian could have ever given birth to something as disgusting as Robert Spencer.”

    Isn’t he a Melkite Catholic from Lebanon?

  • In continuation of my above post, I would like to quote Majid Khadduri a respected Western scholar on jihad, who Robert Spencer quotes unbelievably selectively in order to grant his ideological bigoted views some academic legitimacy. Khadduri, in fact, describes the juristic disagreements with regards to international relations in precisely the same way I did above. He describes how in the early period there was disagreement whether the jihad-mandate included non-aggressive unbeleivers and maps the development to the stage that the Shafiite view that it does was generally accepted in the eleventh century (although in the early period scholars like Ibn Umar, Thawri, ibn Abi Rabah, Amr Ibn Dinar, Sahnun, Ibn Shibrima, Ibn Abd al-Barr explicitly opposed it and others like Tahawi and Awza’i seem to have taken a middle position). But following this acceptance of the Shafiite view after the initial disagreements, the Hanafite permanent truce came to be accepted, making permanent peace an easy possibility and in fact an actualised reality with the Ottomans and the French. Khadduri writes:

    “We have seen how Abu Hanifa and his disciples, especially Shaybani, laid down general rules and principles governing Islam’s external relations, based on the assumption that a normal state of war existed between Islamic and non-Islamic territories; but they made no explicit statements that the jihad was a war to be waged against unbelievers solely on account of their disbelief (kufr). On the contrary, the early Hanafi jurists seem to have stressed that tolerance should be shown unbelievers, especially scriptuaries, and advised the Imam to prosecutre war only when the inhabitants of the dar al-harb came into conflict with Islam [note by Khadduri: “this was the view of Malik, Awza‘i and other early jurists”; me: these early jurists included Ibn Umar, Thawri, ibn Abi Rabah, Amr Ibn Dinar, Sahnun, Ibn Shibrima, Ibn Abd al-Barr].

    It was Shafi‘i who first formulated the doctrine that the jihad had for its intent the waging of war on unbelievers for their disbelief and not merely when they entered into conflict with Islam. The jihad was thereby transformed into a collective duty enjoined on Muslims to fight unbelievers “wherever you may find them” (9:5), although not every Muslim was necessarily obligated to fight. This legal principle provoked a discussion among Shafi‘i’s contemporaries and led to a division of opinion among the Hanafi jurists who followed Shaybani. Some, like Tahawi (d. 993), adhered more closely to the Hanafi doctrine that fighting was enjoined only in conflict with unbelievers; but Sarakhsi (d. 1097), the great commentator on Shaybani’s works, accepted the Shafi‘i doctrine that fighting the unbeliever was “a duty enjoined permanently until the end of time” (The Islamic Law of Nations, pp. 57-8). The normalisation of this doctrine was thus reached in the eleventh century (the Hanbali and Maliki madhhabs had little to say with regards to international relations so would borrow from the other two madhhabs). Khadduri goes on to describe how even when this jihad-mandate had become a fiqh norm, the principle of a permanent truce became widely accepted, making peaceful coexistence and mutual recognition an easy possibility. In fact Khadduri goes on to say Ottoman-European relations in terms of the 1535 treaty prefigured the modern laws of nations.

    “[A] significant change in the relationship of Islam with other nations was the adoption by Islam of the principle of peaceful relations among nations of different religions, replacing the classical principle of the permanent state of war between Islamic and non-Islamic territories. The jihad, as we noted earlier, became inadequate as a basis for Islam’s relations with other nations. Peace treaties extending beyond the ten-year period provided under the classical law of nations necessarily replaced the jihad as a normal relationship between Islam and other states [me: and this was permitted by the jurists of that time like Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Nawawi, Ibn Muflih all from non-Hanafi madhhabs].

    The most notable instrument that recognised peace as the normal relationship between Islamic and non-Islamic states was the Treaty of 1535, concluded by Sultan Sulayman the Magnificent with Francis I, the King of France. The treaty provided quite a few innovations in relationship between Islam and other nations. The preamble treated the King of France and his envoys on an equal footing with Sultan Sulayman and his representatives. Article I provided for the establishment of “valid and certain peace” between the Sultan and the King “during their lives” and granted the subjects of each sovereign reciprocal rights in the territory of the other…Article 15 stated that such privileges would be extended to other sovereigns if they adhered to the treaty, thereby indicating that the Sultan sought to establish a principle applicable to other Christian princes…Nor was this all. The treaty modified yet another classical principle by exempting from the poll taks French subjects who resided in the Ottoman Empire, even for a period exceeding one year” (The Islamic Law of nations, pp. 62-4)

  • Nabeela

    Oooops, mistake above….In my post above, the last 4th paragraph beginning “how much do you want to bet” was meant to be the last paragraph. It was speaking about Spencer, not Charles Johnson.

    My apologies.

  • Nabeela

    Zingel,

    Thank you for this. Who actually funds Spencer? In the climate of fear after 9/1 lots of people reacted with shock. It’s understandable that the reaction by the likes of Charles Johnson would be one of anger and fear. But as time goes by and you learn more and question your beliefs, most people let the better/rational part of themselves prevail.

    Of course there is a difference between attacking those who are distorting the faith, and making generalising statements for an insiduous purpose.

    Another thing, I don’t think Charles Johnson was motivated by money, nor is he an Israel firster.

    How much do you want to bet, that if someone were to offer him a fat sum of money to write anti-semitic or other anti material he would. However that wouldn’t pay much in the USA in the current climate.

    Muzammil,

    Thannk you for this historical review of Jihad. Of course, Spencer would delete it, he doesn’t want truth, he wants food for his bigoted readers.

    I have also read somewhere (i forget which madhab) that in the early days, conquering lands was the only way of spreading the Quran, that was the only motivation of the early Islamic conquests.

    These days however, the internet is used for dawa, even the societies that have not yet completely modernised their countries use the internet for Dawa, therefore that can’t be used for a reason these days. Indeed Dawa is still very successful not just by internet but other means, print etc.

    Lex,

    There is no need for you to apologise 🙂 Nobody is blaming Greeks, for this, it’s not a racial problem.

    Spencer is a plain bigot, motivated by money. How much do you want to bet that he would quickly drop Islamophobia if it wasn’t financially lucrative for him?

  • You guys do such good work that I don’t even blog anymore!! Sheesh!! I hadn’t even noticed this stuff. Now I’ll have to backtrack a bit, I bet the comments were hilarious (as usual) in these posts.

    And yes, I apologize on behalf of my race (half, anyways) of Ionian Greeks that any Ionian could have ever given birth to something as disgusting as Robert Spencer.

  • Hello there,

    It was me that Spencer decided to block from commenting on JW. He had a pseudo-freedom-to-comment policy which clearly does not include honest informed devestating truth.

    Even when I emailed him, the answers he provides are extremely selective (i.e. he sidesteps the question) or refuses to answer altogether using excuses like me calling him a “liar”.

    My email was intended to destroy his main argument which attempts to reduce “jihad” to the position that he attributes to “all sects and schools of jurispudence” of waging war against unbelievers until they submit either through conversion or willingness to pay the jizya. I pointed out that from the period of 700 to 1100 AD there were influential mujtahidin and ulama who held the view that jihad was only a mandate to defend Muslim land and discretionary (nafila/tatawwu) when it involved those not directly involved in fighting Muslims. These ulama included Amr ibn Dinar, Sufyan al-Thawri, Ata ibn Rabaha, Sahnun, ibn Shibrima, Ibn Abdu l-Barr, some who had their own schools of jurispudence and others who followed the Maliki school. In fact, Imam Malik himself said based on a sahih hadith in Abu Dawud the Abyssinians and Turks may not be attacked; hence this view that the jihad-mandate to convert or subjugate all unbelievers did not exist in the early formulations of the Maliki school. Hence Spencer’s analysis that this was the view of “all sects and schools” is objectively false.

    Later however upon the consolidation of the fiqh schools the prominent Shafiite view became accepted by the majority that the jihad in one aspect (the fard kifaya, collective aspect) was a collective duty to war with the disbelievers after inviting them to Islam in order to subjugate or convert. So you’ll see most books quoting this appear during or after the eleventh century. However in this period the Hanafi and Ja’fari view that a hudna may be permanent became more widely accepted amongst jurists of all madhhabs. Ibn al-Qayyim a prominent Hanbali scholar of the fourteenth century outlined the dominant view of the hudna mutlaqa (or unrestricted/unlimited hudna which may only be revoked like a business partnership on mutual agreement). This explains the Ottoman-French treaty in the sixteenth century in which the king and the caliph were considered to be “equals” and there was “mutual recognition” and “peaceful co-existence”, all things contrary to Spencer’s essentialist reading of the fiqh of jihad.

    In the modern period, Spencer really does have to clutch at straws. Those who hold to the broad jihad ideology of the past include the Wahhabi and Deobandi scholars but even they reject the irregular fanatical terroristic methods of the non-scholarly jihadists. None of them, Bin Laden, Qutb, Zawahiri, Zarqawi, Abu Musab Abdel Wadud, Abd Salam Faraj, and other actors and architects of global terroristic jihadism are ulama or recognised scholars – rather they have secular education as literary critics, engineers, mathematicians, doctors etc. And the ulama of their own orientation like Albani and the Saudi Wahhabis (like al-Ouda, bin Baz, Uthaymin) strongly oppose them.

    More importantly, many ulama of today reject the classical jihad ideology as a consequence of the political reality of that time, not actual scriptural law. Instead jihad in its essence according to the Qur’an is defence of the Muslim polity and to remove oppression of the weak and downtrodden. These ulama who reject the classical abrogation scheme of the Qur’an and embrace the early Maliki orientation are truly in the mainstream e.g. Mahmud Shaltut, Abd al-Wahhab Khallaf, Abd al-Hafiz Abd Rabbih, Sayyid Sabiq, Mustafa al-Sibai, Muhammad Muhammad al-Fahham, Muhammad Abdulla al-Darraz, Ali Ali Mansur, al-Zuhayli, Abu Zahra (all quoted here: http://allahisalmighty.blogspot.com/2009/10/violence-in-judaism-christianity-and.html ), and from the West Hamza Yusuf, Zaid Shakir, Abd al-Hakim Murad and from the East Ml Wahiduddin Khan, Abu l-Hasan Ali Nadwi, Ml Yusuf Nomani. All of these are ulama, many directors of famous Islamic institues (like Azhar, Damascus University) and others international scholars (like Abu l-Hasan Nadwi and Wahba Zuhayli). But Spencer refuses to engage these ulama. Instead he sees fit to engage non-ulama when it suits his fancy. But when peaceful Muslims make a case, he refuses to acknowledge it as authoratative or a successful “form of Islam” as it does not conform to some medieval book like umdat al-salik. In other words, non-ulama jihadists don’t need authoratative backing but peaceful Muslims (who do have this backing in reality) do need it but through Spencer’s selective lens.

    These points certain objectively falsify Spencer’s parochial conclusion that “all sects and school” preach the jihad ideology, and he forgets to show that even those ulama who do advocate it today reject irregular jihadism.

    Read my article in refutation of Spencer’s narrow view on jihad: http://allahisalmighty.blogspot.com/2009/10/violence-in-judaism-christianity-and.html

  • iSherif

    An article a day keeps Robert Spencer away… 🙂

  • Danios

    Good stuff. Does anyone know what Johnson’s new views are? Has he come back to the liberal fold? If so, we should welcome him.

  • Ustadh

    Keep the fire at their feet. I am glad to see Johnson drop his former anti-Islam position and repudiate Spencer and company so strongly.
    I agree, Spencer seems more and more pathetic.
    Good job guys.

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