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Robert Spencer rankled by Muslim rights hearings, blames Muslims for Islamophobia

Robert Spencer

We will be live blogging the hearings tomorrow on Twitter, follow us @ Loonwatchers.

Robert Spencer has a very big problem. Important people in high places are catching on to the fact that Islamophobia is a form of bigotry as vile and dangerous as anti-Semitism. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) plans to consider “measures to protect the rights of American Muslims” in a March 29 hearing. With the recent barrage of Qur’an-burnings, anti-Muslim hate protests, anti-Muslim hate crimes, and White-supremacist-inspired anti-Sharia laws in many states, it only makes sense that a responsible government will move to protect a vulnerable minority. But not if you’re Robert Spencer.

In his latest excuse to hate on Muslims, he writes:

On a day when Islamic jihadists exploded a bomb in Jerusalem that murdered at least one woman and wounded thirty, and when Islamic jihadists opened fire on and killed two Christians outside a church in Pakistan, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) announced that he was going to hold hearings on the rise in “anti-Muslim bigotry.”

This opening paragraph displays the stupidity of Spencer’s thinking: violent fringe extremists strike in far off parts of the world and somehow all Muslims, especially American Muslims, are implicated, and because all Muslims are collectively guilty, we shouldn’t be concerned if peaceful, law-abiding Muslims lose their constitutional rights. Most Jewish people, like Lesley Hazleton, can recognize this as an obvious example of “the stereotyping of millions of people by the actions of a few,” no different than equivalent attacks lobbed against Jews by anti-Semites. In this case, the glaring similarity between Spencer’s Islamophobia and classical anti-Semitism cannot be missed.

Spencer then takes a cheap shot at Rep. Ellison, whose moving testimony displayed the humanity of a people Spencer would like to dehumanize. He writes:

Ellison used the bully pulpit King gave him to paint a lurid picture of Muslim victimhood, all the while saying nothing (of course) about the sharp increase in jihad terror plots in this country over the last two years. How can Durbin top that?

Actually, it was King who was in control of the bully pulpit. Nevertheless, when Muslims criticize government policy or Islamophobic hate, Spencer dismisses all such criticism, valid or not, as simply whiny, Muslim “victimhood.” Once again, Spencer precisely displays the sixth point of the Runnymede Trust’s comprehensive definition of Islamophobia: “Criticisms made of the West by Islam are rejected out of hand.”

Predictably, Spencer claims “Muslims” (meaning all Muslims in all times and all places forever) are solely responsible for the venom spewed at them through politicians, pundits, and countless blogs. Taking the typical ritual shots at CAIR, he writes:

If anyone in the United States today is suspicious of Muslims in general, it is because of those jihadis and others like them – and because of Muslim spokesmen like Keith Ellison and CAIR’s Ibrahim “Honest Ibe” Hooper, who never acknowledge that the Muslim community in the U.S. has any responsibility whatsoever to teach against the jihadist view of Islam that they supposedly reject.

Of course, nearly every mainstream American Muslim organization has led public campaigns against terrorism and extremism: CAIR’S “Not in the name of Islam” campaign, MPAC’s anti-terror campaign, ISNA’s history of counter extremism and promoting tolerance, youtube videos by respected American Muslim leaders, and the list goes on. With respect to CAIR, anyone who wishes can read for themselves what a prominent leader in the organization believes. But none of that matters to Spencer, who plays the game of “six degrees of people who don’t eat bacon” to connect anyone and everyone to the allegedly omnipresent Muslim Brotherhood. He continues:

The “anti-Muslim bigotry” industry, in sum, is generated by Muslims and perpetuated by Muslims. And only Muslims have the power to end that bigotry.

Perhaps, in a Freudian slip, Spencer admits that Muslims are facing a mounting bigotry industry in America; but rather than see this as a problem (because he is a big part of that industry), Spencer wants you to think that Muslims deserve that bigotry. So how can Muslims end such bigotry, you ask?

Here’s how they can do it, if they care to:

1.     Focus their indignation on Muslims committing violent acts in the name of Islam, not on non-Muslims reporting on those acts.

Okay, “if they care” (because, according to Spencer, Muslims need hate crimes to score political points) Muslims should focus all their energy on fringe extremists and basically stop criticizing Islamophobes. Just shut up and take it, alright?

2.     Renounce definitively, sincerely, honestly, and in deeds, not just in comforting words, not just “terrorism,” but any intention to replace the U.S. Constitution (or the constitutions of any non-Muslim state) with Sharia even by peaceful means.

Okay, Muslims should denounce the non-existent conspiracy to overthrow America. Nevermind that even ultra-conservative fatwas (Sharia legal verdicts) demand that Muslims obey American law. Good Lord, this is like asking Jews to denounce the fictional plot of the Elders of Zion! What’s next?

3.     Teach, again sincerely and honestly, in transparent and verifiable ways in mosques and Islamic schools, the imperative of Muslims coexisting peacefully as equals with non-Muslims on an indefinite basis, and act accordingly.

Spencer knows very well that the majority of modern Islamic seminary institutions and the ordinary Muslim masses are not adhering to the 12th century jurisprudence of the Abbasid Empire. Shaykh Al-Azhar Mahmud Shaltut’s treatise, Qur’an and Fighting, makes this perfectly clear (peace is the norm, war is the exception). But again, basic knowledge of facts on the ground threatens to diminish the fat cheques his boss Horowitz cuts for him every month. Anything else?

4.     Begin comprehensive international programs in mosques all over the world to teach sincerely against the ideas of violent jihad and Islamic supremacism.

Academic studies (you know, those conducted and reviewed by real scholars) have shown that terrorist radicalization doesn’t take place in mosques, but that doesn’t stop Spencer from promoting forged statistics and demanding Muslims solve a problem that doesn’t exist. Are you done yet?

5.     Actively and honestly work with Western law enforcement officials to identify and apprehend jihadists within Western Muslim communities.

Spencer probably knows (or should know) that Muslims have been responsible for thwarting numerous terror plots, or that there are plenty of Muslim cops who put their lives on the line every day for their fellow citizens, or that Muslims loyally serve in our country’s armed forces. But none of that is important when your day job is to hate on Muslims, right Spencer?

If Muslims did those five things, voila! “Anti-Muslim bigotry” will evanesce almost immediately!

Guess what, Bob? Muslims have done all those things and more, but you intentionally hide these facts from your gullible conspiracy-minded audience, lest your network of closed-information systems dissolve in light of the truth. Hence, the obvious need for Durbin’s hearings, which are bound to strike a devastating blow to your hate-filled machinations.

Reza Aslan was right. The day is growing closer when people will catch on to your scheming and these hearings are bringing that day even closer. Perhaps one day we will wake up and, Viola! Anti-Muslim bigotry will evanesce almost immediately! But that would put you out of a job wouldn’t it?

Better start working on your résumé, Bob.

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  • Dawood

    @Ryan: The chapter is discussing issues related to the emancipation of slaves etc., so entirely irrelevant today anyway.

    Al-Hidayah was a comprehensive legal text written around 1150AD. The reason the Islamophobes are using it is simply because none of them have enough Arabic ability to use the sources directly, so had to wait on the excellent academic translation by Nyazee, which included this section in its entirety. Their usual “text of choice”, the translated Reliance of the Traveller, leaves the section of this classical text (it’s from around 1350) in its original Arabic only as it is entirely irrelevant today, with no scholars – perhaps besides the equivalent Muslim “loons” – even mentioning such things as society has changed from the Middle Ages!

  • Ryan

    I was wondering if you could show me the verses of hidiyah vol II book 9 chapter 1. It seems to be the latest weapon in the islamophobe arsenal

  • corey
  • corey

    you know I think that sounds like they have been playing the metal gear games and have taken some ideas from the games plot.

  • Tarig
  • Tarig

    //I absolutely agree. Every single article here, not to mention every article on the net that appears to say something positive about Islam/Muslims and allows comments, is literally bombarded with propagandist damage control spin doctors intent on spreading deliberate lies about Islam and “defending the cultural values of Western Civilization” against the menacing encroachment of Mooooslims and our Religion.//

    I recently saw a news program about a new computer software that is designed to do exactly that, find sites that don’t suit the US political narrative and bombard it with propoganda! Maybe AJ is actually right when he refers to them as “it”!

  • corey

    yeah I guess there is such a parallel to burning a koran and indirectly causing a riot, to being arrested for not giving up a bus seat for a white guy and causing for a boycott of bus transportation to reform its policies.

  • corey

    then can we blame the bible for something extremists do whenever they use it as justification for there actions.

  • My point exactly Garo, if there was the merest hint, that Mosque would be gone.

  • Is it just me or did two of my posts get deleted here because of a link to defendtheprophet, which had an article showing the ICNA response to Anwar al-Awlaki?

    I also tried to post some links from there that didn’t go through. Perhaps it is being registered as spam or was blocked by mistake. :/

  • Khushboo

    Good point Garo. I have a couple of questions for the islamophobes out there:

    If there are a few students who take drugs and go to the same high school, would you shut the whole school down?? Would you blame the teachers for influencing them?? Would you call other students who know them junkies??

    NO right?

    Then why try to shut down a mosque b/c of a few bad apples, why blame Islam or mosque for influencing the bad guys, why accuse any innocent Muslim of wrongdoing just because they know these guys??

    I’ve seen this so many times, it’s sickening!!

  • Garo

    If the claims against Dar Al-Higrah Mosque and its former Imam,Anwar Awlaki,who is currently “fugitive” in Yemen are true,why the U.S.government has refrained from closing the Dar Al-Higrah Mosque and has not bothered to extract Imam Awlaki from Yemen whos President Ali Abdallah Salih is an American ally against Al-Qaeda? Extremism instigates hate crimes. Hate crimes have been outlawed in the U.S.

    President Salih and the CIA have been in bed for,at least,the last 23 years since he ascended to power in Northern Yemen 30 years ago and succeeded in united his Northern Yemen with its then opponent and Marxist leaning South Yemen for the last 23 years.

    President Salih’s Mukhabarat,(Secret Service for Intelligence),could have easily located the whereabout of the “fugitive?”,Imam Awalki,and could have arrested him and handed him to the CIA to be brought to the U.S. and had his day in the court.

    Since none of all of the above has taken place so far,I refuse to pass judgment on either Dar Al-Higrah or Imam Awalki. Period.

    Beside,I wish to compare the preaching of Dar Al-Higrah Mosque’s and Imam Awalki preaching with the preachings of some Christian churches in Texas and Florida,namely the preaching of Pastor John Hagee of San Antonio Texas and Tom Jones of Gainsville,Florida. Those two are only of so many other preachers that their preaching has been strongly condemned by decent and self-respecting Americans and yet they still contaminate the TV waves and hate radio waves daily.

    Therefore,before anyone starts happily jumping into conclusion of guilt about Dar Al-Higrah Mosque and Imam Awalki,he or she must look into his or her own backyard,long and hard.

    Rushing to judgment is delusional. Delusion can certainly be destructive.


  • *Islam being essentially violent……whoops!

    Allahu A’lam

    “This sacred knowledge shall be borne by reliable authorities from each generation, who will preserve it from the distortions of extremists, the plans of the corrupt and the false explanations of the ignorant.” (Narrated mursal by Al-Bayhaqi in Kitab al-Madkhal on the authority of Ibrahim bin ‘Abd al-Rahman al-’Udhri.)

  • Stephen G. Parker,

    In one sense defendtheprophet is my site. I read it avidly, and “contribute” to it, but I don’t post there and have not written any articles for them yet, since I don’t have a formal relationship with the owners/operators/admins of the site. You may have the site confused with my blogs. I haven’t posted anything in a month but I am working on a 15 part piece for one blog and and 2 articles for the other one: one on the idea of pedophilia and child marriage and it’s “relation” to Islam, used as a slander against Prophet Muhammad(saws), and another on the idea of violence being essentially violent. I hope you read them and enjoy it. If you were referring to that, I appreciate your kindness. If not, I appreciate it anyway.

    As for al-Awlaki it seems that part of the “radicalization” process for him involved his stay and treatment in prison. On that there are a few parallels with him an Syed Qutb, not the least of them being his new neo-Kharijite ideology.

    Allahu A’lam

    “This sacred knowledge shall be borne by reliable authorities from each generation, who will preserve it from the distortions of extremists, the plans of the corrupt and the false explanations of the ignorant.” (Narrated mursal by Al-Bayhaqi in Kitab al-Madkhal on the authority of Ibrahim bin ‘Abd al-Rahman al-’Udhri.)

  • muhammad ‘abd-al haqq – Thanks for your kind words, and thanks for mentioning your article on your site. I check out your “Defend the Prophet” site every day and avidly read whatever you post; so I did a search and found the article about Anwar al-Awlaki and read it with interest. I had read elsewhere (but I can’t remember where) something similar, stating that when he was an Imam in the USA he had strongly opposed violence and terrorism. Whatever caused the change since then, it does not appear likely that he would have been giving any support to supposed Arab terrorists prior to 9/11. He wasn’t preaching “extremism” then; and the mosque was not then or now “extremist”.

    This is the second time I’ve tried to send this comment, so I guess the Loonwatch site is have some problems with the comments at this time.

  • Mosizzle Says:
    March 30th, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    “Lol. Just be careful with your collection. Last thing you want is the FBI busting into your house ;)”

    Oh yeah. I am well aware of the possibilities 🙂 I’m sure they are monitoring me anyway. 🙂

    May Allah protect me.

    Allahu A’lam

    “This sacred knowledge shall be borne by reliable authorities from each generation, who will preserve it from the distortions of extremists, the plans of the corrupt and the false explanations of the ignorant.” (Narrated mursal by Al-Bayhaqi in Kitab al-Madkhal on the authority of Ibrahim bin ‘Abd al-Rahman al-’Udhri.)

  • Khushboo

    Also, please keep in mind that I’m sure Melvin Bledsoe is in desperate need of help for his son who’s facing the death penalty. Instead of blaming his adult son or his lack of parenting skills, he wants to blame Muslims so that his criminal son could get some sort of sympathy. The Hearing would be a great platform for him to speak out for his son and by hiding behind the “My poor gullible son got brainwashed” card.

  • Mosizzle

    Lol. Just be careful with your collection. Last thing you want is the FBI busting into your house 😉

    I think Danios’ future article on Jihad will be very useful to forward to any extremists in Islamic forums. That way we can deal with both people who are misrepresenting our faith.

    And you are right about the extremist using the logic of “the ends justify the means” (as long as the goal is good, you can do whatever you want to achieve it) and there is emphasis that civilians can be killed because they voted for their government and are responsible for their actions. Any child can prove that is wrong — how can they confirm that everyone on the plane voted for the government?

  • Mosizzle,

    “Other comments seem to be missing too..”

    Maybe it is the comments template then, a problem with the site. In another thread everything posted appears in italics.

    “By the way, he has an interesting interview on Al-Jazeera where he gets called out for supporting an attack on a civilian target which he justifies using the logic of “two wrongs make a right” and cites the Muslim casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

    I have saved interviews and writings and transcripts of what the major leaders of the Extremists have said. I remember seeing the al-Jazeera interview, and I have alot of stuff on al-Awlaki.

    Not that I admire, support, or agree with Extremists 🙂 I just have a project documenting what they say, because I know they can be refuted on Islamic theological grounds. It’s important that we know how the Extremists justify themselves Islamically so we can refute them and educate other Muslims, and inform non-Muslims.

    “Islamophobes make it seem like Quran 9:5 gives him permission to kill anyone when necessary whereas Awlaki knows he doesn’t have Quranic justification for the actions so he resorts to this.”

    I have noticed from my early days as a revert that Extremists twist two principles of Shari’ah to justify their actions:

    1. “Necessity renders the haram halal” or “Necessity makes the forbidden permissible”

    2.”A change in conditions necessitates a change in the rulings”

    Allahu A’lam

    “This sacred knowledge shall be borne by reliable authorities from each generation, who will preserve it from the distortions of extremists, the plans of the corrupt and the false explanations of the ignorant.” (Narrated mursal by Al-Bayhaqi in Kitab al-Madkhal on the authority of Ibrahim bin ‘Abd al-Rahman al-’Udhri.)

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