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In Defense of Demonization: Frontpage’s lame defense of Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer

By now you probably have read all the details concerning the terrorist attack in Oslo, Norway. This attack has shined a spotlight on the demonization of Muslims at the hands of anti-Muslim bloggers we have profiled on this site. For example, the NY Times published a devastating expose of the shooter’s ideological ties to Robert Spencer. The evidence is so damning that Spencer is in a panicked state of damage control. So his friends at Frontpage Magazine have jumped to defend his Islamophobic enterprise, an apologia worthy of a detailed response from Loonwatch.

The article begins with some whining about how poor Spencer is the victim of the lamestream media:

No tragedy goes long without exploitation, and the atrocities in Norway are no exception to that rule.

Spencer spends his days exploiting bad news about Muslims, but when the news reflects poorly on him and he is criticized, it suddenly becomes exploitation?

Is silencing researchers who have put years of effort into exposing networks of radicals the right response to a terrorist attack? No reasonable person would think so. But that is exactly what media outlets like the New York Times and the Atlantic are trying to do.

Who is silencing Robert Spencer? Has his website been shut down? Is he prevented from publishing more books? Rest assured that Spencer’s first amendment rights are intact. The problem here is that Frontpage is cynically playing victim; they cannot distinguish between being fairly criticized and actually being denied rights.

Now let’s turn to the voluminous citations from Spencer found in the Shooter’s manifesto:

The “64 times” cited by the Times and its imitators reflects lazy research since the majority of those quotes actually come from a single document, where Spencer is quoted side by side with Tony Blair and Condoleezza Rice.

See, Spencer was only cited 64 times making the argument (unlike Blair and Rice) that terrorism is an essential aspect of mainstream Islam.

Quite often, Robert Spencer is quoted providing historical background on Islam and quotes from the Koran and the Hadith. So, it’s actually Fjordman quoting Spencer quoting the Koran. If the media insists that Fjordman is an extremist and Spencer is an extremist — then isn’t the Koran also extremist? And if the Koran isn’t extremist, then how could quoting it be extremist?

Actually, it’s Fjordman quoting Spencer quoting the Quran (out of context) and explaining that good Muslims are terrorist killers. Why shouldn’t he defend Western civilization from Muslims?

The New York Times would have you believe that secondhand quotes like these from Spencer turned Breivik into a raging madman… The complete absence of quotes in which Robert Spencer calls for anyone to commit acts of terrorism reveals just how empty the media’s case against him is.

See, Spencer is just arguing that good Muslims are terrorists, that Islam is pure evil, and that Muslim immigration, aided by liberals, is destroying Western civilization. He supposedly never* actually calls for outright violence, but he has no problem with people who post violent comments on his website.

If we follow Spencer’s logic, it can be easy to conclude that violence is needed to stem the Hottentot Mongol tide of immigration. This argument ignores the fact that demonization leads to violence:

“When you push the demonization of populations, you often end up with violence,” said Heidi Beirich, research director for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

But the shooter didn’t kill Muslims, so Islamophobia cannot be involved, right?

And even this is irrelevant because Breivik did not carry out violence against Muslims… If Breivik was motivated by Islamophobia, then why did he not attempt to kill Muslims? Why did he not open fire inside a mosque?

This point is refuted by Alex Pareene at Salon:

Opposition to Islam was the killer’s stated motivation. He targeted other white Scandinavians because he considered them race traitors. He wrote all of this down, too, so we don’t even have to make guesses about it! He blamed liberals for enabling jihad by supporting “multiculturalism.”

Just because he didn’t directly attack Muslims does not mean Islamophobia had nothing to do with this attack. In fact, it had everything to do with the attack. But there is one last straw for Spencerites to grasp at:

Not only did Breivik not target Muslims, but he considered collaborating with Muslim terrorists… “An alliance with the Jihadists might prove beneficial to both parties,” Breivik wrote. “We both share one common goal.”

Interesting, Breivik and the Islamophobic ideology he shares with Spencer do indeed share one common goal with jihadists. They both want a homogenous society that doesn’t tolerate the Other. They both want to incite religious/nationalist war. They both want to increase Islamophobia; Spencer because it is his source of income, and jihadists because it is good recruiting propaganda. So, it is not a surprise to us that extremists share common goals but for vastly different reasons. We’ve known for some time that Muslim and anti-Muslim extremists reinforce one another.

In sum, Spencer and Frontpage want free reign to demonize Muslims and peddle baseless sharia conspiracy theories, but they cry foul when they get criticized in public. They suddenly demand the nuance that they have so far happily denied to Muslims as a whole.

*Admin Note: Spencer has subtly and overtly endorsed violence or a violent posture against Muslim citizens and their “liberal enablers” in the West. Just in January, in a piece titled “Digging Graves for the Next World War,” Roland Shirk a contributor at JW wrote,

The strings that knit together peaceful coexistence among communities are straining under the pressure of millions of resident aliens who should never have been admitted, who can only be tolerated when they are as sure as we that compared to us they are helpless. Islam is a religion of fear and force, and its adherents can only be at your feet or at your throat. We had better decide which posture we prefer. The time is short.

Those words are essentially the theme of Breivik’s manifesto, and Spencer approved it. This is on top of the knowledge that Spencer joined a Facebook group that sought as its objective a Reconquista of Anatolia, a holocaust of Turks and a forced conversion of any and all remaining Muslims. Spencer never denied joining the group, only claiming that he was the victim of a “trick.”

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  • Pingback: What’s Wrong with Goliath? | Ilisha Blog()

  • http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/how-islamic-inventors-changed-the-world-469452.html How Islamic inventors changed the world www.1001inventions.com

    JengaBob, can you loosen yourself from NassirH’s embrace and comment on the subject of this thread, the lame defence of Robert Spencer, and his subsequent actions, namely the conspiracies like the one below he is propogating.

    ———————-

    Henry Rochejaquelein: Robert Spencer Discovers Another Mystery “Expert”

    Sheila Musaji
    Robert Spencer just posted an article by a Henry Rochejaquelein – In that Enormous Silence, Tiny and Unafraid

    Spencer regularly turns up these “mystery experts” like Roland Shirk, Hugh Fitzgerald, and now Henry Rochejaquelein.

    The article is a defense of the poor “freedom fighters” who are being accused by some of having some culpability for creation the climate of Islamophobia that led to the terrible murders committed by Breivik in Norway.
    ————

    Rochejaquelein repeats the lunatic claim made by Frank Gaffney that Breivik was somehow engaged in a purposeful effort to tarnish the reputations of those he so obviously considered fellow members of “the Vienna school” of “anti-Jihadists”.

    read more here
    http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/henry_rochejaquelein_robert_spencer_discovers_another_/0018710

  • http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/how-islamic-inventors-changed-the-world-469452.html How Islamic inventors changed the world www.1001inventions.com

    Daily Kos on Spencer, ..this is too funny, Spencer on radio, complaining that Brieviek is probably a false flag operative.

    Read, listen and enjoy :)

    ——————–

    Jihad Watch’s Spencer: Norway a “false flag” operation

    by jazzhawk2004

    Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch , appearing on American Family Radio’s “Today’s Issues” on Monday seems to have said that the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik was a “false flag” operation.

    Spencer spent much of the interview countering a New York Times article “Killings in Norway Spotlight Anti-Muslim Thought in U.S.”which discussed the influence of Spencer and other counter-jihadists on Breivik.

    Spencer, however, went beyond putting distance between the counter jihadists and Breivik to advance a bizarre conspiracy theory.
    .

    Here is my transcription of Spencer’s remarks.

    The problem with this guy is that he has has brought discredit on a legitimate line of thought.

    It is so obvious that the the damage he has done to the resistance to jihad movement is so extensive that it is hard not to imagine that he was actually on the other side and the that the whole manifesto is a false flag operation to draw discredit upon his enemies or else he is one of the stupidest men who has ever lived because what he has done is to set back that movement he professes to hold to.

    Host: he was trying to kill the prime minister of his own country

    Spencer: so he says …

    Spencer’s statement can be found at approximately the 33:40 mark on of this audioof the AFR show.

    ———-

    read more here, and you can click the link to listen to the audio

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/07/26/999210/-Jihad-Watchs-Spencer:-Norway-a-false-flag-operation

  • http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/how-islamic-inventors-changed-the-world-469452.html How Islamic inventors changed the world www.1001inventions.com

    Loon Watch, a news tip, everyone grab the popcorn and enjoy…..

    ——————

    Robert Spencer (Inspiration for Oslo Terrorist): ‘How Much $ Did You Get?’

    Breivik’s main source of inspiration invents a conspiracy theory about me

    Charles Johnson

    Robert Spencer (Inspiration for Oslo Terrorist): ‘How Much $ Did You Get?’

    Breivik’s main source of inspiration invents a conspiracy theory about me
    Thu Aug 4, 2011

    The main inspiration for Oslo terrorist Anders Behring Breivik was undoubtedly “counter-jihad” kingpin Robert Spencer; Spencer is cited dozens of times in Breivik’s manifesto.

    Today Robert Spencer crawled out from under his rock, to accuse me on Twitter of being paid by sinister hidden forces.

    read more here
    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/38975_Robert_Spencer_(Inspiration_for_Oslo_Terrorist)-_How_Much_$_Did_You_Get

  • Slevdi Davoteca

    @Necron – “Demonization of someone leads to action against him/her, and the permissibility of violent action”

    I think this is the crux of the whole Islamophobe/anti-Islam debate. Both sides believe it, except when it can be applied to themselves. And it sure can be applied to both sides.

    The article says “the evidence is so damning…” in just the same way as the Islamophobes do about the Koran.

    The truth, IMHO, is that the responsibility in every case lies with the perpetrator. Very much like “I was only following orders” is no defence for atrocities.

    I have never believed that words alone can incite a sane person to murderous violence. Silencing the wordsmiths – and I include religious texts – is not the answer.

    Education about the sanctity of human life as most religious texts include is a start. Comprehensive monitoring of the potentially violent is also necessary. Note that many violent acts are prevented each year in Europe by the activities of the anti-terrorism squads of Europe.

    This Norwegian murderer was already on the database as a potential threat, but wasn’t followed up presumably because lack of resources. We need those resources as much as we need health care.

  • M.Nieuweboer

    Given the article in the New York Times – especially the remarkable statement of the CIA I can only conclude that you Americans have a lot more common sense than the Dutch. As far as I know no Dutch newspaper and no Dutch politician has said something similar about Wilders – that other hero of Breivik. They about all say: no, you can’t blame Wilders for the Norwegian killings, let’s remain calm. The bullit did not come from right, just like 10 years ago the bullits for Van Gogh and Fortuyn did not come from islam and left. Let’s not make the same mistake again.
    There are a few Dutch sites though who have come to exactly the same conclusion.

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