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

 

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.  

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  • I don’t even know the way I ended up here, however I assumed this put up was good. I don’t know who you’re but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger in the event you aren’t already. Cheers!

  • JN

    Danios,

    I am just going to echo what others have said: do not concede any advantages to Spencer whatsoever.

    We know that your case against his book is airtight and that he can’t possibly defend against the numerous criticisms you have carefully outlined and constructed over the years. That’s precisely why he is so insistent on holding this “debate” on a network that is friendly to his bigoted views. He wants to do whatever is necessary to drag the focus of the discussion away from his book, because that’s the only way he stands a chance. It is going to be exponentially easier now that he has the home field advantage.

    The moderator can cut you off, change the subject, make claims without giving you a chance to respond, etc. It’s going to be very difficult for you to handle that without coming across as exceedingly combative or uncooperative. More importantly, given that you’ve taken so long to come up with your battle plan, you may very well become frustrated if you are not allowed by the moderator to follow it. Simply put, what you’ve agreed to is not a debate, it’s a game, and one that Spencer is not a stranger to. That said, you still have the advantage so long as you commit to staying focused on the real issue, i.e. Spencer’s faux scholarship. If you can keep Spencer on the defensive about that, he has no hope of winning even in the eyes of his deluded followers. However, I think you need to be careful not to let overconfidence cloud your judgment regarding what kind of obstacles are going to get in the way.

  • Isa writes: I’m a Caucasian Muslim too. It’s nice to “meet” another one!

    There are Caucasian American muslims all over the place, who have been “unwelcomed” at the mosques listed in the telephone book because they didn’t jump feet first into the Salafi/Wahhabi party line. You won’t find them either at or through those mosques. But start wearing a kufi and they’ll find you.

  • Sir David ( Illuminati membership number 5:32) Warning Contains Irony

    If no word from Blobby Spencer by 12/00 gmt 18/1/12, then lets suggest either Spencer is
    a) A lier who never intended to debate any one anyway about anything
    ( no surprise )
    or
    b) A scared chicken ( no surprise )
    or
    c) both a lier and a chicken ( most likely option đź?‰ )

    Lets move on to other things

  • Isa

    Good point, WhiteAmericanMuslim. Btw, I’m a Caucasian Muslim too. It’s nice to “meet” another one! (That’s not to denigrate any other Muslims, it’s just that Caucasian Muslims are a very small minority of Muslims.)

    I think the difference between Sean Hannity suppressing the Heavy Metal Islam guy’s speech, and Danios’s debate with Spencer is that Hannity has a talk show that doesn’t follow the debate format. He’s the kingpin, he’s the boss, he decides when to cut his guest off at any time, without warning. A planned debate is different, wherein the two parties agree to a certain amount of time that each person has, how much time a rebuttal can be, how much time goes to Questions and Answers, etc. I do agree that the venue Danios agreed to is extremely hostile toward Islam, but the beauty about the internet is that most people who are worth their salt will watch the debate on the internet in its unedited form, rather than on the actual T.V. station itself.

    Sure, the Spencerite lackeys and the bigoted “Christians” will watch the spoon-fed, “go team!” version that ABN will deliver to them, which will undoubtedly be edited to Spencer’s favor. But the majority of those people will never change their minds anyway, so I think it is irrelevant. The amount of viewers who could be swayed to a more honest and objective approach to understanding Muslims, is so small that Danios isn’t taking much of a risk. Most people who “religiously” watch those…erm…religious stations, already have their minds made up before they would even watch the program.

  • Stoned Gremlin

    @WhiteAmericanMuslim Everyone likes a good laugh.

  • WhiteAmericanMuslim

    Danios, I don’t think you should debate Spunskter. Not that you are not smart or we are afraid that you will lose. It’s just that this people are unruly American mafia. Look at the discussion with his boss David Horowitz and that guy who wrote the book, the professor- i forget his name but the author of “heavy metal islam”. he ia a scholar but these thugs like Horrowitz, Sean hannity etc just shut him down on Fox. The prof argued well but this jerk Sean Hannity just would let the guy argue.

    These guys don not want to learn or accept anything about Islam with open mind. In fact their minds are made up about denigrating Islam.
    So I don’t see any point in arguing at all with them.

    To Spencer and thugs:
    Muslim intellectuals laugh off your work. And most would not even give you time of the day. You know why? Because they think you are just rebel rouser, and you’ll keep moving the goal-post and your mind is made up.

  • Isa

    Is the debate still officially “on” at this point?

  • Sir David writes: Two things worry me …

    There’s no need to worry ~ there’s another Player in the game, Who determines all outcomes. We don’t know what He is doing here, but we do know that Spencer is the ultimate Loser.

    First, Pride comes before a fall; Beware, Danios.

    “In ancient Greek, hubris (ancient Greek ὕβĎ?ις) referred to actions that shamed and humiliated the victim for the pleasure or gratification of the abuser. The term had a strong sexual connotation, and the shame reflected on the perpetrator as well. It was most evident in the public and private actions of the powerful and rich.”

    It’s hubris, not “pride,” that threatens Danios with a symbolic, but otherwise meaningless, “defeat.”

    Secondly in folklaw the devil always cheats whenever he plays games.

    I like “folklaw” ~ “folklore” fails to identify itself as commentary on natural law.

    Spencer has deftly wound Danios up for a battle of the century. Singing to his own choir, he’ll bring whatever will resonate with them, for example disdain for academic discussion of “irrelevant inconsistencies” with “all this blood on the ground even as we speak.” There needn’t be any blood, of course, to play on their emotions.

    This is not likely to be an academic debate. It’s more likely to be a shock-jock circus.

  • Laughing at the Loons

    @Truth Seeker January 15th, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    “GIANT OF A SCHOLAR.Has Danios ever written any book on Islam to claim any scholaership?”

    What is a “scholaership”? (sic.)

    On that basis, you aren’t a credible judge i.e. not even being able to spell it!

    “There is no comparison between Judeo-Christian faith and Islam.The first one is divinely Inspred and the latter one Inspired by DEMONIC SPIRIT of Allah.”

    The Arabic-speaking peoples of the Holy Land were some of the earliest converts to Christianity. To this day they worship “Allah” who you claim to be a demonic spirit!

    Once again, we see such basic ignorance that exposes those fools who form the ignorant flock & their “ability” to judge scholarship!

    Truth Seeker – I hope you find it, though it’ll probably be a long journey.

  • Just Stopping By writes: Ahh, the dangers of believing urban legends. Google something like “Einstein flunked math” to find numerous refutations.

    Thank you.

    Einstein was a mathematical prodigy, and before he was 12, he was already better at arithmetic and calculus than you are now. Einstein was in fact so smart that he believed school was holding him back, and his parents purchased advanced textbooks for him to study from. Not only did he pass math with flying colors, it’s entirely possible that he was actually teaching the class by the end of semester. [baby language omitted]

    When I was the “star” math student in my fifth grade elementary school class, Einstein was my idol. I wrote a letter to him, and he died while it was in the mail. (But I did get to meet and shake the hand of Dr. Edward Teller, at some kind of shindig for high school math whizzes, sort of a “consolation prize” to make up for Einstein’s avoidance of my letter.)

    But “school” was holding me back ~ in the year 3 B.T. (“Before Televisibabble”), anxious to learn and with a seemingly unlimited attention span, repetition of what I already knew was a frustratingly boring waste of my time when I could have been inventing modular exponentiation large-prime encryption (yeah, right). Einstein, I’m sure, suffered school with the same boring frustration, although surely on a vastly superior scale. I taught my high school calculus class and amazed my Ph.D. (Organic Chemistry) aunt with my mastery of post-graduate chemistry subjects, but flunked the same U.S. History class three times in a row because it was just boilerplate nationalist propaganda with a socialist flavor, not history. So the story that Einstein did not “do well” in school resonated with me.

    So thanks for the correction. But he did avoid my letter, and thought travels faster than light, and who was Eddie Teller but a designer of big firecrackers, and who cares about Monte Carlo primality testing anyway when we have a perfectly good pair of dice and enough fingers and toes to count past “one, two, three, many”?

    My point being, as I recall, that “No one who doesn’t know Arabic can ever claim to be a scholar of Islam” is a crock. Arabic is a calculus of the tongue, and anyone who can comprehend some of what they hear or read is capable of being enough of a “scholar of Islam” for his or her needs. No one needs an Arabic-speaking priest to tell him what God is saying to him. Knowing Arabic as I know Arabic (I can read it) vastly improves my ability to think in American idiomatic English ~ sometimes what I write is almost intelligible. But what I understand benefits me and might have no relevance whatever to any understanding that benefits you, which is what God gives you whether or not you “know Arabic” at all.

    God damns pretentious priests in no uncertain terms ~ in Arabic. But you don’t need to know any Arabic at all to know that those who pretend to stand between you and God are devils in pious disguise. My understanding of “Islam” may be as comprehensive as that of the scholars of al-Azhar, as Dr. Mehdi testifies ~ but it is your understanding that can benefit you, in any language, while my understanding is just as likely to condemn me, in Arabic or any other tongue ~ as it has with those who say “No one who doesn’t know Arabic can ever claim to be a scholar of Islam.” The Qur’an itself says that isn’t true.

    So Einstein didn’t flunk grade school math. Neither did I, but I’m no Einstein. But a lot of what he wrote at the end of his life demonstrated that he was more of a “scholar of Islam” than many an Arabic-speaking “scholar” walking around in fancy robes, odd-shaped hats, and peacock feathers, with a load of books that would kill a pack mule. The devil himself na’oodhu billah knows Islam better than all of them put together ~ he’s doing what God condemned him to do, and he does it by The Book. The people I’m talking about can’t even read The Book, and they’re Arabic scholars.

    Go figure.

  • khushboo

    “I am assuming you’ll be using a cell that is not registered in your name etc.”

    Again, that’s what I’m worried about. ABN and co. can’t be trusted! They’re desperate to expose his identity. Just be careful!

  • Hatethehaterz

    @ Danios: I agree with others who have counselled you not to debate Spencer at ABN. They will set up the whole thing against you. They will also use crazy edits to filter out your arguments and make only that fraud Spencer look good. See, with these sort of bigots facts, logic, and sound arguments do not matter. Just look at the comments from bigots like lie-seeker and jihadbob (whataboutjihad) for examples of this. They are not interested in facts or truth. They just want someone to validate their preconceived notions. The people at that Christian bigotry channel are the same. They have already decided that Spencer is right and you are wrong. They can view the exact same debate as other people and come to the exact opposite conclusion because they are completely irrational. If you walk into this trap, Danios, it may end up hurting your credibility. Remember, Spencer make a living by selling his fraudulent arguments to idiots who actually buy them. Although I do applaud your bravery, I think you should be prepared to face a totally one sided situation.

  • Just Stopping By

    “Einstein flunked grade school math.” Ahh, the dangers of believing urban legends. Google something like “Einstein flunkied math” to find numerous refutations.

    Sadly, that is also the danger with Robert Spencer: he has a tendency to say things that his target audience “knows” to be true, but are actually false. May I suggest that if this debate goes forward, someone knowledgeable create an annotated transcript that points out any factual errors?

  • Anyone who thinks this thicko Spencer would be beaten in a debate by Danios needs their heads seen to.

  • Oh shut up Hajji Dawud, does anyone else find his riduclous rants over the top? why would groups outside his campus matter anyway? it would do nothing but enhance his credibility and ‘star’ status. Sounds good to me.

    You people above sound like loonies,

    The bottom line is Danios has said, he won’t remain anonymous for ever. There is no problem, go ahead and do it anonymously or do it by exposure, what counts is the substance of the argument.

  • Mr Pork you were always a delusional chap weren’t you?

    The only trouble I foresee is Mr Spencer’s ‘debating’ tactics since Mr Spencer is somewhat of an expert in the art of PR and propaganda. He’s been spinning his lies for years and has become very good at it.

    Jack

  • Cynic

    @Danios, I don’t get why the debate has to focus on comparing Islam to Christianity and Judaism, instead of exposing Spencer’s extremely dishonest ‘scholarship’. You’re giving him way too much room for him to cry tu quoque with your choice if debate topics.

  • Ahmed

    It would have to be something like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWu5fLRCFDk

    I don’t see what the problem is.

    Then that is fine. I am assuming you’ll be using a cell that is not registered in your name etc.

  • @Danios: I wrote Remember that this man has virtually unlimited financial backing, he can deploy whatever troops he needs, wherever he needs them, to get whatever he can use to destroy you beyond the parameters of the “debate.”

    I should have mentioned that if you have been corresponding with him by eMail from any computer other than one connected through a geographically-broad LAN (like AOL’s proxy LAN), then he knows where you were when you sent the eMail. Note the following (example) “headers” that accompany eMails to their destination:

    Received: from BAY160-W5 ([65.54.190.199]) by bay0-omc4-s17.bay0.hotmail.com with Microsoft SMTPSVC(6.0.3790.4675);
    Sun, 15 Jan 2012 22:17:54 -0800
    X-Originating-IP: [72.102.27.160]

    Both 72.102.27.160 and 65.54.190.199 can be located to at least the city nearest to the sender, where his ISP (Internet Service Provider) is located. From there, it would not be difficult to generate a list of probable locations of the computer that sent the eMail ~ in the example case, within ten miles of Colville, Washington.

    He’s after you, buddy. A debate might give him a chance for a better shot. Don’t think you’re involved in a duel between gentlemen, he fights dirty.

  • The_BigT

    @ truthseeker
    “Robert Spencer a giant of a scholer”
    my responce

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