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:
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.
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.”