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Robert Spencer to Debate Achmed the Dead Terrorist and The Dictator

Sheila Musaji of The American Muslim (TAM) has been keeping a close eye on the loons who write for Jihad Watch.  The chief loon of JW, Robert Spencer, had initially been slated to debate David Wood, another Christian loon like himself.  Realizing no doubt that they are on the same side of the loony equation, the debate has been scrapped.  Instead, both Spencer and Wood have agreed to face off against Anjem Choudary and Omar Bakri.

As Musaji presciently noted, “[b]oth Choudary and Bakri are part of the Muslim lunatic fringe.”  The nefarious duo are very familiar to the Muslim community of the U.K., not because they have a large following (they don’t), but because they are routinely trotted out by anti-Muslim right-wingers.  The set-up is always the same: a right-winger pundit will invite one of these two clowns onto their show for a “debate.” By making the hated Choudary and Bakri the representative for the Muslim side, the debate is of course already won.  Muslims are left thinking, “with friends like these, who needs enemies…”

Anjem Choudary and Omar Bakri are absolutely despised by the vast majority of the Muslim community, even by the ultra-conservative and radical Muslims they pretend to represent.   They are caricatures, just one step away from being Achmed the Dead Terrorist or a character thought up by Sacha Baron Cohen (like Ali G or Admiral General Aladeen, A.K.A. The Dictator).  Choudary and Bakri play the part of terrorists and radical Islamists, which is why hateful Islamophobes love giving them ample air time: look at how crazy those Moozlums are!

It’s absolutely no surprise then that Robert Spencer and David Wood, two loons in their own right, would debate two even loonier loons.  Spencer wastes his time engaging such unserious clowns, because–just as Sheila Musaji noted long time ago–he has a pattern of seeking out complete fools to debate with so that he can then crow in victory afterward.  Meanwhile, Spencer will doggedly avoid debating anyone (1) with a serious grasp of knowledge of the topic at hand and (2) the debating skill to back it up.  And of course, (3) anyone named Danios.  What’s interesting is that even Robert Spencer’s debating partner, David Wood, seemed to imply on his website that Anjem Choudary and Omar Bakri are weak debaters.  Wood agrees with Choudary and Bakri’s view that Muhammad existed, but he doesn’t think that they will be able to make the convincing argument.  Why not just debate Achmed the Dead Terrorist or The Dictator?  It would certainly be just as enlightening and perhaps a bit more entertaining.

Robert Spencer’s homepage boldly declares that he is “the acclaimed scholar of Islam”, and yet he has no educational qualifications to validate that lofty claim.  In fact, all he has is an M.A. in Christian studies…If I get an M.A. in Buddhist studies, does that mean I get to be “the acclaimed scholar of Judaism”?  Spencer has never had his work submitted for peer review in the academic world, and so his arguments–while they certainly might pass off in the non-scholarly world–have never been tested by the real experts in the field.  Spencer’s version of peer-review is debating the equivalent of Achmed the Dead Terrorist and The Dictator.

In any case, let’s not beat around the bush.  It’s me in particular who Robert Spencer fears. One would think that he would want to debate me now that I’ve won the Brass Crescent Award for Best Writer last year (and was runner-up the year before), in no small part due to my writings against Spencer.  I have been refuting his book for a long time now, decimating his arguments one by one.  Spencer can’t respond intelligently, so of course, he naturally fears facing off in debate.  It has now officially been 684 days–that’s 1 year, 10 months, and 14 days–since I agreed to have a radio debate with Robert Spencer.  In that time, Spencer has furiously been generating excuse after excuse to avoid the debate.

Spencer continues to use my anonymity as an excuse to cover up his cowardice.  I’m an anonymous blogger and I have expressed my intent in preserving that anonymity for now.  Yet, Spencer repeatedly insists on a public venue–so that I “show my face”–knowing full well that I won’t accept such a condition.  In this way, Spencer gets out of the debate and can then disingenuously claim that I was the cause of the impasse.

Robert Spencer engages in typical right-winger projection: look how cowardly Danios is that he doesn’t show his face.  But, it is Spencer who is the coward, at least when it comes to defending his views.  What difference does it make who I am or what I look like?  The obvious answer is that Spencer wants to engage in ad hominem attacks against me, instead of focusing on the substantive value of his arguments, which my writings have shown to be severely lacking.  It’s now quite evident to all who want to see it: my refutations of his book are irrefutable.  I know it, you know it, he knows it.

And that’s why Robert Spencer will keep running away from me.  Instead, he’ll debate fools and loons.  Yawn, what’s new?

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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Here is Sheila Musaji’s article from TAM:

David Wood and Robert Spencer “Debate”?

by Sheila Musaji

David Wood is not as well known as Robert Spencer, so a little background is in order.  Wood is an Evangelical pastor and has a series of polemical articles on Answering Islam.  His focus seems to be on anti-Muslim polemics.

Kiera Feldman reported on an incident in 2010:

Organized by Stop the Islamization of America, the first rally against the “Ground Zero mosque” was held in a plaza near the site of the Twin Towers on June 6th—D-Day. “We are not hatemongerers!” Pamela Hall proclaimed from the podium. “We just want our families and our future to be safe from the racist, bigoted ideology that murdered 3,000 people.” In the crowd, signs ranged from “Everything I need to know about Islam, I learned on 9/11” to crude drawings of Mohammed with the label “beast.”

Toward the end of the rally, two dark-skinned men were overheard speaking Arabic. The crowd transformed into an angry mob, surrounded the men, and shouted, “go home” and “get out.” The Bergen Record reported that the two scared men, Joseph Nasralla and Karam El Masry, had to be extricated by police. It turned out they weren’t even Muslim. They were Egyptian Coptic Christians who’d trekked cross-country from California to join the cause against the “Ground Zero mosque.” Nasralla later told John Hawkins of Right Wing News that the Record coverage was indeed accurate, adding that he’d been shoved and his camera knocked to the ground. “He said he was worried that things might have really gotten out of hand if the police hadn’t escorted him and Karam El Masry away,” Hawkins wrote.

“I actually caused that by accident,” an evangelical pastor named David Wood told me with a chuckle. He meant the near race riot. Wood is a PhD student in philosophy at a respectable New York institution whose name he didn’t want me to use. Passionate about proselytizing to Muslims, Wood’s expertise is Christian apologetics, the practice of arguing unbelievers into faith. He is best known as the creator of a viral video “Of Mosques and Men,” which argues all Muslims—even those who seem “peaceful,” like “good citizens in public”—had an urge to “smile when there were terrorist attacks.” But Wood allows himself a little laugh about violence when Muslims are on the receiving end.

As he tells the story of that day, “[The Copts] were complaining about not having anything to hand out. And I said, ‘I’ve got some pamphlets on Islam, specifically on whether Islam is a religion of peace.” The pamphlets contained passages of the Qur’an selected to suggest the answer is no. “People thought they were there to defend the mosque and promote Islam,” Wood explained. “Lots of people were fired up about that.” But it was a goofy case of mistaken identity, a funny little mix-up. “The guys who were doing it were actually Christians,” Wood told me as if clearing up the whole matter. “They weren’t Muslims.” In other words: the mob’s anger and actions were justified, but misdirected. Aim better next time?

Garibaldi of Loonwatch has written exposes about Wood in two articles here and here

Wood and Robert Spencer will have a “debate” this coming Sunday on the thesis of Spencer’s new book Did Muhammad Exist?  This “debate” will be moderated by Pamela Geller.  That may be the only time that you will see the combination of Pamela Geller and moderation in the same sentence.

Wood made the “challenge to a debate” by video and Spencer accepted the “challenge”.

Spencer is still falsely claiming that Muslims are afraid to debate him, and says in his acceptance: So David Wood will do their work for them.  Read my article Danios vs Spencer:  18 months and Spencer still avoiding a debate for the Saga of Spencer’s avoidance of a debate with Danios.  See The Muslim Communities Useful Idiots for information on some of Spencer’s past debates with Muslims, and why I believe that engaging with bigots is not productive.

These are not individuals who hold respectable, if controversial opinions.  These are bigots, and engaging them in such a forum only provides them with some veneer of respectability.

Hosts like Hannity, or Bolling can claim that they have been “fair and balanced” because they included a Muslim.  And, full time, paid mercenaries in a “holy war” against Islam like Spencer, will claim “victory” no matter what the outcome.  If they have no “facts” that will stand up to scrutiny, they will stoop to ridiculous slurs, as they did with Christina Abraham.  And, when all else fails, if any Muslim says anything reasonable, they will say that it is taqiyya.

This sort of devious, unethical, and downright childish behavior, is not surprising from individuals who consistently “get it wrong” when it comes to Islam and Muslims, and who see no ethical problem with simply removing articles from a site when they are proven to be inaccurate.  Not too surprising for individuals who are co-founders (Spencer & Geller) of a group, Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  The group is also described by the ADL in the following terms: “Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), created in 2009, promotes a conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda under the guise of fighting radical Islam. The group seeks to rouse public fears by consistently vilifying the Islamic faith and asserting the existence of an Islamic conspiracy to destroy “American” values. The organization warns of the encroachment of shari’a, or Islamic law, and encourages Muslims to leave what it describes as the “falsity of Islam.”

I believe that it is not “cowardly” to leave these folks alone, just sensible.   It is not that their claims cannot be, and have not been answered, but rather that they have proven themselves time and time again to be untrustworthy and dishonorable in both their tactics and their responses to reasoned argument.

Spencer and Wood seem to have a mutual admiration society.  Spencer posted a notice about the “debate” with a note to watch Wood’s video, and Wood posted a notice with a note to read Spencer’s book.

The notice points out that this “debate” will be right after Geller and Spencer’s “Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference” (their most recent anti-Muslim hate fest) ends.  It is worth noting that David Wood will be a speaker at Spencer and Geller’s conference.  I’m sure their promotional video will be more exciting than the actual “debate”.

It seems pretty obvious that rather than a debate, this is a calculated publicity stunt to gain a little more notoriety for their conference, and to publicize Spencer’s book.  I’m sure that they will both have an opportunity to get in a few anti-Muslim zingers in the course of this “debate”.  Let the bigots talk among themselves.

UPDATE 4/30/2012

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more strange.  Robert Spencer just posted a new notice about tonights “debate”.  The debate is now to be between Spencer and Wood (on the same side) versus Anjem Choudary and Omar Bakri.

Both Choudary and Bakri are part of the Muslim lunatic fringe.  Just type their names or the term lunatic fringe into our TAM search engine for more information on these disreputable folks.

I’m curious as to how Spencer is going to talk to Omar Bakri since the last I heard he had been denied re-entry to England, and arrested in Lebanon.

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  • Muneeb

    It seems like Mr Spencer wrote this in his new book:
    The Arabian conquests are a historical fact; that the Arabian conquerors actually came out of Arabia inspired by the Qur’an and Muhammad is less certain.
    So from now on, he must stop claiming that the Quran inspire muslims to conquer Europe and USA.

  • CriticalDragon1177

    @fox news

    Only problem with your idea, is that it looks like Spencer won’t debate Danios unless its at gun point. Spencer obviously doesn’t want to do it, so whats the point of planing something ahead of time, if most likely he won’t show up? Plus I think Danios should focus more on his book, since that will really help discredit Spencer, plus he might be able to raise some money for Loon Watch.

  • fox news

    Any debate by Danios should be planned along with his book release refuting Spencer and Co.

  • Ahmed

    If you *really* think this is a viable argument, then it simply underlines the fact that islam and the left are strangers to democratic values. I, and most other intelligent people, have nothing but contempt for those who hide behind a cloak of anonymity for no reason that they are prepared to disclose

    Actually, an intelligent person would not have contempt for someone who likes anonymity – they would respect their choice.

    Anyway, one of JihadWatch’s leading members posts anonymously. So, do you and the “intelligent” Robert Spencer have “nothing but contempt” for him? If so, why does Spencer not kick him off JihadWatch?

    I’ll tell you why – because you, Spencer, and I all know that Spencer is scared of a debate, and so he comes up with this anonymity excuse.

  • MrIslamAnswersBack

    @ John Spielman you seem to have overlooked the fact that in Luke 19:27 Jesus orders his followers to bring those who refuse his rule and kill them in front of Jesus. So Jesus wont do it himself, he will have his followers bring people in front of Him and Kill them while he (Jesus) watches. Thus you should have a problem with your own Christianity. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible states :The Saviour whom they have slighted will stand by and see them slain, and not interpose on their behalf.So your own bible interpreters agree this is what it means.

    @ Geiji You are absolutely correct. John seems to forget that Yhwh ordered his prophets and followers to carry out His laws and punishments instead of Him (God) doing it himself.

  • Géji

    john spielman Says: “been reading some of your previous articles and think the one about “Jesus love His enemies then kills them” is very good even from a Christian viewpoint as it shows what will happen to the world when Jesus returns and puts and end to all evil in this world. Since He is GOD (for that is what we followers of Christ accept) none can oppose Him successfully”

    @Mr john spielman, lets cut the bull-crap and be honest for once shall we. I mean, since you’re the one that keeps-on bringing this subject implying “my religion is better than your” crap, in every thread you post, then at least lets be honest about it. And if you’re claiming to be one of ‘followers of Christ’, then hypocrisy is a major sin am I right? Less you prove to be from one of those fanatic, hypocrite ‘followers’ that keeps on throwing weak pebbles at others, that actually become rocks when easily thrown-back only to end-up hurting those that throwed-first . You can’t have-it both ways.

    (Speaking of Jesus) You claimed – “He is GOD (for that is what we followers of Christ accept)” – right? If Jesus is “GOD” as you said, in Biblical term ‘YHWH’, then the God of all prophets in the Bible, right? Thus in accordance, Jesus-a.k.a-Yhwh of the Bible, the-sender-down of Biblical *divine* ‘laws/instructions’ as guidance that ordered his Biblical prophets and their followers to follow and carry-out, right?

    You also claimed – “the laws of Moses were fufilled by Jesus, according to His own words” – That is when he came to earth as human-being, right? — So if we go by, not only did he -“since He is GOD”- sent-down those Biblical laws/instructions that ordered his prophets and their followers to follow and carry-out, but he actually “fulfilled” them once he became human being on earth, so far so good.

    So therefore, then how do you explain the fact that not only as “GOD” he is the one that ordered those Biblical laws/instructions such as Example – Those ordering to carry-out genocidal warfares that eliminates everything that breaths & Those ordering on women & Those ordering stoning even those that curse him and his kings ect .. & Brief *all* Biblical divine laws/instructions his prophets and their followed-through and carried – BUT then he as “GOD”/man actually “fulfilled” once he came to earth? –Cause that makes him the “GOD” of the Bible that not only ordered those “laws/instructions”, but actually fulfilled them in person, right?

  • IbnAbuTalib

    Jan: One does not require specialist knowledge to debate religion or the humanities. One only needs to be literate, intelligent, open minded, ( and by that I don’t mean the false moral/cultural equivalence espoused by leftists, and muslims when it suits them) and willing to read widely.

    Are the people in academia who reject Spencer as a worthless phony lacking in literacy, intelligence, open-mindedness? Let me ask you this: Take the likes of Watt Montgomery and Kenneth Cragg, both notable Evangelical scholars of Islam. When you compare their conclusions about Islam with those of Spencer’s, who comes out as literate, intelligent and open minded?

  • JD

    Jan How do you know Dan is not getting treats Go read the comments on BareNakedIslam and tell us there is nothing to worry about…


    If that is true then tell us who is Fitzgerald, the Vice President of JihadWatch. That not his real name also anonymous pseudonym Read my link

    It’s Spencer who has backed out every time from Danios Anon to not doing a debate on the radio. Please tell us why does he refuse a radio interview with D but was him self more then happy to jump in on the debate between
    Eric Allen Bell and Nadir Ahmed over the phone and still got his butt handed to him

  • Jan

    Oops. meant ‘Hawking’, not ‘Dawking.’

  • Jan

    @ Ahmed.

    You said:

    ”I mean, seriously, what has the actual identity of someone got to do with anything? We all know it is an excuse”

    If you *really* think this is a viable argument, then it simply underlines the fact that islam and the left are strangers to democratic values. I, and most other intelligent people, have nothing but contempt for those who hide behind a cloak of anonymity for no reason that they are prepared to disclose. Your little ‘Danios’ expects Mr. Spencer to debate a person who refuses to disclose their identity, and presumably their ‘qualifications’ ( and please don’t cite the mutual admiration ‘brass crescent’ or whatever it is) and yet has the monumental cheek to deride Mr. Spencer for not having a Ph.d in islamic studies ?

    I would accept that argument if Mr. Spencer challenged Stephen Dawking to a debate on the quantum theory, or any of the other *sciences*.

    One does not require specialist knowledge to debate religion or the humanities. One only needs to be literate, intelligent, open minded, ( and by that I don’t mean the false moral/cultural equivalence espoused by leftists, and muslims when it suits them) and willing to read widely.

    Equally, considering the mutually masturbatory state of academia in the 21st Century, where if an academic doesn’t spout the required leftist party line they can forget about a Chair, or being published, I would suggest that ‘academic’ qualifications simply mean one doesn’t question the PC/MC meme.

  • JD

    History of the he Spencer vs Danios debate saga and Spencer running away and making excuses over and over and over and over again

  • Ahmed


    You’re talking nonsense. The fact is, Danios has destroyed so much of what Spencer wrote. Danios is Spencer’s main critic on the Internet. Therefore, if Spencer really believes that Danios is full of lies and that he can beat him in a debate, he would agree to do a debate with him regardless of the fact Danios is anonymous. I mean, seriously, what has the actual identity of someone got to do with anything? We all know it is an excuse.

  • From the wastelands….

    @ Danios – I know you are not running from a debate, you just are not the type to milk the “I wanna be a victim” cow, but I think it’s high time that the loons are outed for what they are, bigoted, hateful and blind. I could recommend a good location for the debate, and honestly, it’s time for someone who is not a tool to step up.

  • Jan

    @ Ilisha.

    My apologies. I mistook the thread. It was this one.

    ”AAI leads “Rejecting Islamophobia” event to counter Geller-Spencer hate-fest.”

  • Ilisha


    There isn’t a single comment from you in the trash folder.

  • Jan

    Danios, I would be ashamed to be as dishonest as you are. You know very well Mr. Spencer agreed to debate you. All you had to do was to drop the silly anonymity pose ( it’s Mr. Spencer receiving the death threats, not you), book a university, and a moderator, and bob would have been your uncle.

    ”On a related note, Loonwatch’s chief figure, “Danios,” has just passed up no fewer than four separate opportunities to debate me — three hosted at universities and one on ABN — despite his years of bravado and false claims that I was ducking him. He claimed he wanted to debate the laughable thesis that Judaism and Christianity are just as violent as Islam — as if armed terror groups worldwide were justifying killing people by quoting the words of Moses and Jesus, killing apostates from Judaism and Christianity, boasting about the imminent conquest and subjugation of non-Jewish and non-Christian lands, etc.

    But although I was agreeable and he was full of false bluster about how I was avoiding debating him, ultimately he was too afraid to step up and actually agree to a debate. And I don’t really mind, for while it would have been satisfying to defeat him, I doubt anyone would have been enlightened by a couple of hours of him calling me fat, ugly, stupid, and evil, which Reza Aslan-like spittle is essentially all that he and his site can muster in response to the truths I present. They can’t actually refute them.”

    By the way, what happened to my post on the Jessica Mokdad thread, pointing out guests were required to register in advance, and no muslims chose to do so ? It’s no wonder lefty tools and islam have such an affinity. Both will tell any lies, and suppress any truths, in order to advance their agenda. And no doubt *this* comment will fall through the loonwatch black hole, whilst ‘awaiting moderation.’ Coward.

  • JD

    FBI watched as 5 men planned Ohio bridge bomb plot

    CLEVELAND (AP) — After unknowingly working with an FBI informant for months, five men have been charged with plotting to bomb an Ohio bridge linking two wealthy Cleveland suburbs.

    Federal authorities Tuesday described the men as anarchists who are angry with corporate America and the government. They say the alleged plotters researched explosives and obtained what they thought was C-4 explosives. The material, in fact, was harmless and the public was never at risk because the men got it from the informant, officials said.

    Their arrests Monday night marked the latest case in which FBI agents planned fake terrorism plots alongside targeted suspects, an indication it continues to be a top strategy for the government in preventing terrorism.


    Well at least this time it made the front page on if its buried under text section and 3 story above it

  • DrM

    Ah yes, Andy Choudary at it again. Spencer sure loves a phoney debate.

  • HGG

    Jeez..Spencer posted the video of the debate and it’s part of his new ABN monthly show called, unsurprisingly, Jihadwatch.

  • Franczeska

    And “Hopper” is still Barry Sommer.

  • fox news

    Muslims should protests and prevent the debate. That will expose both as fraud dramatists having nothing to do with Islam.

  • Sal

    AJ, Bakri’s daughter’s pole dancing has nothing to do with him, unless you are saying he put her up to it. Smears.

  • Sir David : Man on a phone with a french spell check

    I seem to remember that the Quran does have some verses equiverlent to the Bibles ” be not over vexed by wrong doers , as vengence is mine sayeth the Lord”
    Maybe someone could help me out here as i cannot recall where in the Quran i read this.
    ( it would be very funny if Robert Spencer could point out the verse for us :-) )

  • Sir David : Man on a phone with a french spell check

    Dear John
    So you are saying that in democratic countries its wrong for religions to try to influence debates on moral issues? If you believe in democracy the people Will make choices that others do
    not agree with. For instance the debate on abortion in the USA.
    In Égypt it was obvious that people would vote for the MB the fact that you dont like this is frankly irrelevent And none of your or mine biz

  • AJ

    @Dragon, I am thinking more in terms of what Muezzin said at the top.

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