Just because a person has a PhD in one field does not make them an authority in another field. For example, a person with their PhD in Chemistry does not make them an authority in Physics, even if they know a lot about Physics. This is because academia has a system of checks and balances through peer-reviewed scholarship that makes sure the university or organization is presenting the most authentic information possible. In our case, many anti-Muslim loons come from a variety of academic fields but they cannot speak with authority on issues involving Islam and Muslims. Simply, they do not possess the requisite knowledge.
For our latest example, observe Jamie Glazov, the editor of Front Page Magazine (part of the same Horowitz-Spencer closed information system). He boasts of his “PhD in History with a specialty in Russian, U.S. and Canadian foreign policy.” He must really know what he is talking about when it comes to Muslims, right? But is he fluent in any classical Islamic language: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu? Is he proficient in at least two or three of them, as required by many Islamic studies departments in the United States? Is he proficient enough in a European research language (French, German) to be able to consult what prior scholars of Islamic studies have said? From the look of his daily Muslim-bashing, the answer is no.
Recently, Glazov exploited the tragedy of an Iraqi woman, Noor Almaleki, to use the generic Islamic villain as a stick to bash the Democrats:
The honor killing trial begins in Phoenix today (Monday, Jan.24) of Faleh Hassan Almaleki, an Iraqi Muslim immigrant who killed his 20-year-old daughter, Noor Almaleki, on October 20, 2009, because she had become too Westernized…
After killing his daughter, Almaleki himself boasted that he had to take Noor’s lifebecause she had dishonored his family by her “Western” behavior. Evidence reveals that Almaleki had tried to impose strict Islamic codes on Noor and that he had attempted to force her into an arranged marriage when she was 17…
Almaleki was trained from birth to see the world through the lens of Islamic misogyny, where women are the property of men. Under the vicious and sadistic system of Islamic gender apartheid, women’s autonomy must be suffocated on all levels.
First, notice from the outset that Mr. Glazov makes no distinction between different interpretations of Islam; between the extremist acts of a single individual and what many mainstream Muslim scholars, leaders, and institutions have said on the issue of honor killings, specifically Muslim women scholars, specifically in Iraq.
Second, Glazov forgets to remind his readers that the citizens of Iraq are not living under normal conditions like most people. Perhaps he forgot about the ongoing Iraq War, the military occupation, and, among other things, the chaos unleashed by private military contractors. Glazov wants you to think that Iraqis are living normal, comfortable lives; therefore, their erratic behavior, such as this case, can only be explained by Islamic teachings, rather than the complex reality-based mix of social, economic, cultural, and historical factors (studied by sociologists) which shed light on why people do things. Glazov would rather just explain this tragedy as just another manifestation of the monolithic Islamic “monster” (his expression, not mine).
Third, to suggest that women are viewed as “the property of men” is just a flagrant canard. It belies what the Quran clearly states:
The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practice regular charity, and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise. [Quran 9:71]
O you who believe, it is not lawful for you to inherit women against their will. Nor should you treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the dower ye have given them, except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If you take a dislike to them it may be that you dislike a thing, and Allah brings through it a great deal of good. [Quran 4:19]
It further ignores an objective history of early and contemporary Islam. Again, I am curious to see how he explains the fact that a Muslim country like Pakistan, allegedly under “Islamic gender apartheid,” has twice elected a woman Prime Minister.
Fourth, the fact that he “had attempted to force her into an arranged marriage” is a violation of a basic tenet of Islamic jurisprudence on marriage. As recorded in the Prophet’s traditions:
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her, and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission.”
[Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7 Book 62 Number 67]
If he really wanted to force her into marriage, then this is strong evidence that the man was acting against Islamic teachings, not in accord with them. But remember Spencer’s Islamophobic indoctrination principle: whenever a Muslim does something evil, that is true Islam; but when Muslims speak out against evil, they are acting against Islam.
Glazov is following Spencer’s manual to the letter, and then it starts really going downhill:
It is in the Left’s interest that the murders of thousands of innocent Muslim girls like Noor, Aqsa and the Said girls, and the monstrous Islamic ideology that engendered such murders, are pushed into invisibility. For the Left, it is crucial that historical amnesia is imposed on these uncomfortable matters (i.e. the extermination of Muslim girls), for the truth about Islamic honor killing makes it difficult for the Left to pursue its top priority: waging war on capitalism and on its own host society. Indeed, if an adversarial culture and religion turns out to actually be evil, then we might have to admit that there is something good and superior about our own civilization and that it is worth defending. This notion is anathema and unfathomable to the Left — and it explains why leftist feminists like Naomi Wolf engage in a romance with the burqa.
This was the whole point in the first place: to attack the Left (i.e. Democrats). It is all part of the evil Left-Moozlim alliance. The Left is part of the murdering Islamic machine, we are told. The Left is waging war on everything you hold dear, we are warned. No nuance, qualification, specification, or clarification. It is simply Us vs. the Left (and Islam). So, really it’s all about dirty far-right politics as usual; demonizing the enemy, don’t give them an inch.
After examining Glazov’s article in light of the facts, this can be taken as another example of Muslim-bashing with a false academic veneer. We have already seen how fake scholar Robert Spencer, whose masters degree is in early Christianty, makes him in no way an authority on Islam. He cannot stand up to peer-reviewed scholarship (i.e. for his anti-Muslim theories to actually be scrutinized by facts); even his own professor warns about him. Similarly, Glazov’s seemingly impressive credentials in no way validate anything he says. He does not speak the primary languages; it seems he has not even checked sources in English.
I find it offensive that Glazov exploits this tragedy for politics as usual. I have a very hard time believing Glazov really cares about Muslim women when he spends his days and nights bashing them for political gain. Today it is Noor Almaleki; tomorrow it will be the next anti-Muslim story (with Noor’s case all forgotten). I don’t buy it.