Jihadwatch.org is one of the many sites
that have taken the intensified animosity toward Muslims in the West, as a
result of Islamic terrorism, and have used the opportunity to reinforce the
age-old image of Muslims in the West... that of subhuman religious fanatics
who won't rest until the entire world is enslaved under their brand of Taliban-style
The end result: such sites advocate hatred. They are usually run by Christian
(and sometimes Jewish) fundamentalists, no differently than the hate sites run
by Islamic fundamentalists. But the West isn't going to listen to the sites
run by the nutty Islamic fundamentalists; because it is now more openly
permissible to regard Muslims as the "enemy," however, neutral
Westerners who aren't going to take the trouble to examine the ins and outs
are highly susceptible to be taken in by the tricky tactics of the zealous
These sites are like anathema to me, as if it's not difficult enough to go
through the hate sites of the Armenian and Genocide Scholar
"fundamentalists." The only reason why I decided to focus on Jihad
Watch is because while preparing a page on Tessa Hofmann, I noticed Jihadwatch.org gleefully printed a
claim from a biased Zionist source that the Ottoman Empire massacred Jews. (As
the unwarranted claim supplemented the article Jihadwatch had posted; Turkey
is predominantly Muslim, therefore, Turkey is evil.) In the same week, Vahakn
Dadrian used this hate site to exclusively post his latest ramblings, in
response to an article by
Guenter Lewy. I wanted to examine
Prosecutor Dadrian's latest sneak attack tactics, and I felt a closer look to
Jihad Watch would be warranted. (Of course, Jihadwatch.org is but one of many
hate sites; however, an explanation as to why I singled Jihadwatch.org out was
Robert Spencer is the force behind the site. He claims: "I
am not a Christian fundamentalist" (in Frontpage.com, a July 22,
2004 article entitled "Jesus' Jihad?"). I wonder how many
people would agree.
The site tells us:
"Why Jihad Watch? Because the West is facing a concerted effort by
Islamic jihadists, the motives and goals of whom are largely ignored by the
Western media, to destroy the West and bring it forcibly into the Islamic
So here we go. I don't know where he is getting the idea that the Western
media is "covering up" the motives and goals of Islamic terrorists,
because whenever there is an article about Islam, it's certainly not going to
sing the praises of the religion. Furthermore, note the implication that the
Muslim world is actually powerful enough to destroy the West and to make the
If anything, Western
culture is prevalent with the
message that Muslims = Terrorists, as seen here with
the wonderfully satiric 2004 movie, TEAM AMERICA.
To my understanding, "nations" that chose
Muslim as a religion throughout history did so on their own accord, mainly
through word-of-mouth (despite all the "forced conversion"
propaganda from Armenians and others; in the Ottoman Empire's history, the
only forced exception was the Janissaries.) The major religion running an
actual program to go off to the far corners of the earth in an attempt to
alter the beliefs of others happened to be Christianity, through their
missionary agents. That's why we have Japanese nuns and a church on
practically every corner in Hawaii.
I believe "Jihad" is a word that has a different context in Arabic,
where violence is far from the essential idea (An accurate definition by a
Briton is provided below); but it has come to mean a
holy war against Christian infidels in the West. This is the meaning the host
of the site, Robert Spencer, chooses to emphasize:
Jihad (in Arabic, "struggle") is a central
duty of every Muslim. Modern Muslim theologians have spoken of many things as
jihads: the struggle within the soul, defending the faith from critics,
supporting its growth and defense financially, even migrating to non-Muslim
lands for the purpose of spreading Islam. But violent jihad is a constant of
Islamic history. Many passages of the Qur'an and sayings of the Prophet
Muhammad are used by jihad warriors today to justify their actions and gain
new recruits. No major Muslim group has ever repudiated the doctrines of armed
jihad. The theology of jihad, which denies unbelievers equality of human
rights and dignity, is available today for anyone with the will and means to
bring it to life.
Even though Robert Spencer acknowledges that there are moderate Muslims, the
idea he wants to put across is that every Muslim is a potential killer for the
Islamic cause. Forget about Islam having been known historically to be based
on tolerance. (Christians and Jews lived freely in the Ottoman Empire, for
example, when Muslims and Jews were barely regarded as human beings in
Christian European nations. Europe became a power bloc mostly after the
Crusaders returned from their holy wars, having been civilized through their
encounters in the East.) Robert Spencer is going to make it seem like the
subhuman Muslims have no respect for human rights and dignity.
Here's what it boils down to: of course if we selectively present
examples from fundamentalists, like the Wahhabis from Saudi Arabia, it's going to look
bad. To provide a parallel, there was a recent PBS show on Lubbock, Texas, where a girl
who was raised under a typically conservative household was rebelling against the dumb
religious notions that her town had been taken over by. These vocal extremists had taken
over the school boards, for example, and their idea of sex education is to teach
abstinence. Incidents of venereal disease among the teenagers have been skyrocketing, as a
I certainly am not going to defend the similarly kooky religious notions nations like
Saudi Arabia live under. I don't claim to be an expert on Saudi Arabia, but having seen
some documentaries, I'm aware most Saudis... despite the excesses of their laws... have it
pretty good. We in the West have no right to expect that every society ought to conform to
our Western ways.
It's not that these comparatively weak Muslim nations want to "make the world
Islamic," an idea Robert Spencer tries to frighten us with (although certainly the
extremist Muslim believers would love nothing better, just like extremist Christian
believers would love to impose Christian fundamentalism on the entire world); if anybody
is forcing the world to convert to its ways, it's the West. (Note how they have succeeded.) The irony, of course, is that
the examples of Islamic extremism is a REACTION to the bullying ways of the West. So when
these forces don't roll over and accept Western domination, then the West is going to say,
Hey. What's the matter with these people? Oh, of course... all they know is violence, and
"jihad." (Easier to believe, since each side has a bad rap to the other since
Those versed in the truth of the Armenian "Genocide" know fully well there are
two sides to every story. I'm not going to get mired in these ridiculous religious
discussions (is there anything more stupid than arguing, "My religion is better than
yours"?), and I only conducted minimal research; I'm going to use as an example the
one site I came across as a counterpoint. From http://www.answering-christianity.com/ac5.htm#links:
"Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for
God loveth not transgressors. (The Noble Quran, 2:190)"
"But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and
trust in God: for He is One that heareth and knoweth (all things). (The Noble Quran,
"If thou dost stretch thy hand against me, to slay me, it is not for me to stretch
my hand against thee to slay thee: for I do fear God, the cherisher of the worlds.
(The Noble Quran, 5:28)"
"God does not forbid you from showing kindness and dealing justly with those who
have not fought you about religion and have not driven you out of your homes. God loves
just dealers. (The Noble Quran, 60:8)"
There's a whole slew of these quotations from the Koran. Sure there are medieval quotes of
violence and other nonsense, just as in the Bible. But those such as Robert Spencer are
mainly going to emphasize the horrible parts... because Robert Spencer's agenda is to make
you hate Islam even more.
I'll refer to this "counter-point" site ("answering-christianity.com")
as a quick and easy way to supplement the points I'm making... but that does not mean I'm
condoning this site either. I perused it only very quickly, and since it's written by a
believer (but written fairly well, in a light-hearted way at times; these kinds of sites
are needed to counter the hatred spread by sites such as jihadwatch.org) there are areas
that make me bristle. For example, on a page examining treatment of women, we have a photo
of a pure, innocent, covered up Muslim girl; and on the right side, we have sexy images of
women typically seen in Western ads. While a thought-provoking point is made that the
Western women are presented as sex objects, these women are labeled as...
"Satanic"? If those women represent Satan, show me the way to Old Scratch.
Let's take a look at how Robert Spencer chooses to make his
points; this is from "Islam 'will never support terror or violence'":
Dubai: The Islamic
Personality of the year 2005 said Islam has never and will never be a religion of
terror or violence because it preserves the individual's human rights and dignity.
Shaikh presents the Islamic Personality of the Year award during the closing
ceremony of the Dubai International Holy Quran Award.
"The message of Islam and Muslims is modesty, fairness, security, stability,
sympathy, harmony and kindness," said Dr Shaikh Abdul Rahman Al Sudais, the
veteran Quran reader and imam of the Holy Mosque in Makkah.
Whew, that's a relief! I feel better already! Oh, and here's some modesty, fairness,
security, stability, sympathy, harmony and kindness from Al-Sudais, via a January
2004 WND story, "WND goes inside 'mainstream' Muslim conference":
Last April, while addressing 2 million followers at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, chief
cleric Sheikh Abdul Rahman al-Sudais prayed to God to "terminate" the
Jews, who he called "the scum of humanity, the rats of the world, prophet
killers ... pigs and monkeys."
Al-Sudais also urged Arabs and Muslims to abandon peace initiatives with Israel. His
comments were carried worldwide by Reuters and the Associated Press. The racist
characterization of Jews was not a singular occurrence, as suggested by some media.
Al-Sudais has variously described Jews as "evil," a "continuum of
deceit," "tyrannical" and "treacherous."
Uh-oh. Looks like a certain two-faced imam was caught with his pants
down. (Assuming his words were correctly transcribed by "WND," which seems to
have had an agenda of his own; "World News Daily" appears to be just one more of
the omnipresent right-wing Christian sites.)
Now what does this presentation say about Robert Spencer?
He's taking one disgusting sermon by a religious zealot ... and of course, he's not the
only religious zealot, as Spencer tells us these hateful words were not a singular
occurrence... and trying to apply it across the board to the entire religion.
Horribly irresponsible. Simply horrible.
It's as if one perused broadcasts of "The 700 Club," broadcasts that similarly
reach viewers in the millions in the USA, and selectively presented the hateful words that
are used against Muslims, homosexuals, secular humanists, and what-have-you. (Evangelists
are careful against coming across as anti-Semitic, given the extent of Jewish political
power in the United States... but don't think they would not joyfully criticize the
"Christ-killers," given half a chance! Once in a while, they do slip up,
though...as has the Rev. Jerry Falwell.)
Now I know most Christians would not think in the wildly extremist ways of their
fundamentalists. Wouldn't that be terribly irresponsible to make it seem as they do?
I'm sure most "real" Muslims would not condone the prejudice, as reported by the
WND, of this Shaikh Abdul Rahman al-Sudais. Naturally, the like-thinking ones who flock to
see him are going to soak it up. And, naturally, we in the West are going to readily
believe all Muslims are composed of such mindless drones... because Muslims are all a
little "less-than-human," and are prone to fanaticism.
Now what is really behind this cleric's racist rant? Does anyone believe his counterpart
from a few centuries back would have lashed out at the Jews... when the Jews were
powerless, and Muslims and Jews feel more of a kinship between their religions than they
do with Christianity (for example, Jesus is recognized only as a prophet, and then there
is that "pig" aversion). This is the resulting human prejudice stemming from
what is seen as the injustices practiced by Israel, and her main benefactor, the United
States. Of course, it takes a big man, like Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King, not to
go in the direction of hatred when you or your kind are being "persecuted"...
but how easily do we find the big men? Most men are going to go the way of this imam, who
feel such persecution from Israel and the USA. The people who live in these countries are
the enemy, and they're all sub-humans, and "bad." Kind of like Robert Spencer
says about the Muslim countries!
Is that fair for me to say about Robert Spencer? He writes in the way I have an
appreciation for, not stuffy but with tongue-in-cheek (from the above example, "Whew,
that's a relief! I feel better already!"), so already he seems a little cool.
(Unfortunately, from the few samples of his that I have read, he is basing his
point-of-view on only selective sources, which is definitely not cool). Let's find out a
little about him. He goes out of his way to appear balanced in the accounts that describe
him and in an interview, but it is his writings that give him away.
Outside Opinion: Whom
would Jesus hate?
(Commenting on a book authored by Robert Spencer)
Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), which, I understand, has not even been
released yet*, already is at No. 49 in amazon.com's top 100 as I type this sentence.
This ignorance-and-hate fest is in amazon.com's top 100-selling books. In Islam the
pig is considered unclean, so I have to wonder how the pig on the cover is going to go
down among Muslims. (Not that the wingnuts who like to endanger all Americans with
their anti-Muslim rhetoric and actions give a shit...) The cover's claim that
"Muslim persecution of Christians has continued for 13 centures — and still
goes on" is kinda funny in light of what we know about what happened to Muslims
at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq at the hands of "Christian" U.S. soldiers and
how Muslims are still being kept at Guantanamo Bay Concentration Camp (gee, I don't
know of any American "Christians" who are being kept at Muslim concentration
camps...). This book will sell, despite its blatantly obvious distortions and lies,
because "Christians" need to feel better about their miserable selves and
their miserable lives by hating others — just as Jesus Christ taught them to do.
From the FAQ page on Spencer's site (as of late 2005), it
seems he has gone on an anti-Muslim crusade of his own, having written "The
Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)," among other
books. He received his Master's in "Religious Studies" in a university
from the Bible Belt... and I don't think the courses he concentrated on were about
Islam, since I don't think the "Religious Studies" major offered that many
courses in Islam. It appears he is a fundamentalist Christian; he doesn't like
Muslims, just like fundamentalist Muslims don't care for Christians, so he decided
to learn as much about the Muslim religion as he could, to cherry-pick the "bad
parts" and make other people hate Islam.
In other words, he's kind of like Vahakn Dadrian! (No wonder Prosecutor Dadrian has
cozied up with Robert Spencer's Jihadwatch.org.)
Spencer has become a bit of a celebrity, to read his bio... featuring articles and
interviews in some general, but mostly conservative publications and programs.
Q: Why should I believe what you say about Islam?
A: Because I draw no conclusions of myself. Pick up any of my books, and you
will see that they are made up largely of quotations from Islamic jihadists and the
traditional Islamic sources to which they appeal to justify violence and terrorism.
I am only shedding light on what these sources say.
He draws no conclusions? What an insincere statement. From the articles that I have
read, his lack of balance means only that he is drawing conclusions, and he would
like nothing better than for you to draw the same conclusions. And of course if one
concentrates on only the agenda-serving "bad" quotations, you are going to
steer your hopeful converts in the direction you choose. It's like if only the
medieval quotations from the Bible are presented to make Christianity appear to be
evil, and to make it seem as though all Christians think the same way. It's like the
Armenian "Genocide," only presenting the facts from the anti-Turkish
racists and others who have an agenda.
"Since childhood I have had an interest in the Muslim
world, from which my family comes." Spencer reports later on. Since I
don't think his family is Muslim ("Spencer" does not sound very Muslim,
for one thing), maybe he means he had a missionary family. He should have elaborated
on this important point, his origin and influence. Why didn't he? Perhaps he would
then come across as... less objective? (He's actually trying to make it seem as
though he were more objective, given that his family came from the Muslim world, and
that he was so at one with the Muslims.)
In response to "Q: Why do so many people convert to Islam?" Spencer
says many sensible things, including "The global jihad
against the West today also helps Islam gather converts in the West from among
groups that feel themselves to be oppressed or marginalized." Hey, maybe
this fellow isn't so... one-sided after all? Not so fast, Kowalski! Remember, this
is the FAQ section of his site where he must come across as "fair."
Q: Do you hate Muslims?
A: Of course not. Islam is not a monolith, and never have I said or written
anything that characterizes all Muslims as terrorist or given to violence. I am only
calling attention to the roots and goals of jihad violence. Any Muslim who renounces
violent jihad and dhimmitude is welcome to join in our anti-jihadist efforts. Any
hate in my books comes from Muslim sources I quote, not from me. Cries of
"hatred" and "bigotry" are effectively used by American Muslim
advocacy groups to try to stifle the debate about the terrorist threat. But there is
no substance to them.
To this, I say don't talk the cheap talk but do the more strenuous walk. He's an
intelligent man, and hopefully that means he doesn't believe all Muslims are evil.
Yet the context of the few articles of his that I've read definitely gives the
impression that Islam is a monolith. The example we have from above, "Islam
'will never support terror or violence'," gives nothing short of the idea. It's
not a criticism of one two-faced imam. It's meant to show the hypocrisy of Muslims
who say Islam is a religion of peace, thus denouncing all Muslims.
For example, take a look at the following:
Because persecution of Jews opposes the view of human beings and the love of
one's neighbour which is a consequence of the gospel that the church of Jesus Christ
has the task to preach. Christ knows of no respect of persons, and he has taught us
to see that every human life is costly to God. "There is neither Jew nor Greek,
there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all
one in Christ Jesus." (Gal 3.28)
This, to me, is what a true Christian would be about. There are counterparts to the
above in the Koran, that I've read in articles, similarly highlighting the value of
all humanity. (ADDENDUM, 1-07: For example, one was
featured in the opening of C. F. Dixon-Johnson's 1916 book, "The Armenians": ""Whosoever does wrong to a Christian
or Jew shall find me his accuser on the day of judgment.") Now here is a mild
description from the missionary, Clarence Ussher:
"Turks were callous, indifferent to each other’s
sufferings, utterly selfish….Very few could be got to do a hand’s turn of work
for the common good…They were filthy beyond description."
This kind of thinking was the rule, not the exception, from devout Christians of the
period... Arnold Toynbee, James Bryce, Woodrow Wilson, Consul George Horton who
thought of all Turks as "The Blight of Asia," and Cardinal Newman (from an
earlier period, I believe) who likened the Turks to barbarians and the "great
anti-Christ among the races of men."
Are we now to dismiss all Christians as hopeless racists, who certainly believe some
humans are more equal than others, which says little about their concern for
"human rights and dignity"?
Am I "anti-Muslim"? Some time ago here at Jihad
Watch I had an exchange with an English convert to Islam. I said: "I would like
nothing better than a flowering, a renaissance, in the Muslim world, including full
equality of rights for women and non-Muslims in Islamic societies: freedom of
conscience, equality in laws regarding legal testimony, equal employment
opportunities, etc." Is all that "anti-Muslim"? My correspondent
thought so. He responded: "So, you would like to see us ditch much of our
religion and, thereby, become non-Muslims."
What does Spencer mean by an "Islamic society"? If he means a society
ruled by religion, as with Iran, then we are not going to have those freedoms any
more than if we had a medieval Christian society run by fundamentalists. Back in the
days of the Byzantine Empire, the ruling Christian class would not grant freedoms
even to fellow Christians, like the Armenians.
But if he's talking about a secular country that is predominantly Muslim, then we
have all those elements. I hope one day more "Islamic societies" will
become secular. But in Turkey, the ideals Spencer refers to exist, for the most
part. (Maybe not to the extent we have them in America, but not all democracies are
created equally. You can't even say some things in France or Switzerland, without getting hauled
So if Turkey, which Spencer would brand as another Islamic society, has these
elements... does Turkey consider itself "anti-Muslim"? If his
correspondent thought such matters as equality and freedom of conscience were
"anti-Muslim," then wouldn't that have been one Muslim's opinion?
People are people everywhere. All people cherish qualities such as equality and
freedom. Only abnormal, extremely religious minds would think differently, with
their belief in a higher power. Yet because of this one Muslim's opinion, Spencer is
indirectly telling us Muslims must not be that human, because they don't appreciate
freedom and equality. More talk like that, and I'm going to start questioning
Spencer's assertion that "Islam is not a monolith."
"In other words, he saw a call for equality of rights for
women and non-Muslims in Islamic societies, including freedom of conscience,
equality in laws regarding legal testimony, and equal employment opportunities, as a
challenge to his religion," Spencer clarifies. I have news for Spencer:
so would Christian and Jewish fundamentalists.
By the way: Spencer appears to do his best to brand Turkey as a Muslim monster, too.
Years ago, the faithful of Algeria voted to have an Islamic government, practicing
their own limited democracy. The government realized the running of the country by
religious extremists would amount to no good, and chose the lesser of two evils...
to not accept the decision. Does everyone remember the outcry of Europe, protesting
against the hijacking of a democratic vote? As if the world would have been better
off with another religious government.
Q: Are you trying to incite anti-Muslim hatred?
A: Certainly not. I am trying to point out the depth and extent of the hatred
that is directed against the United States, because I believe that the efforts to
downplay its depth and extent leave us less equipped to defend ourselves.
I am not sure if the way to "defend ourselves" is to incite anti-Muslim
hatred, which is what Spencer is doing, whether he is upfront about admitting it, or
not. The way for effective defense lies in understanding. Yes, there are Muslims who
have come to despise the United States. Did these Muslims suddenly say to
themselves, oh, let's hate the USA, that might be fun? Just like with the causes for
what happened with the Armenians in 1915, which Robert Spencer similarly chooses to
ignore, we must look at the root causes for this hatred. For example, what was the
power behind Iran before the ayatollahs took over? Can it be said the USA bears
responsibility for the awful society Iran has become, under the control of these
corrupt mullahs? If Iraq becomes a more religious society as there are signs at the
time of this writing, as horrible as Iraq's previous government was, would that have
taken place in a vacuum? When we understand the hatred, and if we have enough
courage and integrity, then we can deal with it. The way to stop the hatred is not
to create further hatred.
In other words, the "roots of the terrorist threat" do not lie with the
more medieval quotations of the Koran, as Spencer deceptively would have us believe.
Those medieval quotes were there in 1660, 1760, in 1860 and in 1960... yet there was
no terrorist threat from Islamists against the West. (Historically, the Ottoman
Empire represented the only threat; after its military power declined, they became
the ones threatened.) Those medieval quotes are going to remain, whether we like
them or not, just like the medieval quotes of the Bible are not going to be
"updated." When a Christian fundamentalist murders an abortion doctor,
will Robert Spencer advocate changing the Bible? (Not that he's advocating change;
what Spencer is suggesting is "confronting the texts of the Qur'an, Hadith, and
Sira that are used to justify violence against unbelievers, and decisively rejecting
Qur'anic literalism." But you can't reason with a religious fanatic who is
going to take any holy book quote literally. Maybe the logical answer would be to go
the way of John Lennon, and Imagine there's no religion.)
The answer, my friends, is not blowing in the wind, here. The answer in defusing
these problems lies with understanding and friendship, not bullying and domination.
That is no easy answer, especially with the deeply established antagonisms, and
(perhaps more importantly) the profits at stake.
("Arabic-speaking Christians use 'Allah' for the God of
the Bible" That's interesting! One way for Islamophobes to create
distance is to make it seem like "Allah" is an altogether different God...
although that is just the word for "god" in another language, like "dios"
in Spanish. Once again, trying to find ways to tear us apart instead of bringing us
Moving on to "An Interview With Robert Spencer"
from Right Wing News (www.rightwingnews.com/interviews/spencer.php)
John Hawkins: Why haven't moderate Muslims been able to stop
the spread of violent Islam?
Robert Spencer: While there are moderate Muslims, moderate Islam is something else
again. There are Muslims who are very peaceful people, who would never wage jihad, and who
don't approve of those waging jihad in the name of Islam today. But the fact is that the
radicals actually do have a stronger theoretical, theological, and legal basis within
Islam for what they believe than the moderates do. They're able to intimidate moderates
into silence because if the moderates speak out, they're labeled as disloyal to the
Ironically, what Spencer is describing is exactly what has happened, and continues
happening, with the Armenians. Moderate Armenians don't dare publicly speak out against
their false genocide, because the fanatical Dashnaks have ways of silencing them. If
Spencer were a little more honest and/or educated, the irony of his words would hit him
"There are Muslims who are very peaceful people..." The truth is, MOST
Muslims are peaceful, not just some fringe element. [The interviewer, John Hawkins,
informs us that according to congressman Tom Tancredo, "...relatively few, less
than 10% of the Muslim population (can be) categorize(d) as (supporters of)
terrorists." Spencer replies, "the theological
foundations of radical Islam make it so that a much larger number of Muslims are in
sympathy with what the radicals do even though they would never do it themselves."
I'd say the reasons have much less to do with "theological foundations" —
again, the implication that Muslims are primitive subhumans who don't have the brains to
think for themselves — and much more to do with "political realities.")
"Back to the 1920s, certain radical Muslim theorists,
particularly Hasan Al Banna & Syed Qutb, taught that no government had any legitimacy
unless it obeyed Islamic law and that it was the duty of Muslims around the world to wage
war against those governments that did not, Muslim and non-Muslim, until Islamic law was
established. Those people would consider America to be their primary foe because America
is offering a different model for the world. A model that involves freedom, equality,
dignity, & rights for all, Republican government and so on. This is their chief
There are times when Spencer's spin comes across as level-headed and objective... and then
he involuntarily flatulates, exposing his true face. What are we going to do now, take the
word of "certain radical Muslim theorists" and apply them across the board? Did
Rabbi Meir Kahane speak for all Jews? Did David Duke, when he wore the white hood, speak
for all Christians?
If America had left Middle-Eastern Muslims alone in the 20th century (along with some
European imperialists in the 20th and previous centuries), there would be no Osama bin
Laden today. It's as simple as that. Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with America
being "their chief competition." If there were mad Muslims looking to make the
world a more Muslim place, they would start with neighboring states that are either not
Muslim and especially NOT AS Muslim to try and bully around, first.
Robert Spencer is asked about Israel, but only to the extent on whether there are "'Naziesque'
levels of anti-semitism in much of the Muslim world" (which is not a brave question
to ask about Israel). Spencer answers yes, and unfortunately he's right. Anti-Semitism is
not only restricted to the Muslim world either, but Spencer fishes around to why there is
this Anti-Semitism in the Muslim world. "I think that the
Palestinians have to a certain extent, a legitimate claim," he says. "There are people...who were forced out of their homes in the
1940s," he explains, which would give them a legitimate claim to more than
just a certain extent, but a FULL extent, as anyone who has been forced out of his or her
home can attest to. (The number of expulsed that I had once come across was 750,000.
America had something to do with that, if we want to get closer to the heart of the
(If anyone thinks about applying the above to the Armenians, don't
forget: a good chunk of the pre-war Armenian population — about 1.5 million — remained
at the end of the war; the Armenian Patriarch recorded 1,260,000 in 1918 and up to 644,900
in 1921. Armenians chose not to remain, for their own reasons. Both what was left of the
Ottoman Empire and the new Turkish Republic gave the Armenians several opportunities to return.)
Spencer continues: "The fact is that the neighboring Muslim
states refused these people asylum and the right to settle and build homes in their
countries, because they wanted to use them as a stick to beat Israel with, and they have.
So both sides have really mistreated the Palestinians..."
Okay. So those bad neighboring Muslim states were as much to blame as Israel. As if the
USA and other nations, in refusing to accept Jewish refugees from Nazi-dominated Europe,
bore equal responsibility to Nazi Germany. Maybe those Arab states had other reasons, such
as being financially poor, and not being able to absorb hundreds of thousands. Maybe they
saw these kicked-out Palestinians as a force for instability within their own insecure
Spencer then goes on to explain that the Palestinians' suicide
bombing "is a direct result of the radical jihadest
rhetoric," but I'm not sure if that's true. I had read a Western study not
long ago investigating the backgrounds of these bombers, and a good chunk, maybe the
majority, of these people were not religious. The real incentive derives from hopelessness
and frustration (not to condone these bombings; targeting the lives of innocents can never
be justified). The ones in charge are regarded as occupiers, and there are times the
occupied are treated brutally. The occupied have no one to truly call for help in the
world, and America is seen as the main support behind what the occupied see as their
occupiers. There is much simmering wrath, and anyone with an honest understanding is going
to see "Islam" is not causing this wrath.
fundamentalism has very little to do with it."
Why do suicide bombers do it?
By Christopher Shea | July 3, 2005, The Boston Globe
Four years ago, the late Susan Sontag was excoriated for arguing, in a brief New
Yorker piece, that the attacks that brought down the World Trade Center were inspired
not by hatred of ''civilization" or ''the free world" but rather by
opposition to ''specific American alliances and actions." Today that
argument--seen by hawks in those dark post-Sept. 11 days as treasonously
empathetic--has become a commonplace in the latest political science work on
No one, for example, is hurling charges of crypto-treason at Robert A. Pape, an
associate professor of political science at the University of Chicago known for
hard-nosed studies of air power in wartime. But Pape's new book, ''Dying to Win: The
Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism" (Random House), which grew out of a
much-cited 2003 article in the American Political Science Review, is prime example of
the mainstreaming of Sontag's once-taboo view. ''Suicide terrorism is a response to
occupation," Pape says in a phone interview. ''Islamic fundamentalism has very
little to do with it."
''Dying to Win" draws on a thorough database of all suicide attacks recorded
since the contemporary practice was born during the Lebanese civil war in the early
1980s: a total of 315 incidents through 2003, involving 462 suicidal attackers. Of the
384 attackers for whom Pape has data, who committed their deeds in such danger zones
as Sri Lanka (where the decidedly non-fundamentalist, quasi-Marxist Tamil Tigers have
used suicide attacks since 1987 in their fight for a Tamil homeland), Israel,
Chechnya, Iraq, and New York, only 43 percent came from religiously affiliated groups.
The balance, 57 percent, came from secular groups. Strikingly, during the Lebanese
civil war, he says, some 70 percent of suicide attackers were Christians (though
members of secular groups).
The thrust of his argument is that suicide terrorism is an eminently rational
strategy. Everywhere it has been used, the countries that face it make concessions:
The United States left Lebanon; Israel withdrew from Lebanon and now (much of) the
West Bank; and Sri Lanka gave the Tamils a semiautonomous state.
Since occupation spurs terrorism, Pape concludes that America should
''expeditiously" (but not recklessly) withdraw troops from Iraq... (The rest is here. A 2002 article by Ha'aretz looks into what an Israeli official came up with, in
regards to the motivations of suicide bombers.)
Islam does not believe in the equality, dignity, and rights of all people."
He is right. But is there a partisan ideology on a radical level which does? It
seems Spencer is sugarcoating with the word "radical," but it's not really
radical Islam that he's criticizing; he is criticizing Islam as a whole. (With these
sneaky tactics, no wonder Vahakn Dadrian likes this guy!)
Spencer and his interviewer discuss the impossibility of a woman's proving she has
been raped. The victim becomes even more victimized by getting imprisoned for
adultery or even stoned to death. A site in Germany, International Society for Human
Rights, writes: "alongside the revival and re-politisation of Islam, a
tendency of introducing shari'ah law has been recorded in recent decades. This
mainly concerns countries such as Sudan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and
The one act of my country that I'm very thankful for, even if they did it for other
post 9/11 reasons, is the kicking out of the Taliban in Afghanistan. I hated those
worms for their abuse of women. And this described activity, similar to the genital
mutilation of women we often hear about, is horrifying. Definitely a case where
"Radical Islam does not believe in the equality, dignity, and rights of all
"Stonings for adultery happen all
the time in Saudi Arabia & Iran and they don't make any headlines,"
Spencer claims. But since Spencer does not live in those countries and only listens to
sources with similar agendas to his own, one needs to dig deeper to find the real truth.
No doubt these terrible things do happen, and even if they happen once in a while, that
would be once in a while too many. I don't believe they would be that commonplace, as the
ordinary people of Saudi Arabia & Iran are not going to be so demented. I'm sure most
of the regulars abhor such practices, and only put up with the times they happen because
"You can't fight city hall." If they "happen all the time," I'd doubt
even the governments in charge would get away with it, at least after a sustained period
This is an area that requires in-depth research, and I was only able to give a cursory
look. Another (seemingly) right-wing site had a forum that printed an article called
"Two Beheaded in Saudi Arabia Over Rape." (www.rightnation.us/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t88447.html)
"A Saudi and a Yemeni, were executed in a public square after confessing to their
crimes." There were 65 beheadings in 2005 up until Sept. 21, 35 in 2004 and 52 in
2003. The first apparently American forum writer shared the approval of most of the rest. ("Neither
one will ever do it again. In other words: GOOD!" Religious conservatives of all
stripes love the death penalty.)
So at least we know rape is a crime taken seriously... much more seriously than in the
United States, if the punishment is execution. The crime may be harder to prove; but
nothing justifies the punishment of the victim, in these handful of radical Islamic
A biblical counterpoint from answering-christianity.com (www.answering-christianity.com/woman.htm):
"If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her
and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must
marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
(From the NIV Bible, Deuteronomy 22:28)" The webmaster asks: "How is the Bible
supposed to prevent some loser from stalking the most beautiful single woman in town, rape
her, and then sue her in court to become his wife so he can continue raping her for the
rest of her life?!"
I remember a story like this that took place in China a few years ago. Some rapist took a
woman into a cave and enslaved her to the point of driving her mad. Since she became of no
use to anyone, the local authorities then placed her in the care of... her rapist!
Just because I read that story somewhere does not mean it was true, of course. The point
is, there are excesses happening everywhere in the world. I read a New York Times
article not long ago where one of the main countries on earth supporting female slavery
was not from the Third World, but the United States. As repulsive as these tales of
stonings are from the radical Islamic nations, it's easy for those with an agenda to point
to them as evidence for people practicing the religion to be the most inhuman on earth.
Robert Spencer wrote in
Frontpage.com's "Jesus' Jihad?":
In the New York Times last
Saturday, Nicholas Kristof discovers what he considers to be a disturbing counterpoint
to calls by Islamic radicals to wage war against Christians and Jews: the Left Behind
books, the runaway bestselling series of novels that depict the Christian
fundamentalist notion of the “Rapture.” This is the moment at the end of the world
when good Christians are taken into heaven, and the rest are left on earth to suffer
the judgment of God. Quoting some lurid passages from the latest book in the series,
The Glorious Appearing, he sees a dark implication of the fact that these books are bestsellers:
“ordinary Americans joined in the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in part because
of a lack of empathy for the prisoners. It’s harder to feel empathy for such people
if we regard them as infidels and expect Jesus to dissolve their tongues and eyes any
He evidently missed what Christianity says about empathy.
more than evident Spencer misses that there is a big difference between what
Christianity teaches and how some Christians go about practicing Christianity.
Note how the above
serves as a parallel to how "Mein Kampf" became a bestseller in Turkey,
which Spencer brought to light (below). Because a book hits it off with a certain
element of society does not mean this certain element would be representative of the
In his zeal to paint Turkey as another barbarian Muslim nation,
Spencer displayed his historic ignorance by pooh-poohing the tolerance of the Turks.
This is the kind of article where he reveals his true stripes, rather than the
objective and fair judge he tries to come across as, within his site's FAQ page.
Anything that shows Muslims as good people? Not allowed.
(It was on this page where he added the Ottoman Jew massacre claim as an
"Addendum" [That's the word I use for my site's updates, as well!]. Just
because some other biased person made a claim, it was good enough for the
agenda-ridden Robert Spencer.)
"Why, of course. These sweet,
tolerant Turks couldn't possibly be indulging anti-Semitic, Hitlerian
thoughts. After all, the Ottoman Empire was tolerant."
Those were Mr. Spencer's words, from his
March 29, 2005 piece entitled, "Turkey Shrugs Off Success of Hitler's
'Mein Kampf." His previous article reported there was a surge in the
sale of Hitler's book, especially when prices were reduced by a third. (As
comparison, he cited the lesser statistic of 15,000 in annual sales of this
book, within the USA.) Spencer's conclusion at the end of the first article:
"Racist fascism has
tremendous appeal to the world's dark hearts, and it will emerge in some
quarters whenever there is social distress and conflict, as there is today in
Turkey. No such platitude should let us forget, though, that Islam and Nazism
have close historical ties that could re-emerge at any time."
In his forum, reader "Elephant"
provides historical evidence: "Heinrich Himmler called Islam the
'perfect religion for war'."
In the newer article, Spencer objects to the following passages from the
"Anti-Semitism has traditionally been weak in
Turkey, a Muslim but secular country that has forged close security ties with
Israel in recent years. The Turkish Ottoman Empire offered refuge to Jews and
other minorities fleeing persecution in Europe from the time of the Spanish
That last paragraph is a textbook example of a beast
that is slain in a volume called The Myth of Islamic Tolerance.
"Political analysts say 'Mein Kampf' probably
reflects rising nationalism and anti-American sentiment rather than
anti-Semitism or specific support for Hitler and his ideas."
Spencer: Why, of course.
These sweet, tolerant Turks couldn't possibly be indulging anti-Semitic,
Hitlerian thoughts. After all, the Ottoman Empire was tolerant.
tolerance of the Turks is a matter of historical record. If the Ottoman Turks
were intolerant, the Balkans would possibly be Muslim and speaking Turkish
today, in the same manner South America and Hawaii have been taken over by the
language, religion and customs (and in the case of the latter, the people) of
"Many Turks are worried their country is having to
make too many concessions to the European Union as it prepares for the start
of long-delayed entry talks later this year.
There is also widespread anger about the U.S. occupation of neighboring
Yeah, I can see
how those things would drive people to read Mein Kampf. Why, just yesterday I
was in a bookstore and I heard someone say: "I am so upset about the new
earthquakes in Southeast Asia that I am going to buy a copy of 'The Protocols
of the Elders of Zion.'"
Spencer is repulsed by matters Hitlerian, I wonder why there is no mention in
his site about how the Armenians cozied up with the Fuehrer during WWII, how Armenians
proudly proclaim their Aryan nature in often anti-Semitic Armenian Internet
forums, and why there are practically no Jews left in Armenia today.
Robert Spencer is
certainly pleasing the hateful readers of his site, but is not demonstrating
very much intellectual capacity, in his zeal to demonize all Muslims. He
displays a terrible unawareness of the factors described. But what can we
expect? Like his "friend," Vahakn Dadrian, Spencer's purpose thrives
on staying above the surface. A real truth-seeker engages in what
Greek-Cypriot author Antonis Angastiniyotis described:
If you want to find more than one
reality, you need to constantly dig the soil until your hands are bloody.
As far as the
anti-Semitism indicated by the popularity of Hitler's book: that is a
disturbing sign. The roots of Turkish history, however, unlike the countries
of the Christian world, have been far removed from anti-Jewishness. In 1924,
Haim Nahum, the last Grand Rabbi of the Ottoman Empire, said: "It is
actually an understatement that there was no anti-Semitism in Turkey. In fact,
there was a pro-Semitism. Ottoman governments treated their Jewish subjects
with a special consideration and compassion as one of their own, as one of the
most loyal and devoted subjects of the empire."
In an article entitled, "Turkey: prove it," General
Brent Scowcroft (chairman of the American-Turkish Council) is skewered as a Turkish
hack. (This one might have been written not by Spencer, but "Jihad Watch Board
Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald.") The writer is horrified that Turkey might
become a member of the European Union because the "Turks
can, by the rules of the E.U., move freely anywhere within that same E.U, and set up
doner kebab shops, and mosques, and swell the ranks still further of those
ever-swelling ranks of Muslims who, almost without exception, have everywhere they
have settled within Europe made life more unpleasant, more expensive, and more
physically insecure for the indigenous Infidels (and for other non-Muslim immigrant
groups who, unlike the Muslims, settle in Europe without making life more
unpleasant, expensive, and physically dangerous for everyone else)?"
It's a good thing Robert Spencer, under the "Do you hate Muslims?"
question of his FAQ section, told us he was not anti-Muslim.
The article, after the rant above, actually goes on to say: "the charge that the E.U. is a 'Christian club' is
Two of the three conditions required before Turkey can become a member of the E.U.:
1) Recognizing not only the genocide of Armenians in 1915-1920, but the "mass
murder" of Armenians in 1894-96.
2) "Removal of the green flag of Islam from Hagia Sophia, allowing Western (and
Turkish) artisans to restore, as much as possible, the building, and permitting the
holding, in Hagia Sophia, of church services."
(I wonder if a requirement was made of Greece and Spain to restore mosques and the
permitting of mosque services, before Greece and Spain were permitted to join the
E.U. Assuming there were any mosques or Muslims left in Greece and Spain, after the
Greeks and Spaniards performed their own "jihads" many years ago.)
One of Jihad Watch's forum writers, Chris, enthusiastically agrees: "Do not forget that turks/muslims are occupators,it is not
their land!!!" I don't know. Around a thousand years of ownership must
be good for some squatters' rights.
It's usually the left-wingers who don't like the Turks for reasons a right-leaning
publication explained so
well. But when the right-wingers have their own bones to pick, they sure can
lay it on thick. The latter group is influenced mostly by religious and racial
reasons. Any way you look at it, the animosity all boils down to hatred.
|"Jihad," as explained by an enlightened Briton
"The error with regard to the common view regarding
Islam arises from misapprehension of the meaning of the word ‘Jihad’, a word
which in the hands of the C.I.D. reporters has caused much groundless fear to the
British in India.
"Jihad" is commonly translated "holy war", with a meaning like
crusade. It properly denotes the whole effort, individual and collective, of the
true believer against evil, beginning with the conquest of a man's own passions and
ending possibly, but not necessarily, in persecution and exile or upon the
battlefield. Every prophet made Jihad in his own way. That of Moses took the form of
emigration to escape from evil. That of Jesus was of a non-violent and passive kind.
That of Muhammad shows three stages: first a non-violent endurance of hostility and
persecution while fulfilling his own mission, like that of Jesus; second, when the
persecution threatened to exterminate his people, emigration, the Jihad of Moses;
and third, when he and his followers formed an independent State, however small and
weak, and when the persecutors still persisted in attacking them, then and not till
then he was enjoined to fight.
The term "Jihad" applies to all those stages, but in the minds of
Europeans it is restricted to the third. That is the reason for the whole mistake.
The sort of Jihad prescribed for peoples in a subject state differs from that
prescribed for the same people in a state of independence. And the Jihad for subject
peoples who are persecuted is the Jihad of Jesus, which was followed by Muhammad
during thirteen years at Mecca."
Marmaduke Pickthall, as quoted in his biography, "Loyal Enemy," by
Anne Fremantle, Hutchinson & Co. Ltd., London 1938, pp. 323-324.
Pickthall became a genuine "Islamic scholar," a
foreign notion to pretenders such as Robert Spencer. Here's a good background on this exceptional man.
After the writing of the above, a page on TAT was prepared on Marmaduke Pickthall