The American Library Association invited me to speak on a panel tomorrow, which led the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case, along with some complicit, bemused, and Leftist academics, to kick up a controversy -- previous posts about this here and here.
However, now the other three panelists, caving to pressure from this terror-linked group, have withdrawn from the panel, and the ALA has canceled the panel. The panel was stacked three against one against my point of view, but even three-to-one wasn't safe enough for CAIR or these evidently very insecure academics.
CAIR has in this won a great victory, one of many, and I am sure there will be many more, but ultimately time is running out on that unsavory organization anyway, because the truth is not on its side. CAIR has succeeded in intimidating these academics and the ALA into behaving as if my position were beyond the pale, unworthy of discussion by decent people. This way they make the ignorant and timid afraid to consider what I say, and they don't have to go to the trouble of refuting it.
And ultimately, there is nothing I can do about this tactic. It has been employed on a large scale for years by CAIR and others. But consider: my position is based on analysis of the texts and teachings of Islam, and how jihadists use those texts to make recruits among peaceful Muslims. Everything I say I back up with evidence, and have repeatedly stated my willingness to discuss and debate these issues -- with CAIR or with anyone else. Thus the best way to silence me would be to refute me -- censoring me will only inevitably make people curious as to whether or not they're being lied to (and they are). Yet no one will dare to even try to refute me.
CAIR, meanwhile, is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case. Its operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several of its former officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. Several of its other officials have made Islamic supremacist statements. CAIR also was involved in the Flying Imams' intimidation suit against the passengers who reported their suspicious behavior.
If one of us is to be marginalized, it should be terror-linked CAIR, not me. But of course with politically correct multiculturalism befogging the entire society, it is not likely that anything will change in this regard anytime soon.
There are further ironies in various position statements of the ALA itself:
Irony #1: "ALA actively advocates in defense of the rights of library users to read, seek information, and speak freely as guaranteed by the First Amendment. A publicly supported library provides free and equal access to information for all people of that community. We enjoy this basic right in our democratic society. It is a core value of the library profession."
Irony #2: "We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources."
Irony #3: "We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources."
Here is the Library Journal article, which contains numerous inaccuracies: "ALA Conference 2009: Panelists Withdraw from Session Featuring 'Islam-basher': American Library Association Conference 2009: Organization had asked for Robert Spencer to drop out from panel, says other speakers didn't know he would be joining them," by Raya Kuzyk & Norman Oder for the Library Journal, July 11:
[July 11] The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today announced that all other panelists scheduled to speak at an American Library Association (ALA) annual conference session July 12 on stereotyping of Islam have withdrawn in protest over the participation of Robert Spencer, which CAIR calls "one of the nation’s leading Islam-bashers."
Dr. Marcia Hermansen, a professor of Islamic Studies at Loyola University, wrote to the ALA, ""[sic] While I heartily endorse the principles of free expression and diversity of viewpoints that are part of the ALA mission, the way in which this information session about Islam and Muslims for Ethnic and Multi-Cultural librarians was modified and politicized at the last moment raises serious concerns about the integrity of the session."
Dr. Alia Ammar, a neuropsychologist from Hinsdale, IL, commented, "Given the substantial changes in the composition, subject, and direction of the ALA panel to which I was invited to present as well as the blatant misinformation provided regarding the purpose of the session, it would [be] untenable to present in your forum…The lack of professionalism with which this matter has been handled has been wholly disappointing as the efforts of the originally invited panelists to reach a respectable solution to the problem were simply ignored. In light of these developments, I respectfully decline to participate in the panel."
CAIR said that none of the invited panelists were informed by the ALA that Spencer was invited to participate in the panel.
Hermansen and Ammar both seem to be suggesting that the panel was changed at the last minute -- apparently by my being added on. CAIR says that none of the other panelists were told that I would be on the panel. I find this hard to believe. Here is an email that Myra Appel, chair of the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Roundtable (EMIERT), sent around to the ALA's EMIERT mailing list on June 15 -- almost a month ago:
From: Myra L. Appel <[address removed]>
Subject: EMIERT Program, July 12, 2009
Date: Monday, June 15, 2009, 10:07 AM
Dear EMIERT Colleagues,
Homa Naficy, our Vice-Chair, Chair-Elect, has planned another outstanding program to inform and stimulate conversation. We invite you to join us Sunday, July 12, 2009, for our General Meeting, followed by the panel discussion, "Perspectives on Islam: Beyond the Stereotyping." Please see below a brief description of the program, the list of panelists, and the agenda for the morning of July 12th. Attached are brief speaker bios:
Islam is not new in America; over 40% of the Muslims in America are African-Americans. The change is within the Muslim immigration trend, that's grown 38 fold over the past three decades. Arriving from all over the world, China, Trinidad and Tobago, Bosnia, and Somalia, Muslims are a diverse population speaking different languages and practicing different costumes. Even the Muslims from the Middle East are not a homogeneous population. Yet the faith that binds the populations is what is often singled out and often misunderstood. Portrayed as a terrorist religion, many Muslim families and children end up victims of hate messages and harassment. This program will offer a brief overview of the cultures and literatures of the Muslim populations and the ties that bind the faith with Judaism and Christianity. Learn how your library can serve as a key forum for Islamic tolerance and all beliefs, through interfaith dialogue and programming. Panelists:
Dr. Marcia Hermansen
Director of the Islamic World Studies Program and Professor in the Theology Department
Loyola University Chicago.
Dr. Esmail Koushanpour
Emeritus professor, Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, &
Former Executive Director of the Islamic Cultural Center of Greater Chicago
Columnist and author of 8 books on Islam and jihad, including the New York Times bestsellers The Truth About Muhammad and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). Director of the weblog,
Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. .
Alia Ammar, Ph.D., Chief Neuropsychologist, Geriatric Care Association & member of the Islamic Foundation North
AGENDA, July 12, 2009
8:00 to 9:00 EMIERT Business Meeting
9:00 to 9:15 Welcome and Introductions
9:15 to 9:40 Dr. Marcia Hermansen – “Statistical Overview/Outlook of Muslim Populations in America and Overview of Diverse Islamic Cultural/National Origins”
9:40 to 10:10 Dr. Esmail Koushanpour – “Core Beliefs Commonalities with Judaism and Christianity”
10:10 to 10:30 Robert Spencer – “Jihad: What Muslims Say It Means”
10:30 - 10:50 Dr. Alia Ammar - “Stereotypes and Realities of the African American Muslim Experience”
10:50 to 11:00 Q & As
11:00 to 12:00 Board Meeting
So would Hermansen and Ammar have us believe that in all the time since that email was sent on June 15, no one got around to informing them who else was on the panel? They had no curiosity about it? It strains credulity, to say the least.
CAIR's press release about the other three panelists dropping out is here. It repeats many of the same libels and innuendos that I answered here, although it is noteworthy that this latest from CAIR contains no mention of the lies and hate site "Little Green Footballs." Maybe CAIR realized how silly it sounded to invoke something called "Little Green Footballs" as an authority -- or maybe the falsehoods manufactured by the ridiculous Charles Johnson proved to be too flimsy and implausible even for those old hands at truth-twisting at CAIR.
Hermansen said: "I heartily endorse the principles of free expression and diversity of viewpoints that are part of the ALA mission." Glad to hear it. So do I. Accordingly, I invite her to debate me on issues regarding Islam and jihad -- in fact, she can formulate the specific topic. I will travel to Loyola University at my own expense for this debate at a time at her convenience. The same invitation goes to the other panelists, Esmail Koushanpour and Alia Ammar. If my opinions are so patently false, why not debate me and demonstrate it to the world, so that I will stand forever discredited?
If Hermansen, Koushanpour, and Ammar disagree with me, they have proven too cowardly to debate and defend their positions, and to show mine to be wrong. And if they agree with me, they have proven too cowardly to do so in public. As with numerous other lightweight academics, they dare not defend anything outside their politically correct cocoon, because they know, even if they cannot admit it, that what they are saying is a soothing lie, and that what I am saying is the truth.
Not so? Prove it. My invitation to debate stands open. Hermansen, Koushanpour and/or Ammar, or even Honest Ibe Hooper of CAIR, whom I would love to debate, can reach me at email@example.com.