British author calls Muhammad “schizophrenic,” cleric says “people don’t seem to understand the consequences of saying things like this could be quite severe”

This story is one to watch, given the past reactions and incidents resulting from publications like Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, the Danish Muhammad cartoons, The Jewel of Medina (dreadful, but it wasn’t literary critics who firebombed the publishing house), and others. “Sebastian Faulks risks Muslim anger after calling Koran the ‘rantings of a schizophrenic’,” by Lucy Cockcroft for the Telegraph, August 23:

He said the Islamic holy scripture was a “one-dimensional book” that has little literary value, and added that when compared with the Bible its message seemed “barren”.

Faulks, who is known for his meticulous research, has recently read a translation of the Koran to help him write his latest novel, A Week in December, to be published in September.

Unlike his previous historical works, such as Birdsong and Charlotte Gray, his new offering is set in contemporary London.

The cast of characters include the wife of Britain’s youngest MP, a female Tube driver, a hedge fund manager and a Glasgow-born Islamic terrorist recruit named Hassan al Rashid.

It was during research for al Rashid that he began delving into the Koran, which Muslims believe to be divine guidance passed to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel.

In an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine, Faulks said: “It’s a depressing book. It really is. It’s just the rantings of a schizophrenic. It’s very one-dimensional, and people talk about the beauty of the Arabic and so on, but the English translation I read was, from a literary point of view, very disappointing.” […]

“With the Koran there are no stories. And it has no ethical dimension like the New Testament, no new plan for life.”

And in a move that is likely to anger many Muslims, he calls into question the worth of Muhammad.

“Jesus, unlike Muhammad, had interesting things to say. He proposed a revolutionary way of looking at the world: love you neighbour, love your enemy, be kind to people, the meek shall inherit the Earth. Muhammad had nothing to say to the world other than, ‘If you don’t believe in God you will burn forever.'”

Ajmal Masroor, an imam and spokesman for the Islamic Society for Britain, says he does not recognise Faulks’ description of the Koran.

“I could list thousands of scholars, politicians and academics who have given nothing but amazing praise for the Koran, and I am talking about non-Muslims. Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Bill Clinton to name just a few.

Jefferson reported to John Jay:

The ambassador answered us that [the right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.

And let’s be thorough, and not forget John Quincy Adams or Winston Churchill. The article continues:

“I actually find his comments amusing, not offensive. They sound like the braying of someone who is rather resentful and un-objective, I would like to be able to sit down and have an informed debate about the Koran with him.”

He said Faulks’ statement runs the risk of stirring religious hatred against Muslims.

“Attacks on Islam are nothing new, but the danger is this will have a “drip, drip” effect.

“People don’t seem to understand the consequences of saying things like this could be quite severe. History tells us it can encourage hatred.”

Inayat Bunglawala, from the Muslim Council of Britain, said Faulks’ view of the Koran was “blinkered”.

“The Prophet Muhammad has had many detractors both during his own time and later on who described him as a ‘madman’ or ‘possessed by an evil spirit’ and so forth in an effort to drown out his beautiful message,” he added.

“Sebastian Faulks should perhaps draw a lesson from the fact that those detractors are all now long forgotten, whereas the Prophet is remembered with love and admiration.”…

It always helps when you have a bunch of your detractors whacked. Just ask Asma bint Marwan. Or Abu ‘Afak. Or Ka”b bin Ashraf.

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Comments

  1. says

    Thank goodness that authors such as Faulks are still, at least for the moment, free to say what they think. Before long, the Euro-state thought police will ban any such rhetoric on the basis of it’s “offensiveness” to Islam.

    Enjoy the freedom & speak up while you still can, Brits!

  2. says

    Congratulations to Mr. Sebastian Faulks for his courageous honesty about not only Islam, but Christianity.

    He said Faulks’ statement runs the risk of stirring religious hatred against Muslims.

    “Attacks on Islam are nothing new, but the danger is this will have a “drip, drip” effect.

    “People don’t seem to understand the consequences of saying things like this could be quite severe. History tells us it can encourage hatred.”

    And exactly why is that? Christians don’t go around rioting and murdering every time their religion is mocked (and Christianity is mocked a lot more in the West then Islam ever has been). Indeed, Muslims themselves frequently speak about Christianity with hatred, mockery, and disdain, yet no Muslim has been murdered by Christians mad that the Trinity was belittled. It is almost exclusively Muslims that violently riot when their religion is mocked, or even merely denied.

    Ajmal Masroor is acknowledging that Muslims react violently when their religion is denied, but shifts the blame for this onto the one who would dare deny the prophethood and character of Muhammad or the value of the Qur’an. In other words, yes the Muslims will murder people for mocking or denying Islam, but it all the infidels’ fault.

  3. says

    Well, the voyage from peaceful Meccan verses to violent, intolerant Medinan verses does seem schizophrenic.

    And this threat of rioting and retaliation is nothing more than intimidation.

    Kudos to Sebastian Faulks for speaking out and not giving in to terrorist threats!

  4. says

    Muhammad had nothing to say to the world other than, ‘If you don’t believe in God you will burn forever.'”

    hmmmmmm,,,sounds amazingly like some the Muslim posters posting here……Muslims have changed little in about 1400 years.

  5. says

    I’ve noticed that every time someone bothers to just read the damned Koran, this is their honest reaction.

    As literature, it sucks.

    As moral instruction, it is tired, regurgitated Stone Age despotism of the usual bloodthirsty tyrant deity type.

    As a spiritual work it adds nothing, and subtracts millennia, from humanity’s ascent out of barbarism and nescience.

    As a psychological document, it is VERY revealing, coming off exactly like “Mein Kampf” – a raving, hate-filled screed of vile revenge wishes larded over with maniacal torture fantasies that expose Mohammad’s tiny, sour soul.

    As poetry, who cares, ~since the essential message is so dismal.

    Faulks is spot on.

  6. says

    In the quote from Jefferson which Spencer provides, it should be clarified what “the right” is that is being mentioned and who was articulating this, which I will clarify with bold interpolations.

    Also, Spencer is not reproducing the apparently definitive primary text, which after much effort I finally found on the shelf of an actual college library with my own two hands, in The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, in 34 volumes (and still incomplete), Julian P. Boyd, Editor, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 1954. (I went through this considerable time and trouble because I kept noticing variants of this money quote by Jefferson, and I felt it was important to nail down the verbatim original quote, since if there are variants floating around, the veracity of all of them becomes threatened.)

    On page 358 in volume 9 of the Boyd edition, then, we find the following wording:

    American Commissioners to John Jay”
    March 28th. 1786

    We took the liberty to make some inquiries concerning the Grounds of their pretentions to make war upon Nations who had done them no Injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation.

    The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.

    I now interpolate bolded clarifications of a couple of points, including that of what Spencer has bracketed as “the right” — which in the definitive primary text is the word “it” referring back in the previous paragraph to “the Grounds of their pretentions to make war upon Nations who had done them no Injury”:

    The Muslim Ambassador of Tripoli the capital of the region of Tripolitania, one of the Maghreb regions of Islamic North Africa answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it — i.e., the right to attack our ships, steal our cargos and kidnap and enslave our crews — was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.

    For more details, see

    http://hesperado.blogspot.com/2009/04/i-struck-gold-second-addendum-to.html

  7. says

    “I never got the ‘beautiful message’ of the Koran till the morning of September 11, 2001.”

    poetcomic1:

    That is how I first stumbled upon the “beautiful message” of the Koran was on that sunny, warm, Tuesday morning.

  8. says

    “I actually find his comments amusing, not offensive. They sound like the braying of someone who is rather resentful and un-objective, I would like to be able to sit down and have an informed debate about the Koran with him.”

    We’ve all seen, way too many times, the outcomes of any such “debates” with muslims.

    But no thanks, Mr. Ajmal Masroor. I would rather have a long conversation with a brick wall; the wall would be far more interesting and truthful.

  9. says

    Could be a good sign, even left wing comedians are beginning to make the odd weak joke about islam and getting weak nervous laughs.

    The BBC is of course pushing misunderstanding the RoP as hard as ever. The latest is a series of 5 programmes on Radio 4 on “islam in the media”. Of course this is made by muslims who tell us how ignorant we are and how they are misrepresented.

  10. says

    It always helps when you have a bunch of your detractors whacked. Just ask Asma bint Marwan. Or Abu ‘Afak. Or Ka’b bin Ashraf.
    …………………

    Well, that’s the rub, isn’t it? I happen to agree with Sebastian Faulks’ take on Mohammed and the Qur’an–I had much the same reaction when I read the book–I was surprised and depressed that it was as grim as it was.

    But that’s not the main point. I’m sure that some people have found reading the Bible–or the Book of Mormon, or the Baghavad Gita, or what have you–to be tedious, or idiotic, or in some way less than fulfilling.

    In like manner, I might consider Jesus to have been a masochist, say, or Gautama Buddha or Bahá’u’lláh (the founder of Baha’i) to have been foolish for having left their lives of luxury.

    I’m not saying I do hold these views–merely that I should be free to. And I *am* free to. Someone would be free to be critical of such views–but the likelihood of my being in danger from incensed Christians or Buddhists is, let’s face it–slight.

    from the article:

    “People don’t seem to understand the consequences of saying things like this could be quite severe. History tells us it can encourage hatred.”
    …………….

    This is actually more subtle than it appears. On the one hand, it implies that thinking the Qur’an has scant literary merit could somehow inspire attacks on Muslims–there’s that victim card again, no matter how absurd it’s being played must seem in this instance–and also, slyly, a threat to the safety of Sebastian Faulks.

    Given the ugly history of Islam seeking “revenge” for the slightest criticism of Islam, the Qur’an, and Muhammed, this last seems most likely.

  11. says

    Refreshing to read this. Mohammed is argubaly the single most overrated person in history (not influentially speaking but character wise). That he was a fraud, a psychopath, a lecher, a brutal man, a schizophrenic, I concluded long ago (way before 9/11). Once most everyone concludes this, then Islam will be finished.

    The key to destroying Islam is destroying the reputation of the Model Man, for my money one of the three most malevolently influential characters in all of history, the other two being Karl Marx and Adolf Hitler. Eliminate Mohammed as worthy of approbation and you eliminate Islam. Mohammed is the key. Go after the SOB full throttle.

  12. says

    Woops, I see that it was Marisol, not Spencer who wrote the introductory article. In fact, I have noticed this problem of a promiscuous Blogospheric echo-chamber sloppiness with regard to the money quote by Jefferson and a consequent apparent unconcern for nailing down the actual primary source text among other anti-jihad luminaries as well — including Spencer, Bostom and Raymond Ibrahiim — which I analyzed in detail here:

    http://hesperado.blogspot.com/2009/04/addendum-to-primary-sources-101.html

    The problems and questions raised by this essay are then further illuminated, and then resolved, in my follow-up essay:

    http://hesperado.blogspot.com/2009/04/i-struck-gold-second-addendum-to.html

  13. says

    Whenever I try and explain about what a wonderful person Mohammed was, I mention that he married a 6 year old girl and had sex with her when she was 9 and he was 54. Unfortunately, I have not yet had a positive response from anyone.

    This must be becasue everyone is racist and islamophobic. There is no other reason why anyone could object to a 54 year old man having sex with a 9 year old girl.

    Perhaps the MCB could let me know the exact words to use when describing a 54 year old man who has sex with a 9 year old girl.

  14. says

    Now, let’s go back to Voltaire, in 1740:

    “But that a camel-merchant should stir up insurrection in his village; that in league with some miserable followers he persuades them that he talks with the angel Gabriel; that he boasts of having been carried to heaven, where he received in part this unintelligible book, each page of which makes common sense shudder; that, to pay homage to this book, he delivers his country to iron and flame; that he cuts the throats of fathers and kidnaps daughters; that he gives to the defeated the choice of his religion or death: this is assuredly nothing any man can excuse, at least if he was not born a Turk, or if superstition has not extinguished all natural light in him.”
    -Voltaire, Letter to Frederick II of Prussia, December 1740

    Observe particularly the line – “this unintelligible book [i.e. the Quran], each page of which makes common sense shudder”.

    It seems to me that Voltaire and Sebastian Faulks are in perfect agreement as to the manifest and gross literary and intellectual deficiencies of the Qur’an.

    British readers with access to a good university library may like to do as Hesperado (in his posting above) explained that he did with the Jefferson quote: track down Voltaire’s Letters in a good edition and translation, pinpoint this most illuminating passage from his Letter to Frederick II of Prussia, in December 1740; and then submit said passage, duly attributed, to the Letters page of the Telegraph.

  15. says

    Hesperado:

    You snipe and bend over backwards to find fault, and then wonder why you have so few friends in the blogosphere. In appointing yourself as the guardian of the boundaries of ideological purity, you have made yourself the odd man out. Suppose you had offered the above source in a helpful spirit, rather than one of smug superiority. You know what they say about a drop of honey versus a barrel of vinegar.

    If you follow the link above, you’ll notice I got the quote from a Christopher Hitchens article, which carried relevant information and insights about Jefferson in addition to the quotation.

    I trust you’ll take it up with him?

  16. says

    “Well, the voyage from peaceful Meccan verses to violent, intolerant Medinan verses does seem schizophrenic.”

    I disagree. Even in the so-called peaceful Meccan verses you can see the seeds of temporal violence in the violence of the scatological admonishments. When circumstances changed, so did Muhammad’s behavior. Nothing schizophrenic–in the sense of ‘split’–about it.

  17. says

    “Perhaps the MCB could let me know the exact words to use when describing a 54 year old man who has sex with a 9 year old girl.”

    Muhammad

  18. says

    “Sebastian Faulks should perhaps draw a lesson from the fact that those detractors are all now long forgotten, whereas the Prophet is remembered with love and admiration.”…

    Well, I for one still remember Jefferson and John Quncy Adamns, and for all the best reasons!

    Is he saying if you are ‘remembered’ like Mohammed you are right? What a joke! Hitler is also remembered.

    Slightly OT I have recently re-watched “Khartoum” and “El Cid”, both with Charlton Heston.
    (Amazing how many historical figures he portrayed.)

    If anyone who watched them when they were first released watches them again I guarantee you will watch them through very different ‘eyes’.

  19. says

    “…whereas the Prophet is remembered with love and admiration.”

    Only an evil person would love and admire Muhammad. And you don’t have to be an evildoer to be evil. Loving and/or admiring the evildoer is evil enough.

  20. says

    Marisol,

    It’s just a matter of getting the primary source right. If someone comes along who finds the actual primary source and corrects those who have been using secondary sources most of whom have been perpetuating incorrect variants, what sense does it make to get hostile at the corrector, especially if he has taken time and trouble to determine the actual correct wording?

  21. says

    From the article:

    “…whereas the Prophet is remembered with love and admiration.”

    As instructive and decent as some aspects of some religions and their founders are concerned, isn’t it safe to say that all religions have a “cult” following?

    I haven’t heard the following descriptor in a while, and when so only in use concerning cults of Christianity — Catholic church, Jim Jones, Branch Davidians, etc.

    But, I haven’t heard it used much concerning ” ‘the fastest growing “religion” ‘ “.

    Another term I haven’t heard in a while is, “destructive cult”.

    Do these terms only apply to Western “religions”?

    rhetoric /off

  22. says

    “People don’t seem to understand the consequences of saying things like this could be quite severe. History tells us it can encourage hatred.”

    Of course, it would not be complete without the obligatory threat.

  23. says

    In today’s Arts and Books section of the LA Times is an interesting article about an art exhibit featuring an English version of the Quran with contemporary American illustrations. For example, Surah 44:10 says, “Wait for the day when the sky will pour down visible smoke, enveloping all men: a dreadful scourge.” The illustration shows the World Trade Center billowing smoke. .

    See: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2009/08/a-new-image-for-the-koran.html

    Here is the website posting for the Gallery: http://www.koplindelrio.com/birk2/birk.html

    I think if people really see the implications of the words of the Quran in today’s social setting, they will be aghast.

  24. says

    Those non-Muslim politicians who today praise the Koran (if even their so-called “praise” is properly interpreted) do so out of ignorance and political expediency – don’t p— them off, so to speak. I doubt Clinton ever studied it. Jefferson was not perfect either – and there was a less blatently violent and aggressive practice of Islam relative to the US back then – Muslims still desired to kill the unbeliever, but that occurred on the other side of the world.

  25. says

    Those non-Muslim politicians who today praise the Koran (if even their so-called “praise” is properly interpreted) do so out of ignorance and political expediency – don’t p— them off, so to speak. I doubt Clinton ever studied it. Jefferson was not perfect either – and there was a less blatently violent and aggressive practice of Islam relative to the US back then – Muslims still desired to kill the unbeliever, but that occurred on the other side of the world.

  26. says

    The prophet Muhammad is a myth, a convenient construction fabricated and projected back to the legends of a succesful Arabian robber chief between 100 and 200 years after his death. Similar to our legend of Robin Hood.

    Schizophrenia, epilepsia or any possible combination of mental illness cannot explain a successful caracter like Muhammad. Such a person as the founder of Islam could simply not have existed.

    It is of course convenient also for us to use a person – Muhammad – as the Muslims do, but as negative reference and symbol of evil or moral corruption or disease.

    I think the American scolar John Wansbrough (1928-2002) is right in his critique of traditional accounts of the origins of Islam.

    He caused a furor in the 1970s when his research on early Islamic manuscripts, including the analysis of the repeated use of monotheistic Judeo-Christian imagery found in the Qur’an led him to posit that the rise of Islam was a mutation of what was originally a Judeo-Christian sect trying to spread in Arab lands, rather than by simple cultural diffusion.

    As time evolved the Judeo-Christian scriptures were adapted to an Arab perspective and mutated into what became the Qur’an which was developed over centuries with contributions from various Arab tribal sources.

    Wansbrough’s research suggests that a great deal of the traditional history of Islam appeared to be a fabrication of later generations and various factions engaged in secterian disputes seeking to forge and justify a unique religious identity.

    Within this context, the character of Muhammad could be seen as a manufactured myth created to provide the Arab tribes with their own Arab version of the Judeo-Christian prophets.

    Ref.:

    Quranic Studies: Sources and Methods of Scriptural Interpretation (Oxford, 1977).

    The Sectarian Milieu: Content and Composition Of Islamic Salvation History (Oxford, 1978).

  27. says

    Carlyle on the Qur’an and Muhammad:

    “. . . I must say, it [the Koran] is as toilsome reading as I ever undertook. A wearisome confused jumble, crude, incondite; endless iterations, long-windedness, entanglement; most crude, incondite; ” insupportable stupidity, in short! Nothing but a sense of duty could carry any European through the Koran . . . It is the confused ferment of a great rude human soul; rude, untutored, that cannot even read; but fervent, earnest, struggling vehemently to utter itself in words . . . We said “stupid:” yet natural stupidity is by no means the character of Mahomet’s Book; it is natural uncultivation rather. The man has not studied speaking; in the haste and pressure of continual fighting, has not time to mature himself into fit speech . . . The man was an uncultured semi-barbarous Son of Nature, much of the Bedouin still clinging to him: we must take him for that. But for a wretched Simulacrum, a hungry Impostor without eyes or heart . . . we will not and cannot take him. Sincerity, in all senses, seems to me the merit of the Koran; what had rendered it precious to the wild Arab men . . . Curiously, through these incondite masses of tradition, vituperation, complaint, ejaculation in the Koran, a vein of true direct insight, of what we might almost call poetry, is found straggling.”

  28. says

    Ispo,

    Good information. The works of John Wansbrough (of those you cited) should be “must read” books for all Westerners.

    I would also include any work by W. St.Clair-Tisdally, one of which can be read on-line here:

    Sources of the Koran

    I would ask everyone to take the time to read this, if you’ve not done so already. Very illuminating, and incriminating.

  29. says

    I would also include any work by W. St.Clair-Tisdally, one of which can be read on-line here:

    Sorry, didn’t catch my error. That’s Tisdall.

  30. says

    What matters about Islam, to each and every one of us, is NOT what anyone ELSE has ever written about it – that’s a copout to avoid having to get our rears off the sofa and do some of our OWN homework. I can tell you that the very existence of our cultures and democracies depend utterly on the free populations doing their own research on Islam. We can’t afford to let prejudice, propaganda, or second-hand information (no matter how normally reliable they may be) to dispense our opinions to us.

    No opinion uttered by someone else about Islam is worth JACK. They are merely OTHER PEOPLES’ OPINIONS. They are not the FACTS we need, as individuals, to form a knowledgeable opinion. Every last book, article, or video is a second-hand source. There is only ONE reliable source, then: Islam itself.

    To do that, there is only ONE way to do it right: Study Islam from its OWN sources. Get your information directly from “the horse’s mouth.”

    THAT is the only opinion that matters for you at all – the one you form for yourself, based on your OWN study, from the original source entirely.

    You can adopt someone else’s opinion, and later refute it, but nobody can refute the conclusions they drew from their OWN studies. So, whatever information you can get from other peoples’ writings – even those with much “authority” on their subjects – it remains second-hand information.

    Islam is a terrible threat to all of humanity, but I don’t WANT you to take my word for it. I want you to find out FOR YOURSELF why I said it.

    Download the Quran and the Hadith. They’re free online in a number of places. The Shi’a versions are different, and have different perspectives, than the Sunni ones, but both revere the Quran. Their big “dispute” is over who Muhammad’s successor should have been – and it’s no small matter to them. Each sect regards the other sect as “false Muslims.” In Islam, an infidel is worse than a murderer, but a “kufr,” or “false Muslim”, is the most profound evil possible. Even killing one isn’t enough; he must be tortured to the max first. Why do you suppose so many dead and headless bodies have been showing up all over Iraq these last few years – all of them showing signs of profound and prolonged torture? Do you actually think sectarian violence can EVER be stopped, by any means, when people have attitudes and beliefs that malignant? Both sects are equally guilty of this. Virtually all Muslims belong to one or the other. They won’t deny that.

    Find out – for yourself – how it is possible for Muslims to riot because the Pope claimed they “convert by the sword,” while it’s no state secret that Muslims all over the world do it all the time. Why the contradiction? Study Islam, and you will learn it. You may not like learning that “there shall be no compulsion in religion” (Quran) no longer applies to ANY Muslim, yet they keep quoting it to us as though it did. Learn for yourself why they do that. Do your homework, and you’ll know these things.

    If you READ the Quran and Hadith (cover-to-cover, no skipping around or skimming), and learn of Islamic history, values and culture from their sites online, you will learn many things that Muslims do NOT want us to know. They rely absolutely on the fact that most people are too intellectually lazy to bother doing their homework, so their propaganda and lies keep getting the results they want from us.

    You should also know that the English versions of these scriptures have been “sweetened up” to be more palatable to potential freeworld converts. They have altered the substance of many parts of these texts. It doesn’t matter, though, because what they DO publish is quite malevolent enough.

    These books are profoundly boring most of the time – read them anyway, with full attention. They are often nauseatingly repetitious – read through them anyway, all the way to the end.

    If it’ll help, form study groups, but don’t let any one of them let someone else do their homework for them. Get everyone you know to do this research for themselves.

    There isn’t a more fair way to form an opinion of Islam than this. You can be sure that Obama, being a scholar, has studied it thoroughly. That doesn’t mean he can tell us his conclusions! He is also a staunch realist. He has international realities to deal with, and oil is still a major factor. That’s why he wants us – and the rest of the world – to become independent of it. He knows how much it matters.

    Give Islam EVERY chance to make its case, through its own published sources. That’s precisely what I did, over 16 years ago. I couldn’t believe Islam was as malevolent and violent as events were showing me. So I went looking to see if Islamic sources could reassure me.

    Instead, what I found stood my hair on end.

    I’ve been studying Islam, even more, since then.

    It’s YOUR turn now. If your life depended on it, you’d do it without hesitation.

    You don’t yet realize that it DOES depend on it.

  31. says

    Marisol,

    In case you missed it, I had a prolonged exchange with Hesperado on the very question of his “ideological purity” in the August archive at the end of the thread ‘Comments Are Back’. You might find it interesting.

  32. says

    There has been a real campaign of revisionist history re Islam, whereby not only is it claimed that Islam was a seminal and positive influence through the ages, developing human rights and equality for women, and an impetus for inventing everything from modern medicine to the three-course meal, but historical figures–especially the revered figures of the West–are falsely held to have been terribly impressed with greatness of Islam.

    Ahistorical rot, all of it. Some clueless contemporary Westerns do laud Islam, without understanding much about it. As for the past, some pre-modern Westerners did respect Muslims as deadly efficient, fanatical warriors, but that’s about it.

    The bit of absurdity about Thomas Jefferson is especially galling, as the presence of the Qur’an in his collection was a direct result of American shipping being hit by Muslim piracy on the Barbary coast–and his wanting to learn more about the Muslims’ justification for such crimes.

    Don’t wait to hear that from Keith Ellison and his ilk, though.

  33. says

    The prophet Muhammad is a myth, a convenient construction fabricated and projected back to the legends of a succesful Arabian robber chief between 100 and 200 years after his death.

    And it’s even more telling that this mythical epitome of inbred bedouin savage perfection includes, among its (not his) perfect and “worthy-of-emulation” deeds, sex with a nine-year-old at the age of 52, beheadings, mass-murder, sexually molesting a mentally-ill woman, producing tailor-made “revelations” in Mein Qurampf to justify a few particular sexual habits; just to mention a couple of examples of what human “perfection” means to the disordered, sick and twisted mahoundian mind.

  34. says

    Mohammed is basically a Joseph Smith charlatan — with the added panache of galvanizing “ethnic” peoples who wear cool “ethnic” clothes, and the luck and criminal skill of forming waves of armies of fanatics to expand over swaths of land greater than Alexander the Great conquered. The latter enabled Islam to hold sway for its first millennium; the former now holds the promise of enabling their sway over our present millennium — unless we shake outselves out of our ridiculous PC MC in time.

  35. says

    How refreshing to see a British author speaking his mind freely about his opinion of Islam. I don’t know if his book will be available here in the US but I will support him by buying it.

    Mr. Faulks came to the same conclusion I did about Islam, Mohamed, and the Quran. Violent, repetitious,rambling,incoherent BS except for the parts about killing, and jihad.

    Reading the Quran is like absorbing toxic waste into my mind. I spend time purging the filth in ritual and meditation.

  36. says

    British jihadwatchers. This is your call. This is *your* man. He has just called a spade a spade, in the national newspapers.

    Write to him. Fill his email intray and his publisher’s letterbox with Love Mail. And explain to him exactly why he will be assailed by a barrage of Muslim Hate Mail; and why he should adamantly refuse to bow to it. Tell him about Kurt Westergaard defiantly marching down the streets of Copenhagen in a red hat.

    Encourage him to read Ibn Warraq ‘why I am not a Muslim’, and Robert Spencer ‘The Truth About Muhammad’ and Ali Dashti ’23 Years’ and Ali Sina’s psychobiography of Mohammed; and refer him to the classic scholarly editions of the Sira, or Life of Mohammed – to A Guillaume and Sir William Muir.

    And then let’s see what happens.

  37. says

    It’s certainly possible that Muhammad is a myth – the same could be said of most ancient figures, including Jesus. But like Jesus, I tend to believe he was real, simply because truth is stranger than fiction…and God knows Muhammad was strange.

    Regardless, in terms of the art of disputation I think it’s much more effective for us to use the wealth of Islamic scripture (in particular the Ahadith) to highlight the “prophet’s” profound moral failings…than to just deny his existence.

    The latter merely quantifies us as non-believers; the former puts the onus on Muslims to rationally explain his murder of the poets, his pedophilia, and his many other failings. Of course we’ve all seen the extent to which Muslims will engage in mental gymnastics to insist that 2+2=5 but to the uninitiated infidel (and perhaps to Muslims ignorant of their own scripture), the arguments can be telling.

  38. says

    Pursuant to my posting above: British jihadwatchers should encourage Sebastian Faulks to peruse two scholarly classics – Sir William Muir’s ‘Life of Mahomet’, and A Guillaume’s ‘The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah’, published by OUP 1955. He will find that his gut reaction to the atmospherics of the Quran is amply confirmed by these presentations, and in Muir’s case, analysis, of standard Muslim beliefs about the ‘prophet’.

  39. says

    British author calls Muhammad “schizophrenic,” cleric says “people don’t seem to understand the consequences of saying things like this could be quite severe”

    Stick your severe consequences up your arsehole, Mohammedan.

  40. says

    If Mr Faulks can find the will to stand his ground, and to refuse to unsay what he has said; if he sticks to his sober judgement, as a writer, that the Emperor has No Clothes, to wit, that the Quran is depressing, barren, and dull, void of narrative interest and moral gravity; if he refuses steadfastly to apologise, grovel or flatter, despite Muslim whining and Muslim threats and (I am sure these will happen) Muslim tantrums; then I think, ladies and gentlemen, that we may have a British candidate for Anti-Dhimmi of the Year, Internationale.

    (Perhaps someone in the UK may like to buy, and send to Mr Faulks, with their sincere compliments, a copy of Mr Spencer’s “Infidel’s Guide to the Quran”, as soon as it becomes available?).

  41. says

    DDA’….we may have a British candidate for Anti-Dhimmi of the Year, Internationale.’

    Faulks certainly gets my vote for his well expressed comments, refreshing to hear such truths from a British public figure.

    However I notice the link to the Telegraph article, by Lucy Cockcroft, does not work, has it been removed?
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/6077178/Sebastian-Faulks-risks-Muslim-anger-after-calling-Koran-the-rantings-of-a-schizophrenic.html

    Is this an example of more British dhimmitude? Have they been threatened already? That is apart from the, arguably, veiled threat by the spokesman from the Islamic Society of Britain, within the article itself.

  42. says

    Thanks for that link Ginro. Its led me to the Times Online article and comments page, where there are some critics of Faulks, and one particular poster deserving counter argument for his weak attempts to defend the koran.

  43. says

    Funny how abdullah Mike never shows up to defend the schizophrenic pedophile nor the terrorist manual.

    Is he afraid?

  44. says

    I have tried to figure out what was in Muhammad’s head.
    I have theorized that he was psychopathic(my personal favorite), that he was epileptic, encountering visions and emotions similar to that of an ascetic practising Hatha yoga.
    I’ve postulated that he might have used Ibogaine, the active chemical found in the African Tabernanthe iboga root that causes long lasting hallucinations and has been used for centuries by tribal shamans. Perhaps he used the Amanita muscaria for his experiences. Whatever the case…it all went to his head and he turned into a psychopathic madman that went on a long killing rampage, creating his ideology as he saw fit.
    His early, Meccan experiences, were mild enough but the later experiences, that of Medina, turned violent and very ugly like that of a man possessed. Hatha yoga, practised by an untrained user can cause madness and that is a possibility with Muhammad.
    Regarless, if it hadn’t been for his first wife and companion of 25 years, Khadijah, his recorder, advisor, Chrisitan mentor and soother, he may not have had any recordings of his experiences at all and Islam would have been null and void.
    And as Cornelius said earlier, Muhammad may have been a myth altogether, created by desert lunatics and shaman wannabes of the 7th to 12th centuries.

  45. says

    It’s relatively common for some people to have several different mental diagnosis raging at the same time…Paranoia is a type of schizophrenia…Mahound, according to the literature, was highly paranoid…As an example, (and there are many more), He was afraid of Ad-Dajjal, prayed to Allah to relieve him of Dajjals afflictions, and thought Dajjal may be one of the locals. He rode out with Umar and some men to confront a young man who he thought was Dajjal…The young man was insulting to Mahound…Umar drew his sword and offered to kill him, but Mahound stopped him saying that if the young man was Dajjal, Umar could not over power him, and if he was not Dijjal, he would be killed for nothing…In another paranoid incident Mahound tried hiding behind a tree to listen in on a conversation this same man was having with himself…The literature is full of examples of Mahounds various paranoia’s, sometimes accompanied by auditory and visual hallucinations…Many of his actions were in response to ‘voices’…That was very schizophrenic of him…

  46. says

    Bravo Mr Faulks, who,unlike Rushdie, is a good writer. Birdsong is a masterpiece that is filled with the compassion, wisdom and insight that the Korsn is sorely bereft of.

  47. says

    “Woops, I see that it was Marisol, not Spencer who wrote the introductory article. In fact, I have noticed this problem of a promiscuous Blogospheric echo-chamber sloppiness with regard to the money quote by Jefferson and a consequent apparent unconcern for nailing down the actual primary source text among other anti-jihad luminaries as well — including Spencer, Bostom and Raymond Ibrahiim…”

    Posted by: Hesperado at August 23, 2009 3:07 PM

    That certainly was a backhanded “apology” and just about sums up your usefulness as the head librarian here at JW.

    “The problems and questions raised by this essay are then further illuminated, and then resolved, in my follow-up essay:”

    Posted by: Hesperado at August 23, 2009 3:07 PM

    Which would have several comments I am sure by now if anyone was interested in your vast research skills in order to thinly veil your personal disdain for the hosts here at JW, using it simply as a platform to link to your own articles.

    I guess outside of the Muslim world, there really isn’t that big a market in the “anti-Islam” movement for the continued denigration of Spencer and JW, at least not from anyone other than those who are indeed brave and pioneering from the safety of total anonymity.

  48. says

    How long ’til he has to hire bodyguards?…or has he already. Many have as we know.
    Mo, (Piss be upon him), excreted islam from the anus of his perverted mind.

    “The Prophet Muhammad has had many detractors both during his own time and later on who described him as a ‘madman’ or ‘possessed by an evil spirit’ and so forth in an effort to drown out his beautiful message,” he added.

    What…uh what beautiful message was that? muslims rule, infidels drool? Kill the unbeliever? Beat your wife if she pisses you off? Kill your children if they disobey?

    islam is a lie and
    Truth is killing it.

  49. says

    Jesus was delusional. Buddha was a sociopath. Moses was a megalomaniac. God is dead. There, I said it (and so did plenty of others). Do I fear for my life? No. Will some devotees be angry with me? Yes. Are they obligated to kill me in obedience to a doctrine of their religion that is unambiguously codified in their immutable canon? No.

    Mohammad was a schizophrenic. Death sentence.

  50. says

    Sebastian Faulks is perfectly right, he simply is calling a spade a spade. Just like “Mein Kampf” the unholy Koran belongs to the axis of unreadable. I love good literature and I read quite a few complicated books, such as “Finnegan’s Wake” by James Joyce and “A la recherche du temps perdu” by Marcel Proust, no easy reading, but excellent. I’ve got the patience and endurance for reading stuff like that, but I found it impossible to read “Mein Kampf”. I made at least two attempts and I read parts of the unholy Koran which is so dull and badly written, that it gives you the creeps. The self-appointed prophet was a socoiopath, a child molester and he was a lunatic mass murderer. I can’t understand why people like Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Bill Clinton praised the Koran. Especially Mahatma Gandhi who was all for peace, did he never read the verse of the sword?

    And I’m very grateful to Robert for his new book, because he explains the Koran to us in excellent and eloquent English. I can’t wait to read it.

  51. says

    awake,

    Please explain to me how it is in the interest of the anti-jihad movement

    1) to continue to publish inaccurate historical statements that are important to its pedagogy

    and

    2) to exacerbate #1 by reacting with hostility to someone who takes the time and trouble to find the actual accurate historical statement in question?

    I am truly baffled by this emotional reaction. But it’s the confusion of the piqued emotion with the rejection of the actual substance of the constructive criticism that is remarkable. I wouldn’t mind the emotional pique part if it was kept distinct from the constructive criticism part. For example, I wouldn’t mind it all that much if representatives of the anti-jihad movement responded to me thusly:

    “Okay, Hesperado, I see that you have indeed found out the accurate quote, and we will use it from now on — but you’re still a fucking asshole and we never will like you, and don’t take our use of this little fruit of your effort in this regard as implying any support at all otherwise of your horrible, mean-spirited, worthless pile of shit you call your life.”

    — just so long as they correct the damn quote for Crissakes!

  52. says

    The accuracy of the quote is not the issue. So you issued the actual quote. So what? You said yourself on your blog that substantively, it was not really an issue, when you wrote:

    “Although the variances do not terribly affect the substance and import, they do affect the veracity if no one cares to provide the actual citation of the correct version.”

    You then went on to provide an opinion that:

    “It is simply unacceptable for a serious sociopolitical movement dependent in great part for its persuasion upon ideas and historiography to be bandying historically important primary source quotes around that have one or more variances.”

    The problem here Hesp, as is always the problem with you, is that you make a comment against, who you assume to be Spencer, and after your self-correction as to the source, you use then non-substantive, ad hominem statement:

    “I have noticed this problem of a promiscuous Blogospheric echo-chamber sloppiness…”

    to cover your misdirected criticism. Marisol used a secondary source. So what?

    Who elevated you into the position of the sole warranted critic of all writers in the anti-Jihad movement?

    Who has misguided you into thinking that your 100% anti-Islam stance, which you deem as “holistic” analysis, has to be emulated by Spencer and all others in order to be successful?

    As Cornelius aptly pointed out, you criticize Spencer for trying to get to a position far less radical than your own, yet you relentlessly criticize away,(from absolute anonymity), regardless, accepting nothing less than your personal view as acceptable.

    Spencer is public, known, and out there contributing in written and spoken word. Who the hell are you but an anonymous, hypercritical Spencer critic?

    “… but you’re still a fucking asshole and we never will like you, and don’t take our use of this little fruit of your effort in this regard as implying any support at all otherwise of your horrible, mean-spirited, worthless pile of shit you call your life.”

    Obviously you crave public recognition, but that self-perception problem that you have, as you see yourself viewed by Spencer, is all in your own mind.

  53. says

    “The Prophet Muhammad has had many detractors both during his own time and later on who described him as a ‘madman’ or ‘possessed by an evil spirit’ and so forth in an effort to drown out his beautiful message,”

    Hmmmm…can someone point out to me “his beautiful message”?

    Until I receive a response, I will hold my breath until I turn blue.

  54. says

    awake,

    [rendering your quotes of me into italics]

    “The accuracy of the quote is not the issue.”

    It may not be the issue with your position, but it is with mine.

    “So you issued the actual quote. So what? You said yourself on your blog that substantively, it was not really an issue, when you wrote:”

    Although the variances do not terribly affect the substance and import, they do affect the veracity if no one cares to provide the actual citation of the correct version.

    This is not the same as saying that — “substantively, it [accuracy of the quote] [is] not really an issue”. What my sentence means is that the variances do not terribly affect the substance and import of the semantic meaning of the quote.

    And secondly, the veracity problem does not disappear just because the semantic meaning is roughly the same. For a sociopolitical movement that depends greatly upon ideas, history and research & presentation of texts, such disregard for veracity and exactness of important historical quotes is ludicrous and juvenile. When compounded by fits of pique and hostility against someone who shows concern for that veracity and exactness, it becomes bizarre.

    “You then went on to provide an opinion that:”

    It is simply unacceptable for a serious sociopolitical movement dependent in great part for its persuasion upon ideas and historiography to be bandying historically important primary source quotes around that have one or more variances.

    “The problem here Hesp, as is always the problem with you, is that you make a comment against, who you assume to be Spencer, and after your self-correction as to the source, you use then non-substantive, ad hominem statement:”

    I have noticed this problem of a promiscuous Blogospheric echo-chamber sloppiness…

    “to cover your misdirected criticism.”

    First: that sentence of mine is not an “ad hominem”, it is a characterization of behavior with regard to the treatment of this historical quote. I characterized it as “promiscuous” — meaning the second definition in the dictionary, “lacking standards of selection”, or if I’m feeling generous, the third definition, “casual”. The behavior here of showing no apparent concern for nailing down the actual primary source, but relying upon secondary sources that, upon investigation, are proven to be inaccurate, shows a lack of standards of selection and a casualness. I also characterized is as “sloppiness” which it is, if it lacks concern for exactitude; and I refined that “sloppiness” with the adjectival modifier “Blogospheric echo-chamber” — denoting specifically the tendency for a piece of information to get passed from blog to blog without anyone bothering to check on its original source nor bothering to provide that original source. The Jefferson quote demonstrates that phenomenon well (as do several other important quotes used by the Anti-Islam Movement).

    Second: I didn’t use it to “cover my criticism”. That criticism was plain to see. I simply saw my elementary mistake (many over the years have done the same in comments, addressing or mentioning Hugh when they didn’t see that in fact Spencer had written a piece, or addressing or mentioning Marisol when it was Spencer, or addressing or mentioning Spencer when it was in fact Ibrahim who had written the piece, etc.) and reiterated the relevance of my point, adding that in fact this sloppiness was a wider problem than just Marisol’s today, and directing the reader to a more detailed discussion of that wider problem.

    “Marisol used a secondary source. So what?”

    Ordinarily, this may not be problematic. However, when it becomes apparent that different people are citing what they think is the same quote but they in fact differ from each other; and when furthermore, the transmission of these variant quotes are occurring by one blog simply citing another in a long chain leading back to one of them having read not the original primary document, but some secondary source (whether Christopher Hitchens, or Joseph J. Ellis in the case of Spencer’s citation of it in his book Stealth Jihad); and when finally someone takes the time and trouble to track down why there are these variants of what is supposed to be one historical document and finds that nearly all these variants bouncing around the Blogosphere are inaccurate — then there is a problem: namely, the problem of veracity. It’s not an earth-shattering problem, and no one will be killed over it; but it is one important cog in the larger machine of the Anti-Islam Movement in its capacity of being a reliable and accurate conveyor of ideas, history and historical texts.

    There is absolutely no reason to resist accuracy with regard to the Anti-Islam Movement’s use of historical texts — and certainly no reason to get all piqued and huffy against someone who calls attention to any inaccuracies that may be perpetuated by one or more members of the Movement. The fact that I have to point this out once, let alone more than once, is screamingly insane.

    “Who elevated you into the position of the sole warranted critic of all writers in the anti-Jihad movement?”

    If there is a perception afoot that I occupy such a position (by self-promotion of course, in the terms of this perception, and not by merit nor need), it might well have something to do with the unfortunate, and rather strange, fact that no one else seems to care about these matters. Thus I appear to be “the sole” one because nobody else, apparently, is even trying to do it.

    “Who has misguided you into thinking that your 100% anti-Islam stance, which you deem as “holistic” analysis, has to be emulated by Spencer and all others in order to be successful?”

    Any stance would require a majority at least (and unanimity of course best of all) to be successful. Why would I want my stance, which I believe is the right one, to be successful? For the same reason anybody who has a stance they believe in wants that stance to be successful. While I grant that in this particular instance, there cannot really be a synthesis of the two stances (holistic and asymptotic), and no real compromise that wouldn’t cramp the style of either the one or the other stance, I do not hold the position, in general principle, that I or any other “holist” has to require of all asymptotics that they change, or else they are deemed to be excommunicated from the Movement. Nor on pragmatic terms, would I be intransigent about the majority of Anti-Islam people who seem to be asymptotic: if that’s the best that we will be able to muster, then it’s better than nothing. That doesn’t mean that I should stop offering my viewpoint on the matter and should stop trying to offer persuasive arguments as to the superiority of my stance — unless, of course, I should shut up in the interest of coming into a “lockstep” agreement with you asymptotics? Or does the repudiation of an expectation of “lockstep agreement” only work one way — when you’re criticizing those who disagree with you — but not the other way — when you are expecting them to stop disagreeing with you and conform to your program? I ask that of course because of your frequent pejorative characterizations of my attitude as supposedly demanding “lockstep agreement” from everybody else who disagrees with me.

    “As Cornelius aptly pointed out, you criticize Spencer for trying to get to a position far less radical than your own, yet you relentlessly criticize away,(from absolute anonymity), regardless, accepting nothing less than your personal view as acceptable.
    Spencer is public, known, and out there contributing in written and spoken word. Who the hell are you but an anonymous, hypercritical Spencer critic?”

    There are two distinct things mushed together in this bundle:

    1) a condemnation of anonymity

    2) a condemnation, again, of my supposed requirement for “lockstep agreement”.

    About #1, one wonders from both you and Cornelius whether anonymity would be just fine with you guys as long as the anonymous person was…. in lockstep agreement with Spencer…?

    About #2, on one level you’re right, I “accept nothing less than my personal view as acceptable” — but only on the level on which anyone who has a stance about anything that they believe in does not “accept” the controversion of that stance. How the person acts on that disinclination to “accept” any controversion of their stance is the key here: my actions are in the marketplace of ideas: I articulate my stance, and the dissonance as I perceive it between my stance and other stances (including Spencer’s in one or another respect), in writings. That’s it. If articulating disagreements in writings — including strong disagreements and even intellectually distasteful ones but always worded maturely and intelligently as much as possible — is somehow deemed unacceptable to a sociopolitical movement defending the West, then that movement (or at least certain members of it) is betraying one of the important foundations of the West it is otherwise defending. It’s just plain ridiculous and indefensible to keep on harping about how bad I am for criticizing this or that aspect of the methodology of this or that luminary of the Anti-Islam Movement. I don’t mind criticisms of my ideas and arguments; but to impugn my very essence and character for my criticisms is just freaking weird.

    … but you’re still a fucking asshole and we never will like you, and don’t take our use of this little fruit of your effort in this regard as implying any support at all otherwise of your horrible, mean-spirited, worthless pile of shit you call your life.

    “Obviously you crave public recognition, but that self-perception problem that you have, as you see yourself viewed by Spencer, is all in your own mind.”

    “Obviously you crave public recognition…”

    Non sequitur.

    “…but that self-perception problem that you have, as you see yourself viewed by Spencer, is all in your own mind.”

    I was thinking more of your perception of me. I don’t think Spencer lowers himself to that level, though he did once preposterously anathematize and excommunicate me, in so many words, from the Movement. As much as I have criticized this or that aspect of his methodology, I have never seen fit to anathematize and excommunicate him. Gee, I guess my requirement for “lockstep agreement” has been rather rusty…

    At any rate, that bit of imaginative rendering of mine was hyperbole, and one needn’t go comically down into the gutter to indulge in the freaking weird option of impugning someone’s essence and character because you don’t like their ideas, or fixating on their behavior, while spending less time, if any, on the actual ideas they are communicating.

  55. says

    Hesp:
    “For a sociopolitical movement that depends greatly upon ideas, history and research & presentation of texts, such disregard for veracity and exactness of important historical quotes is ludicrous and juvenile.”

    Assertion based on your opinion. You have not argued why it is ludicrous or juvenile, even though you admittted that in substance and import, it is not that big a deal.

    Hesp:
    “There is absolutely no reason to resist accuracy with regard to the Anti-Islam Movement’s use of historical texts — and certainly no reason to get all piqued and huffy against someone who calls attention to any inaccuracies that may be perpetuated by one or more members of the Movement.

    To have provided the actual quote, and to do so that is not consistent with your theme that, “Spencer should keep his day job” as far as an analyst of the solution to the Islam problem, as opposed to merely reporting on it as relayed through the hundreds of articles you wrote which are critical of him, is perfectly acceptable. I believe Marisol referred to that specifically in her redress to you.

    “The fact that I have to point this out once, let alone more than once, is screamingly insane.”

    Another assertion based on your original assertion without evidence. It is not in itself, insane, nor is it “screamingly” so. Ironic it is, that you find specific egregious fault with Marisol, and by extension, Spencer on the exactitude of this Jefferson quote. It is ironic to criticize a person who has demonstrated over the years, arguments based meticulously on the accuracy of his statements from historical texts and statements, though he is routinely accused of taking these statements out of context by his detractors.

    Hesp:
    “If there is a perception afoot that I occupy such a position (by self-promotion of course, in the terms of this perception, and not by merit nor need), it might well have something to do with the unfortunate, and rather strange, fact that no one else seems to care about these matters.”

    It may well be, but that is just another assertion. You have not argued why Spencer needs what you deem, your continuous corrective criticism, nor why his refusal to hearken to you to date has adversely affected his position in the movement. You have also not explained this supposed unfortunate, rather strange behavior, which lead you to your unsubstantiated conclusion that in the absence of you holding this self-promotional perception, seemingly no one else cares about these matters.

    I will make a counter-argument that Spencer continuously refutes attacks upon him by specifically pointing out his words and the sources behind them with particular detail for their exactness in accuracy. There are hundreds upon hundres of articles here at JW validating that argument.

    Hesp:
    “Any stance would require a majority at least (and unanimity of course best of all) to be successful.”

    If you acknowledge that your holistic position is in the minority “within the anti-Islam movement, woops, I mean anti-Jihad movement”, then why not cease and desist the continuous criticism of the asymptotic analysts who make up the majority in the movement?

    Hesp:
    “While I grant that in this particular instance, there cannot really be a synthesis of the two stances (holistic and asymptotic), and no real compromise that wouldn’t cramp the style of either the one or the other stance, I do not hold the position, in general principle, that I or any other “holist” has to require of all asymptotics that they change, or else they are deemed to be excommunicated from the Movement.”

    You are entitled to your opinion about the superiority of your holistic stance, but you have not successfully argued and substantiated that assertion as superior in any way.

    Speaking of ex-communication, Spencer is firmly entrenched in the movement. You on the otherhand, are not, nor are any true holistic analysts. That is just a fact.

    Hesp:
    There are two distinct things mushed together in this bundle:

    1) a condemnation of anonymity

    2) a condemnation, again, of my supposed requirement for “lockstep agreement”.

    About #1, one wonders from both you and Cornelius whether anonymity would be just fine with you guys as long as the anonymous person was…. in lockstep agreement with Spencer…?

    No need to wonder. I assert that Spencer, because he is public, has a greater concern of and responsibility for his words and deeds that anonymous bloggers do not. I have disagreed with Robert in the past, and I believe Cornelius is in staunch disagreement with Hugh about Iraq, but there is a not so subtle distinction between respectful disagreement and petty, unyielding criticism.

    Remember, you dedicated a full year plus criticizing Spencer, and JW, yet oddly, you are still here, criticizing Spencer on almost every thread, by referring to him by name, and then subsequently, linking to your blog. If you haven’t noticed, Spencer doesn’t reciprocate.

    Hesp:
    “About #2, on one level you’re right, I “accept nothing less than my personal view as acceptable” — but only on the level on which anyone who has a stance about anything that they believe in does not “accept” the controversion of that stance.”

    That seems to contradict your previous statement about “asymptotic” analysts, their need to convert or else face excommunication. The approaches, are basically unproven opinion against unproven opinion.

    Hesp:
    “I was thinking more of your perception of me. I don’t think Spencer lowers himself to that level, though he did once preposterously anathematize and excommunicate me, in so many words, from the Movement. As much as I have criticized this or that aspect of his methodology, I have never seen fit to anathematize and excommunicate him.”

    Simple answer, you cannot excommunicate Spencer. When I spoke of you craving public recognition, I was referring to your vast archives complaining about the “gentleman’s agreement” and how you are left out, and referring to yourself as treated like a lesser paeon in the eyes of other larger luminaries in the movement. And also, desiring that Spencer “deputize” and allow others to write at JW, like yourself. It doesn’t take long to discover your personal frustration in this movement.

    Hesp:
    “At any rate, that bit of imaginative rendering of mine was hyperbole, and one needn’t go comically down into the gutter to indulge in the freaking weird option of impugning someone’s essence and character because you don’t like their ideas, or fixating on their behavior, while spending less time, if any, on the actual ideas they are communicating.”

    Pot, meet kettle. Anyway, you are a holist who believes all Muslims are potentially evil and that Islam needs to be abolished in totality, is irreformable and ultimately evil to the core, with the rounding up and expulsion of all Muslims from the West, a minimal pre-requisite, only inhibited by the malaise of PCMC currently.

    Did I miss anything?

    A valid opinion, but not one warranting your continued criticism of Spencer, that’s for sure.

  56. says

    As an addendum, Hesp…

    When your site is linked by a single “luminary” in the “anti-Islam, whoops, anti-jihad movement”, then and only then can you begin to lay claim to participation in “the movement” itself.

    Understand your current station in its proper context. Your writing, if it is merited on its own, without the constant assertive critiquing of others, will surely be acknowledged for its own content and grant your admission into “the movement.”

    Good luck.

  57. says

    [My responses in bold]

    Hesp:
    “For a sociopolitical movement that depends greatly upon ideas, history and research & presentation of texts, such disregard for veracity and exactness of important historical quotes is ludicrous and juvenile.”

    Assertion based on your opinion. You have not argued why it is ludicrous or juvenile, even though you admittted that in substance and import, it is not that big a deal.

    As to the second part of your characterization of what I “admitted”, I already explained above what I meant, and I made no such admission. As to the first part, first of all, what you are asking for is tantamount to challenging someone who makes the assertion that “pleasure is good” to explain it, as though it actually needs explaining. Such a request is so out of the norm as to be bizarre. I can’t imagine anyone — other than perhaps an Appalachian farmer or a glue-sniffing teenager or a ghetto rapper — disputing that a sociopolitical movement needs to provide accurate quotations of the historical sources it uses for its war of ideas (of course, they wouldn’t put their dispute that way: they’d just spurn it with a spit off to the side, thus perhaps more eloquently than your equivalent). As an abstract philosophical exercise, it has value, I suppose, in some remedial Socratic sense, but in this context, it is egregious. Nevertheless, I will try to accomodate you.

    Consider the minimum standards for primary source quotes in scholarly journals, books, theses and other academic presentations. They require reference citations to the original — primary sources, not secondary. They require complete citations, including title, publishers, editors, date, page and/or volume number. This is required so that if the wording is disputed, the person disputing it can go back and check to see if that really was the correct quote or not. Why is the wording important? Because historiography is built upon records and documents, mostly of what people wrote and what people were reported to have said. Historiography depends upon preserving the exact original wording, for if the tinkering and the negligent transcription and the faulty memory begins and no one is concerned about it, it will go on to escalate and more and more primary sources will be corrupted. What began as a possibly relatively minor difference in wording can morph into differences that actually change the meaning in serious ways, even reverse the meaning sometimes. This isn’t merely a scholarly concern. Any good high school teacher wouldn’t accept a history paper from a student where the student claimed to quote George Washington, but only guess at what Washington said, and then when asked where he got that quote would tell the teacher he got it from some blog on the Internet.

    Now, a sociopolitical movement is different from Academe in many ways. And with regard to use of sources, there is no official arbiter of standards of a sociopolitical movement, as there is in Academe. Heck, a sociopolitical movement can do what it likes: its members could decide that the historical quotes it uses for its ongoing education of both members and the general public it is trying to persuade can be reproduced willy-nilly, with no care at all for their accuracy. “Just put in something about Jefferson hating Islam — we know he did; I know I heard it from someone I trust that it’s in some book somewhere. Who cares what Jefferson actually said about it?” Well, it matters if anyone comes along disputing that he did say that, or disputes that even if he said something that seems like hating Islam, that he really meant the same interpretation this movement is claiming he meant.

    Interestingly, I noticed that you are highly concerned about challenging me for an argument about this particular opinion I have — namely, that “disregard for veracity and exactness of important historical quotes is ludicrous and juvenile” — but you seem completely unconcerned with challenging a closely related opinion I had — namely, that “Although the variances do not terribly affect the substance and import, they do affect the veracity if no one cares to provide the actual citation of the correct version.” In fact, apparently, you simply agree with that opinion and have found it very useful, though you misunderstand it, as I’ve already explained. In fact, I could be wrong — maybe the meaning is changed by the variances. Who’s going to check? Who cares? Now all of a sudden you guys are going to take my word on something?

    Closely related to the above, we have the problem of a tendency to behave a certain way evidenced by the way this quote has been handled. Even if the variances pertaining to the Jefferson quote could be demonstrated to everyone’s satisfaction to have zero effect on the substance and import, there will come along other quotes of similar importance which, when run through the mill of this sloppy transmission process, will not fare so well, and important meanings of phrases will be changed, if not sometimes reversed. If a very important quote by Thomas Jefferson that reveals a juicy admission by a Muslim ambassador is handled in this cavalier way, other quotes are likely to suffer as well. So, sure, any given sociopolitical movement can have lax standards about the quotes it uses in its pedagogy and persuasion, but that doesn’t make that a good situation. At any rate, I’m not advocating some kind of herculean transformation of the Anti-Islam Movement that will bog everyone down with gigantic labors. At the very least, when somebody comes along like me who has taken the time and trouble to nail down this important historical quote, use me, for crying out loud! I won’t even expect to get paid, nor even do I expect gratitude! Just use the damn quote! This will hardly put anyone’s nose out of joint — though apparently the gall of having to swallow one’s pride amounts to an immense obstacle in this regard.

    Hesp:
    “There is absolutely no reason to resist accuracy with regard to the Anti-Islam Movement’s use of historical texts — and certainly no reason to get all piqued and huffy against someone who calls attention to any inaccuracies that may be perpetuated by one or more members of the Movement.

    To have provided the actual quote, and to do so that is not consistent with your theme that, “Spencer should keep his day job” as far as an analyst of the solution to the Islam problem, as opposed to merely reporting on it as relayed through the hundreds of articles you wrote which are critical of him, is perfectly acceptable.

    Huh? I read your paragraph above 3 times and couldn’t understand it. You’ll have to paraphrase it — but remember to keep the substance and import approximately the same.

    “The fact that I have to point this out once, let alone more than once, is screamingly insane.”

    Another assertion based on your original assertion without evidence. It is not in itself, insane, nor is it “screamingly” so.

    Yes. Hopefully my attempt at an argument above will have clarified it.

    Ironic it is, that you find specific egregious fault with Marisol, and by extension, Spencer on the exactitude of this Jefferson quote. It is ironic to criticize a person who has demonstrated over the years, arguments based meticulously on the accuracy of his statements from historical texts and statements, though he is routinely accused of taking these statements out of context by his detractors.

    Well, the irony is more on the side of my accusers in this case, since they are the ones supposed to show concern for meticulousness, but here show no concern for it and even get mad at me for providing the information that meticulousness yields — unless (and I wouldn’t put it past you) you are trying to argue that if Spencer is meticulous about 10 different quotes, he doesn’t need to be meticulous about the 11th quote and nobody dare point out that 11th quote!

    Hesp:
    “If there is a perception afoot that I occupy such a position (by self-promotion of course, in the terms of this perception, and not by merit nor need), it might well have something to do with the unfortunate, and rather strange, fact that no one else seems to care about these matters.”

    It may well be, but that is just another assertion. You have not argued why Spencer needs what you deem, your continuous corrective criticism…

    Sure I have, dozens of times on my now retired blog, and at least a couple of times on my present blog. It’s a simple principle really: if someone has constructive criticism, then that will help the object of that criticism if it’s integrated. This is a separate issue from whether any particular constructive criticism really is constructive or not. The determination of that should have nothing to do with emotion, animosity, paranoia, and other extraneous factors. And, of course, the object of the criticism can also choose to just ignore the crticism — perhaps he feels he doesn’t have the time to read it to determine if it’s useful; perhaps he doesn’t like the guy giving it; whatever. But that doesn’t mean the critic should stop criticizing. And it certainly doesn’t substitute for actually making the determination of whether, or not, any given criticism proferred by the critic is, in fact, constructive and therefore beneficial. The attitude of you and some others in this regard is tantamount to saying: “We don’t like the way your are criticizing us, and it smacks to us of destructive not constructive criticism — therefore that’s what it is: destructive criticism. Begone!” Ridiculous, when not indicative of a tyrannical spirit.

    …nor why his refusal to hearken to you to date has adversely affected his position in the movement.

    That would be extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible, to prove. Too many variables. Also, his “position in the movement” is not the only concern. There is the continual refinement and betterment of various aspects of the movement — and again the determination of whether any of my suggestions would conduce to that has to be made on the merits of their substance, not on extraneous matters.

    You have also not explained this supposed unfortunate, rather strange behavior, which lead you to your unsubstantiated conclusion that in the absence of you holding this self-promotional perception, seemingly no one else cares about these matters.

    The proof is in the pudding. As far as I know and if you know of one please enlighten me: Nobody else has shown that they were bothered by these discrepancies in the Jefferson quote in the first place. Nobody else has shown that they were inspired by this concern to take time and trouble to track down the original quote. Nobody else has shown the additional effort of publishing a meticulous analysis of their efforts. Nobody else has dared to poke their head into the lion’s den at Jihad Watch to risk getting their head snapped off by Marisol shouting “How dare you presume to tell us what to do with your vile vinegar! Next time thou durst so, doest so on bended knee with a jar of honey! In the meantime, we shall ignore thy vinegary presumption!” [Slam door to end one-sided discussion on this subject for apparently ever; enter the court jester awake to take over from here.]

    I will make a counter-argument that Spencer continuously refutes attacks upon him by specifically pointing out his words and the sources behind them with particular detail for their exactness in accuracy. There are hundreds upon hundres of articles here at JW validating that argument.

    Yes he does indeed. So what’s the argument: if Spencer does it 100 times, it’s okay if he doesn’t do it the 101st time? And the 102nd time (re: my repeated mentions in JW comments fields of the more crucial variance in the ‘Umdat al-Salik, of course ignored from on high as though Zeus himself were non-existent)? And the 103rd time? Or perhaps we can make this easy with a simple rule: “Only ignore it when Hesperado pipes up with his hobbyhorses!”

    Hesp:
    “Any stance would require a majority at least (and unanimity of course best of all) to be successful.”

    If you acknowledge that your holistic position is in the minority “within the anti-Islam movement, woops, I mean anti-Jihad movement”, then why not cease and desist the continuous criticism of the asymptotic analysts who make up the majority in the movement?

    Because in certain instances, I think I have a better way, and it’s my right to put my foot into the arena and articulate it. If I persuade some folks, great; if I don’t, well, at least I tried. Why am I having to explain excruciatingly common-sensical bromides to you, anyway? Can’t you figure some of this stuff out yourself?

    Hesp:
    “While I grant that in this particular instance, there cannot really be a synthesis of the two stances (holistic and asymptotic), and no real compromise that wouldn’t cramp the style of either the one or the other stance, I do not hold the position, in general principle, that I or any other “holist” has to require of all asymptotics that they change, or else they are deemed to be excommunicated from the Movement.”

    You are entitled to your opinion about the superiority of your holistic stance, but you have not successfully argued and substantiated that assertion as superior in any way.

    I have to one or two people. At any rate, a “successful” argument is not necessarily a good argument; nor is an “unsuccessful” argument necessarily a bad one.

    Speaking of ex-communication, Spencer is firmly entrenched in the movement. You on the otherhand, are not, nor are any true holistic analysts. That is just a fact.

    And therefore? I have a bigger car and a pretty wife, therefore I’m better than you?

    …one wonders from both you and Cornelius whether anonymity would be just fine with you guys as long as the anonymous person was…. in lockstep agreement with Spencer…?

    No need to wonder. I assert that Spencer, because he is public, has a greater concern of and responsibility for his words and deeds that anonymous bloggers do not.

    That can be a fact that can support an argument for the superiority of anonymous bloggers on one level at least — they have the freedom to say things that a non-anonymous blogger is inhibited from saying.

    I have disagreed with Robert in the past, and I believe Cornelius is in staunch disagreement with Hugh about Iraq, but there is a not so subtle distinction between respectful disagreement and petty, unyielding criticism.

    I agree: there is a distinction between respectful disagreement and petty, unyielding criticism. The challenge then would be to demonstrate that my criticism is petty. I wouldn’t fault unyielding criticism necessarily, though perhaps it’s a semantic thing — what one man calls persistent another might call unyielding.

    Remember, you dedicated a full year plus criticizing Spencer, and JW, yet oddly, you are still here, criticizing Spencer on almost every thread…

    That’s an exaggeration. I just did a survey of the August archives (though I had to stop past halfway through due to the increased slowness of my computer dealing with such a massive page studded with YouTube videos):

    Of the last 23 threads in which I had any comments at all, only two had directly critical things to say about Spencer, Jihad Watch itself, Marisol or Hugh — this one, and the one where I posted a couple of comments wondering why Spencer has not yet integrated the crucial translation of the ‘Umdat al-Salik with regard to clitorectomy. Otherwise, I did not count the “English pub” comment I made which did not mention Spencer, Jihad Watch itself, Marisol or Hugh, but only mentioned certain critiques about the conduct of the Anti-Islam Movement as reflected by the comment made by one of Spencer’s hosts in England that reflected important “tensions” among the anti-jihadists behind the scenes to which we out-of-the-loopers seem never to be privy (certainly I’ve rarely seen anyone write up anything about them). I also did not count the recent thread where I very politely and obliquely registered my different view on whether Islam has, or has not, an “ethical dimension”. Similarly, another thread I did not count was where I respectully offered a suggestion for Spencer to use in debates with Muslims like Bassouiani:

    While Spencer’s exchange with Bassiouni revealed that Bassiouni exposed himself to blatant inconsistency, I think Spencer could have skewered him with his own petard even more effectively had Spencer limited his first reply to the one point of the inconsistency itself and say nothing else, and in a final sentence say “Please answer this one point”. With no other points from Spencer in view, Bassiouni would have no choice but to answer it or not answer it — with the latter option more starkly exposed for being unresponsive.

    Anyone who would construe that as anything but respectful and unpetty has their little heart monitor set on paranoid.

    The “Comments Are Open!” thread involved a long exchange between myself and Cornelius which I tried to keep on the track of my initial criticism of his universal censure of the word “subhuman” but he steered it around to all my faults, including my criticisms of Spencer. I can hardly be faulted for standing up for myself there, and it certainly cannot be counted as one more example of me going into a thread mischievously to inject my little Spencer bombs.

    At worst, if one insists on counting the “English pub” one, that would make 3 out of 23. It also needs to be mentioned that some of those 20 remaining have more than one comment by me, none of them jabs at Spencer, Jihad Watch itself, Marisol or Hugh. And furthermore, there are many threads among those 23 where I didn’t register any comments at all. Thus your characterization — “criticizing Spencer on almost every thread” — seems to be grossly inaccurate.

    Hesp:
    “About #2, on one level you’re right, I “accept nothing less than my personal view as acceptable” — but only on the level on which anyone who has a stance about anything that they believe in does not “accept” the controversion of that stance.”

    That seems to contradict your previous statement about “asymptotic” analysts, their need to convert or else face excommunication…

    I said the opposite. Go back and re-read.

    Hesp:
    “I was thinking more of your perception of me. I don’t think Spencer lowers himself to that level, though he did once preposterously anathematize and excommunicate me, in so many words, from the Movement. As much as I have criticized this or that aspect of his methodology, I have never seen fit to anathematize and excommunicate him.”

    Simple answer, you cannot excommunicate Spencer.

    That doesn’t matter. If a person wants to kill someone, does it make it okay that he can’t kill that person? Conversely, if someone wants to kill and actually does, is he better because he has the power to kill, better than the other person who neither has the power to kill, nor who wants to? If excommunication reflects poorly on the excommunicator (unless you revere power for the sake of power), then there’s no way to salvage Spencer in this context.

    When I spoke of you craving public recognition, I was referring to your vast archives complaining about the “gentleman’s agreement” and how you are left out,

    Show me one line from those essays that indicates I’m complaining about being left out personally in the way you are implying.

    and referring to yourself as treated like a lesser paeon in the eyes of other larger luminaries in the movement.

    Again, show me one line from those essays that indicates I am complaining personally about being a peon the way you are implying. All the concerns and complaints in those essays are couched in terms of the betterment of the overall movement. Your extrapolation from that to a merely personal ego problem on my part is pure conjecture, without evidence, and dripping with unfair malice.

    And also, desiring that Spencer “deputize” and allow others to write at JW, like yourself. It doesn’t take long to discover your personal frustration in this movement.

    Again, I challenge you to produce any evidence from those essays that demonstrates these spins you have placed upon them — namely, that what I “really” care about is one thing — the egotistical pitiful personal resentment and assuaging that — while what I am claiming to care about — the betterment of the movement is pretense masking the lower motivations.

    Hesp:
    “At any rate, that bit of imaginative rendering of mine was hyperbole, and one needn’t go comically down into the gutter to indulge in the freaking weird option of impugning someone’s essence and character because you don’t like their ideas, or fixating on their behavior, while spending less time, if any, on the actual ideas they are communicating.”

    Pot, meet kettle.

    I don’t impugn Spencer’s essence or character. I criticize aspects of his approach, his methodology, his ideas. No pot here.

    Anyway, you are a holist who believes all Muslims are potentially evil

    I never put it that way. All Muslims who support Islam are evil. All Muslims who passively enable Islam by continuing to be Muslims are co-dependent enablers of the evil of Islam. Among the latter may be many who are harmless and more or less nice people, but we have the pragmatic problem (which Spencer has agreed several times is a major problem though he has not logically unfolded it) of not being able to distinguish with sufficient reliability the dangerous from the harmless. But you should remember this, from the 101 times I’ve told you this before.

    and that Islam needs to be abolished in totality

    I’ve never said Islam needs to be abolished in totality — I’ve argued more than once at length for an indefinite co-existence structured by global quarantine militarily enforced, preceded by total deportation.

    is irreformable and ultimately evil to the core, with the rounding up and expulsion of all Muslims from the West, a minimal pre-requisite, only inhibited by the malaise of PCMC currently.

    This part is ok, with one major exception: the rounding up and expulsion of all Muslims I don’t characterize as a “minimal” pre-requisite, but rather the maximum pre-requisite we can do. There are plenty of other more or less half-assed measures we can take short of that that may, or may not, help, though I continue to maintain they will in the end help less, and possibly cause much more of a mess than the holistic approach.

    Did I miss anything?

    Yeah, most of it.

    A valid opinion, but not one warranting your continued criticism of Spencer, that’s for sure.

    That one opinion, concerning ultimate management of the problem of Islam, is only one facet of the many other different ongoing concerns and difficulties of the Anti-Islam Movement.

  58. says

    Hesp:
    “Consider the minimum standards for primary source quotes in scholarly journals, books, theses and other academic presentations. They require reference citations to the original — primary sources, not secondary.”

    This was a commentary on an article of news, not a footnoted journal, book or theses, so your argument is invalid here.

    You provided the primary quote. No one disputes that. Marisol took exception with your condescending delivery of the quote as another example of sloppiness on the part of JW contributors.

    Re-read her response.

    Hesp:
    “Now, a sociopolitical movement is different from Academe in many ways. And with regard to use of sources, there is no official arbiter of standards of a sociopolitical movement, as there is in Academe.”

    Yet you are attempting to insert yourself as the arbiter. You acknowledged the secondary source as not being detrimental to substance and import of said quote. After that acknowledgement, you attempt to build an argument that contrary to that admission, it is that important. Like I said, this mountain out of this molehill of a secondary source that you are making it is not the issue here.

    See Marisol’s redress to you again on this thread.

    Hesp:
    “In fact, I could be wrong — maybe the meaning is changed by the variances. Who’s going to check? Who cares? Now all of a sudden you guys are going to take my word on something?”

    I personally don’t care about this particular issue, but again, the accuracy of the primary source that you provided to the quote is not in dispute, your delivery is. See Marisol’s reply to you in this thread. Delivered in an honest magnanimous way, I all but sure Marisol would have simply thanked you.

    Hesp:
    “Closely related to the above, we have the problem of a tendency to behave a certain way evidenced by the way this quote has been handled. Even if the variances pertaining to the Jefferson quote could be demonstrated to everyone’s satisfaction to have zero effect on the substance and import, there will come along other quotes of similar importance which, when run through the mill of this sloppy transmission process, will not fare so well, and important meanings of phrases will be changed, if not sometimes reversed.”

    That may be and probably is true, but this one particular instance is not indicative of a larger sloppy process here at JW, or if you assert that, you have not substantiated it at all. Frankly, you are starting to sound like Abdullah, believing this instance is your smoking-gun, “darura” moment.

    By the way, no one called you out for your sloppy analysis of what you deemed to be an article of Robert’s, by failing to thoroughly check the source before your initial comment, right? In your case, it was just an honest mistake, right?

    Hesp:
    “At any rate, I’m not advocating some kind of herculean transformation of the Anti-Islam Movement that will bog everyone down with gigantic labors.”

    Although, you just did, in the last referenced paragraph that I quoted. You stated that meanings could actually be reversed without exactitude in historical quotes.

    Hesp:
    “At the very least, when somebody comes along like me who has taken the time and trouble to nail down this important historical quote, use me, for crying out loud! I won’t even expect to get paid, nor even do I expect gratitude! Just use the damn quote! This will hardly put anyone’s nose out of joint — though apparently the gall of having to swallow one’s pride amounts to an immense obstacle in this regard.”

    Now we are getting to the heart of the matter. Once again, the accuracy of the quote is not in question. Your continuous condescending tone of the staff here at JW, is. As I previously stated, if you were traditionally acting in a matter of good faith, and you didn’t dedicate a year plus criticizing JW and its staff, exclusively, and even in light of that, you had offered the quote in a respectful manner, Marisol would have thanked you.

    Your personal inclusion, that the quote is not being used because to do so would require “having to swallow one’s pride”, I have argued IS indicative of a larger problem with your work.

    Hesp:
    “Huh? I read your paragraph above 3 times and couldn’t understand it. You’ll have to paraphrase it — but remember to keep the substance and import approximately the same.”

    What I wrote there was simply that if you were a genuine in your attempt to assist Spencer and JW, the provision of the correct quote in a respectful way is acceptable and NOT the issue.

    *(sound of a hammer nailing the same point home over and over again)

    It is difficult to accept your assistance as genuine, when delivered in the first comment you wrote on this thread, and also, knowing the historical context of a blog solely dedicated to criticizing this one. To believe otherwise is audacious.

    Hesp:
    “It’s a simple principle really: if someone has constructive criticism, then that will help the object of that criticism if it’s integrated.”

    An entire blog dedicated to one site (JW) and a small group of people (Spencer Fitzgerald, Seibold, Ibrahim), based on your holistic versus asymptotic principles, when measured against the multitude of sites and persons within the larger movement, in my opinion, speaks to a personal over professional consideration. That may be an unfair estimation. but I call ’em like I see ’em.

    Regardless, people who are relentlessly criticized, especially on the basic premise that factually, neither methodology (asymptotic vs. holistic) has not been proven to date to be superior to the other, rarely, if ever tend to integrate the ideas of their critics.

    Hesp:
    “Nobody else has shown that they were bothered by these discrepancies in the Jefferson quote in the first place. Nobody else has shown that they were inspired by this concern to take time and trouble to track down the original quote. Nobody else has shown the additional effort of publishing a meticulous analysis of their efforts.”

    Like I said, you crave public recognition, so OK, here goes it. “Hesp, thank goodness for you.” “What would we do without you?”

    Happy now?

    Seriously though, I sense that you feel somewhat frustrated because you believe that you have worked hard to provide your analysis. As I already stated, your work could and should stand on its own without year-long plus distractions undermining your efforts.

    Hesp:
    “Nobody else has dared to poke their head into the lion’s den at Jihad Watch to risk getting their head snapped off by Marisol shouting “How dare you presume to tell us what to do with your vile vinegar! Next time thou durst so, doest so on bended knee with a jar of honey! In the meantime, we shall ignore thy vinegary presumption!” [Slam door to end one-sided discussion on this subject for apparently ever; enter the court jester awake to take over from here.]”

    I’ll just let that comment stand as is. It supports my argument about your pompous attitude and inflated self-perception that you have.

    Hesp:
    “Yes he does indeed. So what’s the argument: if Spencer does it 100 times, it’s okay if he doesn’t do it the 101st time? And the 102nd time (re: my repeated mentions in JW comments fields of the more crucial variance in the ‘Umdat al-Salik, of course ignored from on high as though Zeus himself were non-existent)? And the 103rd time? Or perhaps we can make this easy with a simple rule: “Only ignore it when Hesperado pipes up with his hobbyhorses!”

    Regarding academic purity, which is it, not that important in this instance, or is the Herculean effort paramount to the movement? You have not made a case for a systemic context problem here at JW.

    As always, you incorporate personal rationales to your arguments with Spencer. You just caricatured Marisol’s response as hyper-emotive and tyrannical when in reality it was sage advice given to you. You also have belied that this debate with me, the “court jester” in your estimation, is beneath you and your anonymous credentials. You have also belittled many of your fellow commenters here at JW on your now defunct JWW site, quoting them and dismissing them as inconsequential.

    Hesp:
    “Because in certain instances, I think I have a better way, and it’s my right to put my foot into the arena and articulate it. If I persuade some folks, great; if I don’t, well, at least I tried. Why am I having to explain excruciatingly common-sensical bromides to you, anyway? Can’t you figure some of this stuff out yourself?”

    You are entitled to your opinion, but this also belies another appearance of smugness by yourself. On YOUR blog you have the right to express your opinion, but you have no given right to do so here at JW. Here it is a privilege that Robert Spencer grants you currently.

    I figured that out, huh?

    Hesp:
    “I have to one or two people. At any rate, a “successful” argument is not necessarily a good argument; nor is an “unsuccessful” argument necessarily a bad one.”

    Congratulations on your revolution, but that point is moot. “Good” and “bad” arguments in this case are based on unproven differences of opinion, so you have not made a definitive argument that yours is a good one.

    Hesp:
    “And therefore? I have a bigger car and a pretty wife, therefore I’m better than you?”

    No, I was simply stating the fact that Spencer is firmly entrenched in the movement and that currently, you are not.

    Hesp:
    “That’s an exaggeration.”
    [..]
    “Of the last 23 threads in which I had any comments at all, only two had directly critical things to say about Spencer, Jihad Watch itself, Marisol or Hugh…”

    I was referring to the now defunct JWW, specifically, but your criticism of JW has certainly has not stopped on your current blog. It also spills over here to JW with reasonable regularity.

    Hesp:
    “Thus your characterization — “criticizing Spencer on almost every thread” — seems to be grossly inaccurate.”

    Threads you don’t comment on don’t count. Also, some threads are so objective and strictly informational they cannot draw a critical response from you.

    That being said, “almost”, I concede was an incorrect exaggeration.

    Hesp:
    “If excommunication reflects poorly on the excommunicator (unless you revere power for the sake of power), then there’s no way to salvage Spencer in this context.”

    And yet the supposedly excommunicated Hesperado still remains and comments and critiques as though the excommunication does not currently exist.

    Hesp:
    “Again, show me one line from those essays that indicates I am complaining personally about being a peon the way you are implying.”

    “But by the queer pretzel logic of this gentlemen’s agreement behind closed doors to which the rest of us peons and peasants are not privy…”
    -Erich, from “The Gentlemen’s Agreement of Silence”

    Hesp:
    “Again, I challenge you to produce any evidence from those essays that demonstrates these spins you have placed upon them — namely, that what I “really” care about is one thing — the egotistical pitiful personal resentment and assuaging that — while what I am claiming to care about — the betterment of the movement is pretense masking the lower motivations.”

    Your repeated call for Spencer to turn over a portion of control of his intellectual property at JW to the masses is nearly unprecedented. It is another example of what YOU think Spencer should do. You do not or cannot vouch for anyone besides yourself in the community yet you believe Spencer is obliged to? That is quite a myopic view.

    Stop telling Spencer what to do and start doing what you request of others. Open up your site to the community. Stop complaining about a general lack of gratitude from JW administrators. If you don’t like the way they conduct themselves, then simply move on.

    You don’t speak for me. You do and can only speak for yourself. This ruse and the suggestions that end up being criticisms are all your own, not for the benefit of the movement as you would have us to believe.

    Hesp:
    “I don’t impugn Spencer’s essence or character. I criticize aspects of his approach, his methodology, his ideas. No pot here.”

    Un-huh. “Robert Spencer should keep his day job?”

    “When Spencer dons his Reporter’s hat, he is doing a superb and singular job, vital for our ongoing and still impoverished War of Ideas against Islam. When, however, Spencer dons his Analyst’s hat atop his Reporter’s hat (or deftly switches one for the other, and then back again), more often than not he commits crucial errors…”

    -from Erich on Robert Spencer’s Two Hats: Keep Your Day Job

    “Spencer may or may not be right that the contradictions I find in some of his writings would “dissolve quickly” in the context of a “good-faith discussion”; however, my own experience with a few “discussions” I have had with Spencer in comments threads of Jihad Watch along with my observation of his “discussions” with other readers in comments threads of Jihad Watch (which I have reproduced verbatim in two essays here) has not encouraged me that Spencer is interested in a good-faith discussion”at least not with the hoi polloi of unwashed readers who have the temerity to find any fault in him. For, in those past “discussions”, he has 1) routinely ignored key points that are important while cherry-picking others; 2) deftly danced like a combination of Fred Astaire and some weaselly lawyer around critical points of contention from his interlocutors; and 3) tended to quickly adopt a prickly defensiveness sometimes bordering on paranoia combined with an arrogant snottiness, leading to a “discussion” in which the atmosphere is crackling with threats of banning unless his interlocutors “behave”…”

    -from Erich on “Strike two: Spencer swings, misses mark”

    Yep, no hyper-sensitive personal attacks there. Get back to me when you are linked and accepted in the movement you are so loyal to, will ya Hesp?

  59. says

    A lot of high falutin talk here. I tried reading the accursed thing and found it to be like Mien Kamfp. The ravings of a delusional madman. OK I did not read it in the original Arabic, which apparently is recommended because of the supposed beauty of the language. I do not want to, Robert & many others have demonstrated over and over what trash this book is and what it really says. This combined with what I see with my own eyes, hear with my own ears is enough to convince me that Islam is a pile of horse-shit and its followers are a bunch of scheming, self-pitying, pedophilic, homophobic, anti-semitic, delusional idiots who want to take credit for everything but thier own destructive actions both in the past and now. I think that further interpretations of what this piece of stone-age garbage has to offer is a waste of time. Time is better spent combatting it by political, social and direct methods than by giving it the credence of being worthy of further review or your time.

  60. says

    awake,

    [again, my new comments in bold]

    Hesp:
    “Consider the minimum standards for primary source quotes in scholarly journals, books, theses and other academic presentations. They require reference citations to the original — primary sources, not secondary.”
    This was a commentary on an article of news, not a footnoted journal, book or theses, so your argument is invalid here.

    And why should those standards not be met by others outside of Academe who deal with serious matters using historical texts? You adduced with admiration Spencer being meticulous in that regard when he’s debating others. Why should those standards be relaxed in one place in the JW project of the war of ideas, but not in other places in that same project? You have no defense here for supporting lax standards in any instance where a historical text is being used by the JW movement. It is absurd for you to keep trying.

    You provided the primary quote. No one disputes that.

    No one may dispute it, but no one acknowledges it either (other than grudgingly by you, in these back-alley arguments you and I are having, after I had to pull your teeth with a wrench for a few hours). My provision of the primary quote, then, remains effectively non-existent at JW (other than as a comment for which I had my head taken off officially by a JW rep). The inaccurate quote still stands in this article above, two days later.

    Marisol took exception with your condescending delivery of the quote as another example of sloppiness on the part of JW contributors. Re-read her response.

    I disagree that it was condescending. My characterization of the comportment with regard to handling the quote as “sloppiness” may be a strong criticism, but it does not legitimize someone rejecting and/or ignoring the advice attached to it. Marisol hasn’t a leg to stand on. It is childish to tell someone who is offering information “I don’t like the way you offer it, so I’m not listening to you.” Utterly indefensible and ridiculous, and you only compound that indefensible ridiculousness by continuing to dig your heels in trying to defend it.

    Hesp:
    “Now, a sociopolitical movement is different from Academe in many ways. And with regard to use of sources, there is no official arbiter of standards of a sociopolitical movement, as there is in Academe.”
    Yet you are attempting to insert yourself as the arbiter.

    No — not unless you consider anyone who offers an opinion on how to do something better than it’s being done currently is “attempting to insert themselves as the arbiter”.

    You acknowledged the secondary source as not being detrimental to substance and import of said quote.

    Only by luck is it not detrimental to substance and import. It could well have been. It is still vulnerable to further corruption, given the absence of standards reigning in the Blogosphere. Other quotes suffer the same problem. Nobody shows any signs of caring. This is a good situation how?

    After that acknowledgement, you attempt to build an argument that contrary to that admission, it is that important.

    You are ignoring all the other facets that make it a bad situation. Just because, by sheer luck, a bad policy causes no damage, you are attempting to say “who cares, we’ll just keep chugging along with that bad policy and hope that we continue to stay lucky”. Utterly indefensible. Especially when the remedy to that bad policy would entail minuscule effort. Secondly, there is no defense for maintaining poor quality in any operation. Officially posting inaccurate quotes of a major historical figure whose quote is a major poke in the eye of Islam, reflects poor quality of standards. There’s no way to defend that. To simply say, “well the poor standards didn’t cause any damage — this time!” is a pathetic attempt at defending that poor quality. There is no defense of poor quality.

    Hesp:
    “Closely related to the above, we have the problem of a tendency to behave a certain way evidenced by the way this quote has been handled. Even if the variances pertaining to the Jefferson quote could be demonstrated to everyone’s satisfaction to have zero effect on the substance and import, there will come along other quotes of similar importance which, when run through the mill of this sloppy transmission process, will not fare so well, and important meanings of phrases will be changed, if not sometimes reversed.”

    That may be and probably is true, but this one particular instance is not indicative of a larger sloppy process here at JW, or if you assert that, you have not substantiated it at all. Frankly, you are starting to sound like Abdullah, believing this instance is your smoking-gun, “darura” moment.

    THERE IS NO DEFENSE FOR PERSISTING IN PROVIDING AN INACCURATE QUOTE — especially when that quote is important to the war of ideas dimension of the movement. You are dancing around that central point.

    By the way, no one called you out for your sloppy analysis of what you deemed to be an article of Robert’s, by failing to thoroughly check the source before your initial comment, right? In your case, it was just an honest mistake, right?

    I rectified it within 37 minutes. This far more important historical quote remains unrectified, and the person who offered the information about the accurate quote got his head taken off for subjectively perceived “attitude” — which even if true, reflects poorly on the person petulantly and childishly refusing to take the advice (see above).

    Hesp:
    “At any rate, I’m not advocating some kind of herculean transformation of the Anti-Islam Movement that will bog everyone down with gigantic labors.”
    Although, you just did, in the last referenced paragraph that I quoted. You stated that meanings could actually be reversed without exactitude in historical quotes.

    Are you dense? My statement about how meanings can be reversed refers to the process of corruption that ensues when lax standards and nobody caring reigns. The prevention of that lax careless state of affairs is what will not take herculean labors.

    Hesp:
    “At the very least, when somebody comes along like me who has taken the time and trouble to nail down this important historical quote, use me, for crying out loud! I won’t even expect to get paid, nor even do I expect gratitude! Just use the damn quote! This will hardly put anyone’s nose out of joint — though apparently the gall of having to swallow one’s pride amounts to an immense obstacle in this regard.”
    Now we are getting to the heart of the matter. Once again, the accuracy of the quote is not in question.

    Not in question by you in these back-alley arguments you and I are having — but still effectively ignored everywhere else on JW and in the Blogosphere in fact outside of my blog.

    Your personal inclusion, that the quote is not being used because to do so would require “having to swallow one’s pride”, I have argued IS indicative of a larger problem with your work.

    I was referring to you & Co having difficulty swallowing your pride.

    These voluminous exchanges are tedious enough without me having to a) repeat myself; b) express commonplace universal principles that you should be able to figure out yourself; and c) explain excruciatingly simple points of logic and reading comprehension to you.

    Hesp:
    “Huh? I read your paragraph above 3 times and couldn’t understand it. You’ll have to paraphrase it — but remember to keep the substance and import approximately the same.”
    What I wrote there was simply that if you were a genuine in your attempt to assist Spencer and JW, the provision of the correct quote in a respectful way is acceptable and NOT the issue.

    I agree it’s not the issue. It’s a separate issue. And there is no defense for someone refusing advice just because they don’t like the tone of the person offering the advice. It is childish and silly, at best. Nor is some perceived history of the person offering advice defensible grounds for ignoring or rejecting their advice. My presentation of that information above was intelligent and mature. The characterizaton of it as “condescending” is a subjective impression. I certainly don’t see how it’s “condescending”. And even if a comment seems “condescending”, that’s not legitimate grounds for deeming it unacceptable. Show me exactly which words make it unacceptable.

    It is difficult to accept your assistance as genuine… and also, knowing the historical context of a blog solely dedicated to criticizing this one.

    The blog was dedicated to the same overall type of criticism: constructive criticism.

    An entire blog dedicated to one site (JW) and a small group of people (Spencer Fitzgerald, Seibold, Ibrahim), based on your holistic versus asymptotic principles, when measured against the multitude of sites and persons within the larger movement, in my opinion, speaks to a personal over professional consideration. That may be an unfair estimation. but I call ’em like I see ’em.

    Your opinion. Noted and filed away. Insufficient for demonstrating that it’s defensible to ignore or reject the information I gave on this thread.

    Regardless, people who are relentlessly criticized, especially on the basic premise that factually, neither methodology (asymptotic vs. holistic) has not been proven to date to be superior to the other, rarely, if ever tend to integrate the ideas of their critics.

    That would be because they put their hurt or annoyed feelings above the task of determining whether the critic has anything useful to offer. Indefensible. I know I wouldn’t behave that way to a person who devoted a year and 300 essays to critiquing my methodology. As long as he wasn’t consistently vulgar and didn’t indulge sophistry or tediously unintelligent attempts at argumentation, I would a) never censor him; b) never excommunicate him; c) not ignore him unless I simply didn’t have the time. My willingness to engage in dialogue with an interlocutor whose behavior is verging on being rife with at least one of these faults (tediously unintelligent attempts at argumentation) has by now been copiously demonstrated in this present discussion we have been having (as well as a couple of previous similarly length ones in the past).

    Hesp:
    “Nobody else has shown that they were bothered by these discrepancies in the Jefferson quote in the first place. Nobody else has shown that they were inspired by this concern to take time and trouble to track down the original quote. Nobody else has shown the additional effort of publishing a meticulous analysis of their efforts.”
    Like I said, you crave public recognition, so OK, here goes it. “Hesp, thank goodness for you.” “What would we do without you?”
    Happy now?

    My point in adducing those 3 “Nobody elses” was to answer your request, not to whine about how nobody else is doing what I’m doing, poor me. In answering your request, I pointed out three facets that substantiate what you specifically asked me, to wit:
    “You have also not explained this supposed unfortunate, rather strange behavior, which lead you to your unsubstantiated conclusion that in the absence of you holding this self-promotional perception, seemingly no one else cares about these matters.”
    Now suddenly you seem to have forgotten all about our request, which I answered, and gone off on some tangent about my psychological motives supposedly evidenced by those 3 “Nobody else” statements — either cleverly, or obtusely, deflecting attention off of my response to your request. In your original request, you implied that others do care. You then asked me to substantiate my claim that they do not care. I obliged you and I articulated 3 facets of absence of evidence of anybody caring about this issue. Focus, awake.

    Seriously though, I sense that you feel somewhat frustrated because you believe that you have worked hard to provide your analysis. As I already stated, your work could and should stand on its own without year-long plus distractions undermining your efforts.

    Thanks for the advice. I’ll pass.

    Hesp:
    “Nobody else has dared to poke their head into the lion’s den at Jihad Watch to risk getting their head snapped off by Marisol shouting “How dare you presume to tell us what to do with your vile vinegar! Next time thou durst so, doest so on bended knee with a jar of honey! In the meantime, we shall ignore thy vinegary presumption!” [Slam door to end one-sided discussion on this subject for apparently ever; enter the court jester awake to take over from here.]”
    I’ll just let that comment stand as is. It supports my argument about your pompous attitude and inflated self-perception that you have.

    You have no argument about my pompous attitude and inflated self-perception. You only have your opinion and conjectures without a shred of evidence other than evidence you imagine is there. Others may or may not agree with you in detecting it. But nothing has been argued.

    Hesp:
    “Yes he does indeed. So what’s the argument: if Spencer does it 100 times, it’s okay if he doesn’t do it the 101st time? And the 102nd time (re: my repeated mentions in JW comments fields of the more crucial variance in the ‘Umdat al-Salik, of course ignored from on high as though Zeus himself were non-existent)? And the 103rd time? Or perhaps we can make this easy with a simple rule: “Only ignore it when Hesperado pipes up with his hobbyhorses!”
    Regarding academic purity, which is it, not that important in this instance, or is the Herculean effort paramount to the movement?

    You are stacking the deck with your insertion of “paramount”. Does that mean if advice has no “paramount” benefit to offer, it should be ignored? There exists only two choices — “paramount” benefit, and zero benefit? With no spectrum of degrees in between?

    You have not made a case for a systemic context problem here at JW.

    So if there’s no case for a “systemic context problem” then there’s no problem at all? No other kinds of problems to notice, discuss, analyze, recommend remedies for? You are stacking the deck again with an Either/Or pair of extremes.

    As always, you incorporate personal rationales to your arguments with Spencer.

    No, not “as always”. Considered in terms of the sum total of my critiques of Spencer, it amounts to rarely, at best.

    You just caricatured Marisol’s response as hyper-emotive and tyrannical when in reality it was sage advice given to you.

    Not “in reality” — in your opinion. My opinion differs from yours. Two opinions about her comportment. And I wouldn’t characterize my opinion of her response as “tyrannical” nor even “hyper”-emotive: it was just emotive and as such she based her decision on emotional pique and distaste for the behavior of the messenger. (The humor of my caricature, obviously relaxing with a little sport of burlesque, flew right by you as well, I note. )

    You also have belied that this debate with me, the “court jester” in your estimation, is beneath you and your anonymous credentials.

    It’s obviously not beneath my continued interest in clarifying these ridiculously grotesque misunderstandings and perversely obstinate mischaracterizations and torturous cul-de-sacs of poor logic you voluminously spin. It also helps to sharpen my skills in debate and rhetoric generally to roll up my sleeves and go at the challenge of disentangling such frizzy messes of ravelled pseudo- and quasi-argumentation.

    You have also belittled many of your fellow commenters here at JW on your now defunct JWW site, quoting them and dismissing them as inconsequential.

    Like who?

    Hesp:
    “Because in certain instances, I think I have a better way, and it’s my right to put my foot into the arena and articulate it. If I persuade some folks, great; if I don’t, well, at least I tried. Why am I having to explain excruciatingly common-sensical bromides to you, anyway? Can’t you figure some of this stuff out yourself?”

    You are entitled to your opinion, but this also belies another appearance of smugness by yourself.

    By the way, “belies” means “to be counter to; to contradict; to show to be false”. So I agree — my statement you quoted above does contradict my alleged smugness.

    On YOUR blog you have the right to express your opinion, but you have no given right to do so here at JW. Here it is a privilege that Robert Spencer grants you currently.

    Of course. But when a blog owner withholds that privilege, which no one can stop him from doing, he is wrong, because free speech is a higher virtue than a blog owner’s personal wishes to control information. I think Spencer would agree. Just because someone has the power to do something, that doesn’t make that thing right.

    Hesp:
    “I have to one or two people. At any rate, a “successful” argument is not necessarily a good argument; nor is an “unsuccessful” argument necessarily a bad one.”
    Congratulations on your revolution, but that point is moot.

    Oh? It wasn’t moot when you adduced it. Now it suddenly becomes moot to you?

    “Good” and “bad” arguments in this case are based on unproven differences of opinion

    More precisely, based on unproven predictions of the future.

    … so you have not made a definitive argument that yours is a good one.

    And so where does that leave your original statement? Let’s see: you now consider “success” to be moot. And you now consider that neither side has a “good” argument. Wow, thanks for doing my work for me and cancelling out your statement.

    Hesp:
    “And therefore? I have a bigger car and a pretty wife, therefore I’m better than you?”
    No, I was simply stating the fact that Spencer is firmly entrenched in the movement and that currently, you are not.

    And therefore what? Don’t be coy.

    Hesp:
    “That’s an exaggeration.”
    [..]
    “Of the last 23 threads in which I had any comments at all, only two had directly critical things to say about Spencer, Jihad Watch itself, Marisol or Hugh…”

    I was referring to the now defunct JWW, specifically,

    No you weren’t. Your precise words were: “yet oddly, you are still here, criticizing Spencer on almost every thread…”That’s what I was addressing. Your words.

    but your criticism of JW has certainly has not stopped on your current blog. It also spills over here to JW with reasonable regularity.

    And? So what?

    Hesp:
    “Thus your characterization — “criticizing Spencer on almost every thread” — seems to be grossly inaccurate.”
    Threads you don’t comment on don’t count.

    They do when you yourself said “on almost every thread…”

    Also, some threads are so objective and strictly informational they cannot draw a critical response from you.

    Nah, I’m sure a devious, conniving, black-hearted, mischievous critic obsessed with self-promotion and dragging Spencer down like me would find a way.

    Hesp:
    “If excommunication reflects poorly on the excommunicator (unless you revere power for the sake of power), then there’s no way to salvage Spencer in this context.”

    And yet the supposedly excommunicated Hesperado still remains and comments and critiques as though the excommunication does not currently exist.

    That’s not the only way an excommunication can manifest itself.

    Hesp:
    “Again, show me one line from those essays that indicates I am complaining personally about being a peon the way you are implying.”
    “But by the queer pretzel logic of this gentlemen’s agreement behind closed doors to which the rest of us peons and peasants are not privy…”
    -Erich, from “The Gentlemen’s Agreement of Silence”

    Yes, the “rest of us”. I don’t see any “me me me” there. If you read the full essay and the linked other essays, you will see the “us” refers to the majority of people in the movement (which hopefully continues to grow in numbers). Unless they’ve been carrying on drinking brandies, smoking cigars and carousing along with the elites of the movment in the smoke-filled back room of the Gentlemen’s Club without my knowledge all this time, they seem to be as much in the dark as I am about the types of movement issues I mentioned in those essays (and later essays, such as the curious disappearance of Diana West from Jihad Watch compared with her effusively praised regular presence here before; as well as other related issues I have not had the time to explore, such as Bawer’s unofficial excommunication).

    Hesp:
    “Again, I challenge you to produce any evidence from those essays that demonstrates these spins you have placed upon them — namely, that what I “really” care about is one thing — the egotistical pitiful personal resentment and assuaging that — while what I am claiming to care about — the betterment of the movement is pretense masking the lower motivations.”

    Your repeated call for Spencer to turn over a portion of control of his intellectual property at JW to the masses is nearly unprecedented.

    That’s your tendentious characterization of what I was recommending. I was recommending for him to integrate the JW community of readers with JW in a more substantive and tangible way. That does not necessarily mean “turning over a portion of control of his intellectual property”.

    In my essay “It’s time to deputize the JW ComCom” I wrote:

    “There is no need for JW”at least not yet”to create an official organization (whether strictly non-profit or integrating wages for contributing work).”

    The “at least not yet” interjection is just not ruling out the future. Anything could happen. The Anti-Islam Movement could evolve to a point where even Spencer and his staff agree more organization is necessary, and would recognize that JW has by then become the best chrysalis for such a reconfiguration and crystallization, a nucleus of a real Anti-Islam Movement. And if there comes a time when there will be a “need” for it, that doesn’t mean I’m “calling for” anybody to do anything. I’m just talking about the future when there will be agreed to be a need about this. The main point I made is “There is no need for JW…to create an official organization” — and then I proceeded to describe and recommend what there is a need for.

    It is another example of what YOU think Spencer should do.

    Now that we have straight what the “it” refers to, I need only add: “Well, DUH.”

    You do not or cannot vouch for anyone besides yourself in the community yet you believe Spencer is obliged to? That is quite a myopic view.

    Just my two cents. I have my right to express it.

    Stop telling Spencer what to do and start doing what you request of others.

    Stop telling me what to do.

    Open up your site to the community.

    Huh? My site isn’t closed to the community.

    Stop complaining about a general lack of gratitude from JW administrators. If you don’t like the way they conduct themselves, then simply move on.

    Your order is noted, and filed away in the circular file.

    You don’t speak for me.

    I never said I did.

    You do and can only speak for yourself.

    Any person concerned about a movement and having ideas about its improvement “speaks for himself” in the sense that it is his ideas he is communicating, but he also speaks for any others who agree, and/or who can be persuaded to agree. The concern is obviously larger than himself, unless it can be proven otherwise. Your claims that it is not in my case are malicious and ungrounded.

    This ruse and the suggestions that end up being criticisms are all your own, not for the benefit of the movement as you would have us to believe.

    That’s your opinion. Whether it’s true or not that my suggestions many of which are criticisms (not “end up being criticisms”, you silly bean) are for the benefit of the movement is a determination to be made by others as well — unless you are now arrogating to yourself the role of speaking for everyone in the Anti-Islam Movement?

    Hesp:
    “I don’t impugn Spencer’s essence or character. I criticize aspects of his approach, his methodology, his ideas. No pot here.”

    Un-huh. “Robert Spencer should keep his day job?”

    Yes. The word is “job” — pertaining to what he’s doing, his methodology, his ideas.

    [quoting me again]”When Spencer dons his Reporter’s hat, he is doing a superb and singular job, vital for our ongoing and still impoverished War of Ideas against Islam. When, however, Spencer dons his Analyst’s hat atop his Reporter’s hat (or deftly switches one for the other, and then back again), more often than not he commits crucial errors…”

    Thanks for demonstrating my point. I am not impugning his character or essence in that quote, I am criticizing one half of the stuff he does in terms of methodology. Perhaps you are being distracted, like an infant seeing the colorful moving parts of a mobile above his crib, by my literary use of spicy metaphors, such as “dons…hat” and “deftly switches one [hat] for the other…” as though you think I am actually poking fun at him for wearing hats? Or you think I am actually denigrating him as a person for switching hats deftly? No, those are just metaphors to spice up what would otherwise be a drab analysis of the main point there — that Spencer does two things, and that one of them he does excellently, while the other he does poorly (with, in fact, sometimes counter-productive effects), and it is my opinion he should stop doing the latter or adjust it, but by all means keep doing the former.

    [again quoting me]
    “Spencer may or may not be right that the contradictions I find in some of his writings would “dissolve quickly” in the context of a “good-faith discussion”; however, my own experience with a few “discussions” I have had with Spencer in comments threads of Jihad Watch along with my observation of his “discussions” with other readers in comments threads of Jihad Watch (which I have reproduced verbatim in two essays here) has not encouraged me that Spencer is interested in a good-faith discussion”at least not with the hoi polloi of unwashed readers who have the temerity to find any fault in him. For, in those past “discussions”, he has 1) routinely ignored key points that are important while cherry-picking others; 2) deftly danced like a combination of Fred Astaire and some weaselly lawyer around critical points of contention from his interlocutors; and 3) tended to quickly adopt a prickly defensiveness sometimes bordering on paranoia combined with an arrogant snottiness, leading to a “discussion” in which the atmosphere is crackling with threats of banning unless his interlocutors “behave”…”

    Again, thanks for demonstrating my point. I am talking centrally about his method, not his character or essence. It is irrelevant to my main point there whether this method I am articulating and critiquing here might reflect to some spectators of it poorly on his personality or character. The main point is the method, which is what is at the forefront of that quote you reproduced, and the faults I find with various facets of that method, as I articulate them in an argument in that same quote. What you seem to be demonstrating, unwittingly, however, is your inability to distinguish between a strong criticism of the method of Spencer, on the one hand, and an attack on your idol Spencer who should never be criticized except deferentially in submission and with gifts of honey.

    Yep, no hyper-sensitive personal attacks there.

    Yep indeed. None there.

  61. says

    Hesp,

    Just keeping you occupied, so you don’t detract more from the pedagogical value of the site.

    I’ll read your long-winded blather later, and respond.

    Nice to see Bruce Bawer’s supportive blurb for Spencer’s new book. Also, Andrew Bostom’s article linked by none other than Spencer himself, who you deemed he also had a falling out with.

    Gentleman’s agreement that you are not privy to, indeed.

    I also liked Spencer publishing a JW reader, David, on another thread above.

    Hey, take solace in the small steps. Lawrence Auster was lauding your writings in his “blog wars” with Spencer, that is, until he ceremoniously dropped you after using you, when you reached the end of your usefullness for him, and started criticizing him.

    ——-

    Like I said. Let me know when you are actually linked and supported by a singular other blogger in this “movement”.

    Only then, in my estimation, can you dare to declare yourself to be a part of it.

    Regards.

  62. says

    P.S.: “Never knows” of course is rhetorical hyperbole: one “knows” only after the fact, is the point — and even then, one can’t be sure, for one is bereft of most of the details of the goings-on on which to base knowledge. But who cares. We’ll just let the elites handle all that stuff.