I hadn't planned to comment on this vicious little hit piece, but so many people have sent it to me that I suppose for the record it is worth pointing out its inaccuracies. "The poison behind the Ground Zero mosque furore: The hate-filled sites..."
Hate-filled sites: no, Atlas Shrugs and Jihad Watch are love-filled sites. The idea of their being "hate-filled" is rich, considering that we are the ones who are opposing the anti-woman, anti-free speech, anti-free thought, anti-equality of rights agenda of Islamic supremacists. One could call Andrew Brown "hate-filled" for carrying water for those types. In fact, I think I will.
"...of Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer have fuelled the fight against the Cordoba centre in New York," by Andrew Brown at The Guardian's Comment Is Free, August 18 (thanks to all who sent this in):
Who would have thought that the most successful joke in the history of Comment is free could become a template for far right hate groups in the US? Yet Ariane Sherine's atheist bus ads now have a grim imitator in New York, where a group calling itself Stop Islamisation of America (SIOA) has put up bus ads with a picture of a plane flying into the twin towers on one side, and on the other, an image of the proposed Cordoba centre.
The two people behind SIOA are Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, who, between them, run two flourishing and hate-filled sites, Jihad Watch and Atlas Shrugs, which link into an undergrowth of far-right websites in Europe, including the skinheads of the English Defence League, but also to respectable rightwingers such as Douglas Murray of the Centre for Social Cohesion, and even the Catholic Herald.
Brown's guilt-by-association game here is as tired as it is beneath contempt. I suppose Andrew Brown is using the word "link" loosely, because at Jihad Watch I link neither to the EDL, nor to the Centre for Social Cohesion, nor to the Catholic Herald. This is not a judgment upon or repudiation of any of them; it is simply a statement of fact.
But probably Brown means that at one point or another I have linked to material from all of them. That is true. I've also linked to AP and Reuters. And to the libel and hate site Little Green Footballs. Brown is attempting to establish some kind of mutual collaboration, or some meeting of the minds. And I'm sure there are many things on which I agree with the EDL, and the CSC, and the Catholic Herald. But I am no more responsible for all of their positions than they are for mine.
Spencer is a Roman Catholic...
This is not entirely accurate, and Andrew Brown might have bothered to do a bit more research. It is careless and lazy of him not to get his facts straight.
...of eastern Orthodox extraction who, for the last 10 years, has propagandised the view that Islam is a religion that commands its adherents to violence, and that Muslims all round the world obey.
Certainly "slay the pagans wherever you find them" (Qur'an 9:5) does seem to have a bit of a violent tinge to it. And there are numerous authorities who say that such verses take precedence over more peaceful ones in the Qur'an. To take just one of many, many available examples, Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee, Assistant Professor on the Faculty of Shari'ah and Law of the International Islamic University in Islamabad, in his 1994 book The Methodology of Ijtihad, quotes the twelfth century Maliki jurist Ibn Rushd: "Muslim jurists agreed that the purpose of fighting with the People of the Book...is one of two things: it is either their conversion to Islam or the payment of jizyah." Nyazee concludes: "This leaves no doubt that the primary goal of the Muslim community, in the eyes of its jurists, is to spread the word of Allah through jihad, and the option of poll-tax [jizya] is to be exercised only after subjugation" of non-Muslims.
But Brown, like so many others, would prefer to believe that I make that sort of thing up all by myself. Judging by the number of Islamic jihad terror attacks around the world, my Zionist black arts are quite effective in convincing unwary Muslims to accept this idea.
But as for Brown's claim that I say that "Muslims all round the world obey" this command of violence, if he means that I say that all Muslims do, that's simply nonsense. If he means that Muslims the world over are violent, and finds that improbable, one wonders if he is catching the news lately out of Indonesia, Thailand, Nigeria, etc. etc. etc.
Jihad Watch, incorporating the earlier Dhimmi Watch, is a roiling cauldron of stories from all over the world to illustrate the treachery and violence of Muslims, the criminal weakness of liberals, and the twisted, hate-filled bigotry of anyone on the right who has ever quarrelled with him.
I like "roiling cauldron." Jihad Watch: A Roiling Cauldron. T-shirts should be issued, as soon as we run through our special Above It Are Nineteen: Jihadwatch.org t-shirt issue (and if you know what that refers to, I will have one made and sent to you). But whenever confronted with something like this, the only thing to ask Brown is this: what, exactly, on Jihad Watch is inaccurate? Where is there a false claim? Oh, many have tried to document one, and now there are whole websites devoted to windy tu quoques and inaccurate Arabic renderings trying to catch me out, but they have consistently failed. And you'll notice that Brown himself does not, and cannot, adduce even one example of any inaccuracy.
Geller is a libertarian who once worked on Wall Street.
No, she didn't.
For sanity and moderation, she makes Melanie Phillips look like Karen Armstrong.
For sanity and moderation, I'll take Melanie Phillips over Karen Armstrong in a heartbeat.
Geller and Spencer have just published a book together, The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America; her website currently contains 267 stories discussing whether the president is, in fact, a Muslim.
He's abandoning Israel. He has done nothing effective to stop Iran's nukes. He wants to ease restrictions on Islamic charities, which have been shut down for aiding jihad. He has aided the OIC's anti-free-speech campaign by co-sponsoring with Egypt a resolution calling for the criminalizing of religious hatred (in whose eyes? Judged by whom?) at the UN. If he isn't a Muslim, and I am not saying he is, what is the difference? He is serving the OIC's agenda.
To judge from their websites, the important political movement in England is the English Defence League (as Geller calls them, "the courageous English patriots of the much-maligned English Defence League"), and in Europe, the extremist Stop Islamisation of Europe group.
Geller hosted a talk in Washington given by Anders Gravers, the founder in succession of Stop the Islamisation of Denmark, and then of Europe, at which he explained the enemy master plan:
"The European Union acts secretly, with the European people being deceived about its development. Democracy is being deliberately removed, the latest example being the Lisbon treaty. However, the plan goes much further with an ultimate goal of being a European-Arabian super-state, incorporating Muslim countries of north Africa and the Middle East in the European Union. This is already initiated with the signing of the Barcelona treaty in 95 by the EU and nine north African states, and it became effective the first of January, 2010 - this year. It is also known as the Euro-Mediterranean co-operation. In return for some European control of oil resources, Muslim countries will have unfettered access to technology and movement of people into Europe. The price Europeans will have to pay is the introduction of sharia law and removal of democracy."
You'd have thought that listening without giggling to such ravings disqualified anyone from being taken seriously.
How unfortunate for Andrew Brown that giggling is not a substantive response to a substantive argument. While Brown giggles, Europe burns: consult Bat Ye'or's Eurabia, Bawer's While Europe Slept, Caldwell's Reflections On the Revolution In Europe, etc.
After that Brown's piece devolves into yet another discussion of the most famous dinner party ever. In reality, what happened was that I was having dinner with Murray and some EDL chaps dropped in, and they and Murray had words. Big deal. The one worthwhile or noteworthy aspect of the whole affair is that it keeps people like Richard Bartholomew and Andrew Brown preoccupied and out of more serious mischief.
Then Brown turns to skewering Damian Thompson of the Daily Telegraph for picking up on a story I posted here -- one which I quickly took down when it proved to be inaccurate, but which Thompson apparently didn't notice had been removed and ran with. Brown claims that Thompson has not "used anything from Spencer on his blog" ever since this episode. These things will happen, of course; I have written 23,568 posts here at Jihad Watch, along with 6 books and hundreds of articles since I started the site, and occasionally there will be a piece that turns out to be unfounded; in that case, I always take down the false information. Considering that Brown committed two howlers to print in the short space of this rather slight hit piece of his, I'd put my record up against his any day.