Invite all to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious... -- Qur'an 16:125
Recently I've written about Reza Aslan several times (see especially here and here), as he is a quintessential example of a deceptive Islamic supremacist who is widely taken as a "moderate," and is thus a good illustration of how people can be taken in by such snake-oil peddlers. The pint-sized literary poseur Aslan is trying very hard to appear as a reasonable, fashionably liberal voice of Islam, but the deceptiveness of this is shown by the fact that he is a Board member of the National Iranian American Council, a group that genuine Iranian pro-democracy forces regard as an apologetic vehicle for the Islamic Republic of Iran. He has also called on the U.S. Government to negotiate not only with Ahmadinejad but with Hamas -- that is, with some of the most barbaric and genocidally-inclined adherents of Sharia.
Anyway, because despite all the evidence of his dishonesty, including his lies about the organization SIOA, an organization of which I am associate director, on national television, I still always hold out hope for some honest discussion with anyone whose writings I analyze and criticize. So over the last few weeks I sent, without comment, links to each of the Reza Aslan posts that I wrote at Jihad Watch to Aslan himself.
These are the responses I received:
1. You don't actually think I read the drivel you send me do you? You're a clown and the only proper response to clowns is laughter. Unless of course your obsession with me is motivated by something else. In that case, I must tell you that I'm flattered but you're really not my type.
2. I don't know how else to tell that I'm just not attracted to you. You and I are never going to get together Robert. You should stick to men your own age and weight.
3. I told you. I'm into women not walruses.
4. Ok. Fine. I'll think about it. But first you have to shave and lose some weight.
5. If I send you a picture will that satisfy your lust for a while?
I wrote here that I planned to publish these emails, since they showed Aslan's utter intellectual bankruptcy, gutter mentality, and inability to engage in rational discussion, and I repeated that Sunday. At that point Aslan noticed, and I received this from the same email address as the ones above, email@example.com, with the sender labeled as "Reza Aslan":
Dear Mr. Spencer. This is Mr. Aslan's assistant. You seem to be under the impression that Mr. Aslan is actually opening, reading, and responding to your emails. I assure you he is not. The email responses you are receiving are automated responses set to respond to your emails indefinitely. You can't actually think he is interested in reading anything you have to say. Mr. Aslan is a world renowned, best selling scholar. There is nothing about you or your "work" that would interest him in the slightest. Still, we hope that you will keep up your writings about him. Not only does everything you say validate Mr. Aslan's importance. But you are a source of immense amusement for our team. Thank you.
This came, once again, from the sender "Reza Aslan." Come on, Reza, spring for separate email accounts for your team! How expensive can it be? Ask the Saudis for the dough if you're hard-up. There really is a Roshi who works for Aslan, and she deserves her own email account, don't you think? Here she is:
Those emails from Aslan were automated responses, said Roshi! A better world through discourse and communication indeed! Behold, the Golden Age of Islamic invention has returned! Reza Aslan and his trusty sidekick Roshi have invented the automated insult generator! Send Reza an email and he will send you one back accusing you of being gay or fat or both! (Do his editors at the Daily Beast know that he traffics in such homophobic insults?) And no one is even writing it! It's automated abuse! How imaginative! How innovative! How Islamic! The people who brought you suicide bomb vests now bring you...automated gay/weight slurs!
Try it yourself -- firstname.lastname@example.org! I hope your luck will be better than mine, for unfortunately, although Roshi/Reza promised that the above five emails were examples were "automated responses set to respond to your emails indefinitely," I sent Reza two test emails today, and received...nothing. How terribly disappointing, to be deprived of the fruits of this great Islamic invention so quickly after being introduced to it.
Nonetheless, I have the ones above to console me. And given Reza's literary fame as editor/compiler of the new literary anthology Tablet and Pen, I am proud to be able to offer a Jihad Watch exclusive: an original poem by Reza Aslan himself! I am honored to offer this, without any claim of royalty, for inclusion in the sure-to-be-forthcoming Tablet and Pen II:
You don't actually think
A poem by Reza Aslan
You don't actually think
I read the drivel you send me
You're a clown
and the only proper response to
Unless of course your
obsession with me
is motivated by something
In that case,
I must tell you that I'm
you're really not my
I don't know how else to tell
that I'm just not
attracted to you.
You and I are
going to get together
Robert. You should
stick to men
your own age and weight.
I told you.
I'll think about it. But
you have to
shave and lose
If I send
will that satisfy your