Left in a tizzy about long-canceled DHFC Turkey trip

How careless, mendacious and indifferent to the truth is the Leftist media? Here’s a case study.

Practicing Saul Alinsky’s recommended tactic of demonizing and attempting to isolate and marginalize someone they hate, fear, and cannot refute, the Leftist media is in an uproar over a David Horowitz Freedom Center trip to Turkey scheduled for September 7 through 15, featuring Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute, author and journalist Claire Berlinski, and me. Think Progress and Truth Dig are pressuring Rubin to denounce me and drop out of the trip, following their usual practice of trying to dictate to freedom fighters whom they can associate with and who is outside the bounds of acceptable public discourse.

News of this trip is also traveling far and wide on Twitter:


…to the degree that one Islamic supremacist professor, Haroon Moghul, pleaded with his readers to go to Turkey with him instead of with me:


Aside from the whiff of the Stalinist show trial and its attendant denunciations and demonizations, there is just one problem with all this: the Turkey trip has been canceled for months. On March 15, Pamela Geller and I sent out a national press release announcing our International Freedom Defense Congress, which will be held in New York City on September 11. How could I be in both Turkey and New York City on September 11? I know that Leftist and Islamic supremacist spokesmen think I possess Zionist black arts that allow me to cast passages into the Qur’an and Hadith, but I’ve never before known that they think I can bilocate as well.

Obviously we would not have announced that I’d be cohosting an event on September 11 in New York City if I was going to be in Turkey that day — and our press release went out March 15, fully two and a half months before the Think Progress piece was published, and over three months before the one in Truth Dig. Nor did Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton, the hard-Left propagandists who authored the Think Progress piece, or Nathan Lean, Reza Aslan’s gunsel who wrote the TruthDig piece and has issued veiled threats to me and my family, bother to contact the David Horowitz Freedom Center to see if the trip was still on. In reality, this trip was first planned in 2010, but dropped after the Mavi Marmara jihad flotilla incident dampened interest in traveling to rapidly Islamizing Turkey. Then in June 2012 some Leftist found an old DHFC flier, and the frenzy began.

Lean’s contribution to that frenzy is a lengthy farrago of half-truths and outright lies, including one about my graduate study. Ordinarily I wouldn’t address this at all, as I have never based anything I say on some argument from authority that depended upon my having an MA — to do so would be absurd, and in any case most of what I know about Islam I have learned in independent study anyway. However, it is illustrative of how brazenly the Left lies. Lean says: “Spencer does not hold qualifications that allow him to speak with authority on Islam or Turkey. In fact, religious studies professors at the university where he obtained his one-year graduate degree in early Christian history have consistently rejected the notion that he is someone whose writings are anything other than armchair agitation.”

The idea of asserting that I have a “one-year graduate degree” is to portray me as some kind of moron who couldn’t or didn’t take a full Master’s program, and to buttress the absurd but oft-repeated Islamic apologetic claim that one has to have a degree in Islam in order to be able to speak about it accurately. The point here is not that my degree is important, but that Lean is lying: I have a full MA, and it is not in “early Christian history.” The University of North Carolina doesn’t offer degrees in early Christian history. It’s in Religious Studies, and in reality I began studying Islam in earnest at that time. I studied Islam with Gordon Newby, author of The Making of the Last Prophet and A Concise Encyclopedia of Islam — which is not to say that he and I saw eye-to-eye on much of anything. While in grad school also I wrote an extensive study of how the Qur’an’s teaching on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (see 4:157) was influenced by Gnostic Christian traditions.


Again, my graduate school record is howlingly unimportant. I would never have thought about those years again if the enemies of freedom didn’t keep bringing them up. The only point I am establishing here is how the Left media and Islamic supremacist spokesmen lie outright to make their case. One-year degree? No, a full MA: here’s my transcript (the “H” grade, by the way, means “High Pass,” the highest possible grade):


Early Christian history? No, Religious Studies: here’s the report of my oral examination committee — note the “Excellent” recommendation for doctoral study (which I did not pursue because the field was already too politicized, and it has only gotten worse):


Ancient history, and completely unimportant, except to show that the Left and Islamic supremacists care nothing for the facts. Nathan Lean is not only a two-bit thug; he’s a liar, as is his boss Reza Aslan.

UPDATE 2:06PM (Pacific): TruthDig appears to have taken down Lean’s article, without explanation or apology, although the comments to it linger like orphan ghosts. Apparently some lies are too outlandish even for the hard Left media.

SECOND UPDATE 2:32AM (Pacific): Nathan Lean just wrote me to alert me to the fact that his Truth Dig piece is back up, with no corrections or changes. It thus becomes a key illustration of the fact that the Leftist media simply has no regard for truth or accuracy to the slightest degree.

New York: Muslim arrested, charged with misunderstanding Islam, aiding al-Qaeda
Robert Spencer: Which is worse: Jihad terror or "Islamophobia"?
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  1. says

    According to Aslan’s Wiki page:

    “Aslan holds a Bachelor of Arts’ degree in religions from Santa Clara University, a Master of Theological Studies’ degree from Harvard Divinity School, a doctorate in the sociology of religions from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of Fine Arts’ degree from the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop…”

    I fail to see a valid criticism from Aslan here, based on credentials, but then again, there may not be a single honest bone in the snake’s body, so this is certainly no revelation.

  2. says

    Following the sort of logic these fools follow, it is clear that Robert has just revealed the most embarrassing farrago from his past!

    His middle name is Bruce!

    There you have it, clearly no more needs to be said. How can you have any respect for a Bruce, except maybe Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5 was an AWESOME show! Heck he was the Scarecrow! And in Barreta, so clearly you can see what sort of person Spencer must be).

    Or maybe Bruce Campbell of B movie fame.

    This revelation will shock the world about the horrible, evil Robert BRUCE Spencer! I am sure people will begin burning his books post haste!

  3. says

    If a statement is unrefuted it is considered and presumed to be true. Their lawyers are probably telling them that because that is a legal strategy. So, they lie and it is important to refute the lies. This goes against the idea of innocent until proven guilty, but you are not dealing with people who care about proving the truth. They only want to convert people or make dhimmis out of them by any means possible, which tagiyya is sanctioned by Islam in the Qur’an and Mohammad’s example.

  4. says

    Haroon Moghul is a shameless advocate of Shari’ah law. He has been relentlessly critical of any attempts by the West to protect itself from Jihad terror, including any surveillance of Jihadists.

    He is a frequent contributor to the appalling “loonwatch”.

  5. says

    Of course, if he were Brian, we might have concerns… The Life of Bruce has less of a ring to it.

    (Brian: You’re all individuals Mob: We’re all indviduals Lone person: I’m not!)

  6. says

    Robert, good for you. And, if you know something about ancient history and early Christian history, so what? It is nothing but a sign that you are an intellectually active, curious person who’s not afraid to take a long, serious look at some point of view that’s older than the era when your father was a twenty-something.

    It never ceases to amaze me how much the immoderate Left boasts of its following “the lessons of history” (after Karl Marx), but is generally so horribly ignorant of any history with any depth to it. They also loudly claim to be “multicultural” when they can read only one language (their own), and that badly. I think you’ve riled them because they know that you know the subject better than they do.

    A nod from one “orientalist” (albeit my interests see the “orient” of the “orientalists” as the Western Regions) to another.

  7. says

    Well done, Mr Spencer, Master of Arts.

    Here’s a thought.

    How about we Aussies – and in particular those among us who are Catholics – get to work on a campaign to persuade the Australian Catholic University to grant Mr Spencer, MA, an Honorary Doctorate in Religious Studies, on the basis of his many excellent publications on the subject of Islam? I think that the intellectual weight and rigour of the scholarship underlying ‘Islam Unveiled’, ‘The Truth About Muhammad’, ‘Did Muhammad Exist’, ‘The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Quran’, ‘Religion of Peace: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t’ should surely count as the equivalent of a PhD. Perhaps we should be writing letters to Cardinal Archbishop George Pell. And there are a couple of other formidable Catholics in Australia who might be persuaded to promote the idea – Fr Paul Stenhouse, for one; and Bill Muehlenberg, for another.

    Here, from 2005, is jihadwatch drawing attention Fr Stenhouse’s invaluable work: namely, his translation of “the Futuh al-Habashah [The Conquest of Abyssinia], which the British adventurer Sir Richard Burton described as the most meticulous description of jihads in Islamic literature”.


    Nota bene: the link to a pdf version of Fr Stenhouse’s work no longer exists. But the item can be got from Amazon.


    A couple of lapidary pieces by Fr Stenhouse:



    [if you want to read the whole thing over at Quadrant, alas, you will have to subscribe and pay up…].

    Stenhouse’s CV:

    “Paul Lester Stenhouse, author of Tsehai Publishers’ The Conquest of Abyssinia: Futuh al Habasa, is a Catholic priest, belonging to the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Issoudun, France. His doctoral thesis presented to Sydney University was a critical edition of the Kitab al-Tarikh by the Samaritan priest Abu “l-Fath. His translation of this Chronicle was published by the Mandelbaum Trust within the University of Sydney in 1986.

    “A foundation member, and a member of the Council of the Société d’Études Samaritaines within the College de France, and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, he has delivered papers at Colloquia organised by the Société in Paris, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Oxford, Venice and Helsink. He is the author of numerous monographs on Middle Arabic Grammar, and various aspects of Samaritan and Falasha history, chronology and religion.”

    Now, here’s a sample of Mr Muehlenberg, in fine form, in 2009:


    [PS – I don’t necessarily endorse everything Mr Muehlenberg says on *other* topics, topics unrelated to Islam, but he is spot on about Islam, which is all that matters, at the moment].

    I would just *love* to see Mr Spencer receiving an honorary doctorate from ACU and giving a series of guest lectures…

  8. says

    O my Rabb! I just knew you could bilocate! You are the Expected One! The DAJJAL!

    O Captain of Infidels everywhere, shall you now restore the Sacred House of us polytheists in Constantinople? Shall you now lead the infidel hosts to ultimate triumph??


  9. says

    Dear Robert Spencer, a question: why would you and others going to tour turkey now that it’s ruled by islamist government further having tainted relationship with israel?
    its like rewarding them …

  10. says

    Hi DDA. I think your suggestion of an honourary PhD is fantastic! For quite some time now, I have wondered why Robert Spencer hasn’t been given this recognition already.

    If any Aussie is going to go the route you suggest, I would hope that they would push for a full PhD for Robert. By that, I mean, allow him to defend Did Muhammad Exist? as a PhD dissertation before a PhD Review Committee. [That might be one way for you guys to get Robert back to Australia.]

    I think he would have little problem defending his thesis; so the only thing open to question is whether he can down the requisite number of Australian beers to warrant a full PhD. [As we all know, PhD is an Aussie created academic term and stands for Pub Hopping Dissertation.]

    There are three reasons I would like to see Robert given the full PhD:

    First, he deserves it. I can’t think of one other person on the planet to whom I would rather refer about things Islamic than Robert Spencer. He is the doctor and should be recognized as such.

    Second, if he has a full PhD there will no longer be an argument by ‘academic’ historians to refuse to debate him as listed in the following J.W. article.


    I think if Robert gets an honourary PhD, there will be some who argue that it doesn’t count for being ‘academically respectable’. I’m sure Juan Cole, from the above article, would be one of these twerps.

    Third, someday Robert is going to retire from Jihad Watch and hand the reigns over to some deserving individual. I would like to think that maybe Robert might carry on some of his work at an academic institution by training the next generation of graduates how to think, research, analyze, learn and debate.

    Also, he might also be able to show them how to be a real agent for social justice.

    Right now, a huge number of American students have been made agents of the extreme left’s agenda because they think that agenda is directed towards the betterment of American society.

    I think Robert would have no problem bursting that bubble while at the same time showing them what real social activism means. Robert’s and Pamela’s efforts in the Rifqa Bary story comes to mind as a good counterpoint to the leftist ersatz activism and who better to develop the counterpoint than one of the major players in the story.

    I think showing a class an example of where activism really did save a life is something that would resonate with them in a way that would help them see their world in a different (and better) light.

    I suspect Robert would do a good job of showing the next generation of students that social justice does not stop at the grave. He could explain in detail the part that he and Pamela Geller played in bringing into being the Aqsa Parvez Memorial Grove which commemorates victims of honour killing; women whose names were consigned to oblivion by Islam but whose names will live in honour as long as the State of Israel endures. The fact that Israel was party to this honour might even make the next generation of students understand that their counterparts from the previous generation were duped by the academicians of their time as well as by the Muslim Student Association and other such agencies of Islamic prevarication.

    To do all of this, Robert will need a full PhD. So Robert Bruce Spencer PhD or Doctor Robert Bruce Spencer sounds pretty good to me. Best of all, however, is Professor Robert Bruce Spencer PhD.