I posted this in October 2004. Little has changed:
I received a message earlier tonight that said:
Please remove me from your subscribtion list. This is a sight to vent our anger, but we need to change policy.
So I thought I would take the opportunity to remind you that this is not actually a site intended to allow you to vent your anger. I know that many do so here, and I understand the reasons for that anger, but I have spoken up many times to say that posts labeling all Muslims as evil or calling for genocide are not welcome.
So I ask you to consider: what is the best way to defeat the global jihad? Not by venting. Think strategically when you post, and try not to write something that plays into the hands of those who would destroy us.
The other side of that oft-repeated coin is that actually I didn’t create this site so that people could vent at all, but to raise awareness precisely so that policy would be affected. The anti-jihad struggle, as I have also often repeated, is a struggle for the equality of dignity and rights of all people. Comments that are boorish, threatening, aggressive, etc., or tangled into knots answering some obvious provocateur, will only discourage thoughtful people who are actually in a position to influence policy from using this site as a resource.
Ultimately, what is this site for? To raise awareness of the nature of the foe that faces the Western world and all free people. This is necessary because most policymakers and analysts in the West so far continue to ignore or deny outright the true nature of that foe. Until that changes, the jihadists have the advantage, even if it is not one of military might; there are other ways to win wars. From time to time in the past and increasingly, I hope, in the future, as I begin work on my new book, Jihad Watch will offer recommendations for future steps. After almost a year of posting, this site’s archives are full of useful material for legislators, students, human rights activists, etc. I hope they will use it as such, and consult it daily for updates — not just for a chance to vent.
Then I posted this in May of this year:
Why do I allow comments on this site?
Sometimes I wonder, but ultimately it is to allow reasonable people to discuss aspects of the issue at hand, strategize about what to do about it, and make related observations. From time to time this has been notably successful “” particularly thanks to our own Hugh Fitzgerald and those who have engaged him in discussion.
Comments continue to be almost completely unmoderated. My staff and I are overtaxed as it is, and I only read comment threads very occasionally. However, I did look in on one last night and ended up deleting quite a few comments (which does not mean that I endorse those that remain). If you wonder why, remember: threats are unwelcome. Insulting and racist messages are unwelcome. Foul language is unwelcome. Calls to genocide or nuclear action against holy sites are unwelcome. Etc.
I didn’t create Jihad Watch to be a hate group, as we are often accused of being. Of course, jihadists have co-opted the language of “hate” and “racism” from legitimate civil rights movements because they know how effective it is in discrediting their critics in America — and such claims directed against Jihad Watch are specious and inaccurate. In reality, Jihad Watch is a vanguard organization in the defense of universal human rights. What is the best way to defeat the global jihad that threatens those rights? Not by venting and cursing and threatening. This plays into the hands of those who would destroy us, and that is a stupid and suicidal thing to do.
I have requested it before: think strategically when you post. Don’t write something that works to the advantage of those who want to discredit the genuine information that this site provides. Comments that are boorish, aggressive, etc., or tangled into knots answering some obvious provocateur, will only discourage thoughtful people who are actually in a position to influence policy from using this site as a resource.
Since the anti-jihad struggle is a struggle for the equality of dignity and rights of all people, it would be nice if the anti-jihad commenters who posted here behaved as if they believed in those things too, and took the moral high ground, in contradistinction to the jihadists.
One more time: this site is dedicated to raising awareness of the nature of the foe that faces the Western world and all free people. This is necessary because most policymakers and analysts in the West so far continue to ignore or deny outright the true nature of that foe. Until that changes, the jihadists have the advantage, even if it is not one of military might; there are other ways to win wars.
Don’t let your comment be one that helps them increase that advantage.
See also this by Hugh.
Congressman Tancredo has brought attacks on Muslim holy sites into the public debate, and so I have allowed that here, but otherwise I stand by both statements. People continue to try to hang me and to smear this site on the basis of the comments. Comments are unmoderated; I do not have the resources to hire someone to monitor them, and it doesn’t look as if that is going to change any time soon — our attempts to raise funds and expand operations keep hitting unexpected obstacles, and we have just gotten some more of those obstacles.
Consequently, unless the tenor of the comments remarkably changes, which I do not expect, I am going to close comments in two weeks. For too long the comments have been overrun by windy dweebs with agendas, Islamic apologists, apologists for the Left, apologists for the Right, Christian evangelists, etc. etc. etc. This is not the time or the place. We are trying to resist the jihad here. That is all. Hugh and Rebecca and I will continue to post articles with comments and write others. And I will continue to accept articles by other writers. But reader comments are probably ending.