I get hate messages frequently, and over the months have posted some of the most instructive and entertaining ones here. I recently heard from one of the most persistent and factually challenged attack dogs out there chronicling my misdeeds on the Internet, accusing me of publishing “Maoist polemics” at Jihad Watch. So it was refreshing to get the message below from a Jihad Watch reader named Patrick, who kindly allowed me to reprint his email here. Of course, as Chairman Mao say, when man get too big for britches, only britches remain, but I appreciated Patrick’s references here to my reliance on the facts, contrary to the characterizations of my work by unhinged Internet pests and others. Also note the confirmation here of my repeated insistence that the resistance to jihad is not a liberal or conservative issue, but a human rights issue:
I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your work. The book you
edited, The Myth of Islamic Tolerance, was a real eye opener for me. I must admit to having previously belonged to the leftist, PC crowd of Islam-supporters, primarily because I didn’t know anything about Islam, and because I believed anti-Islam rhetoric was largely the product of Fundamentalist Christians with an agenda.
And yet, when I read The Myth of Islamic Tolerance (and I am currently reading your Islam Unveiled), I found no anti-Islamic rhetoric at all. Despite what your detractors say, you aren’t remotely ignorant, racist, or bigoted. One of the things that impresses me the most about your work is that you allow the muftis and imams themselves the opportunity to speak. In The Myth of Islamic Tolerance you and the other essayists quote the Koran, Hadith, and articles from Islamic legal scholars directly. You allow the reader to draw his own conclusions, and believe me, speaking as one of your readers, I have.
I am still a very progressive minded individual, and my views on health care, the environment, and social justice have not changed. Actually, it shouldn’t be surprising that a liberal would be critical of Islam, after all, we would never tolerate in our own countries the appalling human rights abuses that are going on in Sharia states. And yet I have been pigeonholed as a right-wing extremist among some of my liberal acquaintances merely because I suggested that little girls shouldn’t be married off and raped nightly by old men, that non-Muslims in Sharia states shouldn’t be treated as second class citizens, and that a Muslim should have the right to renounce his religion without being executed. I may have mentioned something or other how its wrong for a wife to be abused by her husband, for a gay person to be killed merely for what he is, or for a woman to be stripped naked and whipped because she showed some ankle.
I thank you for your work, for your courage and your candor.