On Yom Kippur this year I had the honor of speaking at the Temple of the Arts in Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations is not pleased. They have just sent out this press release:
CA SYNAGOGUE THAT HOSTED ISLAMOPHOBE URGED TO INVITE MUSLIM SPEAKER
Hate-filled comments on speaker’s website compare Muslims to animals and Nazis
(ANAHEIM, CA, 11/8/2005) – The Southern California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today urged a Los Angeles synagogue that recently hosted the operator of a virulently anti-Muslim website to invite a Muslim representative who can offer a balancing perspective on Islam.
CAIR-LA has learned that Robert Spencer, who operates the “Jihad Watch” Internet hate site, spoke at Temple Shalom for the Arts during a Yom Kippur event. Spencer’s website is notorious for its depiction of Islam as an inherently violent faith that is a threat to world peace.
Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald recently wrote on that site:
“To be sure, plenty of Believers in exotic creeds alien or new to the West have managed to fit in perfectly well, and be friendly neighbors and loyal citizens. . .Only one group, only one belief-system, distinguishes itself by appearing incapable of fitting in. And that is Muslims, and Islam. . . if one really knew what Islam contained . . .then how could any decent person remain a Muslim?”
He went on to recommend that western nations be “Islam-proofed the way a house is child-proofed,” compared Muslims to Nazis and urged that they be boycotted: “[I]t should not be hard to find ways to limit the spread or practice of Islam. And if in addition to whatever local, state and federal government officials do, private parties simply conduct their own boycott of goods and services offered by Muslims, in the same way that they would have refused to buy, in 1938, a German Voigtlander camera. . .”
Comments posted on the site are bone-chilling in the raw hatred they espouse. For example, one poster described Muslims as being like animals, writing: “If they want students to learn about Islamic culture, what’s wrong with a simple field trip to the city zoo?”
Other anti-Muslim comments on the Jihad Watch website include:
* “Islam strips its followers of all aspects of their identity and in short converts them into killer-Zombies.”
* “Islam, the preferred religion of criminals.”
* “If Mohammad were alive today and spouting his ‘new’ message from God in today’s media he would be identified and branded as the lunatic that he was and be jailed or hospitalized.”
“We would be glad to suggest the names of credible Muslim scholars who can offer Temple Shalom’s congregation a perspective on Islam that is not tainted by hatred and bigotry,” said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush.
Ayloush also offered to give every member of Temple Shalom a complimentary copy of the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, so they may learn more about what Muslims really believe. (A free copy of the Quran may be ordered or sponsored at: www.explorethequran.org )
He also called on Jewish leaders in California, many of whom are close friends and partners with the Muslim community, to publicly repudiate those who promote anti-Muslim hatred.
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
To read CAIR’s Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About
– END –
CONTACT: CAIR-LA, Sabiha Khan, 714-776-1847 or 714-390-0334, E-Mail: email@example.com
I think I’m going to have to start a Guilt-By-Association Watch. I recently received a virulently hostile series of emails from a somewhat prominent moderate Muslim spokesman, castigating me for a number of trumped-up evils — and mostly because of my apparent association (i.e., posting their articles here) with two other writers on Islamic topics, about whom he made various charges. I don’t know whether or not the charges are true, although I doubt they are, but in any case I fail to see the reasoning behind these guilt-by-association games. If someone does something this man doesn’t like, or even something really odious, it doesn’t render false what that person may have said about Islam and terrorism. Nor does my use of that material constitute an endorsement of everything they have ever said or done.
One would think that to be an elementary point, but evidently CAIR and Hussam Ayloush don’t get it either. Notice that in the above press release they don’t quote a single thing that I myself have said or written. The shift comes right at the beginning of the release: “CA SYNAGOGUE THAT HOSTED ISLAMOPHOBE…Hate-filled comments on speaker’s website…” How’s that again? Not “Hate filled comments at CA synagogue”? No! They can’t quote anything that I said there, because I didn’t say anything hateful. Then they must have quoted what I said at this website, or in one of my books, or articles, right?
Wrong. There is not a word I wrote in all of CAIR’s press release. And Hussam Ayloush has had plenty of chances to collect “hate speech” from me. I have debated him at FrontPage magazine. But he quotes not a word I wrote there. I have debated him on the Dennis Prager Show. But he refers to nothing I said there. I have written an article about a talk he gave. But he doesn’t quote a syllable of that.
I have written five books, seven monographs, and scores of articles about Islam and terrorism. Nary a quote from any of them.
All CAIR could do was quote Hugh Fitzgerald (who can take care of himself, and I expect he will be along presently) and some unmoderated comments posted here.
Most of the comments here I don’t even see. Occasionally I pop in and read a thread or two, but not too often. Sometimes I delete messages that are indeed hate-filled, or ban posters who are persistently obnoxious, but mostly it all just goes on without me. And I wonder why CAIR didn’t quote these posts, all of which can be found here at Jihad Watch:
“¢ “Islam is for just treatment of all; never for the tyranny of the majority.”
“¢ “The Prophet Muhammad – the Final Messenger of God, may God bless him and give him peace, reported that God the Exalted said: “I created My servants in the right religion, but the devils made them go astray.”
“¢ “Islam does not demand the destruction of Israel, Beth. Islam demands that justice be done.”
“¢ “Muhammed(pbuh)who was: the man amongst men, he became the man in Mecca, then Medina, then the Arab Pensula, now the world./the prophet amongst prophets/the genius amongst geniuses/He created a religion allied to way of living and integrated that into our very souls…nothing can touch it.”
Now, Hussam, will you please explain to me why I am not responsible for the four unmoderated comments I have just quoted, but I am responsible for the four unmoderated comments you quote? If you respond that it is because I agree with the four you quoted, then bring your proof, if you be truthful: quote similar statements from my own writings. But you can’t do that. And we are back to square one.
Am I really an Islamophobe? The word itself is trumped-up and politically manipulative. Am I anti-Muslim? I answered that here. I challenge CAIR and Ayloush: if I have said anything actually false about Islam, produce it. From my own words, not those of others. And prove that it is false.
This CAIR press release is yet another example of that organization’s attempt to stifle free speech about Islam and terrorism in the United States, and to intimidate into silence those who dare to step out of line. Well, they got National Review. And they got Fox’s 24. And they got ABC. But they’re not going to get me.