Guardian writer Brian Whitaker, whose dhimmitude we have noted before, has gone out of his way to mischaracterize and caricature the positions of Jihad Watch in a Guardian column extolling Prince Charles as an Islamic reformer: “Prince Charles, the Islamic dissident“:
This, without doubt, is the nub of the problem within Islam today. Whether the issue is ill-treatment of women, the persecution of minorities, barbaric punishments or just general intolerance, it all stems from a belief that there are fixed rules, laid down centuries ago, which must never be questioned or adapted to changing circumstances.
Reactionary Islamic scholars are not the only ones who support that idea. It is also promoted by anti-Muslim activists, such as Jihad Watch, who argue that Islam is intrinsically bad and unreformable, and would like to press ahead with the great “clash of civilisations” as quickly as possible in order to wipe it out.
In his speech, therefore, Prince Charles was seeking to defend Islam from anti-Muslim prejudice in the west and at the same time supporting Islamic reform against clerics whose mentality is frozen in backwardness.
All right. Let’s take this from the beginning. Whether the issue is ill-treatment of women, the persecution of minorities, barbaric punishments or just general intolerance, there are Islamic clerics around the world who insist that all that must be maintained and defended, since it all stems from fixed rules, laid down centuries ago, which must never be questioned or adapted to changing circumstances.
When they say things like this, I duly report that they are saying them. And because I report on their words and deeds, in Brian Whitaker’s mind I must support them. And because of their numbers and prominence, as compared to the small and isolated voices calling for reform, I have noted that prospects for Islamic reform are dim. If Brian Whitaker thinks my assessment here is incorrect, he would be well advised to adduce in favor of his position an authority more respected in the Islamic world than Prince Charles, who is not — officially, anyway — even a Muslim.
As for the rest of Whitaker’s statement about Jihad Watch, it is false on virtually every level.
It is also promoted by anti-Muslim activists, such as Jihad Watch…
We are not “anti-Muslim activists.” In the FAQ here I say: “Any Muslim who renounces violent jihad and dhimmitude is welcome to join in our anti-jihadist efforts.” Jihadists worldwide are fighting to impose Sharia; we oppose the infringement of equality of rights for religious minorities and women that Sharia represents.
…who argue that Islam is intrinsically bad and unreformable…
I would ask Brian Whitaker to quote any statement to this effect from any of my books, articles, or web postings. But he can’t, because I have never said anything to this effect. “Islam is intrinsically bad”? Islam is many, many things. Are aspects of it “intrinsically bad”? Of course. Or would Brian Whitaker rush to the defense of the death penalty for apostates (Qur’an 4:89), the beating of disobedient wives (Qur’an 4:34), warfare to convert or subjugate Jews and Christians (Qur’an 9:29) and all the rest?
“Unreformable”? Let’s put it this way: show me, Mr. Whitaker, a large-scale Muslim movement anywhere in the world today that calls for indefinite peaceful relations as equals with non-Muslims, renounces and rejects for all time the jihad ideology of conquest and subjugation, and accords women full equality of rights. Take your time, sir.
…and would like to press ahead with the great ‘clash of civilisations’ as quickly as possible in order to wipe it out.
This is simply defamatory. Mr. Whitaker, I challenge you again to substantiate that statement with even a single quotation from my books, articles, or web posts. You will not, because you cannot. Unmoderated comments from posters here do not apply. You appear not to know, or not to want your readers to know, that I have told posters here that genocidal comments are unwelcome on many, many, many occasions. I believe that the antidote to bad speech is more speech, and I will not close comments here; however, I will not be held responsible for any comments, especially since people of all perspectives, including supporters of Islamic jihad, comment here regularly.
If you believe I support a position, prove it from my own writings. If you cannot, you are simply a liar.
Mr. Whitaker, I look forward to your retraction and apology.