A few days ago you could have checked my biography at Wikipedia and found this:
Most have discredited Mr. Spencer’s views on Islam due to oft-exaggeration. It must also be noted that Mr. Spencer’s work is highly biased and influenced by his Jewish Ancestral viewpoints.
Of course, this has happened before. Jihad Watch News Editor Anne Crockett has noted here before that Wikipedia, since anyone can edit it, is absolutely worthless, and here is yet more evidence that she was correct: the Wikipedia editor above assumes that I speak about the roots of jihad violence within Islamic theology solely because I’m Jewish. That might make some small bit of sense except for one little catch: I’m not Jewish.
Reading this latest morsel of Wikipedia baloney made me think that this sunny Sunday afternoon here in Secure Undisclosed Locationville might be a good time for me to do something I have been meaning to do for a long while: answer some critics. Now, these are people whom normally I would consider not worth answering; for the most part they are rather self-evidently nutty and unhinged. But when I was in Holland for the Pim Fortuyn Memorial Conference last February, I got in a conversation with Daniel Pipes about Internet pests, and he recommended answering them. Otherwise, he said, the charges would remain accessible on the Internet, no answer would be available, and in such cases sometimes the charges are picked up by more reputable sources, circulate into cleaner and better-lighted corners of the Internet, and take on a life of their own. Thus, he said, it was better to have the truth on record.
I think that is good advice. So here, on this sunny Sunday, I offer a grab-bag of on-the-record and for-the-record replies to various hacks, nuts, ideologues, jealous lovers, and conspiracy theorists. If you are not attracted to this particular sort of train wreck, don’t hesitate to move along to the next thread now. I am aware that probably the only person who would be interested in reading all of this would be my mother, but she is no longer with us. I’ll even give away the ending for your convenience: I am not a Christian fundamentalist Jewish Zionist member of Opus Dei who denies Israel’s right to exist. If you ever do run across such an animal, call the zoo immediately. In the meantime, on with the show:
We’ll begin the clown parade with one Irfan Yusuf, who has written an utterly scurrilous piece about the Australia-Israel Jewish Public Affairs Committee that was brought to my attention by Jihad Watch reader Melmere. In it, Yusuf makes outlandish false charges against Pipes and Steven Emerson, and adds this about me:
AIJAC”s other source is Robert Spencer, whom, they describe as a “Middle East expert”. In reality, Spencer is an inveterate Islam-hater who is associated with a number of pro-Israel and/or Christian fundamentalist organisations from the deep-south of the United States. He is also known to be linked to Opus Dei, a catholic lay order whose supporters include a NSW MP named in the Australian Jewish News for his links to far-Right anti-Semitic individuals and groups.
Bravo, Yusuf. I think for that one you deserve the Tinfoil Hat Award of 2006. But anyway: I have never described myself as a “Middle East expert” or an expert on anything. I back up what I assert with evidence; take it or leave it. I do not hate Islam, but I do hate the oppression of women and religious minorities, warfare to subjugate non-Muslims as inferiors to Muslims, the murder of civilians, etc. I am not associated with any pro-Israel organizations, although I have been honored to speak to such organizations on several occasions. I have no association with any Christian fundamentalist organizations, although if any invited me to speak, I would accept (in fact, I’ll speak to almost any group that invites me). I have no association with any organizations in the deep South, although I admire Yusuf’s skillful alarmism in evoking Deliverance, Bull Connor, and the slaver’s lash in one deft stroke. I am not linked to Opus Dei, and am not a member of that organization. And I don’t know any Parliamentarians from New South Wales or anywhere else. As the Bard says: “With the storms ragin’ round us,/And the winds a-blowin’ gales,/I’d rather have drowned in misery/Than gone to New South Wales.”
Anyway, note that even if all — or any — of the illustrious Yusuf’s charges were true, it wouldn’t prove that I am not a “Middle East expert.” What he doesn’t do, and can’t do, and what no one has ever done, is prove that what I say about Islam and jihad is false. So instead they resort to making up outlandish charges, or misconstruing what I do say, or trying to tie me up in guilt-by-association attacks on others.
Which brings me to our next nut, the anonymous Watch Jihad Watch guy. This individual claims to be on a moral crusade to expose my supposed racism and bigotry, which he evidently finds more troubling than the jihad mass murder and victimization of innocents that I am dedicated to combatting. But he doesn’t have the courage of his convictions, or simply the courage, even to identify himself; instead, he hides behind the anonymity of the Internet to sling outlandish and patently false charges. Here again I would never have thought him worth notice were it not for the fact that none other than Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR once contacted me about one of these false charges; evidently, however, even Hooper realized what thin gruel this anonymous coward is peddling: Hooper backpedaled furiously after I replied, and dropped the matter. Mr. Watch Jihad Watch, meanwhile, seems to have turned his attention to more pressing matters, although he is advertising for help; nonetheless, since his lies, half truths, and distortions remain on the Internet, I’ll enter a reply or two here now.
Mr. Watch has taken me to task for not removing unmoderated comments from this website that were in fact removed. He has replied to my question, “Where are the Muslim anti-Osama rallies attended by tens of thousands?,” by offering what looks like four links to such rallies, but which turns out to be three links to Moroccans protesting against al-Qaeda’s killing of Muslims (they’ve never come out to protest the killing of non-Muslims) and one to a post-9/11 vigil in Iran, which everyone knows is a bastion of Islamic moderation, non-violence and tolerance.
But his favorite game is guilt by association, which he likes to play by posting Hugh Fitzgerald’s words and then challenging me to repudiate them and Hugh himself. He took a post of Hugh’s in which Hugh opines that eventually there may be, and possibly should be, population transfers involving Muslims in the West. Mr. Watch, like a hyperactive puppy, races on from there to claim that Hugh calls for ethnic cleansing and genocide.
This is the one Hooper asked me about. I told him that in fact, Hugh had not and had never called for ethnic cleansing or genocide, and asked Hooper if he was claiming that population transfers were ipso facto immoral. If he thought they were, I asked him, was he prepared to say that the Czechs’ expulsion of the Sudeten Germans after World War II was wrong? In other words, did he think the Czechs were wrong to take steps against a recrudescence of Nazism? And if he thought population transfers were always wrong, was he prepared to call for the dissolution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which was created by such transfers, and its reincorporation into India? No world body or political leader condemned Czechoslovakia or India/Pakistan at the time of these actions. Nor has anyone done so to this day. Why not?
Hooper thereupon reminded me that the charges came from Mr. Watch, not from Hooper himself, and vanished. But Mr. Watch has kept it up, insinuating that I favor “ethnic cleansing, systematic boycotts of Muslims in America, violation of their civil liberties.” He does grant, “Of course, Spencer doesn’t say that in this article. But it has been suggested by other JihadWatchers, and it all stems from the quote above.”
Here we come to another of his favorite gambits: holding me responsible for unmoderated comments. Since many supporters of the global Islamic jihad have posted here, if all the comments are taken to reflect my views I would be as schizophrenic as — well, as a Christian fundamentalist Jewish Zionist member of Opus Dei who denies Israel’s right to exist. If Mr. Watch thinks that some comments here really reflect my views, let him prove it from my own writings. But of course he can’t do that, since I do not in fact support ethnic cleansing, systematic boycotts of Muslims in America, or violation of their civil liberties. So he resorts to this pathetic bit of guilt by association — without, incidentally, even quoting the commenters here who favor such things, probably because he knows I would remove such comments if I saw them.
And now it’s time to go out and enjoy the rest of this sunny day.
By the way, I was not involved in the Kennedy assassination either — although I did shoot Liberty Valance.
UPDATE, May 7: Jihad Watch reader Junior has pointed out to me that Mr. Watching Jihad Watch has responded to the post above, and has just added more lies onto his ledger. So once again, for the record, here are some selections from his latest, and my replies. I am not going to reply to him every time he comes back, but I do it this one additional time so that his dishonesty and sleazy logic-chopping will be clear to fair-minded observers.
On to me. As many of you know, I have scaled back my activities on this blog recently due to some personal issues. So it was surprising to me when, all of a sudden, I started receiving death threats on the comment section of this blog. Looking at where these people came from, I found Mr. Spencer’s article.
I very seriously doubt that this self-important fellow really received any death threats, but in any case it is characteristic of his general dishonesty for him to imply that he got the threats because of what I wrote about him above.
Let’s address Spencer’s charges one at a time, shall we? First of all, he states, to discredit me, that I am an anonymous blogger – he calls me Mr. Watch which, I suppose, makes him Mr. Jihad? Anyhoo… it is a strange accusation given that I have not hidden my name at all on this blog – it is Richard (Rick) Shaw; in fact, I believe I have even exchanged emails with Mr. Jihad at some point, and my name is perfectly clear there as well. (I cannot verify this at present due to an unfortunate coffee/hard drive incident, but if data recovery people are as good as they say they are, I soon will).
He is an anonymous blogger. Never until this post did he identify himself as “Rick Shaw.” When he posted here, he posted only as “Rick S.,” and possibly under another name as well. Neither “Rick Shaw” nor “Rick S.” nor any other name appears in the author’s profile section of his site. He has lied before about sending me emails; he has in fact never sent me even one, and thus we have never had any email exchange.
Ok, Mr. Jihad also objects to my attacks on him regarding unmoderated comments on his site. I do, in fact, do attack him for this. The reason I do so is that Spencer himself made them an issue – for example, in the infamous St Pete article in which he says he bans racists. I only point out, with examples, the fact that Spencer does not, in fact, do this, either meaning that a) he is lying when he claims he does and b) he does not find the statements to be objectionable. You make the call – Spencer does not actually say which one it is.
Mr. Shaw doesn’t address that fact that I noted above: “Mr. Watch has taken me to task for not removing unmoderated comments from this website that were in fact removed.” That is, again, indicative of his dishonesty. I remove them when I see them or when they are brought to my attention. He has excoriated me for comments that I removed, without bothering to tell his readers that they were removed. In any case, I repeat: “If Mr. Watch thinks that some comments here really reflect my views, let him prove it from my own writings. But of course he can’t do that, since I do not in fact support ethnic cleansing, systematic boycotts of Muslims in America, or violation of their civil liberties.”
Nor did I ever try to “associate [Shaw] with CAIR and Mr. Ibrahim Hooper.” I merely reported that Hooper had sent me his material, and explained the incident.
Mr. Shaw spends most of his time again trying to argue that population transfers equal ethnic cleansing equal genocide. Leaving aside the fact that the Islamic jihad ideology is not an ethnicity, suffice it to say that his case is not made: recent history is full of population transfers that did not involve ethnic cleansing or genocide, and which were not only not condemned but were welcomed by the international community. I think many Czechs, Poles, Pakistanis and others and others would be quite surprised to learn from Mr. Shaw that population transfers are always ipso facto genocidal and immoral.
Anyway, I am through with this character. He clearly is not honest. Let him rave. He is apparently angrier with me than he is with the killers of Atwar Bahjat, and that bespeaks a moral myopia of monstrous proportions.