I got an email last night from “Douglas Feith,” but somehow I have a sneaking suspicion that it was not actually written by the former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. Here it is:
You really are a fearful man Mr. Spencer, and I honestly feel bad for you. It must be quite difficult to sleep at night knowing that those scary dark people are going to kill you because you’re “Western” and you’re civilization is “superior”. What a joke you and this whole website are! You’re wasting so much time and energy fostering an enemy of nearly 1.4 billion people on this globe. Bravo to you on that, but I’d be careful what you wish for. You’re asking for a war and you’re goddam right you’re going to get it. The only problem with your nice little narrative of the purity of your religious civilization is that you misread hundreds upon hundreds of years of history. This is not surprising though given your sensationalist selection of facts as evidence for your scaremongering. You’re a pathetic individual and I truly pity you for 1) being so foolish and ignorant; 2) being such a coward in the face of Islam; 3) whining to no end about how hard it is to be dhimmi. WHAT A JOKE!!! When was the last time you were able to watch a discussion on Arabic television, and I”m not talking about the MEMRI translated versions. All you do is pick and choose second-hand translations of everything that goes on in the Arab/Muslim world. When was the last time you came to Indonesia to learn a thing or two about non-Arab Islam in the world’s largest Muslim country. When was the last time you sat down and had a debate with Islamic scholars in Bangladesh, in Iran, in Egypt. When was the last time you had a debate with university professors or taxi drivers in Cairo, in Lahore, in Damascus. So oh wise one, until you are able to engage the people who you’ve made an enemy of in their own language, able to understand them through their own words directly and untranslated by Jewish “watch” groups in the US, able to have a real debate with them in their own communities and cities across the vast Islamic world, I will not accept even an ounce of your message for it severely and irreprehensibly handicapped by a serious lack of scholarly foundation. Good day.
Irreprehensibly? I.e., blamelessly? Innocently? Gee, thanks, “Feith.”
Anyway, sir, I am even more paranoid than you think. Not only am I worried about the “scary dark people” who want to kill or subjugate us all — I’m also worried about the scary white ones who do too. This is not about race, but about ideology. A globalist, expansionist, totalitarian ideology that can be held by anyone of any race, and which oppresses women and religious minorities.
Am I fomenting a war by reporting on one? I suggest that your remarks about the war I allegedly want would be more profitably directed to Mr. Osama bin Laden and people who think like him around the globe.
Do I use MEMRI translations? Of course. This is, after all, an English-language website. I challenge you to produce one inaccuracy in any translation of theirs. Or, alternatively, to produce this alleged mountain of evidence disconfirming our assertions, a mountain that MEMRI and I allegedly ignore.
Will I debate cab drivers in Cairo? Sure. Let’s set it up. I’ll debate anyone worth debating. So far the list of those who refuse to debate me, or who say they will but never seem to get around to finding a time, includes Omid Safi, Mark LeVine, Ahmed Afzaal, a guy whose name escapes me with an Islamic apologetics website on which he says I refused to debate him, when in fact the opposite is true, and others. Most Islamic apologists and putative authorities like to assert that what I say is false, but don’t seem confident enough in their positions to prove it by waxing me publicly in a debate.
Also, your assumptions about where I have been and with whom I have spoken are not, I’m afraid, sufficient to establish that my “message” is “severely and irreprehensibly handicapped by a serious lack of scholarly foundation.” That would only be established by an actual inaccuracy or false statement in my work.
Care to produce one?
I know, I know: ربما كان السكوت جواباً — rubbama kana s-sukootu jawaaban!
(That is, “silence is sometimes an answer.”)