UPDATE: Kevin Mooney has made some revisions and corrections to his piece, for which I thank him. The revised piece is here.
Here is a rather disappointing story about my talk at the Heritage Foundation yesterday — but since there is unlikely to be any other coverage of the event, I thought I’d comment on it a bit. “Author Examines ‘War’ Against Non-Muslims,” by Kevin Mooney of CNSNews:
Washington (CNSNews.com) – Western policymakers need to “undertake a systematic study” of Islamic theology and law before they can understand the goals and motives of terrorists who are working to subjugate or convert non-Muslim populations, a scholar on Islam told a gathering in Washington on Tuesday.
It would be a mistake to assume that Islam has been “hijacked,” argued Robert Spencer, the author of a recent book on the prophet of Islam, Mohammed.
Terrorists and extremists targeting American interests today are making use of the actual text in the Koran and the teachings of their prophet, he said.
Spencer is the director of the Jihad Watch website and the author of six books, his most recent dealing with Mohammed.
“It is untrue that jihadists are a tiny minority of extremists,” Spencer said in a lecture hosted by the Heritage Foundation.
“The texts of Islamic jurisprudence say it is incumbent upon the Islamic community to wage war against non-Muslims until they submit or convert. This concept is shared by all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence and is not rejected by anything considered orthodox.”
At the conclusion of Spencer’s presentation, police were called to the event after several individuals began to chant slogans, expressing their displeasure at the substance of Spencer’s talk.
“One hundred thousand Muslims died — that’s like Nazi genocide. Spencer and Cheney want World War III,” chanted the protestors, who identified themselves to Cybercast News Service as representatives of former presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche.
These LaRouche kids weren’t listening. I had explained my opposition to the Wilsonian Iraq democracy project just a few minutes before they started singing about me and Cheney.
Police arrived on the scene following an altercation in the hallway outside of the lecture hall.
Spencer was particularly critical of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). He accused the organization of accepting funds from sources with ties to Hamas. He also said individuals in CAIR were working to replace the U.S. Constitution with Islamic law (shari’a).
I didn’t say anything about their accepting funds from Hamas. I said their co-founders came out of the Islamic Association for Palestine, which was a Hamas group. Nor did I say that individuals in CAIR were working to replace the U.S. Constitution with Islamic law. I said that Omar Ahmad and Ibrahim Hooper had said they would like to see Islamic law in the U.S., and that several CAIR officials were now in prison for various terrorism-related activities.
These might seem like small distinctions, but on such matters it is very important to be careful. You can hear what I actually said here.
In response, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said Spencer was a “leading Islamophobe” who has written “bone chilling” comments on his “Jihad Watch” website that incite unfounded and unjustified hatred of Muslims.
I wonder if Hooper really said I had written “bone chilling” comments here. If so, he has never published anything I’ve written that chilled his bones. He has put out press releases noting some unmoderated comments that were written by other people here — many of which I deleted as soon as I saw them.
It is also worth noting — although Kevin Mooney didn’t come back to ask me anything about this — that some of these “bone chilling” comments are planted. Recently a man with the name “Jevad” in his email address came here and wrote several genocidal and inciteful posts under the name “Feingold.” I deleted them and banned him, of course, but it was clear that he was writing posts that he hoped would become ammunition for Hooper and Co.
Anyway, notice: Hooper doesn’t address anything I said about CAIR, or even anything Kevin Mooney said I said. All he does is attack me personally. And Kevin Mooney, apparently, doesn’t call him on it and press him to talk about CAIR.
It is disturbing that a respected institution like the Heritage Foundation would have someone like Spencer,” Hooper told Cybercast News Service.
Ironically enough, I think it is disturbing that respected institutions like CNN, MSNBC, etc., would have someone like Hooper.
CAIR has launched an educational effort of its own called “Explore the Life of Muhammad,” which includes a free book or DVD about the prophet’s life and legacy. The campaign followed the worldwide controversy over caricatures of Muhammad, first published in a Danish newspaper.
Two years ago, CAIR launched an online petition drive called “Not in the Name of Islam,” which is intended to “disassociate the faith of Islam from the violent acts of a few Muslims.”
And that’s it. No look into that petition drive to see its obvious inadequacies as a tool to dissuade Muslims from the jihad ideology. No questions about what CAIR is doing to fight that jihad ideology. Nothing about the arrested CAIR officials. Nothing — just a last paragraph that gives readers the impression that here is a good moderate Muslim group that I am wickedly picking on.
I expect this sort of thing from the mainstream media. It is a bit disappointing to see it from CNS.