“you did not live up to your reputation of being a crazy, muslim-hater.”
— from a note to Robert Spencer by a student at the University of Wisconsin
Puzzle: why don’t students, instead of listening to others who pass on stuff-and-nonsense — which then becomes, in the case in point, an apparently unquestioned “reputation of being a crazy, Muslim-hater” — actually find out for themselves by going to Jihad Watch and reading what RS or others involved in the effort (and since comments are only very perfunctorily moderated, not attributing to, or blaming, the site for some of the postings that are irrelevant or unacceptable in other ways) have actually written. There are thousands of articles and postings by those contributors to choose from.
The implication of the writer is that had she not seen Robert with his own eyes, she would have continued to believe in that “reputation” of RS “being a crazy, Muslim-hater.” Really? There is no other way to check that “reputation” fostered by CAIR and its determined collaborators, including not a few professors who are paid-up members of the Army of Apologists as well as of MESA Nostra (about which see here), than by seeing someone in the flesh? No way to find out what he actually writes, and whether what he writes is based on truthful rather than false quotations from the Qur’an, Hadith, Sira? No way to check these matters at all?
Isn’t one of the favorite bumper stickers, reflecting a favored sentiment, that of “Question Authority”? Go ahead — question the authority of those who whisper in your ear that so-and-so is a “rabid Muslim-hater.” Find out for yourself about how that phrase is being spread around by those determined to shout down or whisper down (both methods can be effective) those who would subject the texts and tenets of Islam to study, analysis, and critical scrutiny. The shouters and whisperers want to do this so that Islam can remain forever beyond and immune from criticism, when the daily Jihad news, from Indonesia and the Philippines, from Malaysia and Thailand, from Bangladesh and India and Pakistan, from all over the Middle East, from all over the countries of Western Europe where only one group of immigrants — Muslims — present a permanent problem that no other group of immigrants present, because they come bearing not an alien creed, but an alien and a hostile creed, demands that criticism.
Many, as they read more and more of the Daily Jihad News (which is not well-reported, nor sometimes even covered at all, in the American media, just as it is not sufficiently covered, or explained intelligently, in the media of other Western nations) will want explanations that make sense. They will want explanations that help them not only to understand what is going on, but that will help them to predict the efficacy of such things as the war in Iraq (foolish) and Afghanistan (foolish), in the stop-and-go, confused and confusing efforts, to deal with violent Jihad, but to ignore, more or less, the other instruments of Jihad (the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da’wa, demographic conquest).
Robert’s appearances on university campuses can encourage. And it can dispel the dark rumors so deliberately spread, about his — or for that matter others’ — “reputation.” The texts are there. They can be found at Muslim websites, treated differently, treated reverently, but still — the texts are the texts. And many websites run by Muslims, for Muslims, do not hide what Islam inculcates, even if they attempt to express things more and more with one ear cocked to what non-Muslims, dropping or eavesdropping in, might make of texts and tenets that are presented just a little too forthrightly. And Muslims themselves, including some of the sweetest-sounding young girls have shown their keen awareness of the need to protect, by obfuscation and omission, the reputation of Islam. Why, I just heard a BBC interview with a Saudi “artist” who is taking part in an exhibition in London and fancies herself quite a revolutionary figure. But the way she carefully failed to explain to the interviewer something that that interviewer clearly needed to know — that in Islam all sculpture, and all depictions of humans, is forbidden, was telling. She tiptoed around the subject, carefully avoiding the real explanation for the narrowness, and paucity, of Saudi or other Islamic art.
Read, study, think. It’s the same in any field. That’s how you learn about, and come to comprehend, the ideology of Islam.