Raymond Ibrahim in a former life
All right. Ever since Robert posted our picture at the recent MEForum briefing in N.Y., many a wise guy–and gal–has made “whimsical” comments about us, many revolving around Tolkienesque imagery and language. So, being that it’s (a much welcomed) Friday evening, methinks I too will get in on the action.
To sate curiosities, the above picture is of me nearly 15 years ago–when I won the “Mr. L.A” title. To be sure, that is the past. And so, to answer Ms. Hyacinth: No, I cannot crush cars with my bare hands–at least not anymore (as for motorcycles, bicycles, and annoying persons, that’s a different story).
But to more important matters relating to Robert’s original post, which linked to a Muslim article rabidly accusing yours truly of being an “Islamophobe”:
Written by one Salaam Abdul Khaliq (or, to an Arabic ear, “Peace, Slave to the Creator”) this irate Muslim tore into me, as well as KCPP’s Larry Mantle, for things I said while being interviewed by the latter some time back. Here is the KCPP (or NPR) interview in question; listen to it and judge for yourselves if I was being an “Islamophobe”–whatever that is.
By the way “Salaam,” I am not an “apostate” or, as you put it, “newly christened crusader.” I come from those inhabitants of the Middle East — the Copts — who, despite the depredations of 1400 years of Islamic jihad and dhimmitude, still exist, still cling to their faith, still call barbarians barbarians. Regardless of linguistic affiliations, I am not one of you.
Even though Mantle disagreed with some of what I said during the interview, soon after this Muslim magazine accused all and sundry of “Islamophobia” — including NPR and Mantle — KCPP, in pure dhimmi fashion, went out of its way to remind Muslims that it is a staunch opponent of “Islamophobia.” The Muslim magazine, ever delighting in this servile behavior, posted the apology-letter under the triumphant title “KCPP does its part to counteract Islamophobia.”
To make sure its Islamic overlords were thoroughly satisfied, KCPP went one step further by inviting Reza Aslan — not C.S. Lewis’ lion-god, but rather just another Muslim apologist — to come and discuss my interview with Mantle; the logic was, “Recognizing that Ibrahim’s approach is controversial, KCPP invited Reza Aslan to be on Air Talk the following day.” I only listened to a small portion of Aslan’s shrill denunciations against me — Aslan, for the record, is the fellow who said that “al-Qaeda does not want anything at all” — before losing all interest. (However, some tell me that, if you listen to the interview, it is clear that Mantle, trying to be objective, was not satisfied with many of Aslan’s sophistries and assertions.)
At any rate, I write all this for the record — that Jihad Watch readers may see how absurdly easy it is to 1) be labeled an “Islamophobe,” and 2) coerce the media and other public institutions to apologize and concede in abject dhimmi fashion.
As for Robert Spencer’s “hobbit-like” aura, I say to him: O man, revel in that noble title!
Indeed, little does Robert know (we do not communicate as regularly as may be assumed), but his early writings influenced my thoughts concerning the jihad.
Years ago, I read his Onward Muslim Soldiers. Not knowing who Robert Spencer or Jihad Watch were, and as a grad student used to grad (that is, apologetic) literature, I was immediately struck by how straightforward and honest his book was — how it articulated in simple words what I instinctively knew, but was otherwise conditioned to reject.
All I remember was thinking — What?! people can actually write and speak in this manner? Straightforward observations still have a place in Islamic studies?!
Thus, whatever Robert’s physical stature, it is my purpose — call me Boromir, call me Aragorn — to see our favorite hobbit complete his mission into the heart of darkness — the heart of Mec-, I mean Med-, I mean Mordor.