I wrote the other day about how some alleged believers in free speech among American academia are trying to block my speaking at the American Library Association convention this Sunday. Now the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), true to form, has gotten into the act, sending the ALA a fresh steaming pile of defamation, lies, and distortions (drawing once again on material from its favorite useful idiot, the discredited, thoroughly dishonest Charles Johnson of that cesspool of lies and hate, Little Green Footballs), asking that I be dropped from the ALA panel. (Johnson discredited and dishonest? Click on the photo above and you’ll get the whole story.)
Whatever the ALA does, I am not going to let CAIR’s libels go unanswered.
First, consider the source. CAIR, once again, is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case. Its operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several of its former officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. Several of its other officials have made Islamic supremacist statements. CAIR also was involved in the Flying Imams’ intimidation suit against the passengers who reported their suspicious behavior.
“CAIR-Chicago Asks Library Group to Drop Islamophobe from Panel,” from CAIR-Chicago, July 9:
(CHICAGO, IL, 7/9/09) – The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today called on the American Library Association (ALA) to drop an “Islamophobe” from a panel discussion on dispelling stereotypes about Islam.
I am not an “Islamophobe.” The term itself is trumped-up and manipulative, designed to intimidate people into thinking that resistance to jihad terrorism and Islamic supremacism is some sort of irrational hatred. In reality, there is nothing hateful about resisting attempts to limit freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people before the law. I do not fear or hate Muslims; rather, I speak realistically about how jihadists use Islamic texts and teachings to recruit and motivate jihad terrorists. It is not “Islamophobic” to speak the truth; it is simply Islamorealistic. And you’ll notice that nowhere do they, or can they, actually quote anything inaccurate I say about Islam.
Robert Spencer, publisher of the anti-Islam Internet hate site “Jihad Watch,” is scheduled to speak July 12 on a panel, titled “Perspectives on Islam: Beyond the Stereotyping,” at the ALA annual conference in Chicago. One other panelist already withdrew in protest over Spencer’s participation.
News to me. But interesting. One would think that if I say such odious untruths, it would be more effective for the wounded panelist in question to have stuck it out, demonstrated that what I was saying was false, and thereby ended my baneful influence forever. But no such luck — somehow, no one ever seems up to that job, oddly enough.
In a letter to the ALA, CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab wrote in part:
“I ask you to rescind the invitation to Mr. Spencer in order to maintain the integrity of the panel and the reputation of the ALA.
“I understand that the ALA will argue that it is in favor of promoting diversity of opinion and that it is strongly against censorship. I fully concur with those ideals, but question if that is in fact what you are doing by abetting grotesque viewpoints that lie well outside the bounds of reason and civilized debate…one would hope that the ALA would employ some level of professional criteria to ensure the topical integrity of those whose opinions it seeks.
“The ALA clearly failed to properly vet the professional integrity of Mr. Robert Spencer, a man who claims that Islam is synonymous with fascism, and that Islam at its core is a violent doctrine that encourages the murder of non-Muslims. Spencer’s website Jihadwatch.com is a haven for the most vile and hateful of anti-Muslim innuendo…
1. “…claims that Islam is synonymous with fascism…” No, I have never said that, and don’t believe it. I ask Mr. Rehab to support this claim with evidence, or retract it and apologize.
2. “…and that Islam at its core is a violent doctrine that encourages the murder of non-Muslims….” No, I have never said that either, and don’t believe it. I have reported that Muhammad told his followers to invite non-Muslims to Islam, subjugate them as dhimmis, or go to war with them — is that not a factual statement, Mr. Rehab? Why, here is the hadith in question: Sahih Muslim 4294. But that is not the same thing as saying that Islam encourages Muslims to murder non-Muslims, which is false. Once again, I ask Mr. Rehab to support this claim with evidence, or retract it and apologize.
3. “Spencer’s website Jihadwatch.com is a haven for the most vile and hateful of anti-Muslim innuendo…” Innuendo? No. Everything is supported with evidence from Islamic texts and teachings. Can Mr. Rehab produce evidence of a single inaccuracy in what I have written here about Islamic teachings? I think not, or he would have produced it in his letter.
“The independent national media watch group, FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting), identifies Spencer as one of the “Dirty Dozen: America’s leading Islamophobes” who systematically “spread fear, bigotry, and misinformation.” The special report, entitled “Smearcasters” provides examples of Spencer’s sensational views…
In reality, the “Smearcasters” report was a political hit piece on an array of the opponents of CAIR and its allied groups. You can read about it here: the report misrepresented my work and claimed that statements I made that were demonstrably true and accurate were false.
“Would the ALA invite a notorious anti-Semite on a panel that aims to dispel stereotypes against Jews? Would they allow such an invitation to squeeze through under the guise of promoting diversity and averting censorship?
Considering the appalling antisemitism that was abundantly on display at the recent convention of the CAIR ally the Islamic Society of North America, this is a bitterly ironic analogy for CAIR to make.
“People are free to hold extreme, bigoted views but whether they should be invited by reputable associations like the ALA to spew these views is a different question. That is the question ALA must answer…”
In recent months, even other anti-Muslim Internet sites have criticized Spencer for his ties to “Eurofacists.”
The blog “Little Green Footballs” (LGF) notes that Spencer was listed as a speaker at a European conference in May “organized by a group called ‘Pro KÃ¶ln’ — a successor to the notorious fascist group ‘Deutsche Liga fÃ¼r Volk und Heimat’ (the ‘German League for People and Homeland’).”
LGF goes on to note that the Pro KÃ¶ln group “is under observation by the German inland secret service…One of the main organizers of ‘Pro KÃ¶ln’ is Manfred Rouhs. Here are two photos of Rous with hardcore neo-Nazi activist Axel Reitz, who the local media call ‘the Hitler of Cologne.'”
Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs wrote a series of frenzied, nakedly mendacious posts in April about this Pro KÃ¶ln meeting — I replied here and here. His charges relied heavily upon one’s accepting the existence of that great unicorn, the pro-Israel neo-Nazi, a strange animal that Johnson professes to see virtually everywhere.
As far as my connection to all this goes, in reality I do not support, have never supported, would never support, and never will support any racist, fascist, or neo-Nazi groups. What’s more, I did not go to Cologne or address the Pro KÃ¶ln rally. If speakers are now responsible for the views of every group that invites them to speak, even if they decline the invitation, then let me make things even more interesting by inviting the wretched Johnson and Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR to speak at an anti-jihad conference I am currently planning for the Fall.
The LGF blog, also known for its Islamophobic viewpoint, wrote of Spencer’s site: “His website has descended into a true hate site at this point, dominated by extreme, bigoted commenters who regularly advocate genocide and mass murder of Muslims.”
Johnson was lying, of course. It is noteworthy that he offered no examples of such comments, and couldn’t, because whenever we see such comments, we remove them. I have gone on record many times saying that comments advocating genocide and mass murder of Muslims are immoral, intolerable, and will be removed if we see them: genocidal comments are not welcome here.
My friend and colleague Marisol Seibold does a terrific job monitoring the comments fields, and removes such comments when she sees them. But there are a great many comments, and sometimes one may slip by and remain. Does that mean I endorse it? No — read the disclaimer at the top of every comment field. And for the best explanation of why it is preposterous to try to tar me with what commenters say, let’s go to…Charles Johnson! Before he became thoroughly morally corrupt and betrayed all of his principles, Johnson wrote this (you’ll have to copy and paste the link for it to work; the aging adolescent libelblogger has blocked direct links from this site) at LGF when CAIR, of all people, tried to defame him over comments on his site:
* There are more than 25,000 registered users at LGF.
* There are often more than 5,000 comments posted every single day.
* It is run by *one* person, and comments such as those quoted by CAIR are policed and deleted as soon as possible. But this is an open discussion forum, and comments do not represent the opinion of LGF — as the disclaimer states on every single page of comments.
* The comments quoted by CAIR were posted at LGF for less than two hours before CAIR sent out their press release, and were deleted as soon as the administrator (that would be me) became aware of them. CAIR did not contact me about the comments either–they just went straight to the FBI, and put out a libelous press release.
We don’t have registered users, and we don’t have that many comments in a day, but the general points hold: comments do not necessarily represent my opinion — if you think one does, find a statement like it from my own writings — and we remove genocidal comments whenever we see them.
How interesting that what Johnson would criticize CAIR for doing in February 2008 he now does himself, and CAIR makes use of his libels. I imagine that Johnson must be very proud of having become a tool for a Hamas front.
Back to CAIR:
Spencer also recently supported a conference in Florida featuring Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders.
CAIR’s Honest Ibe Hooper doesn’t have to resort to such circumlocutions. I didn’t actually have anything to do with that conference in Florida, but Hoop could just say straight out that I support Wilders. And so should anyone who holds dear the Western values that are threatened by Islamic supremacists — notably, as I said above, the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, the equality of rights of all people before the law. Do Islamic supremacists not threaten those things? They do, by their own account. What, then, is wrong with opposing them and standing with those who also oppose them?
In 2007, Spencer spoke at a so-called “Counterjihad Brussels 2007” conference in Belgium attended by those with links to far-right parties such as Filip Dewinter of Vlaams Belang (Belgium) and Ted Ekeroth of Sverigedemokraterna (Sweden). Both parties have been accused of either having a racist platform, a neo-Nazi past or having links to neo-Nazis and other racists.
They have been “accused.” An accusation is not the same thing as a fact. The libelblogger Johnson has spread a great deal of second-hand misinformation and disinformation about these groups, but in any case the fundamental question is this: the Counterjihad Summit featured speakers such as Israeli Knesset member Aryeh Eldad; and the great historian Bat Ye’or. Also speaking were the great scholar of jihad Patrick Sookhdeo and others. There was nothing remotely racist or neo-Nazi about it. Even if these parties are all that Johnson claims they are (and given his record of lies and distortions I’m more inclined to believe that the opposite of anything he says is true), that in no way obliges me to answer for them or makes me responsible for them in any way. I’ve spoken at a lot of events, with a lot of other speakers, and I am no more responsible for the totality of their views as they are for mine. I once spoke at the same event as Hillary Clinton; does that make her an “Islamophobe”?
CAIR goes on to quote Hugh Fitzgerald’s writings here, which once again illustrates that they just can’t find anything damaging in mine. They of course completely misrepresent Hugh’s positions, but he can answer for himself; I would only ask that if they really think I hold those positions, they should prove it by quoting me. But they can’t do that, of course.
From the looks of this desperate tissue of distortions and fabrications, borrowed from a miserable discredited liar, CAIR is clearly deeply afraid and utterly without moral scruples. That makes it a dangerous group, but not one that fair-minded people or anyone interested in the truth need be troubled about.
UPDATE: Yid with Lid notes that LGF has become a “terrorist tool,” and “accused” “neo-Nazi” Ted Ekeroth of the Sweden Democrats turns out to be a recipient of the Herzl Award for “outstanding leadership and devotion to Israel and Zionism.” But will Johnson or CAIR retract and apologize? Don’t hold your breath.
UPDATE July 12: Welcome, Lizards! (Don’t let your master catch you over here! You were supposed to go to the Google cache!) A couple of notes: Johnson claims, contrary to fact, that I blamed him for the ALA kerfuffle. In fact, no, I blamed CAIR, as you can see from the above, but noted that CAIR used his libels. Johnson conveniently ignored the fact that he has become a CAIR tool, and likewise did not answer any of my substantive points. Just once I’d like him to see him back up his claim about the comments here, or defend his guilt-by-association smears (see the question about Hillary above). But of course he doesn’t do that; he just whines about my tone. Poor fellow!
Note to Charles: when you indulge in the most gutter forms of defamation and character assassination, you might end up discovering that your targets won’t like you very much. But keep on playing the victim game. Your sycophants love it.