A short while ago I wrote this to Douglas Hale, Head of School of Mercersburg Academy:
Dear Mr. Hale
Regarding the scheduled talk by Islamic supremacist Reza Aslan tonight, and the protests against it: please note that if you discuss the protests with Mr. Aslan, he will dismiss concerns about his record with personal attacks against me and my colleagues, including demonstrably false charges of racism and fascism, as well as vicious personal abuse. He will not address the particular charges we have made against him, such as his membership in a lobbying group for the Islamic Republic of Iran, his support for terror groups Hamas and Hizballah, etc.
He will, in short, respond with abuse rather than substantive refutation. He is not capable of substantive refutation, because the charges are true, so all he can do is try to smear his opponents.
I do hope you recall this email when Mr. Aslan does exactly as I have predicted, and that you will subsequently consider carefully the truth of his claims and our charges — and that you will schedule a pro-freedom speaker for equal time at Mercersburg Academy.
MERCERSBURG, Monday, Dec. 12, 2011 — A conservative blog has taken issue with the appearance of best-selling author and entrepreneur Reza Aslan tonight at a mandatory assembly for Mercersburg Academy students.
Jihadwatch.org, Robert Spencer’s blog associated with the David Horowitz Freedom Center, claims that Aslan is an “Islamic supremacist” who “has tried to pass off Iran’s genocidally-minded President Ahmadinejad as a liberal reformer.”
Aslan’s first book, an international bestseller, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, has been translated into 13 languages and named one of the 100 most important books of the past decade.
Spencer is the author of two New York Times bestsellers, The Truth About Muhammad and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). The Academy has received several telephone calls and e-mails after Jihad Watch posted an “action alert” on Saturday, but Aslan will speak as scheduled, according to an Academy spokesman.
According to Jihad Watch: “One of the most unfortunate aspects of the politically correct straitjacket that binds contemporary public discourse is that deceitful mediocrities and intellectual flotsam and jetsam like Reza Aslan, who aren’t capable of independent thought or of defending their own positions except with lies and scorn, are lauded and lionized by the clueless and compromised elites, solely because they parrot currently fashionable opinions.”
The school is “proud” to have Aslan speak, according to Wallace Whitworth, Academy director of communications.
“We’re very happy to have him here,” he said.
Whitworth said Headmaster Douglas Hale knows of Aslan’s work and has immense respect for him.
Aslan is co-founder and chief executive officer of BoomGenStudios, the premier entertainment brand for creative content from and about the greater Middle East, and president of AppOvation Labs, a mobile applications company. He is an associate professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside. He is also the author of How to Win a Cosmic War as well as editor of two volumes: Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East, and Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalities, Contentions, and Complexities.
The talk is not open to the public because of limited seating. Aslan’s lecture “The Youth Revolution in the Middle East” is a required event for Mercersburg students and faculty.
The Schaff Family Endowment was funded by, and is in honor of, Schaff brothers Phillip H. ’38, Charles B. ’41, and David S. ’43. The endowment supports annual speakers “on topics related to fundamental human values-those principles which direct a person’s decisions and actions because they clarify what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong.'”
About 430 students from 34 countries and 30 states attend the private boarding school in Mercersburg.
Pity the poor captives.