I had never heard of Mia M. Bloom until yesterday. It turns out that she is a Professor of Security Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and the author of Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror; Living Together After Ethnic Killing; and Bombshell: Women and Terror. I don’t know her work, but from her careful avoidance here of identifying as predominantly Islamic the cultures in which “women will be killed by a family member for bringing shame to the family,” it is likely that she is just another academic of the type that American universities today hire by the pound: intent on downplaying and denying the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat and abjectly incapable of defending her views in a free and open debate.
Anyway, I had an unpleasant encounter with Professor Bloom yesterday, getting a noxious dose of her arrogance, ignorance, and utterly unwarranted hostility, when Jihad Watch reader Ken forwarded me part of an email exchange he was having with her. Here are salient excerpts — all grammar, spelling and punctuation as in the originals:
1. Ken to Mia Bloom:
Thank you so much for your prompt and intelligent email. I have a son at UCLA and I imagine that many of his professors have similar thoughts.
I will look into the publishers you suggested. Certainly there are a lot of differing opinions. My position is that Islamic Law teaches that if a person or group is captured, they are to be offered 3 choices- Conversion to Islam, Dhimmi-hood, or Death. These are specifically the choices given by Isis and Boko Haram. This is not a misreading of the Koran, but rather, a literal reading. Islamists are the “reformers”, taking the “religion” back to it’s roots.
I would ask you to read “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) by the aforementioned Robert Spencer. Additionally I would ask you to visit www.jihadwatch.com for a quick dose of what is going on in the world. You might have seen Spencer on Fox News Hannity this week. Spencer interviewed a man who had attended the same mosque in Oklahoma as the man who begged a coworker to convert to Islam. When she refused, he beheaded her.
2. Mia Bloom to Ken:
The categories you mentioned are not for ahl al kitab (I.e. Not for Jews, Christians, or Zoroastrianism which technically the yazidis fall under) what you have seen is only a partial truth, the Triadbof options was with regard to pagans during the time of the prophet
It is absolutely against Islamic law to forcibly convert anyone,the Quran does not quibble about this: ”
Here’s even Wikipedia on this subject
I have been circumspect of watching My Hannity after he had Mr Phil Roberts of duck dynasty come onto his show to comment about isis
As an aside Mr Roberts solution to the problem was Convert ‘me or kill ‘me
strikingly similar to what isis advocates
I genuinely hope you continue to read more on this subject, there is an ex nun, Karen Armstrong who has written several books on the subject and in an extremely readable way. I would highly recommend her work but I fear that Mr Spencer may not have done the faith justice if he used such generalizations that have given you a very incomplete picture.
That’s an embarrassing factual error on Professor Bloom’s part — as revealing of her academic incompetence as her invoking Wikipedia. She claims that the three options of conversion, subjugation, or death are “not for ahl al kitab” — that is, the People of the Book (Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians) — but for “pagans during the time of the prophet.” But she seems to be introducing a Qur’an quote that she ends up not quoting, and that is probably because the Qur’an says exactly the opposite of what she claims it says: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” (9:29). The Arabic is alladhina utul kitaba, those who were given the book — a clear and unmistakeable reference to the People of the Book, so understood universally among Islamic scholars. Everyone accepts that this is a command to Muslims to fight the People of the Book and make them submit, even if they disagree on its applicability to the modern day. No one thinks it refers to pagans — except, apparently, Mia M. Bloom.
3. Ken to Mia Bloom:
As I am sure you can tell, I am no scholar, but I have read extensively and I believe I see clearly what is happening.
The process of Abrogation is puzzling to many but is rather simple to explain. Later verses supersede earlier verses if 2 verses seem to conflict. The difference between the revelations made in Mecca, and those in Medina and afterwards explain volumes. When Islam was having a rough time (Mecca), the verses are peaceful and “there shall be no compulsion in Islam ” is one of those verses. Yet when the strength and numbers of followers were sufficient, (Medina) the verses became more violent (ie, “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief) and the religion will all be for Allah alone” The later verses “abrogate” the earlier verses.
I noticed University Press is made up of Professors from colleges with large Islamic Studies departments. Funding for these Departments largely comes from Saudi Arabia. Do you suppose there is a subtle attempt to whitewash the religion until the strength an numbers of followers is sufficient?
4. Mia Bloom to Ken:
I think that varies
My Islamic studies program was funded by the son of Rita Hayworth
And university presses are independent units, with boards of directors
Feel free to keep reading some made up stuff by a dude with a degree In Christian studies who pretends to know about Islam, but then don’t feel especially satisfied that the result is questionable.
My training started at the best code yeshiva in Canada and co it used to a degree in Islamic studies, Arab studies, I speak all the languages and have the materials in the original text.
I am certain in any debate your MrSpencer would be left without anything to say if he were ever in a room with someone educated in this field instead of pandering to a public that thinks just cause it’s published it must be true
Ps Did you watch that moron from duck dynasty…? That’s why I bother doing the media, they don’t pay and it is a huge pain in the @&$ but if the people who are actually knowledgeable don’t do media, the only people left are the likes of Mr Robertson and his hate filled diatribe. He’d be very comfortable in raqqa with his views…
Sent from my iPad
That was when Ken wrote to me:
5. Ken to Robert Spencer:
Well it would seem she would be a great debater for you or David Wood.
6. Robert Spencer to Mia Bloom and Ken:
Sure, I’ll debate her. We can set it up for early November on ABN. They’re very strict about equal time for both sides, etc.
Suggested topic: The Qur’an Teaches Warfare Against And Subjugation of Unbelievers.
I argue yes.
Mia Bloom argues no.
This will be great. I look forward to it.
7. Mia Bloom to Robert Spencer:
Dear Mr Spencer,
I’m afraid that Mr [redacted] may have led you to believe that I would waste my time on such an endeavor..,which I would not
I am currently writing my fourth book based on field research in Pakistan and other countries.
Btw That’s what real academics do; they don’t spend their time sitting at the computer distorting texts they could neither read in the original nor are they trained to understand.
Enjoy duping the masses.
Yeah sorry I won’t waste my time on the Aramaic broadcasting network
Too busy doing cnn and fox
Feel free to throw away my e mail
I’ll be deleting anything from you in the future automatically
Sent from my iPhone
Even after all these years of doing this and dealing with the obnoxiousness, condescension and arrogance of Islamic supremacists such as Reza Aslan and Qasim Rashid, it still amazes me that people like Mia Bloom feel free to speak so rudely to someone they don’t know and have never met. But it’s yet another amusing Joseph Lumbard-like turnaround: an academic boasts that I’d be beaten soundly in a debate, but then refuses actually to debate. Meanwhile her vicious rudeness bespeaks a deep insecurity, probably born of having to spend so much time shoring up the fantasies about Islam that her chosen resource Karen Armstrong purveys. I suspect that Bloom knows that she is flacking for falsehoods and fantasies, and that’s why she reacts so venomously when challenged.
Anyway, she’s at email@example.com and on Twitter at @MiaMBloom. You may wish to drop her a polite and courteous note, asking her to accept my debate challenge, and inquiring as to how she can maintain such rude arrogance when she clearly lacks even the most basic knowledge of the Qur’an. In all communications, please maintain politeness and courtesy at all times. Do not stoop to her level.