This morning I received an email from a woman named Sharissa who, several years ago, called for one of my books to be “torched” — whereupon I offered to see if she could get a bulk rate on multiple copies, which she could torch to her heart’s content. The email said:
A few years ago there was a blog entry written about me. It is erroneous and slanderous. I indeed took a picture of your (Robert Spencer’s) book and said it should be burned. It was a joke, however I deleted the tweet shortly thereafter. I jokingly said the book should be burned (I definitely wasn’t referring to any human being!) because it was in wake of a time period here in the US when there were at least two different Qur’an burnings within a short amount of time.
Obviously you’re no stranger to Islamophobia and neither am I. Yes, I am Muslim. However, I do not wish to inflict violence on anyone. As someone who commented on your post mentioned – I’m a peaceful person. It’s slanderous to say otherwise. I could careless what you (Robert Spencer) or the website you write for says – As long as you leave my name and face out of it.
I am sure you understand my grievance. I would hate to have to have my attorney write a cease and desist letter to you. It is far simpler if the post is simply removed.
Slanderous? Quoting someone is slandering her? Under Sharia, it could be: in Islamic law slander is not spreading falsehoods about someone, but speaking even truths that one dislikes being spoken: “Slander (ghiba) means to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike, whether about his body, religion, everyday life, self, disposition, property, son, father, wife, servant, turban, garment, gait, movements, smiling, dissoluteness, frowning, cheerfulness, or anything else connected with him.” (‘Umdat al-Salik, r2.2) Note that it doesn’t say anything about these “disliked” statements having to be false.
Anyway, Sharissa now says, over three years later, that she was joking, and therefore I should take the “slanderous post” down. “I’m a peaceful person,” she says, “It’s slanderous to say otherwise” — but of course I didn’t say otherwise. And she says she was joking. Very well. She was joking. But “erroneous and slanderous” to quote her? Since she threatened to get her attorney to write a cease and desist letter (that would be something to see), I ran her email by my own attorney. He responded: “Her threat to have her lawyer demand anything of you is, per your lawyer, David Yerushalmi, just more of the same mentality: burn books; demand that a truthful blog at Jihad Watch be pulled. Pathetic.”
Indeed. Islamic supremacists can’t stand discussion, debate, criticism, or honest exploration of how Islamic texts and teachings incite adherents to hatred and violence. This is one small example of that mentality.
Here is the original Jihad Watch post in question, which you can find here:
Jihad Watch reader James sends me this gem from “riss’s photos” at Plixi.com. I am thoroughly honored by Rissa’s declaration, and invite her to go through with it; in fact, if she would like to burn copies of my book The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran in bulk, I will contact Regnery Publishing on Monday and see if I can get them for her at a special discount rate.
And I promise that if she does torch The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran, whether one copy or many, I will not riot, I will not kill any innocent people (or any guilty ones, for that matter), and I will not demand that her freedom of speech be curtailed. Rissa, you have my solemn word on all that.