Emily DeRuy, a “reporter” for the Mercury News, made no attempt to contact me for comment before publishing this story about my planned appearance at Stanford University:
“Free speech controversy spreads to Stanford,” by Emily DeRuy, Mercury News, November 8, 2017:
The free speech debates that have rocked UC Berkeley in recent months appear to be making their way across the bay to Stanford….
Spencer, whose writing was cited by Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian man who killed more than 70 people in 2011, has argued that Islam is a violent religion and that radical jihadists who perpetrate terrorism are just following its teachings. In 2013, the United Kingdom banned him from entering the country after he announced plans to attend a rally organized by an anti-Muslim extremist group.
The club, which called Spencer’s professional credentials “stellar” in the Stanford Review piece, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Spencer Brown, a spokesman for the Young America’s Foundation, which has a history of bringing controversial speakers to college campuses, including Shapiro to UC Berkeley, confirmed that his group is also backing the Spencer event at Stanford.
Now, some students at the school are circulating a petition online calling on the ASSU to defund the speech….
When I saw the story, I tweeted that DeRuy had not asked me for comment. Soon after that, I received an email from her, inviting me to comment even though the story is, obviously, already published. This is what I sent her. Of course it’s quite lengthy, too lengthy to be included in full; it will be interesting to see if DeRuy uses any of it, and what part she does use, if she updates her story.
Breivik actually seems to quote me extensively because he included in his manifesto the text of a documentary film in which I appear. Every time I speak, my name is given in the text, to make it clear who is speaking. That is not really quoting me extensively. Aside from the documentary script, Breivik actually referred to me only a few times. You did not mention that one of those references upbraids me for not calling for violence. Of course, if you had mentioned that, your readers would have realized that your implication, that my work incites violence, was false. You also omitted mention of the fact that Breivik says in his manifesto that he was inspired to commit violence not by me, but by al-Qaeda and Hamas – that is, by two Muslim entities, one of which is funded by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Nor did you mention that Breivik said in that manifesto that he decided to commit a massive act of violence in 1999. I published my first book about Islam in 2002.
No responsible journalist should use the word “extremist” without qualification. “Extremist” according to whom? In reality, the UK Home Office said I was banned for saying: “[Islam] is a religion and is a belief system that mandates warfare against unbelievers for the purpose for establishing a societal model that is absolutely incompatible with Western society because media and general government unwillingness to face the sources of Islamic terrorism these things remain largely unknown.” This is a garbled version of what I actually said, which is that Islam in its traditional formulations and core texts mandates warfare against and the subjugation of unbelievers. This is not actually a controversial point to anyone who has studied Islam. Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee, Assistant Professor on the faculty of Shari’ah and Law of the International Islamic University in Islamabad, in his 1994 book The Methodology of Ijtihad quotes the twelfth century Maliki jurist Ibn Rushd: “Muslim jurists agreed that the purpose of fighting with the People of the Book…is one of two things: it is either their conversion to Islam or the payment of jizyah.” Nyazee concludes: “This leaves no doubt that the primary goal of the Muslim community, in the eyes of its jurists, is to spread the word of Allah through jihad, and the option of poll-tax [jizya] is to be exercised only after subjugation” of non-Muslims. I supposed Nyazee and Ibn Rushd are “Islamophobic” as well. And there are multitudes of other Islamic authorities who say the same thing. I’ll give you more of their quotes on request.
Anyway, you invoke Breivik and the UK. You do not bother to mention that I used to train FBI and military groups on these matters, have addressed State Department and German Foreign Ministry officials on them, and have published bestselling books about Islam and jihad. I’ve debated, and defeated, numerous imams. You’re attempting to portray me as a marginal crank that no student group should want to speak; hardly the agenda that any responsible journalist should have.
As for Stanford, what are the students so afraid of? Why are they so desperate that dissenting voices not be allowed to be heard? Despite your defamatory claims re Breivik, I have never called for or endorsed any violence, and have spoken all over the world with no violence ensuing, except when it was done to me. The hysteria over my appearance there is indicative of the fact that the Leftist and Islamic supremacist students who oppose my coming cannot refute the substance of what I say, and do not dare have a rational discussion about these issues with me. Thus they are trying desperately to shut me down, and thanks in part to pseudo-journalists such as yourself, they may succeed. I note in conclusion that forcibly suppressing the speech of someone with whom one disagrees is a quintessentially fascist act.
UPDATE: DeRuy has updated her story with these paragraphs, without noting that she only contacted me for comment after her initial version was already published:
For his part, Spencer said that “forcibly suppressing the speech of someone with whom one disagrees is a quintessentially fascist act.”
“What are the students so afraid of? Why are they so desperate that dissenting voices not be allowed to be heard,” Spencer wrote in an email. “I have never called for or endorsed any violence and have spoken all over the world with no violence ensuing except when it was done to me.”