Robert Spencer: Master of misinformation
Robert Spencer has made it his job to defile and “expose” the Muslim faith for what he thinks it’s really about, but he does more of the former rather than the latter. He holds the belief that Muslims are trying to convert and dominate the world at any and all costs. Spencer comes off as intolerant, somewhat paranoid, and misguided individual who simply cannot make distinctions between a handful of extremists and the Muslim majority. There is simply nothing to “expose” about the ordinary Muslim.
So it is safe to assume that Robert Spencer is obviously no friend to the Muslim community. The issues and ideals become nebulous is when reading through his blog, Jihad Watch. This blog is aimed at criticizing the Islamic faith and anyone who is believed to be by Spencer, and his equally despicable anti-Muslim colleague Pam Geller, sympathizers with the “jihadists.”(Yes, he likes to use “Muslim,” “terrorist,” “extremist” and “jihadist” interchangeably and freely).
Spencer takes it upon himself on this blog, with help from his six-digit income and single digit IQ cohorts, to try to “expose” the way Muslims are trying at some sort of world domination, again at any and all costs.
Spencer and Geller are associates/leaders of the organizations, AFDI (American Freedom Defense Initiative) and SIOA (Stop the Islamazation of America). Their groups are responsible for the anti-Muslim ads posted on the San Francisco, New York City, and D.C metro-area transit system, and are prepared to branch out to other major cities.
The ads, funded primarily through AFDI, state, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
They (laughably) call them “pro-freedom ads.”
These ads have met their fair share of controversy, but Spencer and his colleague have stood firm with their First Amendment right of free speech.
Connected with this piece on Eltahawy, is Spencer’s re-post of an ultraconservative blogger, AWR Hawkins, September 27th article, “Islamic Leaders in Dearborn Mich. Plan Rally to Support Speech Prohibition.”
The piece clearly misconstrues the facts and is the boldest attempt of a media outlet to skew the public perception on the views of the Muslim community.
Hawkins declares that Muslims protesting against the infamous “Innocence of Muslims” video, but in reality it is the violence it caused and how the AFDI ads could do the same. However Hawkins, Spencer, and Geller don’t acknowledge is that AFDI ads could do the same.
This past week, where a Federal District Court in Washington, D.C. ordered the Metro authority to display these ads, despite the authority’s concerns of the ads inciting similar violence as the anti-Muslim video did. This was a clear way of ignoring the way their anti-Muslim sentiments trumps common sense. This is much deeper than a First Amendment issue; although that is not the way the federal judge saw it.
Now, in a turn of events, there have been new counter ads to AFDI ads; one by a Jewish social justice group and the other Christian, as reported by the New York Times.
The organizations, the Rabbis for Human Rights – North America, which includes Rabbis from all forms of Judaism, and the group Sojourners, a national Christian social justice, both have ads that will be unveiled in the coming weeks. Some even being displayed close by the AFDI anti-Islam ads in metropolitan transit areas of New York City.
The group, United Methodist Women, another Christian group, placed similar ads in the same areas in New York City stations, where the anti-jihad ad appears. The ads went up on Wednesday displayed the text: “Hate speech is not civilized. Support peace in word and deed.” One of the ads, were actually placed right next to the AFDI anti-Muslim ad. They already have ads placed in Joplin, Mo., where a mosque was burned down in an act of hate this past summer.
These ads simply urge tolerance, and even cite references to their respective religious text, to condemn the actions of the AFDI’s ads.
For instance, the ad by the Rabbis for Human Rights places the scriptural citations from Leviticus 19:18 stating, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The ad prominently features the counter slogan: “In the choice between love and hate, choose love. Help stop bigotry against our Muslim neighbors,” then displaying information on how to join the campaign.
The group Sojourners, with a simply look but strong statement, stated, “Love your Muslim neighbors.”
This to me is one of the most unique responses to counter Spencer and Geller’s AFDI campaign. Why? Mainly because Spencer and Geller took it upon themselves to spew out anti-Muslim they they represents their “understanding” of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, while asserting freedom of speech. In reality it’s just them being demagogues.
As Rabbi Jacobs said in the New York Times, “Geller thinks she is speaking for the entire Jewish community. […] we want everyone to know that we have to work in partnership with the Muslim community and do not believe in dehumanizing them.”
These respected organizations have gone through the same processes as the AFDI to display their ads, and asserting their first amendment right. But of course this will not be to the liking of the Islamophobes, especially Spencer and Geller.
Knowing Spencer and Geller—they are going to misconstrue the facts against these organizations supporting Muslims, civil rights, and tolerance, as they have done to CAIR by presenting inaccurate statements and turning them into unsubstantiated “facts.”
Spencer and Geller lead a harmful ideological political movement, and they refuse to make very important distinctions of ordinary Muslims and radical extremists for the sake of Muslim community and the consumers of the media.
It’s obvious to see why, when the AFDI, SOIA, and Spencer’s blog do not make these distinctions about a religion that has over one-and-a-half-billion followers, the visitors take their statements as facts, and all Muslims are labeled as extremists. There is no justification for that type of blatant ignorance. It’s not fair to the consumers of the media, of people in Muslim countries, to American-Muslims, and to the realm of foreign relations.
These ads countering the anti-Muslim ads by the AFDI also represent some of the contours of this movement that progression is happening and will continue to happen in order to eradicate bigotry and hate. Stay tuned.