Spencer strikes back, and then some

(Note: I posted a modified version of this entry at Jihad Watch. Robert Spencer replied, and a long exchange ensued between us.)

I just came upon a week-old reply by Robert Spencer to my recent criticisms of him over his extravagant support for Hirsi Ali and for what I call his neoconservatism or liberalism. While I don’t have time to reply in detail, I am struck by one thing. After quoting some of my criticisms of him and Hirsi Ali and Ibn Warraq, Spencer characterizes my statements as “ad hominem smears. Not only does he sling the mud at Hirsi Ali and me, but at Jihad Watch Board member Ibn Warraq.” Then he refers again to “Auster’s smear of Ibn Warraq.” He concludes his article by describing me as a “dyspeptic misanthrope.” Spencer’s commenters all seem to agree with him. I have nary a defender in the bunch. One says I am as bad as Patrick Buchanan.

I invite the reader to read my writings about Spencer and the others, linked below, and compare them to the personal tone Spencer used about me, and then ask himself who is smearing whom. I acknowledge that he has the right to say I smeared Ali, since I have described her as an enemy of our civilization. I don’t know what I said that could be called a smear of Spencer or Warraq. And, by the way, despite my criticisms of Spencer, I quote him approvingly from time to time, which he never does to me. Yet he and his readers accuse me of expelling people.

Also, Spencer conveniently does not mention the objective basis for my saying that Ali is an enemy of our civilization: the fact that Ali has advocated the outlawing of Christian and conservative political parties in Europe, that she regards serious conservatives and immigration restrictionists as the equivalent of Nazis, and that she along with Warraq signed a manifesto against “theocracy,” i.e. against Christianity as much as against Islam. Except for her stand against Islam (she focuses mainly on the inequality of women under Islam), Ali seems a typical leftist. Since when do conservatives not regard leftism as a threat to civilization?

Why does Robert Spencer, a Christian conservative, support Hirsi Ali?
The significance of AEI’s hiring of Hirsi Ali
Robert Spencer as a neoconservative
Spencer and Ali, cont.
Am I wrong on Spencer?

- end of initial entry -

A reader writes:

Dear Mr. Auster,

I have been introduced to your “VFR” site by Robert Spencer through his criticism of you on the Jihad Watch web site. I thought you might like to read the e-mail that I was inspired to write to Mr. Spencer upon reading his article:

Dear Mr. Spencer,

Regarding your non-ad hominem criticism of the “dyspeptic misanthrope,” Lawrence Auster, can I conclude that, as I am not an unborn child, and not a mentally incapacitated patient (like Terri Schiavo), that I can therefore live amicably with both secularists and Mohammedans?

Yours sincerely,

Kevin O’Neill

P.S.: I do enjoy reading your Web site.

I am glad that Mr. Spencer has inadvertently plugged “VFR” because I am particularly impressed by the intellectual honesty of your writing.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 27, 2006 01:12 PM | Send

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