Islam and Islamo-criticism: the irrepressible conflict

To understand the meaning of the current stand-off between CAIR and Robert Spencer, we need to grasp that it is a standoff between liberalism on one side and the truth about Islam on the other.

Liberalism tells us that to make negative generalizations about any group is a prohibited act of bigotry.

The truth about Islam is that Islam is a tyrannical belief system that seeks, through conversion, fraud, and violence, the subordination of all of mankind to the Islamic sharia law; and, further, that there are no authoritative Islamic doctrines or leaders that stand against that program.

By the lights of liberalism, the above statement is a negative generalization about a group, and therefore prohibited bigotry.

The irrepressible conflict between liberalism and the truth about Islam is also explained in terms of Auster’s First Law of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society: The more alien and dangerous any non-Western group actually is, the more racist and bigoted it is to speak the truth about it.

Spencer speaks the truth about Islam. The truth about Islam is damning. Therefore by the lights of liberalism Spencer is a bigot.

The conflict can be resolved in one of two ways: Either Spencer and other Islam critics will be silenced, and liberalism and Islam will triumph. Or truth will be permitted, and the rule of liberalism will be broken, and the West will be liberated to start protecting itself from Islam.

The above considerations provide the framework in which to approach an anonymously authored 63-page report posted at CAIR’s website, “ROBERT SPENCER’S HISTORY OF ANTI-MUSLIM BIAS,” parts of which I’ve looked at.

The report starts with this amazingly wacky statement by the unnamed author (in fact his name is Jim Sutter—see below):

We’ll begin with the Conclusion, and then show how that conclusion was reached:

CONCLUSION: After a lengthy period of research on Spencer, and intensive email discussions with him, I have come to the conclusion that, although he can be properly identified as an Islamophobe, Spencer does not trash all of Islam and all Muslims out of hatred or his own fear. Instead, he does it for economic gain and seems to knowingly do it to assist our enemy, Usama bin Laden and similar terrorists and extremists. Yes, that is a very serious charge. Note that the latter part of this conclusion is based on Spencer’s own writings and emails, I am not in possession of evidence that any money has flowed from terrorists to Spencer. However, as you continue to read you will see that Mr. Spencer is aware that his claims are assisting UBL, and yet he knowingly continues to make the very same claims, including the claim that Usama is correct in his twisted, perverted version of Islam. We will see Spencer use various techniques such as logical fallacies, deception, misdirection, outright lies, out of context verses, and temporal remoteness in his campaign of deceit.

As I’ve said, I have not read the whole report, but what I guess the author is saying here is that Spencer says that bin Laden’s understanding of Islam is indeed the orthodox understanding of Islam for the last 1400 years, and by saying so, Spencer is assisting bin Laden.

The report continues:

Unfortunately, either for the above motivation, or because he suffers from the same narcissism that infects many other bigots—Spencer adamantly refuses to even consider the possibility that his statements and conclusions on Islam could be wrong—so stubbornly that he mimics the exact techniques, claims and sayings as neo-Nazis, anti- Semites, and other Islamophobes. Of course, Spencer may be afraid that if he publicly considered that he was wrong, the income from his books and columns would drop and diminish the profit he makes by playing on people’s fears.



Spencer claims, over and over, that he never, ever, condemns all Muslims or all of Islam. This is just one of his many claims that is completely wrong. Note the following (each with a link to verify Spencer’s words.)

ROBERT SPENCER, DIRECTOR, JIHAD WATCH: Well the problem that we face with international Jihad terrorism is deeply rooted within Islam. Although there are many officials who are hastening to assure us that the problem with terrorism has nothing to do with Islam at all, the only people that they don’t seem to be able to convince of that are the Muslims themselves, particularly the terrorists who claim to be representing and acting upon the teachings of pure Islam and true Islam.

UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: The true faith of Islam we believe is a religion of peace and we intend to work with them in that regard.

LAMB: So what are you hearing that you want to comment on?

SPENCER: I think that’s all hogwash, I’m sorry to say. Islam is the only religion in the world that has a developed doctrine, theology and legal system that mandates violence against unbelievers and mandates that Muslims must wage war in order to establish the hegemony of the Islamic social order all over the world. …And so while there are moderate Muslims, the fact that Islam is not moderate makes it very difficult for those moderates to establish any kind of large scale anti-terror effort.

So, there you have it. The truth about Islam, running up against the liberal rule that negative generalizations about minority, nonwhite or non-Western groups must not be made.

Finally, the CAIR report also quotes this Spencer comment, from 2005:

I have written on numerous occasions that there is no distinction in the American Muslim community between peaceful Muslims and jihadists.

I didn’t know Spencer had said anything that radical. That backs up my suggestion last night that when Spencer supports the idea of expelling jihadists, it really means expelling all orthodox Muslims. Even I, with my step by step approach to reversing the flow of Muslim immigration, have never said anything that strong.


On a passing note, there is one reported fact in the CAIR document that is deeply surprising: Spencer does not know Arabic. How can this be? The study of Islamic texts has been his life work.

- end of initial entry -

Michael D. writes:

I downloaded the RobertSpencerArticlePDFArchived.pdf file so I could look at its file properties. The author field in those properties contained “Rev. Jim Sutter,” whoever he is. There was also a copyright notice field which contained “(c) Hatewatch Hall of Shame—Rev. Jim Sutter 2007.” I easily discovered that Sutter runs a blog called Hatewatch Hall of Shame where, per his blog subtitle, you can find him “Exposing, exploring, educating, and eliminating hatred in all its forms.” Articles announcing the availability of the “study” you linked to can be found here, Spencer’s Spin, complete with a picture of Joseph Goebbels to accompany his reference to comparisons by unnamed others of Spencer to Goebbels, and here, Major Expose Coming Soon. The link to the PDF you found at CAIR’s site is the same link Sutter provides on his blog. It is not a link to a file physically residing on CAIR’s site; perhaps that affords them some legal cover. The file appears to reside on a web site that, among other things, offers media storage facilities to blogs.

Sutter describes himself as a “Pastor Emeritus”; a Catholic pastor, supposedly (a little googling popped up a claim he is actually a minister of the Universal Life Church). He expounds on religion at one of his six other blogs, God’sEyeView, where his latest post is a long complaint about Pope Benedict reviving the Tridentine Mass.

It might interest you that Sutter appears to be actively involved in efforts to convince ISPs around the globe to ban “hate sites,” such as JihadWatch, and presumably your own … once he notices it.

LA replies:

Thanks for this, I had seen the name Sutter connected with this document, but had had nothing definite.

And maybe it’s not true after all that Spencer doesn’t know Arabic.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 16, 2007 11:53 AM | Send

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