Spencer versus a former associate

There is a huge fight at Jihad Watch between Robert Spencer and a former colleague of his, Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, who wrote a critical article about him at American Thinker. The argument is complicated. However, I get drawn into it when Al-Tamimi approvingly quotes, without naming me, my statement:

Spencer equates his own person with anti-jihadism. To criticize Spencer is to weaken anti-jihadism, help Islamic supremacists and become their enabler. This is pathological narcissism.

In a later comment, Al-Tamimi refers to me as a “despicable white supremacist” and says that this was the reason he didn’t name me or link my statement which he quoted. But he adds that notwithstanding my despicable white supremacism, I’m right about Spencer.

For the record, I have repeatedly noted, and will continue to note, that Spencer does useful and important work, notwithstanding his overwrought and destructive responses to criticism and even non-criticism. As an example of the latter, see VFR’s April 2010 entry about the Spencer-Bostom-West imbroglio. Diana West examined Andrew Bostom’s plagiarism charge against Spencer and found it to be baseless, while also criticizing Spencer for failing to give credit to Bostom on something that he should have given him credit for. In reply, Spencer then wrote at his site:

Actually, Lawrence Auster, who has no love for me, shows that Diana West’s vicious attack is utterly without substance …

To describe as a “vicious attack” Diana West’s judicious examination of the evidence, in which she found Spencer not guilty of the charge of plagiarism, is a sign of mental disturbance. While I haven’t read the whole Spencer-Tamimi exchange yet, my impression so far is that something like this happened with Al-Tamimi’s article at American Thinker. Al-Tamimi criticized Spencer, and Spencer in his usual manner hugely exaggerated the criticism into an all-out smear campaign against himself.

- end of initial entry -

LA writes:

In a case similar to his attack on Diana West, when I defended Spencer from Ralph Peters’s “Nazi” attack in 2006, but in the process made a distinction between Spencer’s position and my own, Spencer wrote to me saying that I had committed a “calumny” against him.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 08, 2011 09:35 AM | Send

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