Update on Robert Spencer’s fight with Aymenn Jawad and American Thinker

I’ve read the articles at American Thinker by Aymenn Jawad (I gather that is a sufficient name and I will henceforth leave out the “Al-Tamimi”) and Robert Spencer. I would have had a few things to say along the lines that Spencer fantastically exaggerated Jawad’s charges against him and portrayed an article in which Spencer’s name is mentioned but twice—the second mention showing Spencer taking the correct stand from Jawad’s point of view—into a supposed horrible attack on Spencer. But I can’t do that, because evidently the version of Jawad’s article to which Spencer was replying was taken offline and replaced by a more mild article missing some of the stronger charges against Spencer, and the original article doesn’t appear to be available online. This makes it impossible to determine the truth of the main claims that Jawad and Spencer throw back and forth at each other, both in their respective articles, and in their bitter exchange at Jihad Watch (which I earlier discussed here).

As for the substance of Jawad’s view that counter-jihadists must dissociate themselves from the BNP, I reject it, for reasons I have given at length. Also, with regard to Spencer’s rejection of pro-white groups such as the BNP, in an April 2008 article, “Spencer: ally of Charles Johnson,” I wrote:

For Spencer, any solicitude for white peoples as white peoples is by definition “white supremacism” which in turn is inseparable from Nazi genocide. For Spencer, there is and can be no such thing as concern for the white race that is not tending toward Auschwitz.

Second, what about Jawad’s demand that counterjihadists must have nothing to do with the EDL? As I pointed out last month, the EDL, far from being fascist, is excessively liberal:

The EDL explicitly disassociates itself from any concern about race. It also embraces England’s immigration-fueled diversity. It only opposes militant Islam. I can understand why they take this position. I don’t criticize them for taking it. But, as I see it, it’s an incoherent and ultimately unworkable position. The militant Muslims are in Britain because of Britain’s mass diverse immigration, and England finds itself incapable of opposing the militant Muslims because that would require acting against a “diverse” group. Diversity is both the problem, and the reason England is unable to do anything about the problem.

The EDL speakers say that England has a Christian culture and wants to keep it, but that non-Christians, brought to England via immigration, are welcome. But on that basis England won’t long continue having a Christian culture. When they speak this way, the EDL’ers sound like your standard American conservatives, caught unconsciously in the contradiction between believing in a particular culture, and believing in non-discriminatory openness to all law-abiding peoples of all cultures. If the nations of the West are to have a chance to survive, that contradiction must be faced and resolved.

Finally, what about Jawad’s demand that counterjihadists have nothing to do with Srjda Trifkovic (pronounced Serdya Trifkovitch), because of anti-Semitic positions he expressed at the Gottfried/Taki/Trifkovic so-called symposium at Alternative Right in July 2010? I wrote at the time:

To those who disagree with my view that the symposium is anti-Semitic, I would say that they are not seeing the three contributions as a totality, whether individually or together. Take Trifkovic. Someone said that Trifkovic is going after the secular Jewish left, such as the Frankfurt School, not Jews as such, and therefore he’s not saying that Jews as such are the enemy. In fact, Trifkovic also attacks Talmudic Judaism for its racialism, and he connects this criticism with the racialism of the state of Israel. A critic of Jews who treats Talmudic Judaism, the Frankfurt School, and the state of Israel as a single entity that is waging a war of “escalating ferocity” on the West, is a person who is treating the Jewish people as The Enemy.

Does this mean that Islam critics must have nothing to do with Trifkovic, for example, not citing his writings on Islam? I would say, provisionally, no. As discussed at length in the linked VFR thread, Trifkovic’s anti-Semitic statements at Alt-Right were shocking, because he had never said anything like this before. He does not have a career as an anti-Semite. He is not associated with anti-Semitism. It would be wrong to throw out the totality of Trifkovic’s important writings on Islam because of one anti-Semitic outburst. One could quote or cite Trifkovic on Islam, while simultaneously making it clear than one eschews his anti-Semitism. At the same time, if Trifkovic continues on the anti-Semitic path he embarked on last summer, he will obviously make it harder for non-anti-Semites to continue to associate with him.

Also, I promised last July a full length justification for my position that Trifkovic’s article was anti-Semitic. Because of health issues at the time, I never wrote it. Looking back at the July 2010 thread now, I’m not sure that such a detailed justification is needed, but it may be useful.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 08, 2011 05:58 PM | Send

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