TORONTO — Here are a few items you may have missed if your sole source of international news was the mainstream media.
In Tunisia, a France-based imam known for promoting Jewish-Muslim relations was assaulted and called a Zionist. In the United States, the Syrian Electronic Army hacked into an U.S. Marine Corps website and argued Americans should not take Al Qaeda’s side in its war with Syria. And and in Texas, legislators proposed a bill that would recognize Nidal Hasan’s Fort Hood victims as casualties in a war, and not, as the Obama administration has asserted, victims of workplace violence.
The items appeared on Jihad Watch, a website operated by Robert Spencer as a program of the California-based David Horowitz Freedom Center. Spencer is author of a dozen books, among them two New York Times bestsellers, The Truth About Muhammad and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).
“The [mainstream media] has shown a general unwillingness to discuss the motives and goals of jihad attacks,” Spencer said in an email interview with The CJN. “The Society of Professional Journalists has guidelines instructing journalists to dissociate Islam and jihad from stories about Muslim terrorists. This creates a peculiar and pervasive unreality.”
Spencer started the website in October 2003, “because I was looking for a central location for jihad news and commentary. I didn’t find it, so I started it myself.”
He will be in Toronto on Sept. 17 at The Hilton Toronto/Markham Conference Centre and Spa along with blogger Pamela Geller. They’re being brought to Toronto by the Jewish Defence League (JDL) of Canada.
The hotel announced last month that it would not rescind the booking, despite receiving a letter from the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) – formerly the Canadian branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) – that called Geller and Spencer “notorious xenophobic activists.”
Spencer and Geller are co-sponsors of Stop Islamization of America and the Freedom Defense Initiative. Both have been called Islamophobes, a label he rejects. There is even a website, Spencer Watch, dedicated to “exposing” him, questioning his credentials and calling Horowitz “a prolific builder of far right institutions and organizations.”
“Government and media are complacent in the face of a growing jihadist threat and are far more concerned with stopping phantom ‘Islamophobia’ than with protecting the freedoms of their citizens and preventing the next jihad attack,” said Spencer. “Hence the demonization of those resisting jihad terror.”
One example cited by Spencer was the Boston Marathon bombing and the failure of the “politically correct FBI… to evaluate properly intelligence it received from Russia on Tamerlan Tsarnaev. They said he was a jihadi, but the FBI is forbidden to study what exactly that means. So they gave Tsarnaev a pass.”
The Obama administration’s record in addressing radical Islam is “abysmal,” he continued. “Obama mandated the scrubbing of U.S. government counter-terror training material of all mention of Islam and jihad in connection with terrorism in 2011. I doubt the Canadian government is this wilfully ignorant, but it is unlikely to be significantly better.”
Spencer agreed with the premise there’s an agenda of “creeping sharia” at play in which Islamic norms are being insinuated into western societies.
“The Muslim Brotherhood stated in a captured internal document that its work in the United States was a ‘kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying western civilization from within’ so that ‘Allah’s religion is victorious over other religions.’ That’s not an agenda of creeping sharia?” he asked.
Spencer said when human rights commissions in British Columbia and Alberta agreed to hear complaints by Muslim groups against journalists Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant, the “commissions were, wittingly or unwittingly, pursuing an agenda of placing criticism of Islam beyond the pale of acceptable discourse.”
Asked whether he agreed with U.S. Mideast analyst Daniel Pipes’ formulation that “radical Islam is the problem and moderate Islam is the solution,” Spencer replied: “If moderate Islam existed, it would be the solution.
“Right now, while there are many moderate Muslims, there is no mainstream sect or school of Islamic law that teaches that non-Muslims and Muslims should live together peacefully as legal equals in a secular society, or that women should have equal rights with men, or that apostates from Islam have a right to live. Until such a mainstream sect or school emerges, moderate Islam cannot be the solution because it does not exist.”
In opposing “Jihad violence and Islamic supremacism,” Spencer said he is defending U.S. constitutional freedoms and the principles of human rights delineated in the UN Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.”