Friday, December 09, 2011
Spencer does a Bostom on Chesler?
Sometimes, due to the apparent rules of the Gentlemen's Club in the Anti-Islam Movement (sorry, I meant the "Anti-Jihad Movement"), we peon civilians rarely find out about major rifts between the great moving-and-shaking and jet-setting luminaries who informally lead our Movement-That's-Not-Yet-A-Movement -- rifts in which we have a stake, because they could adversely affect the effectiveness of our collective concern to try to wake up the West to the dangers of Islam -- until suddenly we see odd little signs indicating them.
One of them caught my attention this morning, on browsing through Jihad Watch (which I still do with my morning coffee, since Spencer's reportorial excellence through his site's ticker-tape amassment of the mountain of data about the pathology of Muslims remains among the best on the Net, even though he and his editor Marisol banned me unfairly over a year ago from participating in its community of commenters).
So, in an editorial introduction to a story about a Canadian feminist unsurprisingly supporting the outrageously anti-liberal and anti-feminist values of Islamic culture, Spencer details meticulously his own contributions to this important subtopic, which could be seen as a subcategory of PC MC -- namely, the systemic failure (with exceptions that prove the rule) of Western feminists to condemn Islam as they should, given their own liberal values and the monstrous repudiation those values confront in Islamic culture.
As I read along in Spencer's adumbration of one article after another which either he had written by himself, or had written in collaboration with others, the back of my mind began wondering if he would mention the major article on this subject which he wrote a few years ago with Phyllis Chesler.
Finally, at the end of his list, he did indeed mention it. But, damned if Spencer didn't pull a Bostom again.
There was one exceedingly odd detail about this particular mention, compared with all the other mentions: He failed to name his co-author. In every other article he lists, he meticulously mentions each co-author. Then, suddenly, on the Chesler article, his wording suddenly becomes strangely detached:
I also coauthored the monograph "The Violent Oppression of Women in Islam" (available as a pdf here).
This omission is curious for two reasons:
1) It comes after a list of other related articles where he didn't omit the names of any other co-authors but rather took the trouble to detail their names each time;
2) The name he is omitting, Phyllis Chesler, in that one particular item, is arguably the single most important person and activist in this field of calling attention to the failure of Western feminism in its response to the treatment of women in Islamic culture.
This reminds the reader of another time when Spencer began seeing fit to omit and neglect the name of another major figure in another important subcategory of the overall problem of Islam -- namely, the issue of anti-Semitism in Islam: that major figure being Andrew Bostom, who edited perhaps the single most important compendium to date on the subject.
It's none of my business, generally speaking, if Spencer has a petulant spat with some friend or colleague; but such pettiness does become my business -- and the business of all of us who are concerned about the dangers of Islam -- when that spat impinges on the optimum effectiveness of the anti-Islam movement, and when the spatter (or spattee) is making money off of me through his anti-Islam (sorry, "anti-Jihad") activities (I purchased one of Spencer's books, and by clicking on Jihad Watch numerous times a day 365 days a year for seven years, I contribute my small part to his fame).
Cracks in the Gentlemen's Club: The Bostom Incident
Robert Spencer slights Bostom again: Roland Shirk got the memo
No need for censorship, when you have self-censorship