Thursday, March 30, 2017
The key to the puzzle
The puzzle is, why is Robert Spencer soft on the problem of Islam (which is joined at the hip with the problem of Muslims)? Either he really is soft; or he's pretending to be soft; or he can't express himself coherently on this issue. Since the last option is highly unlikely, we are left with the first two. (A related puzzle is, why do his fans let him get away with this, without challenging him on it?)
Five pieces of this puzzle were examined in previous parts of this series (see the fifth installment for links to all five).
A decade or so in the past, back in 2006, Spencer made the mistake of actually getting embroiled in debates in the comments fields of Jihad Watch with his readers (at least those few who weren't deathly afraid of challenging him on his analysis of the problem of Islam, for fear of getting lynched by the group-think climate of the R.S.S.S. -- the Robert Spencer Sycophants Society), leaving a paper trail of his Counter-Jihad Mainstream soft spots on various aspects of that problem. Apparently, he wised up since then, and never does that anymore, and hasn't done that in years. His nougaty past has been so obscured by the passing years and by Spencer's more careful rhetoric, in fact, that a long-time regular of Jihad Watch comments, one "Mirren" was actually surprised a couple of years ago to read Spencer ever so evanescently formulate a fleeting glimpse of that softness (for more details on this, read Third piece of the puzzle...).
One such debate, back in 2006, revolved around whether or not the Counter-Jihad -- and Spencer in particular -- should man up and condemn Islam without prevarication. Spencer chose to wuss out and prevaricate, and to bristle when those same readers called him on it.
When one reader, "something about islam", intimated that Spencer was pulling his punches by not forthrightly condemning Islam, Spencer responded:
I am not pulling any punches at all. Religions are many things. Islam contains teachings that incite to violence. It also contains many other elements that do not incite to violence. That's why I am uncomfortable with flat, broad formulations.
The same reader responded, after quoting Spencer:
"That's why I am uncomfortable with flat, broad formulations."
...being uncomfortable with saying Islam is a bad religion, is not doing justice to your work. There is no other conclusion I, or anyone, can draw from this website, or other websites like it. Islam is corrupt ideology and it has made for a terrible religion with a terrible history.
Esmay wants you to deny that islam is a bad religion to make you look like a bad guy. You denied it. Or at least you denied ever saying it. I hope that one day you can come forward and not feel 'uncomfortable' with that claim.
Well, it's ten years later, with even more evidence than we already had back then (if that's conceivable) that Islam should be condemned lock, stock and barrel, the Whole Rotten Enchilada -- and yet Spencer still hasn't come out of the cautious closet on this.
Then I piped in (yeah, I was there ten years ago, beating my head against the wall like I am still), under my nickname at the time, "Television". Here's what I said at that juncture:
...if a group commanded its followers to rape and murder innocent old ladies, but that group also commanded its followers to bake cookies and distribute them to poor children and a thousand other nice things, the horrible evil of its command to rape and murder innocent old ladies would irrevocably tarnish all its nice commands, rendering the group subject to utter -- not equivocating -- condemnation.
One wonders, then, on what basis does Robert think that the nice aspects of Islam somehow have any shred of relevance to the question of the utter condemnation of Islam based upon its ethically horrible (not to mention its geopolitically dangerous) aspects?
Then a commenter who said his comment was the first time he had ever posted at Jihad Watch possted the beginning of what should have been a slam-dunk (if one ignores the unfortunate use of the term "Islamists"); but which, because of Spencer's surreal obstinacy on this issue, would go on for at least another month in various comments fields on Jihad Watch. Here is the comment of one "neverpayretail", addressing Spencer, which should have been the end of it:
Having represented myself in court I know there comes a time when (a) the opening remarks are in, (b) the evidence is in, and (c) closing remarks marking debate are made, and it is time for judgement by the trier of fact. I have seen where the judge has to call an end to the closing remarks because the two sides resort to endless back-and-forth repetition.
Concerning Islam, we have a wealth of evidence in 14 centuries of history driven by Islamic texts interpreted in consistent straightforward fashion by Islamists over that time period. I see the current "debate" over the nature of Islam and its reformability as endless back-and-forth repetition. I continue to follow it, but the conclusion is obvious. I find Islam to be irreconcileable to my American freedoms as well as my Christian faith. I find Islam to be non-reformable. I find rejection of Islam to be the only intelligent option for all people concerned about peace and freedom. As a judge or jury needs not anyone's approval for their decision, I need not anyone's approval for mine.
Now my question: how much longer must this go on before YOU are convinced, how much more evidence is needed, how many more must be enslaved or killed, etc, before you realize that there comes a time for judgement to be made, make it, and state it without apology to anyone?
And, in another JW comments thread back then, the same commenter reiterated his point, I believe for the last time:
Like Nazism, Islam is evil from its very founding 1400 years ago. The evidence is in. The case is made. Mr. Spencer of all people should know that. It is weakness, not strength, to refuse to make the obvious judgment that your own research supports, and the opposition knows it. So, the opposition claims he has made judgment that Islam is evil as if such a conclusion is bad, and he denies it. This only makes it difficult in future to FINALLY make the judgment, exactly what the opposition wants - pure manipulation. We should "wise up".