Last Thursday, Alan Dershowitz offered in the Jerusalem Post “a thought experiment” that he presented as the obverse of the Brett Kavanaugh controversy: “President Hillary Clinton nominates the first Muslim American to the Supreme Court. Let’s call him Amir Hassan. Republicans oppose him and accuse him of being a judicial activist. Then several witnesses place him at a mosque at which terrorism was advocated. He claims he went there to hear all sides of the issue. One witness places him in a terrorism training camp but that account is not corroborated. One final witness identifies him as the man who planted the bomb that blew off his leg at a demonstration. He categorically denies any association with terrorism.”
In such a case, Dershowitz argues, the Left would be rushing to defend “Amir Hassan” and call for evidence, while conservatives, he claims, would be insisting that we must “believe terrorism survivors.”
But is this really true?
Of his hypothetical Amir Hassan, Dershowitz writes: “One witness places him in a terrorism training camp but that account is not corroborated. One final witness identifies him as the man who planted the bomb that blew off his leg at a demonstration.” This is supposed to be analogous to Brett Kavanaugh’s situation, but the analogy is not exact, because no witnesses ever placed Kavanaugh at any place where crimes were being committed or advocated.
Dershowitz claims that in his hypothetical scenario, “the identity politics accusations would not be directed against old white men, but rather against those who would stereotype Muslims as terrorists. The Jewish Forward would not be featuring an article entitled ‘Is Amir Hassan every Muslim man?’ as it is now featuring an article entitled ‘Is Brett Kavanaugh every American man?’“ That’s patently absurd, as the Jewish Forward is a far-Left, pro-jihad publication that would never publish anything remotely critical of jihad terror or Sharia oppression.
Dershowitz digs even deeper: “Many right-wing Republicans would now be making arguments similar to those being made by their left-wing Democratic colleagues in the Kavanaugh case. This is just a job interview, not a trial. Believe terrorism survivors. There is no burden of proof; mere suspicion is enough to deny a possible terrorist a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. Look how angry he is, demonstrating a lack of judicial temperament.”
That’s ridiculous on its face. Whatever the context, accusations without evidence are worthless. If Amir Hassan had been acquitted of the charges against him, then that would be that. If no charges had been brought and these allegations were new, they would have to be investigated, and are quite different from 30-plus-year-old allegations with no witnesses: the fellow who claimed that Amir Hassan blew his leg off could be refuted by surveillance video, which is virtually everywhere nowadays. Dershowitz also doesn’t even consider important questions that would revolve around Amir Hassan’s adherence to Sharia, which denies the freedom of speech, the equality of rights before the law, and other core American principles.
Dershowitz is absolutely right that if President Hillary Clinton had appointed a Muslim judge, the Democrat Party would be fiercely defending him no matter what was ultimately revealed about his ties to jihad terrorism. But his claim that Republicans are quick to condemn innocent Muslims as terrorists reflects that Dershowitz is still very much a man of the Left, a faithful adherent of the Left’s dogma that all Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people who have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism, and that “Islamophobia” is much more of a problem in American society than jihad terror. This assumption is supported by absolutely no evidence, although there are attempts to buttress it with the veneer of misleading and inaccurate “evidence.”
Alan Dershowitz doesn’t know the first thing about the nature of Islam or the magnitude of the jihad threat. A few years ago, I was on a radio show following Dershowitz, and the producer called me a bit early, while Dershowitz and the host were still conversing. I could hear them while I was on hold waiting to go on, and heard the host announce that I would be coming on right after a break. Hearing my name, Dershowitz began nervously to repeat Leftist dogmas about Islam being a religion of peace and how important it was to avoid “Islamophobia.” Unfortunately, by the time I got on the show, he was gone; I would have loved an opportunity to debate him.
Dershowitz, so clear-sighted on Israel, remains on the issue of the global jihad a doctrinaire, unthinking Leftist.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His new book is The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.