_Editor’s note: Below are the video and transcript to the panel discussion “Jihad on the Offensive,” which took place at the Freedom Center’s 2015 West Coast Retreat. The event was held March 6-8 in Palos Verdes, CA. The panel was moderated by Jamie Glazov and joined by Raymond Ibrahim, Robert Spencer and Bruce Thornton.
Jamie Glazov: Okay, ladies and gentlemen. Jihad on the offensive. Let’s get right to it because the wise men on our panel have a lot of more intelligent things to say than I do. I think I would just like to say first of all on a personal note in these dire and frightening times, with all jokes aside, it is such an honor to be with three really brave truth tellers, so even before we start let’s give them a hand, ladies and gentlemen.
And starting in the left corner, Robert Spencer, the director of Jihad Watch and author of two New York Times best sellers, “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)” and “The Truth About Mohammad.” His latest book is “Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We’re In,” and he’s a former trainer to the FBI and U.S. military, and perhaps today he’ll talk a little bit about the tragedy of the fact that it’s curious individuals now who are teaching the FBI and U.S. military instead of a person like him.
And in the middle, a former bodybuilding champion. Am I correct, Raymond? He might even show us a picture of his former sculpted self or still-sculpted self. Raymond Ibrahim, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. And our Shillman Fellowship has made Front Page the great success that it is, and Bob Shillman, thank you once again for everything that you’ve done for Front Page. He is a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and Raymond is also a CBN news contributor, and he is the author of “Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians” and the Al Qaeda Reader, and he’s also fluent in Arabic and can translate, and this is a great strength and contribution to us, because as we know we’re often accused of not knowing the real Arabic when it comes to the Qur’an.
And last but not least, the man, the myth, and the legend, Bruce Thornton. He is also a Freedom Center Shillman Fellow and a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor of classics and humanities at the California State University. His latest book is “Democracy’s Dangers and Discontents: The Tyranny of the Majority from Athens to Obama.” Let’s give them a hand, ladies and gentlemen.
So gentlemen, our panel this morning, not this evening, is jihad on the offensive, I’d like to start with Raymond Ibrahim. You gave me nudge last night saying there’s something really on your mind lately. Let’s begin with that, because I think that’s an excellent way to begin. The accusation, I think to the best of my memory, about truth tellers about Islam being conflated with haters of Muslims.
Raymond Ibrahim: Right.
Jamie Glazov: Let us begin with that and the slander that that represents and perhaps how we need to fight that.
Raymond Ibrahim: Sure, thanks, Jamie. The point that I’d like to bring forward is there’s a number of apologetics, if you want to use that word, that are offered whenever the topic of Islam comes up, radical Islam, violence, etc., etc., and I think it’s always important to try to show the flaws of these because some of them are immensely popular. One of them, for example, is the whole, well, the Qur’an has violence. Well, so does the Bible, the Jewish scriptures, Old Testament. Revelation has an apocalyptic scenario, violence, etc., etc., and I’ve addressed that a lot of times, and I think many of you may be familiar with the proper response to that, but what I’d like to discuss now is it seems almost every time you talk about radical Islam, Jihadism, etc., etc., whether you want to put the word radical in there or not is irrelevant. I do it because you just get used to it, but Islam, Islamic violence and all this sort of thing, the immediate response that you’ll often get, and many of you, I’m sure, if you have this debate with people, is well, you know what? The majority of the Muslims around the world are not doing this, and the Muslim I know down here doesn’t do this, and so it becomes this idea that because Muslims, perhaps the majority, are not engaged in Jihad, therefore that is not the correct understanding.
So I actually have an analogy that I could offer, which is basically Nazism, or Nazi Germany and so forth. Nazism I think today of course we can all look back and say was a very bad ideology, and it’s something that everyone would have to condemn, of course, unless you are a Nazi still, but your average person, of course, we have no problem going up publicly and saying it’s a terrible ideology and so forth, but we also know from a historical point of view that when you go back in the Nazi era there were Germans who were self-proclaimed Nazis and who were not so bad. For example, the movie Schindler’s List and so forth. These were people who were Nazis who sympathized perhaps with the regime and whatnot, but they did good things and they didn’t do bad things. They weren’t, for example, all about trying to burn people in the Holocaust and so forth. They would reject that, so my point is yes, you will always have these people who do good or do not do the teachings that are bad, to stick with the Nazi analogy, but it’s always, as you would know, this is a reflection not of Nazism. It’s a reflection of them. In other words, they were this way in spite of Nazis, not because they were practicing a moderate form of Nazism.
And it’s this sort of paradigm that I would like to see transferred over to the Muslim debate, whereby we can say that Islam is what it is. It is an ideology. It does call for warfare, subjugation of the non-Muslim, imperialism, all sorts of things that we see. Yes, that is Islam. Now that does not mean, of course, every single Muslim is doing that, but that’s not a reflection of some good kind of Islam, and I think when you understand that, you start to realize, well, you’re not condemning 1.5 billion people, as the number’s often given, but you do need to understand that the ideology itself can be condemned, and I think we should be able to condemn this ideology, and we’re not talking about the people. Sure, there’s the Muslims who follow this ideology. These are the bad guys who are known as Islamists and so forth. There’s the Muslims that may not follow it, but then that’s not because they’re following anything else. It’s just they happen to be nominal Muslims and some of them are good people, so I bring this up again, because this is the No. 1 kind of pushback I get whenever I talk about the Islam question. What about the real Muslims? You’re just talking theory. Look at all the millions who don’t do this.
So I think it’s important, based on what we were talking about, Jamie and I, to make this strong distinction. It’s okay for us to condemn an ideology because it is what it is, black and white, violence and so forth, but that’s not saying every single guy that is born – think about how many Muslims are just born into it. They don’t even know their religion and they can’t leave it because of the apostasy penalty and so forth, but these people should never represent to us the true Islam. They’re just the nominals, kind of like the Germans under Nazi era who didn’t do the sorts of things – so that was basically the point I thought would be good to make.
Jamie Glazov: Thank you, Raymond, and let’s go to Bruce. Your thoughts on Raymond’s wise word?
Bruce Thornton: No, I think he’s right, and I think you could also look at another analogy, and this I found in Natan Sharansky’s book, and I never remember the title of it. It’s the one that George Bush carried around. ”Case for Democracy.” Thank you, and you may remember he talked about there were the true believers. On the other side were the activists, dissidents actively working against it, and the vast middle were what he called double thinkers. They didn’t work against or reject the doctrine, and I think you have something, and like I said, very careful with this analogy, but as Raymond said, you have millions, hundreds of millions perhaps of Muslims who will never put on a suicide vest, who will not make the journey to northern Iraq to actually fight, will not become a member of a cell, but they believe in the same doctrines that those who will do those things believe in, and that’s the point.
Secondly, they don’t actively resist those who are committing terror because they know those people have the better case, and what we fantasize, not we, they, about moderate Muslims is they know that an Al Qaeda, Zawahiri, all these guys, they can cite chapter, verse, Qur’an, Hadi, 14 centuries of commentary on these, and they know they have an argument, and a moderate Muslim does not have an argument against that, because an argument against that is an argument against the religion totally, and they’re not going to do that.
The second point, very quickly, when you look at it from that perspective, you realize then that most of the trouble comes from the hardcore. Now, our problem is we don’t know how large that is out of 1.5 billion Muslims. It doesn’t have to be huge, does it? Because 10 percent of that is 150 million Muslims, so whether it’s a majority or a minority, if we trust pew polls, which consistently show high levels of support for things like Sharia Law, etc. it might be bigger than that, and it puts me in mind of something that William Sherman said during the Civil War. Sherman had lived in the south and was living in the south when the war broke out, so he knew the southern people, and at some point in a letter he said there are 300,000 southerners that you’re going to have to kill. Right? There’s nothing that’s going to get them to change their mind. You’re not going to convert them by argument. You’re not going to bribe them. There’s no inducement you have. He said they’re good riders, good fighters. They’re brave men. They have to die. When they die, then the others who may agree with them and their principles will give up, and I think we have something of the same today, only I think the proportion would be much higher in terms of the Muslim world.
And just let me finish with a melancholy fact of history is that when you have two different ideologies, whether religious or the slaveocracy ideology, race based or whatever it is, or Nazism versus liberal democracy, or Communism versus liberal democracy, those kinds of disputes are not settled through negotiation. They’re not settled through finding common ground. They’re only settled by force. They only are settled by killing lots and lots of people until you killed enough to where they will give up. That’s how World War II was fought. The only reason that the war of Communism didn’t follow that pattern is because there was a mutually assured destruction, and both sides had an interest in not settling it that way, but Communism was an atheist ideology in which there is only this world. Iran has a particular brand of Islam that is messianic and apocalyptic, and we can sit here and wonder whether they really don’t believe in what they say they believe in, but we should have learned from our experience in the ‘30s when every atrocity that Hitler and the Nazis ended up doing was all laid out in “Mein Kampf” and then was repeated during the early ‘30s at the party rallies in Nuremburg and nobody took it seriously. Said well, they don’t really mean that. I think it’s the idea that when they say, particularly if you’re Israel, if they say we want to wipe you off the map, you better believe they want to wipe you off the map, and then you’d better do something about it.
Jamie Glazov:Thank you so much, Bruce. Robert?
Robert Spencer: Well, I hate to bring bad news, but that’s really all I do, actually. The fact is people have been asking me yesterday and today, as well as at pretty much everywhere that I speak, what can we do to encourage the moderates? And I’ve got to tell you that there are moderate Muslims but there is no moderate Islam. That is an unpleasant fact, but it is a fact, and I’ll explain. Now, moderate Muslims, people usually assume that that means Muslims who believe different things from the Jihadis, that they don’t believe that it is part of their religious responsibility to wage war against unbelievers. They don’t believe that they should hate Jews and kill them. They don’t believe that they should subjugate women and non-Muslims as inferiors in the society under an institutionalized system of discrimination and harassment. There is actually no such Islam.
People talk in the West, and they take advantage of our ignorance about Islam to mislead people into complacency. I’ll give you an example. There is a 512-page Fatwa against terrorism by Pakistani Islamic theologian named Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, and about five or ten times a day Muslims write to me and they say you say Islam is not a religion of peace. You should read Tahir-ul-Qadri, so I did, and luckily it’s the wonders of the Internet age. I was able to get a PDF and search it, and so what I did was I searched it for the Qur’an passages that exhort Muslims to commit violence and wage war against unbelievers, because if he’s really going to be presenting an alternative form of Islam then it would be just common sensical, would it not, for him to take up those passages and explain why Muslims should not take them as marching orders today, and I searched for Chapter 9, Verse 5, slay them wherever you find them, Chapter 4, Verse 89, slay them wherever you find them, Chapter 2 Verse 191, slay them wherever you find them, Chapter 9, Verse 29, fight against the Jews and the Christians until they are subjugated and pay the tax, Chapter 47, Verse 4, when you meet the unbelievers strike at their necks; behead them, and others of that kind. 512 pages he never mentioned any of those verses.
Now, do you understand the implications of that? This is supposed to be a piece saying that terrorism is wrong and Muslims should not engage in it and he never addressed any of the justifications that the Jihad terrorists use to show that what they’re doing is Islamically correct. That’s not a reformed kind of Islam. That’s not a moderate Islam. That’s a big extensive elaborate effort to deceive unbelievers and make us ignorant and complacent about the Jihad threat. You cannot reform something, you cannot fix a problem without acknowledging that there’s a problem, you see, and there is no moderate Islam. There is no version of Islam that does not teach warfare against unbelievers and their subjugation. It’s just like this. This does not mean, as Raymond and Bruce were saying, that all Muslims are doing this or all Muslims are even onboard with this.
But it’s just like in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church teaches as part of its official teaching from the Pope and so on, contraception is wrong, contraception is immoral. Don’t contracept. Survey after survey shows that 70, 80, 90 percent of Catholics use contraception. Now, we would be absolutely wrong, incorrect, to say that oh, that means that the church doesn’t really teach that contraception is wrong. It really does. It’s just that most Catholics don’t pay attention. Islam really teaches warfare against unbelievers. A lot of Muslims don’t pay attention. That’s just great. The problem is they have no theological leg to stand on in Islam and therefore, when they’re challenged by the Jihadis, and even when their children are recruited by the Jihadis, they don’t have any answer. The thing is, people have a lot of influences in their lives. Many of you have a religion, but you also have other perspectives, other priorities, other beliefs, and all of these things are complicated in everybody’s heart and soul and mind so that you have a spectrum of belief and knowledge and fervor. Some people are very knowledgeable and very devout, whatever their religion may be, and some people bear the name of the religion but they couldn’t care less, or they don’t know, or they’re just more interested in something else. That’s what moderate Muslims really are. They are people who just want to live their lives.
If you talk about Muslims who are aware that the Qur’an and the example of Muhammad and Islamic law all teach warfare and conquest and subjugation of unbelievers and who reject that and who say that must not be done, you’re talking about maybe 5 or 10 people. I mean worldwide, out of 1.6 billion. Zuhdi Jasser and his friends. If you want to talk about actual Muslim reformers, it is exactly that way, but if you want to talk about Muslims who just aren’t going to take up arms against us at any time, well that’s millions upon millions of people. The problem is when the chips are down where will they side? They will side with the Muslims who are waging war. That is where their allegiance is. They probably won’t do anything, but to base our foreign policy and our domestic policy, our immigration policy, to base the future of our nation, to base our children’s lives on the idea that the vast majority of Muslims don’t want to do this, don’t care about Jihad and conquest and subjugation and that somehow some large group of Muslims who are moderates are going to rise up and fight against the Jihadis and stop them, that is not only foolish, that is suicide.
Jamie Glazov: Thank you so much. Gentlemen, I have several questions, so please now in the next few rounds a little bit briefer answers, but just as wise, please. But I have a feeling that before my new questions, the wise men want to follow up a little bit, so let’s start with Raymond. Briefly, please.
Raymond Ibrahim: Sure. To go back to the moderate radical dichotomy that we believe exists, one thing that I’ve also noticed, because I follow very much the Arab media and the Arabic world and see what’s going on there, I’ve often found that the moderate Muslims, to use that word, who are actually having an influence, whose lives are in danger, are the ones that you probably never hear of. These are the ones who are actually in the Middle East, in Egypt, in El Azhar, and so forth. I’m not trying to exonerate El Azhar, because it’s full of its own problems, but I’ve seen and I’ve heard some of these sheikhs and they talk, and my point is this is really where the debate is. It’s there, and these moderates who you don’t know about are the ones who are sort of in the thick of it.
Now, the reason I bring that up is because the flip side of that is the moderates in America, I think, are not only ineffective in the bigger debate of the Islamic world. They actually have the potential to basically lower the West’s guard because what they are, the moderates in America are A) completely discounted in the Islamic world. They never even hear of them, the people who are living in the Middle East, and if they do hear of them they just see them as, okay, these are just American-washed, if you will, or Western-washed Muslims doing whatever they have to do to make a buck, and in the end it even helps the Islamic world’s image, the moderates and the so-called moderates in America who do this, and then the audience of the moderate Muslims in America, it’s not Muslims. It’s us, and that’s the danger, because then so many people in America, they listen to these moderates. It sounds good. The moderates offer sort of a Western paradigm that is very palatable to Western sensibilities, and it sounds great, and then we start believing okay, there’s hope. It’s going to change, etc., etc. Meanwhile, these guys have zero influence on the real debate over there, and so I think there’s a little bit of danger in the so-called moderate Muslims, and I’m not doubting their sincerity or whatever the case may be. I just know for a fact these guys count for almost nothing there, and that’s where it’s at. This is where the world of Islam is. This is where the debate is going on. It’s not here and yet they’re here talking to us when they should be over there talking to them, and then too many of us start listening to them, and I think that’s just something to be cognizant of and aware.
Jamie Glazov: Thank you, Raymond. Bruce?
Bruce Thornton: A couple points. One, something Robert said is, remember that when a radical Muslim condemns terrorism, in his mind is not what’s the same thing in our mind, and the real experts at this over the years has been the PLO that we have retooled as the PA, the Palestinian Authority after Oslo. It’s the PLO, and it’s Fatah. It’s the terrorist organization. So yeah, of course we condemn terrorism. They mean Israeli police shooting rubber bullets at rock-throwing urchins. Right? What Muslims do is not terrorism in their mind. It’s an Orwellian use of language so that they can say of course we condemn terrorism. Terrorism is wrong, but in their mind it’s not terrorism, and many in the West have gone along with that and have said oh, no, that’s national resistance, and look at the history of Protocol I through the Geneva Convention, which Ronald Reagan was smart enough not to sign, but I think Obama has de facto ratified, that with the Palestinians in mind said the rule about having to wear uniforms to be subject to Geneva Conventions doesn’t count for people who are in fights of national resistance, resistant movements. We’re going to exclude them. And you look at the history of that. That was the Soviet Union behind that with an eye on the PLO so that they would get the Geneva Convention rights that by law they don’t deserve, and again, Ray, I think is completely right.
But let me really quickly, I remember being at a discussion like this a few years ago and there was somebody from the Netherlands, and I feel bad, I don’t remember his name and I don’t think you can help me on this one. If you do I’m gonna be amazed. But somebody came up, a kind of semi-apologist, and he was making the argument that Ray was talking about Muslims make, and I remember his first name was Bart, and Bart said that’s kind of interesting. All I want is for them to behave. In other words, I don’t care what their little theological debates are about this verse and that verse. Our only concern should be what advances the security and interests of this country and its allies, and we should not try to get into these debates about the nature of Islam. It’s simply just behave and then you guys sort it out. It’s your business, and if you can’t sort it out then there will be consequences.
Jamie Glazov: Thank you. I really want to get to some questions, but Robert, go ahead, some final thoughts on this round.
Robert Spencer: Well, Bruce mentioned condemnations, and so a lot of people might have been thinking when I was saying there’s no moderate Islam, well, all these Muslim groups that have been condemning the Islamic State left and right and saying it’s not Islamic and all these Muslim leaders all over the place, so this needs to be addressed. In the first place, the Muslim groups in the United States are universally, all the major ones, the Muslim Brotherhood groups. The Muslim Brotherhood sees the Islamic State as a competitor. The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in order to restore the Caliphate. They had their best chance with the Morsi regime in Egypt. They blew it, but then this other group, this upstart Al Qaeda group, starts a Caliphate and stole their thunder, so of course they condemn the Islamic State because they’re competitors with it, not because they are in principle against what the Islamic State is doing, and of course a lot of this is just plainly deceptive. The most ironic and stupid thing about – well, there’s so many competitors, I shouldn’t say the most ironic and stupid thing about U.S. policy – but a very stupid thing about U.S. policy is the constant refrain that people say we can’t call these people Islamic because that will just dignify them and that will get them more supporters in the Islamic world. Well, the news is, Muslims don’t care what non-Muslims think about Islam. In the Qur’an non-Muslims are called the most vile of created beings and likened to cattle, and the Muslims are called the best of people in the world. Do you think that the best of people in the world are going to listen to Barack Obama? Say that I’m a Muslim and I’m thinking maybe I should go to Iraq and join the Islamic State. Oh, but then John Kerry said they weren’t Islamic. I guess I’d better not. It’s wildly absurd.
Jamie Glazov: Thank you. Gentlemen, I just, and I’m sorry to repeat this, but let’s now try to make this a little bit more of a one or two-minute chat for each person because I want to get to some stuff. I’m very interested in denial in general. For instance, in my life being from the former Soviet Union, I was very interested in this psychology. The Rosenbergs and Alger Hiss were innocent, innocent, innocent, innocent. You argue, argue, argue, argue. Finally you prove they’re guilty and then the leftist says, but at least they didn’t snitch. And there’s somewhere where the discussion is never really about the discussion, so I want to ask you something.
Let’s just begin with this in terms of the Islamic side. For instance, I’m down on Third Street Promenade often doing some public outreach with the Counter Jihad Coalition and will debate with Muslims. The exchanges are usually very interesting because there’s a lot of denial, and I get physically threatened. But let me ask this. As a Christian, for instance, I kind of more or less know what’s in the New Testament, what’s in the Old Testament. If I’m arguing with somebody I don’t say, oh, that’s not in there, because if somebody mentions what Matthew, Luke such and such is, it’s there. Can you just briefly touch on this construct of, you don’t know Arabic. Then when you show them the Arabic translation you’re taking it out of context, but they also seem, a lot of the Muslims that I have exchanges with, they don’t know what’s in the Hadith and the Qur’an or they pretend they don’t know. What is this all about, because in the end, for instance, I’ve had such long arguments and in the end I usually get something like how much are they paying you? Or you don’t need to read Qur’an. You know? It always ends up to be about something else. What’s going on? Let’s start with Raymond.
Raymond Ibrahim: Sure, Jamie. That’s a good question. A lot of people, for example, are not familiar with, when it comes to Islam you’re supposed to recite the Qur’an in the Arabic, and the majority of Muslims in the world are not Arabic speakers, so a big chunk of these people are just parroting and reciting words that they have no idea what it means. The concept and what you discussed too about the Hadith and these other sacred scriptures are also accessible now via Internet as opposed to earlier times, but again, a lot of people don’t know, but the one fact that you know is that the more a person or a Muslim becomes learned in Islamic lore and teaching, the more they read it in the Arabic and they understand what’s going on, the more they become pious, they become Islamic supremacists, terrorists, Jihadis, all the bad things that we’re talking about, and this is an undeniable fact.
I was reading a recent study that said, and this is common sense, but of course nowadays we always need a study to help us understand common sense, but the study basically said that something like 99.9 percent of all Muslims who join Islamic Jihadi groups became very pious in the years before. Surprise! But that’s the whole point, and why is that? Because if you look at the text, if you read it, all of this stuff is there, and a good point to remember, and it’s ironic. We always talk about, for example, you know the defamation laws. I’ll be very brief. The defamation where OIC and the Islamic organizations want to ban insulting religions and so forth, and it’s amazing to me because what they’re talking about is a guy in the West who draws a cartoon, writes a book, etc., and that leads to chaos, mayhem, death, murder, slaughter, etc., but if you look at the core text of Islam, they defame every other religion in unequivocal terms, more than any of the cartoons that you see. Christianity is condemned by name. The Trinity is condemned. Judaism is condemned by name, and then the pagans, which of course is the umbrella group for Hindus, Buddhists and so forth, and it’s ironic, so here you have the core text of a whole religion that constantly defames and incites violence and yet we’re worried about cartoons that are by individuals who represent only themselves and here you have the core text, and so it may surprise you to learn, and I think this is a good move, that in places, for example, like in Russia they’re actually banning some of the core, key texts of Islam, such as Sahih Bukhari, which is seen as the second most important book in Islam, right after the Qur’an, and their logic is simple. It incites violence. It incites supremacism. I think that’s a legitimate concern. I think if we ban books because of those reasons, because they do incite terrorism and so forth, you should start right there with the Qur’an and all of Islam’s core texts.
Jamie Glazov: Bruce?
Bruce Thornton: Yeah, I don’t know, you know, the scenario you’re describing of the individuals. I would guess that, I think as Ray said, a lot of these people really don’t know because when they do know and they know the truth of what Islam teaches and, as he says, they start taking it seriously. Now, I can use an analogy up in the valley at the university I teach at, Fresno, we have more kids who are practicing Christians. Okay? But if you start to quiz them on the theology of Christianity, which is 2,000 years of extremely sophisticated, complex thinking about the doctrines of Christianity, they don’t have a clue. They don’t have a clue, and I imagine the same must be true for many Muslims, but here’s the difference. What they do know about Christianity is the Good Samaritan, Jesus died for your sins, do unto others as you’d have them do unto you, so you could get by on that and it’s a very positive message basically of love. That’s not the case in Islam, and the key I think that Raymond puts his finger on is supremacy. They are supremacists. They are the best of nations created for the benefit of all mankind. It is their destiny to rule the world because of what they believe would make a better world for everybody, and if they don’t know anything, they will have inherited that sense of innate superiority, and that I think is the problem. You’re not going to argue them out of that. You’re going to have to knock it out of them the way the slaveocracy of cavaliers and slave owners, plantation owners, the minority of all the southerners at the time had to have that humiliation of Sherman’s march through Georgia to sort of get their minds right.
Jamie Glazov: Thank you, Bruce. Robert?
Robert Spencer: The extent of the ignorance among Muslims of the actual teachings of the Qur’an and Muhammad cannot be overstated. It really is quite extensive because, as Raymond noted, you have to pray in Arabic and most Muslims today are not Arabs and anyway, it’s 7th century classical Arabic, which is not quite modern standard Arabic either, so it’s very remote from something that you actually just read and understand. I was talking to a Pakistani Muslim a few years ago and he said I’m very proud of my religion and I’ve memorized almost all of the Qur’an, and one day I intend to get one of those translations and find out what it means.
One other thing, though. It has to also be noted very quickly that what Jamie’s talking about also involves deception. The Qur’an says don’t take unbelievers as your friends and protectors in preference to believers unless you’re doing it to guard yourself against them, and the great Qur’an commentator Ibn Khathir from the Middle Ages whose work is still widely read today and widely cited among Muslims, commentary on the Qur’an. On that verse he quotes one of Muhammad’s early companions saying this means we smile in the faces of some people and behind their backs we curse them and it’s permitted to deceive unbelievers for the benefit of Islam. That’s what he’s encountering to a tremendous degree when Muslims just flatly deny to your face that what is on the page is there.
Jamie Glazov: Thank you. Please, under 60 seconds please, but I just want to narrow in on three things that I constantly encounter and just want your insight on the psychology of it. What is the psychology here, because I get this 30 times an evening on Third Street. We have a poster and it has ISIS beheading a person and there’s some quotes from the Qur’an that justify it, and the Muslim says to me this is not Islam. There’s four, five exchanges and he starts walking away and goes if this is still here when I get back … Right? So under 60 seconds please, what is the psychology of that, because we can laugh but this is actually real and I’m actually fascinated with this psychology that stops saying that Islam is not peaceful. If you don’t stop I’ll kill you. What is the psychology? Under 60 seconds, please. Bruce?
Oh, no, Raymond. Go ahead.
Raymond Ibrahim: Okay, sure. To address it in under 60 seconds, what I have to explain real quick about Islam is it’s a paradigm that was built on might makes right historically. This is what it was all about. Islam’s appeal is it beat people on the battlefield, it plundered them, it enslaved them, and that was something that until today, in Arab schools they teach the, as they call them, the openings, which is really the bloody conquests of all the early Islamic conquests, and they’re portrayed as a wonderful thing. The time that Islam was on the retreat was, I’d give it a rough estimate from the 1850s to the 1950s, and that was because the West not only beat it on the battlefield, but that was the time when the West had some confidence in itself and as in anything, confidence or power attracts Muslims. That’s how Islam started, and this is the era where so many Muslims, Islam was about to die basically.
If you think about the Ottoman Empire, and this was a standard Jihadi bearer of the Islamic world, that was the number one country that became so Westernized, so secularized they actually got rid of the Arabic script and adapted the Roman alphabet, and the point is they saw the West and how it was and it was dominant. It was unapologetic, and they felt we have to be like that. That’s the Muslim mentality. Now it’s the opposite. Because of the West’s, whatever word you want to use, liberalism, lack of faith in itself, Godlessness, whatever, it’s now pushing Muslims away from trying to emulate, so it’s gone from emulation to contempt, and it’s exacerbated of course by the fact that all the elites in the West tell Muslims how wonderful their religion is and how they should embrace it, etc. etc., so now it’s from making Muslims want to be like the West, we are pushing them out of our way so they can become and embrace the Islamic Jihad, so that’s part of the war mentality you’re alluding to.
Jamie Glazov: Thank you. The psychology I illustrated, and I’ll try a new tactic. Bruce, under 5 seconds.
Bruce Thornton: Cognitive dissonance. No, they’re spiritual. They’re in a spiritual mentality and we come at it from an enlightenment, rational sort of evidence, materialistic, and they’re in a spiritual and you can have those kinds of contradictions within a spiritual sort of universe that they live in.
Jamie Glazov: Okay, Robert?
Robert Spencer: It’s all about slander. Slander in Islam is not lying about somebody. According to Islamic law, slander is making known something about someone that he does not want known and so the guy doesn’t want non-Muslims to know that those beheadings are Islamic, but he knows they are so he tells Jamie take that down or I’ll cut you. There’s no contradiction at all. He wants the deception to remain.
Jamie Glazov: Thank you, Robert. Now we also get accused by the unholy alliance. We get it from the left all the time. I’m always surprised at how much millions of dollars I’m getting in back alleys getting passed to me in envelopes. There’s always this thing about the money that the left uses, but just also very quickly, just the psychology, and then we’ll move on. I get this a lot. They’ll take me to the side and they’ll go, they paying you a lot, yeah? A lot of money? And I get that constantly. Just very quickly, this slander about us that it’s all about money. We get it from the left, but we also get it very much from the Islamic sphere. What is this accusation of money and that we’re paid? Is it to erase that there’s real humanitarianism involved or that we care? Bruce?
Bruce Thornton: What they’re saying is you are in the pay of the vast Zionist conspiracy. This is the old Protocols of the Elders of Zion slander is what we’re talking about, and you’re right. It has prepped over onto the West also. Over this unfolding disaster with Iran, and I forget who it was mentioned donors. It may have been Obama said, oh, you may want to do this because your donors. Everybody knew what he was talking about. He was saying the Jewish lobby, the vast great control that 2 percent of the population has over the whole world. Right? So that’s just a recycling of that nonsense.
Jamie Glazov: Okay. Raymond?
Raymond Ibrahim: Well, I can’t really add more to that.
Jamie Glazov: Okay. Robert, you want to say something?
Robert Spencer: Yeah, in the Qur’an and in Islamic tradition there’s no idea of unbelievers acting in good faith, especially those who are actually trying to oppose the spread of Islam. They are perverse. They know better. They know that Islam is true, and nonetheless because they have some ulterior motive, getting money, getting fame, whatever, they continue to pursue it. There’s a story of these Christians going to see Mohammad, and on the way the leader of the Christians tells the rest of the group we know this man’s a prophet. We know that he’s true, but the Byzantines are paying us good money to fight against him and so when we get there we have to resist him every step of the way, and see, they’re just venal and dishonest, and this is the portrayal of unbelievers all through Islamic tradition. If you’re a Muslim growing up with these kinds of stories of course you’re going to think that all of us, we know better but we’re in it for the dough.
Jamie Glazov: Thank you. Okay, let me ask this because we deal a lot with Jihad denial, and I think we’re all aware that Jihad denial enables Jihad. In other words, if we weren’t engaged in denial I think we would agree that the Tsarnaevs would not have been able to do what they did. I think that Nidal Hassan wouldn’t have been able to do what he did, so I think that there’s definitely a complicity in Jihad by those who deny Jihad. However, we very much want there to be truth telling, but let’s suppose that tomorrow Obama just comes out and says there’s a problem with Surah 9:5. There’s a problem with Surah 29 and Islamic theology. It buffers, it sanctions, it mandates Jihad. Wouldn’t that be such an inflammatory situation at the same time where it would cause such a collision, and I’m obviously playing the devil’s advocate here, but there is an argument to be said that it would bring on and inflame a gigantic conflict, and do we need to be maybe in some ways more strategic? Raymond?
Raymond Ibrahim: Well, my initial answer is better now than later.
Jamie Glazov: So in other words let’s get it on.
Raymond Ibrahim: Well, my thing, and when I’m asked these sorts of questions is I am guided by truth. Get the truth out. Whatever the consequences will be they will be, and I’m sure they won’t be very pretty. Not to be cliché, the truth will set us free, but so you get the truth out and stop all the dissembling that we get constantly. It’s eventually going to come out, and what we’re doing is actually by wasting time and playing this game and not getting the truth out you’re letting the other side get stronger all the time.
Jamie Glazov: Okay, one second. But Raymond, let’s suppose that there’s millions and millions of Muslims that as we said actually don’t even know what’s in the Qur’an and they’re just kind of maybe walking around and all of a sudden the leader of the United States starts actually saying something quote-unquote “bad” against their religion. All of a sudden we’re inflaming perhaps millions and millions of people.
Raymond Ibrahim: But this has happened before, and this is what I was referring to when the West was on the ascendancy colonial era, a little before that. It’s usually marked by Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt 1798 and so forth. If you look at people back then, Europeans and so forth, no one had any doubt what Islam is. What we’re doing, this is a totally superfluous exercise if you took it back 100 years ago because this was common sense. People knew it. They said it. They understood it. They forced it. For example, in the Ottoman Empire, the European powers told them to abolish the Jizya text and to treat Christians and Jews and so forth as citizens, so they were up front in their faiths, and as I said earlier, there is actually a Muslim respect for that sort of thing. They respect that because it’s power. They’re laying it on the line and then it’s up to them to do what they want to do. Do they want to eliminate that? Do they want to fight back? And if so, good luck.
Jamie Glazov: Okay. Bruce, kind of the danger of if we actually get what we want.
Bruce Thornton: Well, the danger is as Ray set it out, and we went through this once before in the ‘30s and it’s very interesting to look at that segment of the Brits in the ‘30s who thought that Germany had gotten a raw deal with the Versailles settlement, that they had legitimate grievances, and that we can’t really be too critical of them because we’re just going to inflame them and push them into the Nazi party, and there were a lot of people, even at Munich and post Munich, said this is our fault because we didn’t address the grievances. It didn’t help. It didn’t help because Nazism was an ideology of dominance and conquest, and as Ray says, all of that appeasing simply confirmed their estimation that their enemy was weak and could be taken, and this is exactly what we’re doing today. We are confirming their estimation that the West is corrupt, it’s godlessness, all it cares about is money and material comfort, and they can see a lot of evidence of that on satellite TV. Let’s face it, and that as bin Laden said, we ran from Mogadishu, we ran from Saigon, and we run from everywhere and so if we just push, if we just push, if we just push, and I agree. Just come right out and tell the truth and let’s sort out who is willing to die and who isn’t.
Jamie Glazov: Excellent. Just before we go to Robert, I’m thinking about the rounds left. Michael, approximately how much before question period? Okay, Robert on denial?
Robert Spencer: No war in history has ever been won by people engaged in wishful thinking and fantasy and self-deception about the motives and goals of the enemy, ever. It’s not going to happen now either, and moreover, the United States has not been standing for its own principles in this conflict. Imagine how different things would have been if we had gone to Afghanistan and Iraq after 9⁄11 and said we are standing for and going to protect the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience against the death penalty for apostasy, the equality of rights of women before the law, the equality of rights of non-Muslims with Muslims, and all Muslims who support that we will protect you and we will help you. There would have been millions of Muslims, I would wager, who would have joined up and supported us on that basis because there are millions of Muslims who see that in the West and want it, but they are trapped because they have no support and no help and no acknowledgement from the West that they have a good and legitimate cause. There are hundreds of thousands of secret converts from Islam to Christianity or just atheists who are living underground in the Islamic world. If we had come in and said we’re going to protect the rights of apostates from Islam we could have had hundreds of thousands of people supporting us, but we’ve never stood up for own own principles in this conflict. If we had been honest from the beginning I think things would have been very different.
Jamie Glazov: Okay, so let’s talk now about the danger and also perhaps the motives behind the denial from the top, so let’s crystalize it with this. We have an Al Qaeda terrorist that goes into a Jewish deli in France. He’s in a Jewish deli because it’s Jewish. He kills the people in there because they’re Jewish. He even makes a phone call to a local station and says that he’s there because it’s Jewish and he hates Jews, and then there’s a President of the United States that says that some guy was just shooting randomly into a crowd. Why is Obama presenting it in this way? Is it because he cares for us and wants to avoid this collision? Or is there a real malicious intent there, Raymond, and what are the dangers of this tactic?
Raymond Ibrahim: Well, there’s a lot there. As I always say when it comes to Obama, and really to any of these Western officials and authorities, when it comes to the Islam question and they give you the whole this isn’t Islam and etc., etc., there’s only two conclusions. Either this person is a complete idiot or he’s a liar, and they’re just both as bad, and this is what you have to deal with. A lot of people will say no, Obama’s not a Muslim, or he is a Muslim. That’s irrelevant at this point. The fact is, his policies are such that they empower the radical Islamic types, and this is sort of what we need to be cognizant of, but he of all presidents, and I’ve said this before, is the one that it would have actually been nice, the one good thing he could have brought to America as a multi-cultural ethnic kind of quasi-Muslim, as he portrays himself, is that he does have knowledge of Islam. This man went to the Madrassas in Indonesia. His father is a Kenyan. He knows Islam, and instead, of all the presidents it seems he’s the one that’s giving us the whitewash, politically correct, multi-cultural view, and that to me means I think he’s lying about it, but like I said, in the end results, whether you have a fool who’s saying that we need to get job opportunities to ISIS or whether you have someone who’s lying out their teeth, it’s the same thing.
Jamie Glazov: Thank you, Raymond. So Bruce, this is also an administration where the Muslim Brotherhood front groups came in in the early part of the Obama years and said we don’t like this in your FBI manuals. Take it out, and they take it out. They take out all references to Jihad. They take out all references to Islam in FBI training manuals. This is also an administration that did not pursue Muslim Brotherhood front groups that were named in the Holy Land Foundation trial, so I guess I’m narrowing in on quote unquote malicious intent.
Bruce Thornton: I don’t know and I don’t care. I don’t find it interesting to try to divine individual motives. I do know, however, the reigning ideology of the world Obama came from. It wasn’t Kenya. It was the American University, and I’m telling you, you want to understand Barack Obama? I can reach into any university in this country blindfolded and pull out five English professors who think exactly like Barack Obama does on every single issue, and what this is reflecting is 1) the Marxist demonization of the West, of liberal democracy and capitalism as imperialist. That has become second nature to them so the West is wrong.
Jamie Glazov: I’m just going to interrupt for a second, but you just said that you don’t care about motives but those are motives.
Bruce Thornton: No, no, no. I’m talking about larger idea. I mean individuals. I don’t want to talk about individuals. I want to talk about the larger culture-wide ideas.
Jamie Glazov: But Obama’s motives is exactly that ideology.
Bruce Thornton: That could be it. It could be he’s a secret Muslim. He could be a space alien. I don’t know. I should apologize. That’s an insult to space aliens.
Jamie Glazov: Okay, go ahead, sir.
Bruce Thornton: They’re usually a lot nicer, but you have this culture-wide fashionable idea that the West is wrong, the West has been oppressive. Any person of color that can qualify as a victim of the West gets the benefit of the doubt. It’s hate speech to insult them. It’s hate speech to criticize them. Throw onto that multiculturalism which is every culture other than the West is superior, more authentic, more just, etc., etc., etc., and so we cannot insult particularly a culture of color, and that brings us then to the identity politics that dominates the university. Anybody who can be certified as a victim of the United States or of the West immediately gets the benefit of the doubt, immediately. To criticize them, even to speak truth about them, and we see this with other ethnic minorities. You can be called a racist for stating something, some of the things that we heard the sheriff say today, but here’s another one. Black men kill more black men in one year than were lynched in the whole history of lynching. Right? But to say something like that is to be racist. You see what I mean? So you throw all those cultural trends together that are dominant in university, and you consider the time spent in university by Obama, to me that’s scarier because if it’s just Obama, he’s going to be gone, but it’s much wider than that.
Jamie Glazov: Thank you, Bruce, and so just to lead into Robert, how I see it is let’s say there’s me and five people and we hate a certain building, and we get to rule that building for a little while, and we just start destroying everything in the building, and there’s 30 days left and we’re just sitting around saying we have 30 days left to destroy everything in here. Now what are we going to go at next? That’s what I think is happening. Robert?
Robert Spencer: Yeah, in the 2008 campaign there was a photograph that was widely distributed of Barack Obama walking from one place to another with his finger in the book “The Post-American World” by Fareed Zakaria, and it was clear that he was engrossed in the book. He was keeping his place. He wanted to get back to reading it as soon as he could, and that book says the problem in the world is America, that there should be no super powers and that America should be weakened or weaken itself politically, militarily and economically and then all the nations will be essentially equal and there will be harmony and peace. Has he not pursued that as a strategy all through his presidency? Pamela Geller and I wrote the book “The Post-American Presidency” based on exactly this proposition in 2010. We’ve been abundantly proven correct that this is what his agenda is, and also remember, he said the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet if Islam, and slander in Islam is not telling lies. It’s telling truths that people don’t want known, and so that’s what he’s doing. He’s obfuscating and denying about the nature of this problem, avoiding slandering Islam.
Jamie Glazov: I’m getting a very stern look from Michael Finch.
Michael Finch: Well, I think if we’re ready for questions. One thing, we’re only going to use this microphone because you’re going to be on camera, so if anyone on that end of the room wants to ask a question, you’re going to need to come to this side. This will be the microphone, so when you’re ready for questions, Jamie.
Jamie Glazov: And when should I be ready for questions?
Michael Finch: I would say right now.
Jamie Glazov: Right now? Ladies and gentlemen, I’m not sure if you know, but Michael Finch was the guest host champion of the Glasov Gang last year, a great guest hosting job. Let’s give him a hand. Okay. I have received a suggestion from Schulman Fellow Raymond Ibrahim that we should have 1-minute closing thoughts from each person, which I’ll say 30 second so it turns out to be 5 minutes. Raymond.
Raymond Ibrahim: All right. The final thing that I just want to say is 10 years ago, 20 years ago or so there were some of us who know the truth about Islam, Jihad, and so forth, and the big struggle at the time was it was an information war. We’re trying to bring this knowledge to a Western public and so forth. What I find disturbing now is I think we’ve gone beyond that. I think the knowledge is out there, thanks first and foremost to ISIS because they’re the ones who take the videos. They’re the ones who disseminate it. If it wasn’t for that BBCN and CBCNN would not be telling us, but now a lot more and more people know the truth and the ugliness of it, and what gets me now is the response is still nothing, and so you have to start thinking, we’ve gone from worrying about having people to know the truth. Now they do know the truth, but it’s become sort of indifferent, and so if you’re familiar with Sun Tzu, his advice in warfare, we’re all familiar, know your enemy and that, I think was Phase 1. We were trying to know the enemy. I think now we’re in Phase 2, which is equally as important, trying to know ourselves and why it is that all these things were not able to synthesize and actually respond to in the proper manner.
Jamie Glazov: Bruce Thornton.
Bruce Thornton: Well, I don’t think I can improve on that, and to repeat what Raymond said earlier, I still believe that in the end truth is your most important ally. You start there. Let the chips fall where they may, and you have a better chance. Secondly, addressing what’s it going to take. We get this question a lot. What’s it going to take? Well, you don’t tell us what we should do. Well, I’m afraid that what it’s going to take is something that makes 9⁄11 look like a Boy Scout Jamboree. That’s what I worry about, that it’s going to take something even worse than that to finally wake people up.
Jamie Glazov: I think what I fear as well is that denial actually rises with the more that we’re attacked in this culture at large. Robert Spencer, 3.5 seconds please.
Robert Spencer: Every day at Jihad Watch, my web site, practically every day I see another story come down the pike from CNN or MSNBC or the Huffington Post or the New York Times or the Washington Post saying the Islamic State is not Islamic; here’s why. And I think that there is an increase in this kind of article nowadays because the edifice is cracking, the truth is breaking through, and they’ve been spreading this fog of disinformation for years and now it’s clearing, and so they have to pour on more dry ice. The fact is that the truth will out and that people are waking up to this and so it is kind of a race between whether there will be a sufficient number who will awaken to this and demand action from our elected officials or the catastrophic attack that Bruce envisions, and which one will come first is anybody’s guess.
Audience Member: It’s often been said that Islam is in need of a grand reformation like Christianity went through. President Al-Sisi of Egypt enunciated that demand for a reform of Islam. What has happened as a result of his statement and his pressing the Imams to do something like that? And then I have a second question. If one assumes that Obama is an apostate, how is he viewed among other Muslims worldwide because of his apostate status?
Robert Spencer: The apostasy issue is very curious. He was listed as a Muslim in Indonesia in the school records and so on and his father and stepfather are Muslims, which makes him a Muslim according to Islamic law, and so you’re right. The silence is deafening. Why nobody in the Islamic world ever denounces him as an apostate is curious to say the least and suspicious, and as far as the reformation in Islam goes it is needed. Unfortunately it’s already happened. Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab, the founder of Wahhabism, was a reformer who was going to go back to the basics and go back to original Islam and ended up originating a form of Islam that’s more violent and virulent than the rest. As far as Al-Sisi goes, I completely support him. I hope that he can prevail, but the short answer to what has happened since he made his address is nothing. The clerics have not acted on it, and they’re not going to because they know what’s in the Qur’an.
Raymond Ibrahim: And if I can quickly add to the reformation.
Jamie Glazov: Okay, I hate to keep repeating this. You guys are the best guys in the world, but please take a look at how many people want to ask questions, so please just keep in mind the brevity of the answers. Thank you, Raymond.
Raymond Ibrahim: Okay. Yeah, the reformation question that people bring up I think is very important, and I think there’s this belief, the people like to do the analogy the Protestant Reformation and that’s what Islam needs and so forth, and the point I think most people are unaware of is if you look at the Protestant Reformation that paradigm is exactly what’s happening right now in Islam. What you’re seeing is the Islamic reformation and the reason is the Protestant Reformation was a product of more literacy and the printing press. They had the Bible. They could read it on their own. They started rejecting clerical authority and so forth, and here’s a Bible for everyone to read, and they took it literally and a lot of them of course fundamentally, Puritans and so forth. What you’re having in Islam is now the same thing. Now you have a lot more Muslims who are literate, or at least they read it in different languages. They get the gist of the message. They have access to the Hadith, the teachings of Mohammad and so forth. These things were not available to your average Muslim 100, 200 years ago so I think what you’re seeing now, this is the Protestant Reformation of Islam because it’s the same methodology and the same approach that the Protestant Reformation came in is what’s happening now, and the reason that the Christian Reformation and the Islamic reformation that you’re seeing right now is so diametrically opposed is because the texts are diametrically opposed, the Bible on the one hand and the Qur’an on the other.
Jamie Glazov: Thank you. Next question.
Audience Member: We’re always hit on the head with the Crusades, and I had a cab driver that brought up, of course, the Crusades and blood flowed in the Arabic world because of the Christian Crusade. How do you answer that?
Robert Spencer: The Crusades were a late, tardy, small-scale defensive action after 450 years of Jihad attacks that had conquered, Islamized and overwhelmed what had been before that over half of the Christian world. They were certainly guilty, the Crusaders, of some atrocities, which cannot be excused, but the fact is that the idea that the tension between the West and the Islamic world started with the Crusades is absolute historical fiction, and of course it’s aggressively propagated because it serves the Jihad agenda today.
Audience Member: What’s the best book on that? Or do you have two or three
Robert Spencer: “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)” by Robert Spencer.
Jamie Glazov: Thank you. Next question.
Audience Member: And he just earned his free autographed copy.
Audience Member: I’m Mike Doherty. I do a lot of talks sometime on cyber security and government, and I’m curious about cyber security involved in this Islam as an accelerant and a sort of a catalyst. Just like cyber security in the world, I think the outliers have really been able to infiltrate the mainstream society and I wonder if that’s the same in the battle here, and are we behind in using it combat this wave? I see all these people with the way the Jihadists are using all the Internet and everything else to recruit, etc.
Jamie Glazov: Bruce?
Bruce Thornton: Well, I don’t know in terms of, if I understand your question correctly, are the Jihadist groups actively working on hacking into various –
Audience Member: No, not so much hacking but using technology as a tool to advance themselves. Without it they wouldn’t be, and I don’t really perceive that we’re using the same technology to push back as well, like they’re ahead.
Bruce Thornton: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Particularly YouTube. Those are great recruiting videos. We have millions and millions of Americans who are doing the same things in video games, pulling people’s heads off, shooting and killing lots and lots of people, and they’re showing it in reality, so it’s a great recruiting video. It’s also virtual terror. In one point it’s interesting about terror. Terror is not a modern invention. Terror is a way to achieve your aims without having to fight a full-scale battle, and that’s as true of the Gauls that Caesar encountered, the Germanic tribes that he encountered, or the American Indians. The cruelty and brutality was intended to terrorize people into not fighting. Now what they have is these technologies that can do the same thing, that can work on the morale to achieve effects which we are seeing, at least under this administration.
Jamie Glazov: Thank you. Next question please.
Audience Member: Nobody’s mentioned Netanyahu’s speech yet, and it’s a target-rich topic, and so you can talk about any of it if you want to, but what positive things. I don’t think we have to trash Obama anymore. We know he doesn’t want to do anything that the people want him to do, but what kind of good outcomes might we get from that historic moment of his speech?
Bruce Thornton: Well, he clearly dramatized what we I’m sure already knew about the nature of the enemy and the existential threat that it represents to Israel, so I think it’s the publicity, which we can thank the ineptness of Obama in helping to create by making such a big deal like a prom wallflower over Netanyahu coming to dance with Congress without asking him, so it has forced this issue back into people’s minds. How long will that last, is the question. We’re already on to Hillary’s email account, so that’s already yesterday’s news, and that’s a big problem for this whole crisis. Remember 9⁄11. Within 6 months, 8 months, all of that patriotism, all of that let’s go get those guys and everything, that started to dissipate.
Jamie Glazov: Last question.
Audience Member: I’m a college student. Thank God for another two more months, but the fact of the matter is that there is an issue around college campuses. There’s this tolerable tyranny known as political correctness and the fact of the matter is is that when I try to discuss the issues of radicalism I’m also confronted with this idea of Orientalism. I’m confronted with this idea that Islam State is truly not Islamic, but what’s happening on college campuses is that the left and these fake liberals are going out there saying that we cannot discuss these particular topics because it is completely offensive to do so and it’s offensive to do so when you have the Muslim Students Association going out there spewing their rhetoric and whatnot, so how do I in the same that Bill Whittle said was try to cater to the heart and mind and the feelings of the left to bring this point across that if we cannot fight this radical Islamic way of thinking that we’re going to essentially lose what freedoms we actually have?
Jamie Glazov: Thank you so much. This is a great way to end, so in terms of our tactics, strategy, let’s start with Robert. We’ll go to Raymond, and the last words to Bruce.
Robert Spencer: I don’t think you can reason with the left on campus. They are impervious to facts. You can have the facts available, and the Freedom Center has quite a lot of resources about that that you can use, but also I think you should their tactics against them. Point up their contradictions. Hold a honor killing awareness week to defend the rights of women, an FGM awareness week, apostates from Islam defense week, this kind of thing that shows that wait a minute, you’re not actually in favor of human rights for these people? and that kind of thing, and mock them, make fun of them, ridicule them in every way that they do to us. These things are effective tactics and there’s no reason why we can’t use them in conjunction, and this is the distinction that we have between us and the left, that we will have the facts on our side, and we will have them available for any reasonable person, but right now we are just so po-faced and serious, and they mock us and that’s the end of the debate, and if you turn that against them they’re absolutely confused, stunned and humiliated, and they have no response, and this is why it’s a good thing to do.
Raymond Ibrahim: I largely agree with Robert, especially in the fact that you can’t really reason with people from that mentality. They come with a very loaded paradigm of thinking and it has nothing to do with reality, of course, and so it’s always about trying to justify and apologize and so forth, but another point that I see with the left, and this goes back to something I tried to allude to earlier, which is we know the Islam threat. We understand it. It’s obvious and so forth, but the enemy at home is oftentime the left, and we as a group of people, for example, who think rationally and want to implement the proper procedures or policies for the Islam threat, are hampered by the left, whether it’s the media, whether it’s the academics, whether it’s all these types of people, so in a way really the war starts, and I don’t mean it literally, but it starts right here at home and with these people, and unfortunately, as Robert said, it’s very difficult to argue with them because they’re not rational and they’re just out to validate their own particular position, unfortunately.
Bruce Thornton: Well, having done what you’ve done for decades at every level, first you have to have a thick skin. Second, you have to really like fighting if you’re going to undergo this, and you have to communicate that you like fighting and that however high they raise the ante in their insults or their whatever, you double them. If they take one of your eyes, you take two of their eyes, because they’re bullies, and that’s the one thing a bully understands, not argument, not anything else, and at the very least they’ll leave you alone and ignore you and go find an easier target, but you’re not going to change their minds. They’re cultists. It’s like going into a Scientology meeting and saying I’m going to change your mind. It’s not going to happen.
Jamie Glazov: Before we go actually I just want one name or one word in terms of truth tellers, because it gives us hope at least that there’s still some heroes. In our media, somebody that gives me a lot of inspiration is Sean Hannity in the sense of even his bravery of who he invites on to tell the truth. Can you give us one name of somebody that gives you hope in our culture and media that’s telling the truth, Robert? Is there anyone?
Robert Spencer: Can you go to the other guys?
Jamie Glazov: Well, it’s a very sad state of affairs then, right? Raymond?
Raymond Ibrahim: I’m sorry to say I really don’t even watch the news. I get my news information from different sources, but I can’t even sit and watch it.
Jamie Glazov: That’s how bad it is.
Raymond Ibrahim: It’s like a zoo.
Jamie Glazov: Rush Limbaugh? Bruce?
Bruce Thornton: Yeah, all of those guys. You’re absolutely right. The problem is the people that are listening to them on the most part already agree with them, and what we have to do is try to figure out some way to get beyond our choir to proselytize among the heathen, and I don’t know how you do that, and I don’t know who’s out there that could do that because immediately any of us that does that will be put into the box of right-wing nuts or stooges for Israel or the oil companies or whatever.
Jamie Glazov: Well, we’re looking forward to the day when Anderson Cooper has a one-hour discussion with Robert Spencer.
Robert Spencer: Jamie, one thing. There was an article in the The Atlantic, of all places, about the Islamic State being Islamic by Graeme Wood and so I’d never heard of Graeme Wood before but there’s the guy. It was honest and in the mainstream, astonishing. I fainted.
Bruce Thornton: Wait, wait, wait – because he mentioned this Graeme Wood article and here’s what really irritated me is the response of some so-called conservatives to this article as though it were a revelation. Finally. What? The Atlantic said it. Here’s two guys right here who have been saying this for 10 years and you got Peggy Noonan saying oh my gosh. Our side has had some problems as well.
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