Some of you may know me by my real identity; some may know me only as Marc Louis, the server and site admin at Jihad Watch. Unfortunately, due to my nine-to-five, I need to maintain multiple identities, which is not unusual, as my main occupation is as the lead cyber security analyst for a well-known internet service provider.
I did need to disclose my part-time work assisting Robert Spencer with my employers, along with a couple of other companies who were nowhere near as controversial those eight years ago. The CTO (chief technology officer) at the time said, I know Robert Spencer, I’ve heard a few of his podcasts, that’ll be fine, and signed off on the approval, no threat to the company and no conflict of interest.
Those of you who know me personally also know that my daughter was severely injured in London (UK) about 15 years ago. She was attacked by Muslims for the sole reason of being Jewish. My rabbi reminded me that the attackers were just teenagers, let the police deal with it, that the attackers were only following their scripture, justice would be done. I heard my rabbi out, and actually I found he was only partially right: the anti-Semitism that caused the fists to fall was triggered by the mainstream press, who were filling the pages with lies about Palestinian genocide and Jewish occupiers.
I took around a year off work to deal with hospital visits and the court process. We also had to pull our other kid out of school due to the unwanted media attention attached to the court case, which led to some minor instances of anti-Semitism.
I started to do a lot more research on Islam and the media’s involvement with anti-Semitism that led to this life-changing event. Following 9/11, it was a buyer’s market on the subject of Islam and jihad, much of it really very hateful and not differentiating between Islam and Muslims, the belief versus the followers. Some were clearly racist with other agendas, some were evangelists who hated Jews as much as Muslims.
But I happened upon Jihad Watch. I bought a couple of Robert’s books along with a translated Koran to fact-check, and it all checked out. It’s very clear why my daughter was attacked, and it was also very clear why Pakistani men felt entitled to use non-Muslim girls as sex slaves, also the till-then unanswered question of why Israel, despite trying so hard to find peace with its neighbors, had to use massive resources to live in a perpetual state of war. I’ve lived in Israel, and Islam was never discussed; it was just accepted that they wanted us dead.
Despite the obvious hate he has been faced with, Robert maintains his cool, and has never shown hate or violence against anyone as being a solution to anything.
The man knows his subject well, and has a way of explaining it that is easily digested. At the time, while using the site, I found that it was perpetually going down. It was also being wrongly flagged as having malware; it was obviously under huge cyber-attack.
I offered my services, as I worked in the field of cyber security, and I’ve kept it up and reliable since. I also assist with the comment moderation and other security concerns.
I fully support his responses to current events and the content, the education on Islam and jihad he freely provides. The words of the metatag description of this site are not misleading in any way.
“Exposing the role that Islamic jihad theology and ideology play in the modern global conflicts”
I’m proud of what I’ve done to keep the site up and stable. During the days of 10gb DDoS attacks, my mitigation techniques that I shared with my peers got me a great reputation as a bonus.
So it came as a total shock to me that for all these years I have been assisting a violent extremist, which is how the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) has classified Jihad Watch. Does this include me, then? I’ve literally had thousands of discussions with Robert; he truly must be a master of disguise.
I urgently searched the site for evidence for this classification and could find nothing. I emailed firstname.lastname@example.org at the only email address GIFCT shares on its site besides their press email, looking for more details:
Please share your thinking on the inclusion of JihadWatch as an violent extremist organization.
As a longtime supporter of JihadWatch, based specifically on them being a non-violent entity, this is as you can imagine of great concern to me as I am sure it would be the large number of similar supporters.
Please share any evidence that you can that this is in fact true,
But they have not responded. I expect they are too busy saving the world to address my concern that I might be assisting a violent extremist, so I ask you, where is there any evidence that Jihad Watch supports or encourages violent extremism in any way?