Finally, a word on the Times hit piece, in which I am a significant presence, and yet neither Scott Shane nor anyone else at the Times bothered to contact me for any comment whatsoever.
“Killings in Norway Spotlight Anti-Muslim Thought in U.S.,” by Scott Shane in the New York Times, July 24 (thanks to all who sent this in). The first clue as to the bias of Scott Shane comes in the title’s reference to “Anti-Muslim Thought,” as if I am fighting against human beings, rather than against a radically intolerant and repressive ideology. Seven years ago here at Jihad Watch I had an exchange with an English convert to Islam. I said:
“I would like nothing better than a flowering, a renaissance, in the Muslim world, including full equality of rights for women and non-Muslims in Islamic societies: freedom of conscience, equality in laws regarding legal testimony, equal employment opportunities, etc.”
Is all that “anti-Muslim”?
My correspondent thought so. He responded: “So, you would like to see us ditch much of our religion and, thereby, become non-Muslims.”
In other words, he saw a call for equality of rights for women and non-Muslims in Islamic societies, including freedom of conscience, equality in laws regarding legal testimony, and equal employment opportunities, as a challenge to his religion. To the extent that they are, these facts have to be confronted by both Muslims and non-Muslims. But it is not “anti-Muslim” to wish freedom of conscience and equality of rights on the Islamic world – quite the contrary.
[…] His manifesto, which denounced Norwegian politicians as failing to defend the country from Islamic influence, quoted Robert Spencer, who operates the Jihad Watch Web site, 64 times, and cited other Western writers who shared his view that Muslim immigrants pose a grave danger to Western culture.
Jihad Watch commenter Kinana of Khaybar analyzed these 64 citations here, and concluded:
“Breivik himself has apparently ‘quoted’ Robert Spencer by pasting in large unprocessed chunks of material from 3 different sources–the documentary, the crusades piece, and the article on Muslim persecution of Christians. Needless to say, Breivik never in his approximately 1500-page ‘compendium’ quotes Spencer as supporting his (Breivik’s) ‘revolutionary’ views, values, methods, proposals, and objectives.”
The Times piece continues:
More broadly, the mass killings in Norway, with their echo of the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City by an antigovernment militant, have focused new attention around the world on the subculture of anti-Muslim [sic] bloggers and right-wing activists and renewed a debate over the focus of counterterrorism efforts.
17,000+ Islamic jihad terror attacks since 9⁄11. Two non-Muslim terrorists: Tim McVeigh and, sixteen years later, Anders Breivik. And Scott Shane suggests that the “focus of counterterrorism efforts” should be shifted from Islamic jihadists to “the subculture of anti-Muslim bloggers and right-wing activists.”
In the United States, critics have asserted that the intense spotlight on the threat from Islamic militants has unfairly vilified Muslim Americans while dangerously playing down the threat of attacks from other domestic radicals. The author of a 2009 Department of Homeland Security report on right-wing extremism withdrawn by the department after criticism from conservatives repeated on Sunday his claim that the department had tilted too heavily toward the threat from Islamic militants.The revelations about Mr. Breivik’s American influences exploded on the blogs over the weekend, putting Mr. Spencer and other self-described “counterjihad” activists on the defensive, as their critics suggested that their portrayal of Islam as a threat to the West indirectly fostered the crimes in Norway.
Yes, of course. There is no Islamic threat to the West. The Muslim Brother:
“must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
— Mohamed Akram, “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” May 22, 1991
And as for “indirectly” fostering mass murder, it is noteworthy that none of the quotes of me by this Norwegian psychopath contain any call to violence whatsoever, and Scott Shane can’t come up with anything in that line, either. It is tough to make a consistent defense of the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people out to be incitement and hate, and Shane and his Islamic supremacist allies can most effectively do so by quoting me as little as possible.
Mr. Spencer wrote on his Web site, jihadwatch.org, that “the blame game” had begun, “as if killing a lot of children aids the defense against the global jihad and Islamic supremacism, or has anything remotely to do with anything we have ever advocated.” He did not mention Mr. Breivik’s voluminous quotations from his writings….
I have now. But in any case, the psychopath also praised Obama and plagiarized the Unabomber. Yet no one is holding the president or radical environmentalists responsible for the murders.
Marc Sageman, a former C.I.A. officer and a consultant on terrorism, said it would be unfair to attribute Mr. Breivik’s violence to the writers who helped shape his world view. But at the same time, he said the counterjihad writers do argue that the fundamentalist Salafi branch of Islam “is the infrastructure from which Al Qaeda emerged. Well, they and their writings are the infrastructure from which Breivik emerged.”
Sageman says it would be unfair to blame me, and then he does it. This is the same kind of rigorous and insightful analysis that this “expert” displayed when he explained jihad activity as a result of boredom.
“This rhetoric,” he added, “is not cost-free.”
This kind of analysis can be turned every which way. If I am murdered after all this demonization of me, will Shane or Sageman or the SPLC or Michael Isikoff be responsible?