Response to Robert Spencer on Enemies Not Allies: The far-Right

Adam Barnett co-write One Law for All’s Enemies Not Allies: The Far:Right report. Here he responds to Robert Spencer’s statement on the report.

Following the publication of ‘Enemies Not Allies: The Far-Right’, our new report which investigates his and similar organisations, Stop Islamization of America director Robert Spencer has invited One Law for All to ‘substantiate [our] charges, or withdraw them and issue a public apology.’ One could simply recommend that Mr. Spencer read our report. Indeed, in his ‘rebuttal’, he writes as if he has answered all of these charges before. It’s therefore strange that he felt the need to reply to them at ‘11:53pm’ on a Sunday night, and to attempt to smear his critics as ‘racist anti-Semites’ and ‘supporters of Jihad’. One could be forgiven for thinking that Mr. Spencer hoped to prevent people from reading the report for themselves.

In any event, I’m happy to list our main charges against his group and refer interested readers to the relevant citations in our report:

– Stop Islamisation of Europe is the ‘expansion’ of a Danish anti-Muslim party, Stop Islamiseringen af Danmark (SIAD), which was itself the result of a split within a xenophobic lobby group. (p.36-37) It calls for a boycott of all ‘Islamic countries’, for the Qur’an to be banned, for the mass deportation of immigrants from Europe, and protests against the building of Mosques. (p.37, 44-46) SIOE’s leadership consider all Muslims to be congenital liars who have a ‘culture of deceit’, and never tire of announcing that they ‘do not believe in moderate Muslims’. (p.40-41, and here)

– SIOE’s leaders have collaborated with and defended Julius Borgesen, former spokesperson for the right-wing extremist group Danske Front, which has ‘co-operated’ with Blood & Honour and Combat 18. Borgessen has reportedly participated in a march to celebrate Rudolf Hess, and was imprisoned in 2007 for calling for an arson attack against a Danish minister. SIOE insist that Borgesen is ‘in no way Nazi [or a racist], but is fighting for the democracy and freedom of Denmark’. (p.38-39) Further, there is evidence to suggest that other Danish neo-Nazis, as well as members of the BNP and the National Front, have attended SIOE and SIAD events. (p.38, 47)

– Stop Islamization of America is the U.S. branch of the SIOE umbrella group, and was entrusted by its leadership to Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer in January 2010. Geller and Spencer have praised SIOE, endorsed its political programme, published its statements and expressed admiration for its leaders. (p.48-49)

– SIOA’s leaders have surpassed SIOE’s defence of war criminal Radovan Karadzic, (which included offering justifications for his actions), by defending Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, denying Serbian atrocities including the Srebrenica genocide, publishing the work of professional apologists for the Milosevic project, and in Spencer’s case working on an institutional level with such people to oppose an independent Kosovo. Ms. Geller has gone so far as to say that Bosnian Muslims killed themselves in order to ‘manipulate media coverage’, and refers to the 1995 genocide as a ‘propaganda lie’ which was ‘manufactured [by] the international community’ as part of ‘the ongoing blood libel against the Christian Serbs’. (p.42-43, 53-54 and here)

This is presumably what Mr. Spencer means when he writes of SIOA’s ‘opposition to the jihad in the Balkans and skepticism (sic) about some of the charges made of Serbian war crimes.’

– SIOA’s leadership has supported, defended and praised the English Defence League, (without equivocation until recently), and has promoted their events, published their statements and attacked their critics. (p.55-59) Co-director Pamela Geller’s web log has featured conspiratorial articles regarding the President of America’s religion, his family, his sexual history, and the circumstances of his birth, and has likened his ‘stealth jihad on the White House’ to ‘an SS officer getting elected president during WW II’. (p.52-53) In 2010, Robert Spencer defended his and Geller’s ‘colleague’ Joseph John Jay, who had recommended the ‘wholesale slaughter’ of Muslim civilians, including children, on the grounds that he had been ‘misinterpreted’. Spencer maintains this still, and Ms. Geller has recommended Jay’s writings as recently as July 2011. (p.51-51)

I could go on, but I ought to address Mr. Spencer’s direct challenge regarding a quote of his which we included. Here is the quote, published on his Jihad Watch site in 2005: ‘there is no distinction in the American Muslim community between peaceful Muslims and jihadists. While Americans prefer to imagine that the vast majority of American Muslims are civic-minded patriots who accept wholeheartedly the parameters of American pluralism, this proposition has actually never been proven.’

Writing today, Spencer claims ‘what [he] meant was there is no institutional distinction, so jihadis move freely in Muslim circles among those who oppose them and claim to do so’. However, when asked by a commenter on the original article in 2005 ‘how distinctions can be made’, Spencer replied: ‘That’s simple. Let American Muslims renounce all attachment to violent Jihad and Sharia, refuse all aid from Sharia states (chiefly Saudi Arabia), and cooperate fully with anti-terror efforts aimed at rooting jihadists out of American mosques.’ (p.52) Having thus identified all Muslims as suspects who are guilty until proven innocent, Spencer does not specify how to treat Muslims who do not ‘cooperate fully’, or who fail to make the prescribed disassociations. But based on his record and the company he keeps, I’m glad we’ll never have to find out what it might entail.

I think this meets Mr. Spencer’s challenge, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to bring all of this to people’s attention. I’m not sure how one squares the above with the claim that SIOA ‘stand[s] for the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and equality of rights for all people’. Perhaps Mr. Spencer will enlighten us.

By | 2011-08-16T14:41:53+00:00 August 16th, 2011|Press Releases|3 Comments

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3 Comments

  1. Ade August 26, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I would say its best not to spend time fighting with people who hold very similar views to your own (with a few minor differences) and spend more time on those whose views are diametrically opposed (i.e. those who support, encourage or defend Sharia).

  2. gsw August 31, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    It does seem a little like the church schisms, is the wine really blood, or just symbolic?

    If Baden-Powell’s grandchildren started publicly acclaiming that the purpose of the Scout movement was to

    have every child made a member and all people forced to go to church parade on Sunday – even muslims –

    would you be shocked if muslims demanded that scout groups disclaimed these intentions – since they would

    otherwise fear that their children would be forced to attend a christian church?

    It is almost impossible to recognise a person’s religion just by looking at them – unless they insist on

    wearing a uniform.
    Asking those muslims who insist on wearing their uniform of affiliation at all times (even when this

    contradicts social mores – such as: at work in a restaurant or hospital, in court, at the airport) to

    “renounce all attachment to violent Jihad and Sharia” can only be considered offensive by those who

    consider Jihad and Sharia to be HOLY.

    I am a blond atheist, if I am asked to denounce Nazism and fascism, I do so willingly. I do not claim that

    this means I am being “identified as a suspect who is guilty until proven innocent”, I merely assume that

    you have your doubts, and I will respect that. However, when travelling to America the TSA treats

    everybody as “suspects who are guilty until proven innocent” – except those wearing the muslim female

    uniform, who must not be offended.

    While I believe that the EDL should have called themselves the English Democratic League, I can find

    nothing in their charter that causes me to believe that they should not be “defended and praised”.

    Everyone is in this fight together, your fight is for civil law, the EDL wishes to see people able to walk

    around without fear of attack, the SIOA and SIOE both wish to retain freedom of speech and the

    emancipation of women. I want to keep those hard earned rights of self decision that we fought for in the 1960s.

    Infighting can only strengthen the enemy – islam! Not muslims, not even religion, but the ideology that

    wants to make slaves of the whole world and give all the power to the imams and the caliphate.

    We must not knife our allies in the back lest people stop donating to our cause.

  3. markjuliansmith September 6, 2011 at 4:06 am

    @gsw “We must not knife our allies in the back lest people stop donating to our cause.”
    @Ade “..best not to spend time fighting with people who hold very similar views to your own”

    I Understand the notion of ‘a divided house’ but one must at some point choose who lives in it with you.

    The basis of the fight of ‘One Law for All’ is a fight for the retention of modern human rights standards for all citizens not a select few. And also with an understanding, from history, start the process it will not stop – terror will be used to push to the next point and to the next.

    As we see in Indonesia now – implementing laws banning certain Islamic sects – and little condemned violence and Terror which goes with each new initiative to suppress Other particularly women. See USCIRF Annual Report 2011 – The Commission’s Watch List: Indonesia.

    Also it goes to the heart of the ethics which drive how we relate to each other as human beings in society.

    The fact is as we can see in Norway and if one reflects on the history of Religious wars in just France you do not want to become what you are fighting against nor to utilize the same methods by default by not raising objection.

    As you can become prey to one side, you can to the Other the point is to try and stop the reasons for the Far Right to rise and implement their own version of Hell on earth.

    The ‘Tranquility of Silence’ so favored by the Iranian elite is what we are trying to avoid at all costs.

    Trouble is the way to do it – For the Secular Power To confront Religions and force them with Secular assistance to identify and delete Foundation Text informing each new generation of hatred against Other and to insinuate into the education curriculum, be it in a Secular or Religious institution, from the very start notions of ‘Clear Thinking’ to disable prejudice against Other – Otherphobia is not being done to Humanities detriment.

    The answer is there – Secular for the very reason of stopping religious derived Terror has insisted justifiably for Religion Foundation text change – now is the time to do it again.

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