Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How Islam controls speech in Massachusetts

Robert Spencer was scheduled to speak in Worcester, Mass on March 16 to a group of Catholics on Islam.  As is the norm when Muslims decide to constrict free speech, a letter was sent to the Diocese of Worcester by Abdul Cader Asmal, cochairman of communications for the Islamic Council of New England accusing Spencer of the usual laundry list of crimes; Islamophobia, anti-Muslim bigotry and hatemongering.  With nothing more than ad hominum attacks and schoolyard bullying, Spencer's lecture was cancelled.  It is always telling that Muslims who cannot refute what Spencer says with theological arguments always revert to slander and vitriol.  What is sad about this is that the Diocese never asked Spencer for a rebuttal or bothered to check Asmal's claims.  They took the low road, claiming that to let Spencer speak would cause problems with the interfaith dialogue and multicultural tolerance so carefully nurtured between Catholics and Islam.  Rather than speaking truth to power, the Diocese chose to speak fear to falsehood.

From Atlas Shrugs February 5 by Robert Spencer


The Roman Catholic diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts invited me last June to speak at their Catholic Men’s Conference this coming March 16; however, under pressure from the Boston Globe and Islamic supremacists in the area, the diocese has canceled my appearance. I am planning to buy an exhibitor’s table and be at the confence anyway, but the whole episode raises important questions about who exactly constitutes an authority to speak on issues of jihad and Islam (and, indeed, any other issue as well), and how that authority is accorded to people in contemporary society.

The diocese folded after receiving a heated and defamatory attack on me from Abdul Cader Asmal, cochairman of communications for the Islamic Council of New England, wrote a libelous and hysterical screed to the diocese of Worcester, labeling me a “hatemonger” and demanding that they cancel my appearance at the conference coming up this March 16. I posted it in full here. Among Asmal’s many claims were these: “Mr Spencer has a very deep rooted Islamophobia and argues by selective quoting of sacred passages taken totally out of context, and exploits any and every opportunity he gets to link the lunatic act of a Muslim in any part of the world as a direct consequence of Islam. He is not an academician, nor does he have a modicum of understanding of Islam.”

Says who? I don't actually do any of these things, but for the diocese of Worcester, it was apparently enough that Abdul Cader Asmal said I did. But who is Abdul Cader Asmal? He is a Boston-area endocrinologist who in 2011 was stripped of his license to practice medicine for reasons unexplained. Even worse, according to Charles Jacobs of Americans for Peace and Tolerance, he is a self-proclaimed friend and supporter of the convicted jihad terrorist, Tarek Mehanna, who is at this moment in federal prison for aiding al-Qaeda.

So why would the diocese of Worcester hasten to do the bidding of Abdul Cader Asmal? Because despite his affinity for al-Qaeda terrorists and his own questionable ethics, he represents politically correct opinion, which virtually everyone in the U.S. today – Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, atheist, whatever – desperately fears to offend.

Consider, in a similar vein, the case of Omid Safi. In her story on the cancellation of my talk in Worcester, the Boston Globe’s Lisa Wangsness wrote this in response to my observation that the Koran contains numerous texts exhorting Muslims to commit violence against unbelievers:
Omid Safi, an Islamic studies scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said that there are indeed references like that to holy war in the ­Koran and that some ­Muslims in different periods of history have used them to justify their actions.

That does not mean, he said, that most modern ­Muslims accept them literally.

“If we go flipping through each other’s scriptures to persuade ourselves that other people’s scriptures contain violent elements, then that’s a losing game for all of us,” Safi said. “The question is: How do we make sense of them, and which ones do we call upon to live our lives today?”

In the Gospel of Matthew, he notes, Jesus says, “I come not to bring peace, but the sword.

Yeah, that’s why we see armed Christian groups making war against non-Christians worldwide, and quoting this verse. Of course, in reality we don’t see any such thing, and yet we do see armed jihadis all around the world making war against non-Muslims and justifying their actions by reference to the Qur’an. The difference is stark, and shows up the dishonesty of Safi’s remarks.

Read it all

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