I’m a reporter in Grande Prairie, Alberta. My editor, for whatever reason, didn’t want to run my story on Robert Spencer’s talk here (though they did run my advancer). I think it’s worth running, though, since there didn’t seem to be any coverage of what he actually said while here in Canada (see the CBC’s blatant hatchet job here). I created this blog simply to publish the story I would have submitted (with minor changes befitting a blog). I might eventually put up other stuff too.
More than 100 people came to hear Robert Spencer speak about Islam during his stop in Grande Prairie on Friday.
The New York Times best-selling author has appeared on CTV, Fox News, BBC and other networks to discuss Islamic terrorism. His website, Jihad Watch, seeks to call public attention to the ideology motivating Islamic terrorism.
“The longer we misapprehend this problem, and the longer we keep our heads in the sand about it and deny what it’s really all about, the more we will not be able to deal with it adequately and the more lethal it will grow,” Spencer said.
In the years since 9/11, it has become taboo to discuss the ideology that Muslim terrorists themselves cite as their source of motivation, Spencer said. The refrain among Western political leaders is that Islam is a religion of peace, and self-proclaimed jihadists actually have nothing to do with it.
Spencer said this is dangerous, for an obvious reason: “You cannot defeat an enemy you don’t understand.”
The key point that the political and media class don’t want to admit, according to Spencer, is that Islamic terror attacks are inspired by a straightforward reading of the religion’s sacred texts, the Koran and the Hadiths.
Of particular concern is the Koran’s promise of Paradise for believers who “fight in God’s way; they kill and are killed.”
“This is why we see people strap bombs to themselves and go and blow themselves up in a crowd of infidels,” Spencer said. “Because they know that if they kill in the way of Allah, Paradise is promised to them.”
Spencer acknowledges plenty of Muslims aren’t even particularly religious, let alone fundamentalist. However, those who devoutly believe what the Koran tells them present a problem for secular societies even if they don’t resort to violence, he added. This is because Islam comes with a built-in political system, one which believers think is divine.
Spencer also points out that the Koran incites hatred against Jews and Christians, calling them “the most vile of created beings.” Muslims, in contrast, are “the best of people.”
This means some Muslims come to the West with a belief in the superiority of their own societal model and the inferiority of Western secular society, Spencer said. While they may not support terrorism, they do support curtailing basic liberties such as the freedom of speech.
Britain’s Channel 4 last month released the results of a survey in which 68% of British Muslims said they believed people who “insult Islam” should be arrested and prosecuted.
A member of Spencer’s audience on Friday suggested his talks contribute to “Islamophobia.” Spencer said this phrase is deliberately used to place Islam beyond criticism and make Westerners feel guilty for talking about Islamic terrorism.
“Islamophobia is a term that was actually conceived by the Muslim Brotherhood in order to manipulate and intimidate people into thinking that it’s wrong to oppose jihad terror,” he said.
Spencer was invited to speak by a local group called Concerned Canadians for Canadian Values….