APRIL 11, 2017 BY ROBERT SPENCER
Note the title of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article. If I am “anti-Muslim,” then foes of the Nazis were “anti-German.” People find it hard, if not impossible, to believe, but it is nonetheless true: character assassination is a primary weapon of the enablers of jihad terror nowadays. For years they have defamed opponents of jihad terror as “hatemongers” who are “anti-Muslim,” such that by now a “journalist” such as Ashley Jost of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch repeats it as if it were axiomatically true. It seems impossible that the object of so much hatred and contempt could be a perfectly innocuous individual with innocuous opinions that are inconvenient for a powerful and well-heeled machine, such that this innocuous person has to be the recipient of a fire hose of defamatory propaganda, with the goal that people of good will turn away without giving him a hearing, right? That kind of thing never happens, right? At least not in America…right?
Note also that only evidence that anything I say is actually “controversial” is the the SPLC has put me on its list. No quotes from me. Of course, Ashley Jost of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, as well as these Truman State University students and parents who are supposedly “concerned” because I am set to speak on campus, would be hard-pressed to come up with any quotation from me that is actually hateful. And of course Ashley Jost of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch did not bother to reach out to me for comment.
Much more below.
“Truman State grapples with controversial anti-Muslim speaker,” by Ashley Jost, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 11, 2017:
Truman State University students and parents have expressed concerns on social media this week ahead of the arrival of controversial speaker Robert Spencer, who comes to campus Thursday.
Spencer is an author who runs the website “Jihad Watch.” The Southern Poverty Law Center identifies Spencer as an extremist and anti-Muslim “propagandist.”
What evidence does Ashley Jost of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch adduce to show that the SPLC is a neutral, trustworthy arbiter of such matters, rather than the hard-Left propaganda mill that it has shown itself to be? Why, none. None at all.
The Truman State College Republicans received just more than $3,000 from the university’s student-led Funds Allotment Council to bring Spencer to campus. The Council is an organization funded by student fees that accepts applications from all other student-led groups on campus for funding for activities such as speakers….
Campuses nationwide have struggled recently with how to handle controversial speakers. Some schools have decided to revoke invitations after campus uproars. In other cases, protesters have interrupted events, making it difficult or impossible for speakers to make their remarks….
“Controversial,” i.e., not reflecting the far-Left line that prevails on campuses everywhere. Note how it doesn’t occur to Ashley Jost, or to the student protesters, to engage the “controversial speakers” in discussion and/or debate of the relevant issues. University students today generally aren’t interested in thinking or engaging difficult or unfamiliar ideas. They’re only interested in reflections of the same propaganda they’re fed in their classes. Critical thinking? Pah! “Islamophobia”!
Spencer said in a guest column on a conservative college blog that an invitation for him to speak at a private school in New Hampshire was revoked because “officials caved to pressure from Muslims who played the victimhood card to shut down those who air inconvenient truths about the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat.”
Truman State doesn’t plan on shutting down Spencer’s talk. Instead, spokesman Travis Miles said the public university is hoping to create an essay contest and create “an educational experience” around Thursday night.
Spencer speaks in a campus auditorium at 8 p.m. That same evening, at 6:30 p.m., the Muslim Student Association is bringing in Faizan Syed, executive director of the Council on American-Islam [sic] Relations in Missouri. Syed is based out of St. Louis.
I plan on attending Faizan Syed’s talk. I doubt he will attend mine, although he is most welcome to do so, and indeed, I invite him to do so. I fully expect that I will either be prevented from attending his speech, or will be subjected to insults and abuse while I am there. If he attends my lecture, he will be welcomed and no one will treat him with anything but courtesy. I also expect that his lecture will be filled with deceptions, distortions, half-truths, and ad hominem attacks against me. My address, by contrast, will be carefully buttressed with specific citations from the Qur’an and Hadith, and contain no ad hominems at all.
I also hereby invite Syed to a public discussion or debate of the relevant issues, either at Truman State University or at any other venue. He will either contemptuously refuse or ignore the invitation altogether. This is because Leftists today, and their Islamic supremacist allies such as the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations, wish only to smear, demonize and marginalize those whom they hate. They have no interest in honest, equitable discussion and dialogue. That should tell the students at Truman State University something. However, students today are so used now to that kind of treatment being meted out to those who are dissenters from the establishment line that they will probably welcome it, and cheer Syed on.
In separate statements on Facebook, the College Republicans and Muslim Student Association both called for peaceful dialogue around both speakers Thursday, despite some controversy about comments made on Twitter about Spencer’s visit.
“We appreciate the solidarity for people who would like to speak against Robert Spencer but we’d also appreciate it if there won’t be any disruptive protests,” the Muslim Student Association wrote on Facebook. “We do love the support and believe there’s a lot of genuine concern. We’d like to be part of the conversation. So please use your energy wisely. Because we will.”
In a Facebook statement, College Republican leaders said “unsafe practices will not be tolerated” at Spencer’s speech.
“[The Muslim Student Association has] called for civility and discussion in this issue, and we couldn’t agree more,” the group wrote on Facebook. “We would like to parrot them as we have done before, and stress to everyone on and off this campus that our ultimate goal is the safety of those who attend our speaker. We urge all people to attend these events in a civil manner that is productive to dialogue and does not put anyone else in harm’s way.”
But not all dialogue has been conciliatory. On Twitter, one student posted about Spencer’s visit. Another student responded, saying “PUNCH! HIS! FACE!” which Spencer wrote about on his blog. Spencer’s writing then generated hostile comments from readers, some of which have been deleted.
In individual messages to some students and parents on social media, Truman State leaders made a point of saying Spencer’s speech isn’t sponsored by the university, and doesn’t “reflect the values of Truman State University.”
Indeed. And that’s quite an indictment of Truman State University, that it can’t get behind opposition to jihad terror and Sharia oppression of women, non-Muslims, gays, etc. But that’s par for the course in American academia today.