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Robert Spencer Joins the David Horowitz Freedom Center By: FrontPage Magazine
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, September 06, 2006

If only all his recent news had been so positive.

FrontPage Magazine columnist and JihadWatch.org Director Robert Spencer has reached an agreement to become affiliated with the David Horowitz Freedom Center (DHFC). JihadWatch will continue operating as it has, but it will now function under the DHFC umbrella.


Robert Spencer will be well known both to our faithful readers and students of Islam generally. A world-renowned authority on Islam with a Master’s degree in Religious Studies, he is the author of five books, including the New York Times bestseller, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (published by Regnery).


Spencer began operating the website JihadWatch.org in October 2003. It now receives half-a-million “hits” from 20,000 unique visitors each day. Spencer says he hopes under DHFC patronage, the site “will expand and become a little bit more activist” and that the affiliation will “put it on a firmer basis.” With this outreach, DHFC adds to its stable a religious scholar and outstanding writer, while Spencer believes this will cause the website to become “a more widely known resource” that “in time will begin to shape public policy.”


He is particularly eager to see the new affiliation “bring law enforcement and government officials to a greater awareness of what we’re up against and the nature of the enemy – which has largely been ignored and obscured and denied – and thereby be able to fight against that enemy more effectively.”


That enemy is radical Islam – and it isn’t confined to the Middle East.


He cites the example of Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, the Muslim who ran over students at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill – Spencer’s alma mater – as part of a jihad. When arrested, Taheri-azar said he was “thankful for the opportunity to spread the will of Allah.” Unfortunately, his actions have manifested by many other American Muslims – of all racial backgrounds – who fragged their fellow soldiers, engaged in “paintball jihad,” fought for the Taliban, shot up a Jewish community center, sniped motorists around the nation’s capital, and plotted to blow up the Sears Tower.


Despite the thin blue line’s commitment to Homeland Security, he says police and FBI members are more likely to hear about Islam from extremism’s apologists. “They’ve been getting advice from the wrong people; they’ve been getting sensitivity training led by the Council on American-Islamic Relations and groups like it, which is scandalous.” As a result of his new relationship with DHFC, he hopes he will have the resources to reach policemen and others wondering how to respond when radical clerics turn up in their area. JihadWatch “will offer an alternative to police departments that are courageous enough to break out of the politically correct lockstep.”


He offers as an example the FBI’s keen surveillance of the Communist Party USA during the height of the Cold War. Both groups have advocated the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. Like modern Islam, he says, the CPUSA had a public and private face: “one ran Gus Hall for president” and the other cooperated with the KGB. Both were closely watched. This was, in broad strokes, an effective model for dealing with” modern extremists.


He began studying Islam 26 years ago, when he encountered Muslims in college. Although often called an “Islamophobe,” he had only positive impressions of Muslims as a result of stories about his relatives, who regaled him with charming stories of growing up in a Muslim-dominated area. Thus, when his college friends suggested he read the Koran, he says, “I didn’t come into it with any negative preconceptions; quite the contrary.” He acknowledges, “I was beguiled with the poetry of some of the later suras…[Even in English translation] some of the beauty came out.” However, “the level of violence” caused him to further investigate Islam, which in turn led him to many of his present conclusions. To shake its image as a fountainhead of terrorism, Spencer says Islam must prove “with deeds as well as words [that it] repudiates this jihad ideology and fights against it.” One day it may be perceived as the Religion of Peace.


Spencer keeps busy aside from his work on JihadWatch.


Next month, Regnery Publishing will release his forthcoming book, The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion. The author says the new book is not a biography  but “an examination of the elements of Mohammad’s career – his words and deeds – which give rise to the violence and terror we see in the world today, and based entirely on Muslim sources.” This is the follow-up to his bestselling Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam.


DHFC is the parent organization of FrontPage Magazine, Students for Academic Freedom, Discover The Networks, the Individual Rights Foundation, and other pro-American undertakings. This June, the Liberty Film Festival also merged with our parent organization, which was then named the Center for the Study of Popular Culture.


The Center is pleased to be associated with such an outstanding author and scholar and believes its expansion will aid all parties involved – especially members of the public looking for authentic, up-to-date news and analysis of radical Islam.

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