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Grover Norquist: “Spencer Hates Muslims” By: Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, August 01, 2008

A week or so ago Ed Morrissey put up a post at Hot Air lauding Grover Norquist for his work for tax reform. I added this comment:

Grover Norquist has been responsible, more than any other individual, for the infiltration of Islamic supremacists into the highest levels of the U.S. government. See here the seminal expose by Frank Gaffney of the immense damage Norquist has done.

The continuing general ignorance among conservatives of the political aspects of Islam, and of the efforts by Islamic jihadists to impose political Islam, piece by piece, over the West, can largely be attributed to the baneful influence of Norquist. He has energetically aided and abetted the branding by CAIR and others of critics of Islamic supremacism and of those who tell the truth about this Islamic political and societal agenda as “bigots” — such that frank discussion of the full nature and magnitude of this issue has been generally unwelcome even in conservative gatherings and on conservative media outlets.

David Horowitz, in an introduction to the Gaffney piece to which I linked, says: “On the basis of the evidence assembled here, it seems beyond dispute that Grover Norquist has formed alliances with prominent Islamic radicals who have ties to the Saudis and to Libya and to Palestine Islamic Jihad, and who are now under indictment by U.S. authorities. Equally troubling is that the arrests of these individuals and their exposure as agents of terrorism have not resulted in noticeable second thoughts on Grover’s part or any meaningful effort to dissociate himself from his unsavory friends.”

Indeed. And Grover Norquist will not discuss these matters -- at least not with me. In the comments field on the Hot Air post I told Ed I’d be happy to debate him, but that I doubted that Norquist would agree to debate me. And then several days ago I received this email from Jihad Watch reader Alan:

I met and talked with Samah Norquist [Grover Norquist’s wife] this afternoon at the New America Foundation where James Glassman, the new under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, spoke. Glassman called Islam a “great religion” and said the “extremists” had “twisted” this religion, saying that there are millions of Muslims around the world who don’t follow this extremist ideology….

I also happened to meet Samah, an intelligent, well spoken attractive woman, wife of course of Grover, who was also there. I mentioned to Samah that what I knew about Islam and its supremacist ideology was from Spencer and Grover piped in, “Spencer hates Muslims.” I engaged Samah in questions and she didn’t proselytize at all, but attempted to explain that Islam truly does stand for tolerance of all people and faiths and that people have taken isolated verses of the Koran out of context. Samah also said that the tax was imposed on non-Muslims in the early mixed faith communities predominated by Muslims in order that the Muslims would be able to provide security for all in community. She was anything but dismissive of me, and in fact invited me to stay in touch with her. She gave me her card and I was thinking of engaging her in dialogue just to get her views and arguments.

A few considerations:

Samah Norquist deals in tired cliches that we have seen hundreds of times here when she says that people have taken isolated verses of the Qur’an out of context, etc. As I show here, it is Muslims, not non-Muslims, who have interpreted the Qur’an’s verses of violence as enjoining warfare against non-Muslims ever since the beginning of Islam. To act as if Islamic jihad supremacism is a problem of non-Muslims taking verses out of context is simply to engage in denial -- at best.

In saying “Spencer hates Muslims,” Norquist does what he has done for years. Gaffney says in his article that Norquist “made repeated ad hominem attacks on Fox TV and elsewhere against me and anyone else (including noted experts like Daniel Pipes and Steve Emerson) who dared to warn about the dangers of Islamism. More often than not, he portrayed such warnings as bigoted, racist denunciations of all Muslims.”

The bottom line on that, however, is that even if Pipes and Emerson and Gaffney and I really did hate Muslims, that wouldn’t establish a thing about the Islamic supremacist agenda, or about how Grover Norquist has helped to push that agenda forward. If we really did hate Muslims, would that mean that Grover Norquist has not enabled Islamic supremacists to gain access to the highest levels of the U.S. government? As common as this “hate” charge is, it is just a red herring, a diversion from the genuine issues.

And it is, of course, an effective diversion on many levels. It moves the onus from Norquist and the Islamic supremacists to those who are resisting them. It changes the categories, so that Muslims become the victims of “hate” -- the cardinal sin in today’s multiculturalist fog -- instead of perpetrators of Islamic supremacist oppression. It lines up anti-jihadists for vilification and marginalization as bigots and for possible prosecution under hate speech laws, if Islamic supremacists can succed in ramming those through.

And it isn’t even true. I don’t hate Muslims. In fact, I like Muslims so much that I don’t want them to fall victim to the stonings and amputations and denial of the freedom of conscience mandated by Islamic law. As I said here, “I would like nothing better than a flowering, a renaissance, in the Muslim world, including full equality of rights for women and non-Muslims in Islamic societies: freedom of conscience, equality in laws regarding legal testimony, equal employment opportunities, etc.” Is all that “anti-Muslim”? The Muslim correspondent to whom I first wrote that thought so. He responded: “So, you would like to see us ditch much of our religion and, thereby, become non-Muslims.”

So would Grover Norquist rather see women beaten (per Qur’an 4:34) and stoned for adultery, and those who leave Islam hunted down and killed? For my protesting against these things is what makes him say that I “hate Muslims.”

This demonstrates the superficiality of Norquist’s analysis as well as a propagandist’s unwillingness to debate honestly and tendency to demonize his opponents. It shows what he is really standing for, and whom he is standing with.

Nevertheless, my invitation to debate him is still open.

Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of eight books, eleven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs, is available now from Regnery Publishing.

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