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They will convince no one outside of their small circle of friends

They will convince no one outside of their small circle of friends

The past several days have seen a feeding frenzy by the mainstream media and left-blogosphere trying to blame Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer for the murder of dozens of innocents in Norway by Anders Behring Breivik.  It was a horrific crime which deserves universal condemnation.

The theory goes that because Geller and Spencer were cited in Breivik’s manifesto, Geller and Spencer caused the crime. 

As Mark Steyn points out, Breivik’s manifesto also was lifted in significant part from Ted Kaczynski’s manifesto, quotes Steyn himself, “as well as several friends of NR — Theodore Dalrymple, Daniel Pipes, Roger Scruton, Melanie Phillips, Daniel Hannan (plus various pieces from NR by Rod Dreher and others) — and many other people, including Churchill, Gandhi, Orwell, Jefferson, John Locke, Edmund Burke, Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, not to mention the U.S. Declaration of Independence.”

The blame game being played at The NY Times, The Atlantic, and elsewhere will convince no one other than their small circle of friends because the rest of us live in the real world, where we have endured over 30 years of Islamist and radical Islamic violence.  Speaking out against this violence is not the same as calling for violence. 

Long before Geller and Spencer had blogs there was the Ayatollah Khomenei, Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, the first World Trade Center attack, and a host of other atrocities committed in various places around the world; those atrocities continued unabated including in Bali, Madrid, London, at Ford Hood, and in attempts on airplanes to ignite shoe bombs and underwear bombs.

We also live in the real world where there are no-go zones in several European cities for Jews because of Islamist and radical Islamic intimidation, including Malmö, Sweden which has been almost emptied of its Jewish population.  A Jew cannot wear a Jewish star or yarmulke in sections of Paris.  American anti-Semite David Duke gives speeches in Tehran.  Arab media outlets regularly spew anti-Semitic venom.  A well-known female reporter was sexually assaulted in public in Egypt as the crowd shouted “Jew.”

Who caused that hatred and violence, and what were those people reading?  If we are going to claim that a reading list is the cause of violence, then the people who are attacking Geller and Spencer will find themselves in an uncomfortable position when it comes to the cause of so much of the violence in the world.  I hold the people responsible, not the texts, which is why you will never read me blaming “Islam” as opposed Islamists or Islamic radicals.

To the extent Geller and Spencer blame Islam, as opposed to Islamists or Islamic radicals, I disagree with them.  But that does not mean that they have called for or are the cause of violence.

It also bears mention that whenever there is violence the first reaction by the mainstream media and left-blogosphere is to blame the “right wing” and Tea Party in the absence of any evidence and even in the face of contrary evidence:  Jared Loughner, The Cabby Stabber, Bill SparkmanAmy BishopThe Fort Hood ShooterThe IRS Plane CrasherThe Pentagon Shooter.

But don”t even go that far.  What about the people who issued death wishes against Sarah Palin and Scott Walker on Twitter.  What were they reading?  I guarantee you it was The NY Times, The Atlantic,, and many of the left-blogs who almost daily attack Palin and Walker in the most vile terms.  What if one of them had acted on the threats, would The NY Times put itself on trial?

There are people who exhort others to violence, and those people should be condemned regardless of which side of the political or religious spectrum they occupy. 

There also are people who go too far in their rhetoric on all sides, but that does not equate to a call to violence or put them in a position of responsibility for people who cannot distinguish.


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I remember the Oklahoma City bombing and how the Clinton administration immediately blamed Rush Limbaugh for encouraging such terrorism. Of course, there has never been any proof that Timothy McVeigh ever listened to Rush, but immediately the left wing latched onto the idea that McVeigh and Nichols were “Christian” radicals. If you research both of them, there is no proof they subscribed to any religion except the same kind subscribed to by William Ayers.

This is a tactic of the left to find a “Christian” boogie man when they can’t explain one person’s insanity, yet those very publications you mentioned never connected the dots between Nidal Hassan and Islam. Not even when it was learned that Hassan had contacted the radical Islamist, Anwar al Alwaliki.

Ironically, the left would be the first people radical Islamist would kill. Everything the left subscribes to is diabolically opposite of radical Islam.

It will turn out that the Breivik is a paranoid schizophrenia with an army of one who acted alone.
They are almost always are.

When I quickly read some of his writings I figured this out in 5 minutes. He has the schizo’s fascination with number patterns when he wrote about how many minutes it took him to come up with a plan.

People don’t realise that having a thought process disorder doesn’t mean you have to talk about martians and the CIA but actually HE DID mention the CIA in an bizarre context.

We shouldn’t be reading his writings for any meaning and we should have to defend ourselves. He is a lunatic.

While I LOVE the line you crafted to title this piece, I think the damage from the Geller/Spencer smears is real and profound. The megaphone media power of the left is daunting (as you hint at in

On occasion, all the cats in the conservative media do herd together well enough to make an audible sound, but the constant MSM grind on free speakers like Pamela and Robert render them to leper status. There is a pervasive enforcement of “free speech for me, not for thee” by the predominant media. This orthodoxy in belief would make the 1930s brown-shirts in Germany proud. The coherent dissenters are the first ones thrown under the bus as dangerous crack-pot lunatics.

    Mark30339 in reply to Mark30339. | July 26, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I do want to add that the yearning for orthodoxy is just as ugly on the right as it is on the left. Just try to advocate for a more humane guest-worker immigration policy, and watch yourself and all your coherent points dismissed as troll-speak.

“I hold the people responsible, not the texts, which is why you will never read me blaming “Islam” as opposed Islamists or Islamic radicals.

To the extent Geller and Spencer blame Islam, as opposed to Islamists or Islamic radicals, I disagree with them. But that does not mean that they have called for or are the cause of violence.”

I both agree and disagree. While I can’t speak for Geller (I don’t read her; she’s a bit “over the top” for my tastes.), I’ve read Spencer regularly for quite a while, now, and I don’t believe he has ever “blamed Islam,” per se, for jihadist violence. What he does do, however, is demonstrate how Islamic texts, from the religion’s foundation to the present, justify and even demand violent jihad “until all religion is for Allah.” (Qur’an 2:191-193, which is essentially an open-ended call for war.)

And I believe he’s right. It’s not that the Qur’an and the hadiths don’t contain peaceful, tolerant verses — they do. But most of those have been superseded by the later violent, intolerant passages. One can argue “Well, that was way back then,” but bear in mind two things: first, the Qur’an and the hadiths are prescriptive. They are instructions from Allah valid for all time. In fact, Allah even says that Muhammad’s actions are a “beautiful pattern of conduct” (Qur’an 33:21) and holds him up as an example for all believers, forever. In addition, Islamic scholars from the earliest days to the present agree that jihad in the name of Allah is mandatory on all Muslims. (It gets messy with the distinction between “offensive” and “defensive” jihad and just what “defensive” means, but that’s for another day.)

That isn’t to absolve jihadists from individual responsibility for their atrocities; they still choose to do what they do. But, in a way that Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and other major religions are not, Islam is inspirational of and exhortative toward violence. It provides theological justification.

Some try to distinguish between “Islam” and “Islamism,” as if the latter is somehow a mutation of the former. Perhaps the most reasonable argument I’ve seen for this comes from Andy McCarthy, in his “Grand Jihad.” He argues that “Islamism” is the better term, in part because it is unfair to peaceful, tolerant Muslims who don’t wage jihad or try to impose Sharia to lump them in with jihadists. And I sympathize, but I also think it’s a euphemism.

I prefer to borrow Stephen Schwartz’s analysis in his “The Two Faces of Islam:” that the violent, aggressive, intolerant aspects of Islam are as much a part of the religion as the opposite, but that they are now dominant and active.”Islamist” in that sense should really mean “those who choose to act on Islam’s imperatives toward jihad.”

Anyway, to come back to your statement in the quote, I agree that what’s being flung at Spencer, Geller, and other anti-jihadists, as well as at believing Christians, conservatives, and anyone concerned about the spread of Sharia in our societies, is scurrilous. We have to push back against those ignorant slanders and lies whenever they appear.

But I think it’s also fair Islam is a source for jihadist violence and terror in a way other religions aren’t.

    Mark30339 in reply to Phineas Fahrquar. | July 26, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I also have doubts over whether Islam is a religion of peace that can bring people in closer communion with the Creator God — but I do not let Christians off as easy as you. If I were a Muslim, I would harbor the same doubts about Christian nations like the US and the way they practice their Christianity.

    In reaction to the 3,000 killed here on 9/11, the US marched self-righteously into wars that led to at least 150,000 deaths. We Americans show no appreciation for the hugely disproportionate terror and pain caused in reaction to our own loss (imagine if your suburb had drones bombing homes without warning). It is precisely these kinds of death multipliers that we Christians are called upon to stop, for Christ’s sake. Our failure to even show remorse is embarrassing.

Gayle Spencer | July 26, 2011 at 11:42 am

As the Professor rightly observes, most of us live in the real world where Islam’s insistent use of violence against non-Muslims is as constant as the Sun rising in the East. More and more in the West are noticing as inherent anti-social and anti-freedoms traits in Muslims which can be traced directly to Islam’s core texts and the behavior and sayings of its founder, Mohammed himself.

But the MSM is not alarmed about those texts and sayings. No, no, no They have no trouble at all with the world’s jihadists who state expressly that they are motivated to do their killings because of Islam’s core beliefs. No, the MSM is only alarmed that we are noticing. And doubly alarmed at those who are acting as contemporary Paul Reveres. Spencer and Geller come to mind, but there is a growing cadre of observant intellectuals who do work as honorable as that of Spencer and Geller.

The MSM lead by the NYT which has become an all too typical leftist smear master is more than happy to usher in our (and Europe’s) new intolerant Islamic masters, and will do anything, anything (its character assassinations using the leftist smear narrative concerning Anders Behring Breivik is just the latest) to foil anyone willing to speak for freedom and against the intended expanding Islamist takeover.

Or as Kent Brockman, himself representatively as gutless as any of our MSM and politicians and other slavish worshippers at the PC altar, might put it,

“Ladies and gentlemen, er, we’ve just lost the picture, but, uh, what we’ve seen speaks for itself. The Corvair spacecraft has been taken over — ‘conquered’, if you will — by a master race of giant space ants [Muslims]. It’s difficult to tell from this vantage point whether they will consume [convert] the captive earth men or merely enslave them [or exercise the third Muslim option, kill them]. One thing is for certain, there is no stopping them; the ants [Muslims] will soon be here. And I, for one, welcome our new insect [Islamic] overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to…toil in their underground sugar caves.”

Midwest Rhino | July 26, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Clearly Kaczynski was the dominant persuasion to kill innocents, with the intent of effecting change. Kaczynski was from Chicago, where machine/mob politics rule. He trained at the liberal seminaries of Harvard and Berzerkly. Kaczynski was part “Green Anarchist”, part Bill Ayers bomber. It would seem Ted and the left deserve the most credit for Breivik’s willingness to use violence as a political tool.

“The emergence of ‘Christian’ terrorism in Europe does absolutely nothing to diminish or simplify the problem of Islam — its repression of women, its hostility toward free speech, and its all-too-facile and frequent resort to threats and violence. Islam remains the most retrograde and ill-behaved religion on earth. And the final irony of Breivik’s despicable life is that he has made that truth even more difficult to speak about.”

Cassandra Lite | July 26, 2011 at 12:25 pm

When the Discovery Channnel bomber cited Al Gore as inspiration, the left disavowed him as a wacko. Of course, these were the same people who, after 9/11, asked us to consider why “they hate us”. Only when it was pointed out that one of the reasons “they hate us” was the west’s liberalism and decadence did they stop asking.

bleached cat | July 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Well done, Professor Jacobson!

Is the NYT saying we are what we read or what we write? I don’t remember them condemning anti-colonialist Edward Said, the Koran, and angry imams for speech inciting the 9-11 terrorists. Also, it seems eminently unfair to define someone by others’ actions, short of him or her engaging in extreme manipulation and direct coercion of a particularly vulnerable audience. Free will and personal responsibility should supersede any idea of the “devil”/ FOX, Geller, Limbaugh, conservative mind rays, Cloward and Piven, Ayers, Algore, Olbermann, etc. making one do it.

If we are what we read or voraciously consume, though, we are all, and I don’t know what to make of it, Two and Half Men. But at least fewer and fewer of us are the uber and untermensch the Times would have us be.

LukeHandCool | July 26, 2011 at 12:57 pm

When it comes to a terrorist attack and the possibility of the perpetrators being Islamists, these people don’t operate under the assumption of granting an ever-larger benefit of the doubt … it’s now become an insistence of doubt.

And when the issue at hand is questioning government spending or gay marriage or Israel’s right to exist … the culpability and/or evil motives of crazy Christians or teabaggers or dual-loyalty Jews has gone from leap of faith to Star Wars-warp-speed jump.

Tell me again … from which side is the “chilling effect” on speech coming?

Their wacky ways of thinking can be amusing at times. But it gets really irritating when you think that any greater sway they might have and they are really mucking with the world our children and our grandchildren will inherit.

LukeHandCool (who agrees with the Professor that few outside of their circle will buy their argument in this instance, but who really worries about the indoctrination happening in our schools … and who reached a low point when, a few years back he went back to school and started a master’s in geography. He had a meeting with the head of the department who seemed at first a very friendly and decent chap. As he lead Luke to his office, through the old map room, Luke looked at the globes and atlases and old maps and felt a rush of excitement … until they reached the professors’ office door at the far end of the map room … a door covered in anti-conservative, anti-Republican, “Impeach Bush,” etc., bumper stickers. I kid you not. The entire door covered. It was very hard for Luke to smile during their meeting afterwards).

LukeHandCool | July 26, 2011 at 1:02 pm

That sholud be “professor’s office door”

Brevik’s Manifesto pg 1344 (h/t)Janitor

“Religion is a crutch for weak people. What is the point in believing in a higher power if you have confidence in yourself!? Pathetic.”

“If praying will act as an additional mental boost/soothing it is the pragmatical thing to do. I guess I will find out…”

“If there is a God I will be allowed to enter heaven as all other martyrs for the Church in the past.” (p. 1344)

It appears this man is severely estranged from the teachings of Christianity. He is mentally ill. My prayers to all effected by this poor mad man.

If Breivik was called to his murderous actions by reading anti-Islamist blogs – as we’re supposed to believe – could somebody tell me just how many Muslims he killed during his rampage?

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The left has heard of Geller and Spencer. Who or what any of these people or documents are, ” Theodore Dalrymple, Daniel Pipes, Roger Scruton, Melanie Phillips, Daniel Hannan (plus various pieces from NR by Rod Dreher and others) — and many other people, including Churchill, Gandhi, Orwell, Jefferson, John Locke, Edmund Burke, Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, not to mention the U.S. Declaration of Independence”, they are “like a duck struck in the head”.

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