Robert Spencer: Gov’t Officials Conversion to Islam like “joining the Nazi Party during WW II”
by Sheila Musaji
There is no exploration in the Post article of the implications of Roger’s believing in the same religion that jihadists point to as inspiring and motivating their hatred of America and desire to war against it. There is no questioning him about the contradiction, or apparent contradiction, between his drone strikes and campaign against bin Laden, and his Islamic faith. No one thinks to ask him or dares ask him if he differs with bin Laden in tactics only, but not in overall goal. Everyone takes for granted that because Islam is a Religion of Peace, Roger’s beliefs and values should not be subject to any scrutiny of any kind. His loyalty is beyond question. Even to ask Roger how his understanding of Islam differs from that of the Islamic jihadists against whom he is conducting a kind of war would be “Islamophobic.”
The question is this: some might liken Roger to a top American official joining the Nazi Party during World War II. Others would liken Roger to a top American official marrying a German immigrant during World War II, and coming under unjust suspicion as a result. German Americans, of course, could oppose and fight against National Socialism unequivocally, without any lingering allegiance to it; Muslims who profess to reject and abhor Islamic terrorism, however, still profess belief in a book and a prophet that have inspired Islamic violence and supremacism worldwide, even among believers who have no institutional connection to al-Qaeda or any other jihad group.
... If Islamic supremacists wanted to subvert the U.S. defense against jihad terror, they couldn’t do it more easily than by turning someone in a position like Roger’s. The worst part of this story is that no one is even examining that as a possibility.
The Washington Post article Spencer refers to notes the following facts about “Roger”
— Since becoming chief, Roger has worked for two presidents, four CIA directors and four directors of national intelligence. In the top echelons of national security, only Robert S. Mueller III, who became FBI director shortly before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, has been in place longer.
— “No officer in the agency has been more relentless, focused, or committed to the fight against al-Qaeda than has the chief of the Counterterrorism Center,” Petraeus said in a statement provided to The Post.
— But current and former senior U.S. intelligence officials said it is no accident that Roger’s tenure has coincided with a remarkably rapid disintegration of al-Qaeda — and the killing of bin Laden last year.
This is obviously someone who has proven his loyalty to his country. Spencer is actually saying with a straight face that this long-term CIA official with an impeccable and successful record of fighting terrorism should be asked to take some sort of a loyalty test. Spencer is questioning the loyalty of this official based on nothing but his religion.
Faith in Public Life has published an excellent analysis Robert Spencer’s Double-Standard on Religious Freedom which includes the text of an interview by one of their reporters with Spencer at the CPAC Conference. Here is the text of that interview:
FPL: A lot of people point to polls that Muslims in various countries suggest that they’re Muslims first and then loyal to that country second – American second, or Spanish second. Do you think that’s a problem and are you worried about that?
Spencer: It’s a big problem, and it’s something that has to be taken into account…when it comes to Islamic law and the constitution, there are many, many ways in which Islamic law contradicts the constitutional freedoms. Then if somebody has a loyalty to Sharia, to Islam first, then that’s very problematic.
FPL: And would you describe yourself as American first, or as a person of faith first?
Spencer: I’m an American and a person of faith. And I believe that my faith, as a Christian, isn’t incompatible with the constitutional freedoms. But Islamic law is manifestly incompatible with constitutional freedoms.
FPL: So would you describe yourself as an American first and a Christian second, or Christian first and American second?
Spencer: Neither one. I think it’s a distinction when it comes to Christianity that thus far, there has not been a problematic issue of allegiance. If it comes down to the new Obama directives with the Catholic Church, for example, forcing it to go back on its own policies and its own doctrine…then obviously those are unjust laws that ought not to be passed.
FPL: So if there was a conflict between your faith and the law, you would choose your faith?
This is incredibly hypocritical. Spencer is saying that as a Catholic, he would put his faith before the laws of the United States if there was a conflict between his faith and the law. And yet, he thinks Muslims should have to be checked out to prove their loyalty to the laws of the United States.
Ali Gharib at Think Progress makes an excellent point:
Maybe the Post’s Greg Miller simply realized that a guy who blows up the actual dangerous “Islamic supremacists” on a regular basis would make an unlikely candidate to be a plant within the system. Perhaps that’s because, under Roger’s watch, “core al Qaida’s ability to perform a variety of functions — including preserving leadership and conducting external operations — has weakened significantly,” according to Capitol Hill testimony by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
But Spencer knows all that. He even says so:
The Washington Post, of course, follows the mainstream media line that Islam is a Religion of Peace that has been hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists, and so takes for granted that “Roger” has no loyalty issues, and proffers the drone campaign and the killing of bin Laden as proof.
Why still the questions, then? Because, Spencer says, “It is impossible to tell from this how serious he is about Islam.” The obvious implication in Spencer’s thinking is that “serious(ness)” about one’s faith — when that faith is Islam — means disloyalty to the U.S. Spencer should consider that the “mainstream media” might be right about this one.
Spencer consistently represents Muslims as if they were some sort of a collective entity like the “Borg” of Star Trek. As I wrote in an article about this view of Muslims
There were Italian Fascists, who happened to be Catholic, who thought Benito Mussolini was a great hero. There were Americans, including Italian-Americans, who also happened to be Catholic who were ready to give their lives in the fight against Fascism. There were Muslims who fought on the side of the Axis powers in WWII, and many more Muslims who fought against them with the Allies. And, there are Muslims for and against just about every issue you can imagine.
If all Muslims, or all Christians, or all Americans, or all Black people, or all Arabs, or all Europeans, or all of any other division of human beings you can think of were actually so Borg-like, then Spencer’s conclusions might make some sense. However, for that to be true, we would have to overlook the many wars between European Christian countries, or Arab Muslim countries, etc.
Muslims, just like other human beings, belong to many different groups. We are different nationalities. We have different cultures. We speak different languages. We have different political views. We have different educational levels. We have different levels of religious literacy and different interpretations of religious texts.
Seeing all Muslims as the same is the sort of simplistic, deeply racist, Islamophobic thought process that defines and underlies Spencer’s world view and his interpretations and understanding of anything connected with Islam or Muslims. It is a worldview that makes it impossible for him to see Muslims as human beings. Beginning with this naked prejudice makes it impossible for individuals like Spencer (and his partner, Pamela Geller) to be taken seriously.
Loonwatch points out
Even if you’re a Muslim who is heading and escalating the drone program against the enemies of the USA (killing many innocents in the process), you risk Spencer labeling you an “evil suspect Mooslim.”
That’s exactly what Spencer did recently on his blog in response to a Washington Post profile on the leader of the CIA’s drone program, “Roger” who also happens to be Muslim. (H/T: BA, JD)
A rational individual may actually criticize the substance of the Washington Post profile of “Roger.” A rational individual may choose to point out that the drone program has killed thousands of innocents, destabilized whole regions, and probably endangered the security of the USA further, maybe for years to come.
Instead, the irrational loony Spencer chose to criticize the “Muslamic” nature of “Roger,” considering the wild possibility that he could actually be an “undercover terrorist.”
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Robert Spencer, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/the_politically_incorrect_guide_to_robert_spencer/
Robert Spencer and the Muslim “Borg”, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/robert_spencer_and_the_muslim_borg
Type Robert Spencer into the TAM search engine and 115 articles will come up. He is a very prolific Islamophobe.