Right Embarrassed by the Truth
Today we live in an Australia greatly different to the one I grew up in. Back in my early days, society was more civilised. The police found it necessary to have just two patrol cars out and about on Saturday night in Melbourne, where I lived. No drugs. Some alcohol. On Saturdays we had bodgies and widgies in the streets, but they were quite civilised by comparison with today's ferals.
Unfortunately for our society, many changes have taken place, not always for the better. I am a conservative. I don't like to change just for the sake of change. And I don't like to see people attacking each other simply because they have a different point of view.
Here I am referring to the attacks on Robert Spencer. He authors www.jihadwatch.org, which reports the activities of militant Muslims. I have never seen Robert attacking Muslims, and no one has ever been able to produce any evidence of any offence he has committed. On the other hand, I have seen many people attacking Mr Spencer. All sorts of vague innuendoes. He is 'anti-Muslim', without a shred of evidence. He is a 'hate-monger', again without a shred of evidence. He is an associate of Serge Trifkovic (the old guiltby- association, as Maxwell Smart might say). And there have been endless threats to murder him, so that he must have 24-hour protection, and hide from the public.Notice the difference. It is one thing to report on the activities of others. It is another thing altogether to attack the person himself. The first is legitimate. The second is calumny.
Robert Spencer is perhaps the greatest authority on Islamic militancy in the world today. He is a gentleman (which cannot be said for many of his opponents). Now we expect the hard left to attack Mr Spencer. That's what they do. Attack people. When you hear cries of 'racist', 'sexist', 'rightwinger', or any other label, you know you are dealing with a person of the hard left, those who have no arguments and have to shout out labels to obscure their incompetence.
Recently we have experienced a new phenomenon. Some members of the hitherto conservative population have resorted to these tactics. They refuse to meet Robert Spencer, a fellow conservative, without having any reason to show for it, except to parrot the hard left. The hard left does not like the teachings of Islam. They differ on homosexuality, the treatment of women, abortion, and many other things.
But the hard left shares with Islam an overriding hatred of Christianity and of the USA , so despite their opposite beliefs the left are in bed with Islam. Thus we have world leaders telling us that Islam is a religion of peace, when even a brief reading of Islamic scriptures (and the speeches of Muslim leaders in their own languages) will provide an instant cure to this delusion.
The great danger we face is that some conservative leaders have succumbed to the disinformation put out by proponents of Islam. When our formerly-trusted fellow conservatives start to sound like the hard left, we are going to have serious trouble identifying who is the real enemy.
We have to look at some specific cases where debate has been suppressed. The Bishop of Worcester in the US banned Mr Spencer from his scheduled address to the Catholic Men's Conference in Sacramento in March 2013. The reason? "Spencer's talk about extreme, militant Islamists... might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims". No example of anything Mr Spencer has said which might be unacceptable. Just the stifling of debate.
Matt C Abbott, Catholic columnist with RenewAmerica, referring to Spencer's latest book: "Not Peace But a Sword: The Great Chasm Between Christianity and Islam" (published by Catholic Answers) has this to say: "Yet another diocesan head-scratcher. This time, it's the Diocese of Sacramento....,,,Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto apparently doesn't want to deal with the protests of the 'politically-correct' left. Or perhaps he just doesn't like Spencer's work. It's hard to say, though, because the diocese has not issued an explanatory statement as to why it canceled Spencer's parish talk. A diocesan official, while acknowledging my email inquiry about the situation, did not elaborate.
"Spencer's book is reviewed by Father C.J. McCloskey at
the website of the National Catholic Register. In his review
Fr. McCloskey says: This book is his most interesting yet,
as it makes the case for the fundamental disagreement between
Christianity and Islam. Spencer writes: 'One of the
oddities of contemporary interfaith dialogue is that, all too
often, out of overzealous irenicism, it glosses over, or ignores
altogether, the disagreements between religious traditions,
as if pretending that they didn't exist would make
them go away.
"Spencer expands on the vast differences between Christianity
and Islam on the character of God, Jesus and Divine
revelation; the nature of truth and the moral law; religious
freedom and other basic rights; life issues, marriage and
sexual morality, including the rights and dignity of women....
...At its worst, Islam is diabolical; at its best, it is a Christian
heresy .... The ultimate answer to the threat of Islam
from within or without the United States is not just a strong
defense, but a virtuous people who believe in and live their
lives by the universal Church that Christ founded."
"Spencer expands on the vast differences between Christianity and Islam on the character of God, Jesus and Divine revelation; the nature of truth and the moral law; religious freedom and other basic rights; life issues, marriage and sexual morality, including the rights and dignity of women....
...At its worst, Islam is diabolical; at its best, it is a Christian heresy .... The ultimate answer to the threat of Islam from within or without the United States is not just a strong defense, but a virtuous people who believe in and live their lives by the universal Church that Christ founded."
Closer to home, attempts to get anything but the leftist view of Islam into the pages of News Weekly, the fortnightly journal of the National Civic Council founded by Bob Santamaria, have been stifled. There is simply no way to get the truth about Islam exposed to legitimate discussion. Even articles already published have been removed from the News Weekly website, thus creating a misleading archive.
In an exchange with Mr Peter Westmore, National President of the NCC and publisher of News Weekly, I found it difficult to get him to understand that the problem is not Robert Spencer, but Islam itself. His attitude was that Robert Spencer was somehow associated with Sergei Trifkovic (as if that alone was sufficient). Mr Westmore did not appear to know very much about Islam, and certainly was not aware of its violent past and present. He appeared to believe that if we dialogue with Muslims, the problem will just go away, and failed to understand that moderate Muslims are a bit like lapsed Christians. They simply don't follow the teachings of Islam.
Most Muslims are peaceful, law-abiding citizens, just as Robert Spencer has always said. Islam itself, however, is another matter. Its abrogations, deceptions and calls to terror must be allowed to see the light of day. Any attempt to suppress the truth will have tragic consequences for our children and grandchildren.
The cure? I suspect that a few minutes listening to Robert Spencer will demonstrate to any reasonable person just how serious is the danger we face. Finally, see how Mr Spencer is regarded by those who actually understand the situation. In his column Matt Abbott does not hesitate to call a spade a spade, and points out the effective censorship of Mr Spencer's opinions, although the bishop is unable to identify any offence on Mr Spencer's part.
In this the bishop performs the same function as do Peter Westmore and the National Civic Council. They forbid hearing the opinions of Mr Spencer and those who agree with him. The bishop is effectively saying: "Spencer begets violence - if we let him talk, the Muslims will get mad at us, and it will be his fault. Better to keep him out, and let the Muslims speak unopposed. Then we'll all have peace.
That's it. Punish the victim. The Left does it all the time.
Now we have conservatives aping them.