Reza Aslan vs. Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer gets torn a new nether orifice by Reza Aslan in this segment of the CNN “town hall” meeting on Islam. Aslan quite correctly identifies Spencer’s group “Stop the Islamization of America” as a branch of the European hate franchise “Stop the Islamisation of Europe,” and points out that Spencer is working hard to import European-style ethic and religious hatred to the US.

(I have to quibble with one of Aslan’s points, though; he exaggerates slightly by describing SIOE as a “neo-Nazi” group. The group itself isn’t strictly a neo-Nazi group, although they do incorporate and make alliances with other groups that do have Nazi roots.)

Watch as Robert Spencer actually accuses an imam in the audience of vandalizing his own mosque, then tries to weasel out of it by saying, “Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t…”

Youtube Video

SPENCER: what happened to your mosque is a terrible thing. Nobody should go around vandalizing anything. But there’s also another thing, and you talk about why are Americans suspicious of these good people? Well, there’s also documented evidence, and I can get it to you, that the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other groups have and mosques included, have actually fabricated hate crimes against Muslims that are later discovered that they did it themselves.

IMAM: No, no, no - come on.

SPENCER: I’m not saying that yours were fabricated. What is - maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. its why people are suspicious and that kind of thing has to addressed

AMANPOUR: Reza Aslan, you’ve heard - you’ve heard the -

REZA ASLAN, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, DAILY BEAST: Robert Spencer is quite famous for spewing nonsense, and this is - this is more nonsense that every single -media matters— every single non-partisan media organization has said, quite clearly, every word that came out of Robert Spencer’s mouth - the reason that he’s the only one who said this is that he’s the only one who actually has this information.

(crosstalk)

SPENCER: It’s easy to attack me personally — its harder to deal with the facts.

AMANPOUR: Reza, what did he say that was inaccurate?

ASLAN: I’m going to go ahead and trust the FBI instead of Robert Spencer when it comes to the rise in Muslim hate crimes. But that’s not even the issue here. If you go around saying that 80 percent of mosques are preaching hatred and violence, then why are you surprised that people would actually respond with fear and with violence against Muslims?

SPENCER: Well, actually, I didn’t say that.

ASLAN: And if you’re spreading this kind of ideology, don’t pretend that you don’t have a role in the consequences of the things that you say.

SPENCER: — when in reality, these were three separate, independent studies that came to this figure of 80 percent. They all say that in 1998

ASLAN: Those studies have already been bunked by everybody.

(CROSSTALK)

ASLAN: No one is taking you seriously.

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