Robert Spencer is such a “good scholar” when comes to Islam and the Middle East, that he couldn’t get his work published by a university or reputable trade press. Instead he got his work published by Regnery Publishing, a propaganda outlet with standards low enough to print creationist garbage. Now he is worried about our president and we are supposed to take him seriously. He thinks its very likely he maybe a secret Muslim waging “stealth jihad” against America.
Now I partially agree with Spencer, despite the fact he’s promoting a conspiracy theory and thinks that having a Muslim president in and of itself would be a bad thing. It’s unlikely that Obama would be acting that much differently if he were a Muslim, but that’s only because contrary to Spencer, most American Muslims are nothing like the negative stereotype people like him put forward. Policy wise, I don’t think we’d see a lot of difference, only because being a Muslim doesn’t say that much about you. Even if he were a Muslim, ( which we have no good reason to think he is ) I doubt that as president of the United States, Obama would support our nation’s enemies, even if they were also Muslims.
Other wingnuts of course have also claimed that he’s helping Al Qaeda, ignoring the fact that he’s been responsible for killing large numbers of Al Qaeda terrorists not to mention the fact that Osama Bin Laden was killed by US special forces under his watch, and he praised them for it. Do you really not think that this is something that would not anger fanatical supporters of groups like Al Qaeda more than him leaving Islam? Even if he where a Muslim, he’s not acting like a friend to Jihadists at all.
The idea that Obama is part of some kind of “stealth jihad” is ridiculous. It’s laughable at best, but so is the entire idea of the “stealth jihad” conspiracy. Most US Muslims do not want to live in theocracies like Iran or Saudi Arabia. The biggest American Muslim Organization Supported a bill to ban discrimination against LGBT people for example. Something you would not expect if they thought the way people in the “counter Jihad” expect us to believe they do. The Muslim Public Affairs Council also put out a declaration condemning extremism, which condemned Muslim extremists as well. In addition there’s something else that makes the whole “stealth jihad / creeping sharia” idea ridiculous.
Muslims in fact are less than one percent of the total US population. Just look at this graph from the Pew Research Center
If you want a group that really threatens our freedom, that may destroy America as we know it, from within, look no further than the religious right, which Spencer is a part of. Radical Christians will be the ones to do it, if anyone will turn America into a theocracy. Some of them outright deny that non Christians have any right to practice their faiths under our constitution, despite the fact that first amendment protects religious liberty for everyone. Many of them have whined about persecution while promoting and defending regimes guilty of the real thing.
This isn’t because Christianity is inherently evil, its not, anymore so than Islam or any other religion for that matter. It’s just that the Christian religious right has wide spread support here in the US, the Muslim religious right does not. Even if the average American conservative doesn’t support their agenda wholesale, it’s far more likely to appeal to him, than the agenda of some radical Muslim extremist group.
Spencer and his supporters in fact have come out against the rights of Muslims on more than one occasion. In fact the “counter jihad” only supports things like freedom of speech and freedom of religion when its their rights that are being violated*
This is why you rarely see them condemn attempts to take our rights away that are endorsed by people who are not Muslims or groups like the American Religious Right, that are not comprised of Muslims.
Yet in spite of the total lack of evidence, and even evidence to the contrary, we are told we should be worried that Obama is a “secret Muslim” working with our enemies. The shear fact that Spencer even thinks that conspiracy theory is plausible, should be seen as more proof that he’s little more than a propagandist and an anti Muslim bigot.
*While I don’t entirely agree with Jacob Mchangama regarding the decision the court made dealing with MTA refusing to run Geller’s bus adds, everything else he wrote here is spot on.