Monday, October 27, 2008

My Time With Robert Spencer; Part One

Where to begin?

I suppose we can begin in September. Alex, the president of the EFA and I decided to have Robert Spencer speak at Stony Brook. We thought that even though many in our group, and most on campus did not agree with Spencer's view on Islam, Jihad, and traditional Islamic doctrine, his presence would be riveting, thought-provoking, and controversial to say the least.

October came and went (still is), and I found myself driving to school this morning, anxiously awaiting what appeared to be a coming good night. My feet and fingers tapped the day away (a nervous habit when I am anxious).

Finally, I found myself on the phone with a friend named Floyd. Floyd takes care of security detail for both Ann Coulter and Robert Spencer (some other speakers too, but I cannot recall). As usual, Floyd was cordial and helpful, and got me in touch with a Mr. Murphy, who was Spencer's bodyguard for the day.

I finally, at 4 o'clock, got to the hotel near Stony Brook that Robert Spencer was staying at to escort him back to campus. Upon arriving at our destination on campus, our trio was met with many of the wonderfully helpful policemen that helped the Ann Coulter event go off without a hitch last year. The chief of police and his assistant were great and accommodating. For some reason, a student from the Muslim Students Association called in a threat before the event, warning that if Robert Spencer was allowed to come on campus there would be quote "repercussions." Wonderful.

At five o'clock, people began entering the ballroom where Spencer was planned to speak. Alexander gave a great introduction, explaining to Spencer's opponents that if they wanted to truly silence him, they would thoughtfully and factually disprove what he had to say.

Enter Robert Spencer. Mr. Spencer is quite a normal looking fellow. Not quite the angry "hate monger" and "angry Islamophobe" as he is consistently made out to be. He was wonderfully cordial and sociable. He took to the podium to discuss the topic of Stealth Jihad: How Islamic Terrorists are Subverting America Without Guns or Bombs (something to that effect; too tired to look it up).

So we began. Mr. Spencer started with a quote from a 1991 internal document from the Muslim Brotherhood, a group founded in Egypt in the late 1920's. This internal memo stated the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood as the subversion of western civilization and culture, with the desired outcome of an Islamic Khalifate in the U.S, with the guide of a Khalif (successor of Muhammad) at the reigns. With the idea of "stealth jihad" established, Spencer went on to discuss its various parts and pieces.

From forth the Muslim Brotherhood sprang various U.S.-based Muslim institutions such as the Muslim Students Association, a group that exists on college campuses all around the country, and the Council on American Islamic Relations. Spencer explained to us how these so called "moderate groups" have their very existence vested in the roots of Islamic jihadist doctrine. He also noted quickly to us that until recently, the website for the Saudi embassy in Washington D.C. had a section of it's website devoted to declaring the need for good Muslims to "raise the banner of Jihad" so that Allah's religion prevails. The website also noted the need to subjugate non-Muslims, Christians, and Jews into the status of Dhimmitude, in which the kuffar (non-believer) pays the Jizya (the Muslim tax on kuffar), and wears special attire designating he or she as a kuffar.

As I noted before, there was an internal Muslim Brotherhood memo written in 1991 about the need for Islamic subversion of western civilization. Inside this memo, a few allied groups were named. Among them was the Muslim Students Association. In past days, leaders of various campus MSAs have been inciting violence against Israel, and against the West. The MSA has been closely tied to the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, an Islamic "charity" which was found to have been raising money for Hamas.

At the 7th annual MSA West conference at the University of California, former MSA UCLA member Ahmed Shama stated that: "We want to restore Islam to the leadership of society. … The goal … is the reestablishment of the Islamic form of government" (January 2005).

Robert Spencer's talk was thought-provoking, dynamic, and a bit frightening. A little fear goes a long way, though. Makes you get off your ass and do something, ya heard?

Anyway, that was the jist of the talk, and we eventually moved on to the Q and A section of the event. Luckily, I had my camera rolling, and caught a very testy, and at one point yelling match between Sister Nadim Sanaa of the MSA and Robert Spencer.

More to come in Part II with video.

-Posted by Conor

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