Wednesday, June 22, 2011

SPLC's Top Ten Islamophobes

The Southern Poverty Law Center has put out its list of the ten people it considers to comprise the "inner circle" of anti-Muslim paranoia and conspiracy mongering. They are Bill French, Brigitte Gabriel, P. David Gaubatz, Pamela Geller, David Horowitz, John Joseph Jay, Terry Jones, Debbie Schlussel, Robert Spencer, and David Yerushalmi. The SPLC also notes three more names -- Steve Emerson, Daniel Pipes and Frank Gaffney -- as being borderline cases; they are well-connected with the ten names listed below and often work with them, but their personal views are just moderate enough to keep them off the list.

Anyway, the point being that if you start to make a judgment about Islam or Muslims based on something said by or sourced to the names on this list, run, don't walk, to the nearest sane person.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Another entry into your
Willful Blindness
to the Grand Jihad

Anonymous said...

I see, so a comment by Daniel Pipes, a recognized authority on Islam, is Islamophobic. That is nuts. It calls the entire list into question.

I only know a few of the names but Pipes, if he is Islamophobic, then he gives that viewpoint a good name.

Anonymous said...

One more thought here. Labeling political opponents beyond the pale, is the very thing that sets people like Mamet off on their viewpoint. He indicates that one feature that defines the left of today is the unwillingness to listen to opponents; instead, calling them names, as is being done here to Dr. Pipes, avoids the need to address differing opinions, opinions which may or may not be correct but which, if not addressed, are not considered and, hence, lost to thought.

He also notes, and on this he is surely correct, that such approach is contrary to the teachings of Judaism, which requires that one bend over backwards to understand the views of others, even those with seemingly mean spirited points of view.

PG said...

So Judaism directs that one must listen to people who have exhibited unambiguous hatred and bigotry, and never condemn their views as hateful and bigoted and to be ignored by decent people? No wonder anti-Semitic writers have found it so easy; their targets were saying, "Well, we really need to bend over backward to understand this point of view. It might seem mean-spirited to call us a cancer on German society, but we can't just go around condemning such statements or saying that people who keep making them aren't worthy of attention."

(In actuality, I doubt that Judaism is such a suicide pact as to call on Jews to let their enemies malign them without calling them out on it. Presumably the ADL -- rarely shy on the calling out and condemning -- has a better notion of what sort of discourse Judaism prefers than Mamet does.)

Anonymous said...


I think you misread me a bit.

My point is that Judaism teaches listening to what people say and trying to understand it. That means understanding even what hateful people think. It does not require acceptance of the point of view of others. It means listening to what is being said.

In any event, having read Pipes over the course of years, he is not a bigot. Moreover, discussing ideas held by others is not bigoted. On that score, one might distinguish what someone like Spencer writes; hence, when he claims that classical Islam teaches this or that, such is either accurate or not; if he claims that all Muslims follow this or that teaching, that could show bigotry. The two things are not the same.

What I see, however, is an effort to make it an affront to discuss the contents of a religion. That, to me, is the opposite of liberal. I might add, it was, in part, by discussing the content of classical Christianity that a more secular and tolerant form of Christianity arose. So, to the extent that people want to discuss Islam or Christian or Judaism or Hinduism or Buddhism and point out the shortcomings, I think that is not bigotry. I think it is in the public interest. And, I think that such is what Mamet has in mind.