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A Response to Matt Duss: Using Demonization in Place of Evidence



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In responding to the article Robert Spencer and I wrote about the Center American Progress report smearing critics of Islamo-fascism in the United States and abroad as an “Islamophobic” bigots who needed to be stigmatized and read out of polite society, Matthew Duss merely repeats the slander comparing us to nutcases like Robert Welch, who believed in wild conspiracy theories and thought Dwight Eisenhower was a Communist.

Duss — who obviously has never read (or never understood) an article or book by Spencer or myself — begins his character assassination by accusing us of spreading “hateful anti-Muslim ideas” with not a shred of evidence presented that would back up the slander, and then denies with a straight face that he or the authors of the CAP report “use the term ‘Islamophobia’ lightly.” Indeed. According to Duss’s definition of Islamophobia, anyone criticizing pedophilia among some Catholic priests or using the term “clerical fascism” to describe the Church’s support for Franco during the Spanish Civil War would be judged to be anti-Catholic or a “Catholic-phobe.”

Every individual demonized by the CAP report and Duss — including, by the way, a devout Muslim, Zuhdi Jasser — is on record repeatedly observing that there are good Muslims and peace-loving Muslims, and the problem is not Muslims or even a majority of Muslims. The problem lies in the fact that Islam’s prophet has called for war against infidels, the subjection of women, and the genocide of the Jews, a people referred to in the Koran and by armed Islamic parties like Hezbollah and Hamas, and even “secular” organizations like Fatah, as apes and pigs. Are women oppressed in the Islamic world? It is Islamophobic to say so — and there are “anti-Islamophobia” resolutions already in place at universities like UCLA that define Islamophobia in exactly this way. The sponsor of the UCLA resolution is the Muslim Students Association, a front for the Muslim Brotherhood.

The problem we face is that the leading organizations of the Muslim community in America, like the MSA, are offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood and have shown no uneasiness — to put it mildly — with the calls of Ahmadinejad and other Muslim fanatics to wipe the Jews and America from the face of the earth. Worse, the Muslim Students Association sponsors supporters of terrorist organizations like Hamas and promotes a “solution” for the Middle East in which the Jews disappear from the map.

Instead of concern about these facts, Duss and the Center for American Progress have focused their money and attention on carrying out what Spencer and I have shown to be a Muslim Brotherhood campaign to demonize all its critics as “anti-Muslim.” This strategy takes advantage of America’s culture of tolerance to provide a shield for forces that have set out to destroy our democracy, and have declared their objective to be just that and in so many words. CAIR — an organization that Duss defends — is in fact a spinoff of Hamas. Four of its top executives have been convicted and jailed for terrorist activities. CAIR responds to its critics by calling them “anti-Muslim” and “Islamophobes.” How convenient to have a brain trust of the Democratic party operating on a budget of $38 million a year to do their work for them.

Duss attacks Spencer for writing that Sharia requires death for apostates by saying in effect that no one is being executed in Virginia. Has he really thought through the implications of that? Yet on this flimsy basis he wants National Review to shun Robert as an untouchable.

Duss’s methodology in conducting his slander is self-indicting. He also cites the following statement by Robert Spencer about Islam as proof of Spencer’s Islamophobia: “It is the only major world religion with a developed doctrine and tradition of warfare against unbelievers.” But this statement is true and Duss does not even attempt to refute it. Instead of asking what this reflects about current Islam in a world where Islamic militants are engaged in holy wars against unbelievers in Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Yemen, Somalia, Uganda, Gaza, and the West Bank — and this is only a partial list — he attacks Spencer for identifying an obvious source of these many conflicts.

Duss cites a scurrilous ADL attack on Spencer — equally innocent of facts — as though Abe Foxman, who runs the ADL as his personal fiefdom, were not a notorious panderer to left-wing causes. The fact is that the American Left has joined in what I have elsewhere referred to as an “unholy alliance,” making itself a valuable ally of the Muslim Brotherhood and its agents like Hamas, both in America and the Middle East. Anyone interested in the facts Spencer and I presented — which are still unanswered — can read our longer essay, Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future, which is available on Kindle for less than a dollar.

—  David Horowitz is the founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center and author, most recently, of A Point in Time: The Search for Redemption in This Life and the Next.



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