ROBERT SPENCER is the director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the author of twelve books, including two New York Times bestsellers, The Truth About Muhammad and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) (both Regnery). His latest books are Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam's Obscure Origins (ISI) and Not Peace But A Sword: The Great Chasm Between Christianity and Islam (Catholic Answers).
Spencer has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the United States Central Command, United States Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army's Asymmetric Warfare Group, the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the U.S. intelligence community.
Spencer is the Associate Director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). He is a weekly columnist for PJ Media and FrontPage Magazine, and has written eleven monographs and well over three hundred articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism. In addition to the above books, he is the author of Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest Growing Faith (Encounter); Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West (Regnery); Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn't (Regnery), a refutation of moral equivalence and call for all the beneficiaries and heirs of Judeo-Christian Western civilization, whatever their own religious or philosophical perspective may be, to defend it from the global jihad; Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs (Regnery), an expose of how jihadist groups are advancing their agenda in the U.S. today by means other than terrorist attacks; and The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran (Regnery). He is coauthor, with Daniel Ali, of Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics (Ascension), and editor of the essay collection The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims (Prometheus). He is coauthor, with Pamela Geller, of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War On America (Threshold Editions/Simon & Schuster). Spencer's books have been translated into many languages, including Spanish, Italian, Finnish, Korean, and Bahasa Indonesia.
Along with his current weekly columns, for nearly ten years Spencer wrote the weekly Jihad Watch column at Human Events. He has completed a weekly Qur'an commentary at Jihad Watch, Blogging the Qur'an, which has been translated into Czech, Danish, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. He has served as a contributing writer to Steven Emerson's Investigative Project on Terrorism. His articles on Islam and other topics have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Examiner, the New York Post, the Washington Times, the Dallas Morning News, the New Criterion, the Journal of International Security Affairs, the UK's Guardian, Canada's National Post, Townhall, Middle East Quarterly, WorldNet Daily, First Things, Insight in the News, National Review Online, and many other journals.
Spencer has discussed jihad, Islam, and terrorism at a workshop sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the German Foreign Ministry. He has also appeared on the BBC, ABC News, CNN, FoxNews's O'Reilly Factor, the Sean Hannity Show, the Glenn Beck Show, Fox and Friends, and many other Fox programs, PBS, MSNBC, CNBC, C-Span, France24 and Croatia National Televison (HTV), as well as on numerous radio programs including Bill O'Reilly's Radio Factor, The Mark Levin Show, The Laura Ingraham Show, Bill Bennett's Morning in America, Michael Savage's Savage Nation, The Sean Hannity Show, The Alan Colmes Show, The G. Gordon Liddy Show, The Neal Boortz Show, The Michael Medved Show, The Michael Reagan Show, The Rusty Humphries Show, The Larry Elder Show, The Barbara Simpson Show, Vatican Radio, and many others.
He has been a featured speaker at the University of California-Irvine, Temple University, Dartmouth College, Penn State University, the University of California-Los Angeles, Stanford University, New York University, Brown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Virginia, State University of New York-Binghamton, State University of New York-Stony Brook, DePaul University, the College of William and Mary, Washington University of St. Louis, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Boise State University, and many other colleges and universities.
Spencer (MA, Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) has been studying Islamic theology, law, and history in depth since 1980. As an Adjunct Fellow with the Free Congress Foundation in 2002 and 2003, he wrote a series of monographs on Islam: An Introduction to the Qur'an; Women and Islam; An Islamic Primer; Islam and the West; The Islamic Disinformation Lobby; Islam vs. Christianity; and Jihad in Context. More recently he has also written monographs for the David Horowitz Freedom Center: Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future (with David Horowitz); Obama and Islam (with David Horowitz); What Americans Need to Know About Jihad; The Violent Oppression of Women In Islam (with Phyllis Chesler); Islamic Leaders' Plan for Genocide; and Muslim Persecution of Christians.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Why should I believe what you say about Islam?
The evidence stands by itself; readers can evaluate it for themselves. I would, of course, be happy to debate any scholar about Islam and jihad; this is a standing invitation.
Q: Have you debated Islamic scholars and spokesmen?
Q: Why have you studied Islam for so long?
This led to my consulting privately with some individuals and groups about Islam, but I had never intended to do such work publicly. However, after 9/11 I was asked to write my first book, Islam Unveiled, in order to correct some of the misapprehensions about Islam that were widespread at that time.
Q: I've read that you are secretly a Catholic and have a religious agenda.
Q: I've read that you are a member of Opus Dei.
Q: I've read that you are actually Jewish.
Q: I've read that you are actually a white supremacist neo-Nazi.
Q: I've read that you are actually ignorant of Islam.
Q: Why do so many people convert to Islam?
Q: Do you hate Muslims?
It is not an act of hatred against Muslims to point out the depredations of jihad ideology. It is a peculiar species of displacement and projection to accuse someone who exposes the hatred of one group of hatred himself: I believe in the equality of rights and dignity of all people, and that is why I oppose the global jihad. Those who make the charge use it as a tool to frighten the credulous and politically correct away from the truth.
Some time ago here at Jihad Watch I had an exchange with an English convert to Islam. I said: "I would like nothing better than a flowering, a renaissance, in the Muslim world, including full equality of rights for women and non-Muslims in Islamic societies: freedom of conscience, equality in laws regarding legal testimony, equal employment opportunities, etc." Is all that "anti-Muslim"? My correspondent thought so. He responded: "So, you would like to see us ditch much of our religion and, thereby, become non-Muslims."
In other words, he saw a call for equality of rights for women and non-Muslims in Islamic societies, including freedom of conscience, equality in laws regarding legal testimony, and equal employment opportunities, as a challenge to his religion. To the extent that they are, these facts have to be confronted by both Muslims and non-Muslims. But it is not "anti-Muslim" to wish freedom of conscience and equality of rights on the Islamic world -- quite the contrary.
Q: Do you think all Muslims are terrorists?
Q: Are you trying to incite anti-Muslim hatred?
Q: Are you deliberately ignoring more liberal schools of thought in Islam?
Q: Can you recommend a good English translation of the Qur'an?
There are other good translations. For years I have liked Arberry's for its audacious literalism and often poetic English. Compare, for example, 81:15-18:
فَلَا أُقْسِمُ بِالْخُنَّسِ الْجَوَارِ الْكُنَّسِ وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا عَسْعَسَ وَالصُّبْحِ إِذَا تَنَفَّسَ
...in Pickthall and Arberry: Pickthall: "Oh, but I call to witness the planets, the stars which rise and set, and the close of night, and the breath of morning..." Arberry: "No! I swear by the slinkers, the runners, the sinkers, by the night swarming, by the dawn sighing..." Shades of the Symbolists. Arberry gives a hint of how the book sounds in Arabic, in which it is full of beguiling rhymes and rhythms.
Q: What can we do about this threat?
Q: What is Jihad Watch?
Q: Why are you doing this?
Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer is available to speak to your group or on your program regarding current events and/or other issues relating to jihad and dhimmitude. Contact him at director[at]jihadwatch.org.