Eastern Michigan University hosted a day-long conference Saturday that dared to ask the question: “Is Islam a Religion of Peace?”
Leaders of the state’s Muslim community apparently didn’t care to hear the answer because they tried mightily to get the conference cancelled.
“We respect the freedom of speech,” claimed Victor Begg, senior advisor of the Michigan Muslim Community Center. “However, denying the Holocaust, yelling ‘fire’ in a theater, or glorifying Hitler would not constitute freedom of speech.”
In other words, anyone who wonders aloud whether Islam truly is the peaceful religion its adherents claim is on a moral par with Hitler or, perhaps, James Holmes, the self-described “Joker,” who shot and killed 12 people in a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.
Begg and his fellow Islamic apologists were particularly offended that the sponsor of the East Michigan U conference – an Ann Arbor, Michigan radio station – invited Robert Spencer to speak.
He’s the author of 12 books, including two New York Times best sellers on Islam, The Truth About Muhammad and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). He also is the director of Jihad Watch.org.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, an extreme liberal outfit that describes its mission as “fighting hate, teaching tolerance, seeking justice,” slanders Spencer as an “Islamophobe.” As proof, it notes that he has been banned from Britain as “extremist.”
Spencer is unworried about the Michigan Muslim Community Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center and other detractors.
“What I say is true,” he told an audience of more than 500. “And in the immortal words of Jack Nicholson,” he told Begg and others who took issue with his remarks, “‘You can’t handle the truth.’”
Indeed, in a recent survey by the Pew Forum of Religion and Public Life, one in five Muslims here in the United States said that “suicide bombing or other forms of violence against civilians in the name of Islam” could be justified.
What that means is that some 1.4 million American Muslims (out of an estimated 7 million) thought the 2001 terror attacks upon the World Trade Center justified, as well as this year’s terror attack during the Boston Marathon.
During his featured debate yesterday at Eastern Michigan U against Shadid Lewis, Regional Director of the Muslim Debate Initiative, Spencer forced the Islamist to effectively tap out.
Spencer didn’t subdue his debate foe with rhetorical jujitsu. Lewis was undone, Spencer said, in a post-debate blog post by “the numerous quotations I provided from Islamic authorities teaching warfare against and subjugation of unbelievers.”
Lewis, who converted to Islam two decades ago, was out of his depth yesterday in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Just like all apologists for Islam. For they are defending the religion of most of the world’s terrorists.