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On the Critique of Islam You Need to Look Before You Leap, John

Posted on March 14 2010 3:34 pm
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here
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John Guardiano doesn’t like what Robert Spencer, Andrew McCarthy, and many of us here at NRB have to say about Islam. He thinks such views are “ignorant” and “caricatures.” And he prefers to label such individuals “right-wing” instead of “conservative.”

I could do a long post challenging John’s points but I think instead I’m just going to first pose 4 questions to him:

1. Could you please list all of the books you’ve read by Spencer and other critics of Islam which you have judged to be incorrect? (And could you explain the process by which you judged them “ignorant” and “caricatures”?)

2. Are ex-Muslisms like Walid Shoebat and Mosab Yousef (who say identical things about Islam as Spencer) wrong — and ignorant — too?

3. What is the definition of “moderate Islam”?

4. Who are the “moderate Muslims” who we as conservatives should be nurturing and encouraging? And what books articulate their views?

I prefer the term “Muslim reformers” to “moderate Muslims.” Those who agree with the critique of Islam and seek to evolve the faith into something that accepts religious pluralism, separation of church and state, and human rights are “on our side.” However, those who deny the realities of Islamic theology, law, and doctrine — who claim that Islam is a “religion of peace” and jihadis are “misinterpreting” the Koran — are not our allies. They’re wolves in sheep’s clothing.

My suspicion, John, is that you’re judging and condemning something — the view of Islam articulated by Spencer, Shoebat, and many of your NRB colleagues — that you have inadequately studied. Feel free to prove me wrong. If I’m right, though, here’s a good place to start:

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