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Building Bridges Between Christians and Muslims: A Case Study

I was scheduled to appear at a Catholic Men’s Conference, until Islamic supremacist groups labeled me a "hatemonger."

by
Robert Spencer

Bio

February 10, 2013 - 7:00 am
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While Christians face escalating persecution from Muslims in Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and elsewhere, the Catholic Church temporizes, ignores the victims, and plays at “dialogue” with Islamic supremacist groups whose announced intent is to “build bridges” with non-Muslims. Such bridges are really just proselytizing mechanisms to convert them to Islam, not an attempt to engage in genuine dialogue – as the Muslim Brotherhood theorist Sayyid Qutb explained:

The chasm between Islam and Jahiliyyah [the society of unbelievers] is great, and a bridge is not to be built across it so that the people on the two sides may mix with each other, but only so that the people of Jahiliyyah may come over to Islam.

And so it was that I was scheduled to appear at a Catholic Men’s Conference in Worcester, Massachusetts, on March 16, until the Roman Catholic bishop of Worcester, Robert McManus, directed that my appearance be canceled. McManus was under pressure from Islamic supremacist groups who were calling and emailing the diocese demanding that he cancel my appearance. I’ve been informed from sources close to the events that they were asked to call the diocese and demand the cancellation by a Boston Globe reporter named Lisa J. Wangsness, who appears to have instigated the entire controversy, although she and her editor deny this.

Abdul Cader Asmal, co-chairman of communications for the Islamic Council of New England, wrote a libelous and hysterical screed to the Diocese of Worcester, labeling me a “hatemonger” and demanding that they cancel my appearance at the conference coming up this March 16. I posted it in full here. The response was immediate. I was given no chance to respond to this tissue of libel. The diocese never contacted me. The rapidity and one-sidedness of the diocese’s reaction was inexcusable — I was tried, convicted, and executed without evidence, without investigation, and without a moment’s thought.

Instead of contacting me or researching what I actually say, Raymond Delisle, spokesman for the Diocese of Worcester, promptly gave this statement to the Globe:

Although the intention of the conference organizers was to have a presenter on Islam from a Catholic’s perspective, we are asking Robert Spencer to not come to the Worcester Catholic Men’s Conference given that his presence is being seen as harmful to Catholic–Islamic relations both locally and nationally.

Charles Jacobs, president of Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), an organization that does research on Islamic supremacists and what they describe as “false moderates,” informed me that Abdul Cader Asmal is a self-proclaimed friend and supporter of a convicted jihad terrorist, Tarek Mehanna, who is currently serving 17½ years in federal prison for aiding al-Qaeda.

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