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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Battle waged in Boston over new mosque

There is an extremely interesting story in the Boston Mosque controversy, but the CS Monitor article ("Battle waged in Boston over new mosque", missed it. Boston ethnic Ashkenazim have mounted a wide-ranging and highly coordinated mostly surreptitious campaign -- it should probably be called a conspiracy -- not only "to deprive ... members of the Boston Muslim community of their basic right of free association and the free exercise of their religion" but to shut out American Arabs and Muslims from input into American public, political and academic discussion about American policy and interest in the Middle East.

I did read the notice that was posted on the Boston-Net mailing list and that requested members to thank the CS Monitor for the article. The author of that email message was simply wrong to believe that the presentation of the issues was balanced. Unlike anyone associated with the Cambridge Mosque, I actually have been a newspaperman, and I have a background in Judaica, which includes in-depth knowledge both of the classic period and also of modern Eastern Europe.

Here is how I would have approached the writing of the article. Below, I address the following questions, with which the original article should have dealt.

What is the real story?
Who made the initial charges?
What were the initial charges?
Who made the countercharges?
What are the countercharges?
What was left out of the story?
Who is paying for the legal expenses?
Why is there such an effort against the Roxbury Mosque?
Background information on some key players.

What is the real story?

I probably would have entitled it: Boston Jews Muslims Trade Charges.

Several media outlets, local political groups and one apparently unaffiliated individual have combined to charge, try, judge, convict and execute the local Muslim community (actually the ISB is purely a Sunni organization) in the court of public opinion. The ISB leaders feel that they have not received a fair hearing in the public media and have resorted to the state courts to get relief.

Who made the initial charges?

From the article, apparently the Boston Herald, Boston's Fox TV station, the David Project, and Citizens for Peace and Tolerance (CPT) constitute the main antagonists to the Roxbury Mosque project. Who are the people behind these charges? The article does not identify the Fox or Herald reporters. It does not list the directors of the David Project, a 501 (c) (3) organization, which makes public tax filings yearly. And it does not name the leaders of Citizens for Peace and Tolerance, which is probably a fake organization set up by the David Project. (Boston College Professor Dennis Hale, who is supposed to be president of CPT, seems to work as a speaker for the David Project.)

I grant that most CS Monitor readers know what the Boston Herald and the Fox network are.

What about The David Project and Citizens for Peace and Tolerance?

From, (entire text posted at the end of this letter) we learn that the David Project's stated mission is "diminishing the impact of Israel's detractors, increasing the support of Israel on campus, and reclaiming the moral status of Zionism."

According to IRS Form 990 (, the directors of The David Project are the following.

Charles Jacobs (see below).

Ralph Avi Goldwasser, who is former CFO of Avici and currently director of Telaxis Communications Corporation (Nasdaq:TLXS), a leading developer of wireless fiber optic connectivity products and who produced two recent propaganda films that The David Project exhibit. (One is entitled Columbia Unbecoming. It slanders Arab faculty at Columbia University. The other film entitled The Forgotten Refugees misrepresents the recent history of Jewish Arabs and Jewish Iranians.)

William Hamilton, who is the Rabbi of Kehillath Israel in Brookline and who recently published a fairly silly column,, in the Boston Globe. (The column focuses on the practically unreadable Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a source of anti-Semitic hatred even though ethnic Ashkenazim are some of the most prolific producers of racist demonization in the world today.)

Richard Mann, who is the president of the Greater Boston chapter of the American Jewish Committee.

Shulamit Reinharz, who is a Professor at Brandeis as well as wife of the President of Brandeis. And

Seth Klarman, who is president of the Baupost Group Inc., a private money management firm launched in 1982 with $27 million under management and now managing $400 million. (He received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in economics from Cornell.)

Charles Jacobs is the most interesting from the standpoint of charges and countercharges in the Roxbury Mosque controversy.

From, we find the following about the foreign-born founder of The David Project.

Charles Jacobs is an extreme zionist apologist who co-founded CAMERA, the David Project, American Anti-Slavery Group, and is a member of Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.


External Resources

What were the initial charges?

1. Some society leaders are Islamic extremists (Herald, Fox, David Project, CPT).

2. Boston could become a radical Islamic center (CPT).

3. There is widespread extremist influence in US mosques including religiously bigoted Saudia Arabian literature in mosque libraries and sympathy for various Islamic movements (Steven Emerson).

4. The ISB has close ties to radical Islam, to wit, Abdurahman Alamoudi, who is supposed to be "the founder" of the ISB and who was recently convicted and jailed in an assassination plot against a Saudi official (Herald).

5. The ISB has ties to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who is a prominent cleric living in Qatar and who albeit reformist on some issues holds a controversial stance on suicide bombing, to wit, general opposition to them including 9/11 and the London bombings but support for them in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and in Iraq (Herald).
6. A unnamed current ISB leader has published "anti-Semitic" reports in unnamed British newspapers. (Herald)

7. Mosque leaders are not moderate (Jeffrey Robbins, attorney for the citizens groups).

8. The leaders and the teachings of the Boston Mosque will not be acceptable (Dennis Hale, President, CPT).

9. Boston improperly sold the land for the Roxbury Mosque site for less than the valuation (unnamed Boston resident).

Presenting these charges to the CS Monitor readership requires far more clarification than the article provided.

The meaning of "extreme" in the original CS monitor article is simply unclear.

Zionists generally refer to anyone that supports equal human rights for Jews, Muslims, and Christians in the Holy Land as an "extremist."

Eastern European ethnic Ashkenazim generally believe they had the right to steal Palestine from the native population on the basis of an etymological relationship between the word "Jew" and the word "Judea." The same reasoning would lead to the conclusion that the Irish have the right to ethnically cleanse and steal Rome because the Irish mostly practice the Roman Catholic religion, which contains the word "Roman" in its name. Zionist ideology is so extreme that it is practically psychotic.

Interrogating the accusers with regard to Zionism would have been a good way to understand what they mean by "extreme."

The journalist should have asked the accusers what they mean by "radical Islamic center." American Arabs and Muslims consistently prove to be one of the most loyal subpopulations within the USA and have no issue of divided loyalties as do ethnic Ashkenazi American Israel-advocates. The ISB Mosque on Prospect Street does not fly foreign flags, but Rabbi Hamilton's synogogue on Harvard St. flies the Israeli flag. Anyone that examines contemporary Jewish literature finds pervasive foreign influence. When I visit synagogue libraries, I generally find extremely hostile anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, anti-Catholic and anti-Gentile literature, which is often published in foreign countries but also very often in the USA. I am not sure why local origin would make such literature any more acceptable. Most synagogue libraries contain a Talmud, which attacks Christian beliefs, calls Jesus the son of a prostitute and declares the execution of Jesus by an ancient sanhedrin to have been completely legitimate.

It is not a bad technique of misdirection for disloyal extremists and radicals like Charles Jacobs and friends to project onto others the crimes and misbehavior of which they themselves are guilty. The article should have included questioning the accusers to illuminate whether this sort of diversionary tactic is an aspect of the controversy.

Interrogating the Herald reporter about the disingenuousness of trying to create guilt by association with Abdurahman Alamoudi would have been worthwhile. Alamoudi had long association with the Clintons and was a Washington insider for approximately a decade. From what we have been learning about the techniques the US government has been applying to trials of alleged "Islamic radicals," I have to have some doubts about the justness of his conviction. In any case, the Herald has long been hostile to Saudi Arabia and its ruling family. I have to wonder why this newspaper is suddenly so concerned about the assassination of Saudi officials, for whom the Herald has practically proposed a violent overthrow. Asking the reporter about the apparent contradiction in attitude towards Saudi Arabia between the anti-Mosque story and previous Herald articles would have been valuable.

I would also have asked the Herald reporter what problem he has with al-Qaradawi's position. Does he believe that Jews should have the right to plunder and murder non-Jews with impunity? Every American that I have met who has spent more than four months living among Palestinians in the Occupied Territories concludes that the Zionist colonizers constitute a criminal population of murderous genocidal thieves and interlopers. Resistance against a military occupation is completely legal. As for Qaradawi's position on suicide attacks on US troops and collaborators in Iraq, today, there is no doubt about the nature of the American invasion of Iraq. The USA waged illegal aggressive war against Iraq for the sake of making the Middle East safe for Zionism and has killed approximately 100,000 Iraqis since the start of the war in this vile cause.

See A Clean Break, A New Strategy for the Defense of the Realm ( Why would anybody be surprised that lots of Arabs, Muslims, and decent people throughout the world consider suicide attacks on US troops and collaborators completely legitimate?

As for the anti-Semitism charges, it is hard to make a comment without actually reading the alleged anti-Semitic remarks, but many racist ethnic Ashkenazim and their panderers define hating Jews for any reason to be anti-Semitism. In non-scholarly discourse I define anti-Semitism to be hating Jews for being Jews, and such hatred is, of course, totally wrong, but hating Zionist colonizers and racist ethnic Ashkenazim for what they do -- to wit, atrocities in Palestine and supporting atrocities in Palestine -- is completely justified. To help the reader understand and judge the accusation of "anti-Semitism," the article should have pinned down the definition of anti-Semitism that the anti-mosque groups and individuals are using.

The charges of "lack of moderation" and "lack of acceptability" are totally nebulous and probably racist. The article should have explained what the anti-mosque activists consider moderate. After reading through the website of The Episcopal Jewish Alliance (, an organization founded by Charles Jacobs and Dennis Hale, I have to believe that in the minds of the accusers "moderation" means accepting the legitimacy of the State of Israel. The issue of Israel is simply an ethical no-brainer. In 1947-8 racist Eastern Europeans stole the territory of pre-1967 Israel from the native population. They ethnically cleansed that territory of the native Palestinian population, murdered many Palestinians, expelled the rest and robbed them all of practically all their movable and immovable property. Zionist colonizers have continued this program practically non-stop ever since. It is perfectly reasonable to object to the existence of the State of Israel, and there are many Jews that do not consider the Zionist state legitimate. Should they be forbidden from building synagogues? Why is it perfectly acceptable for any other American to object to Apartheid Israel, but Muslim Americans must be silent?

The leaders of the Mosque are likely to teach that theft, ethnic cleansing and murder are unacceptable. Islamic teachings are good ethics and make good citizens. It is totally obnoxious that racist Ashkenazim and their panderers believe that they have some inherent right to judge acceptability of mosque leaders and teachers. Maybe we should start monitoring the religious services of ethnic Ashkenazi Zionists. Those synagogues that support or advocate the use of US tax dollars collected from hard-working Americans to finance the genocidal expansionist State of Israel should be closed. If the properties on which such synagogues have been constructed were purchased from government entities, the sales should be voided by the logic of the ethnic Ashkenazi anti-Mosque activists.

The whole anti-Mosque campaign is completely un-American, and I am hardly surprised that a Polish-born ethnic fundamentalist extremist like Charles Jacobs seems to be at the center of the operation.

Who Made the Countercharges?

Searching on-line for the public filings of the Islamic Society of Boston brings up information on the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Because the address is 204 Prospect St in Cambridge, I assume that I found the correct documents. As I understand the operation of ISNA, it is a national organization that often finances mosques through local advisory boards.

The web page gives the following information.






The directors are:

1. Osama Kandil, who lives in Virginia,

2. Ali Tobah, who lives in Virginia,

3. Suod Ahafi, who lives in Cambridge, and

4. Walid Fitaihi, who lives in Saudi Arabia.

Salma Kazmi is the full-time assistant director.
If more investigation of the original anti-Mosque charges had determined what the anti-Mosque accusers had meant by extremism, moderation, anti-Semitism and acceptability, and if the definitions had, as I believe, really related to the acceptance of the legitimacy of Israel, the article could have included some interviews with the ISB directors with regard to the question of Israel. In truth, the Mosque has not, to my knowledge, made any outspoken comments in regard to Israel. The anti-Mosque group is merely making assumptions based on some very obscure connections.

American Arabs and Muslims tend to be evasive on the question of Zionism because they have some perfectly justified trepidation about the power of ethnic Ashkenazi Americans in US society, but a little research shows that the vast majority of American Arabs and Muslims, like Arabs and Muslims outside the USA support the human rights of Palestinian victims of Israel's Apartheid with perfectly legitimate and good reason. (Muslims in general have no fixed view on a one-state or two-state or any solution.)

An open discussion of the wrongful nature of the Zionist state would have been a valuable contribution if it had been included in the CS Monitor article. An ever increasing proportion of the general American population is beginning to realize the irredeemably vile nature of the Zionist state, which is a fossilized remnant of the worst aspects of 1930s Poland and Germany. American Muslims are hardly alone in the frustration with Israel shared by many American Christians and many American Jews.
What are the Countercharges?

According to the article,
[in] its defamation suit, the ISB charges that the media, the local groups, and several individuals have joined in "a concerted, well-coordinated effort to deprive ... members of the Boston Muslim community of their basic right of free association and the free exercise of their religion."
While the article contained a lot of mostly ambiguous charges from the anti-Mosque forces, this paragraph really does not provide an effective counterbalance. Americans deserve to know more about the concerted, well-coordinated attempt by the pro-Israel advocacy groups to deprive Americans of their basic civil liberties. I have not read the ISB complaint and associated affidavits, but they must have included more details and specific examples, which could have made the article more informative. Contacting the directors to get interviews or statements or telling the readers that no director provided any information would have been useful.

Cursory analysis of the people associated with the anti-Mosque forces does in fact suggest some sort of coordinated effort that includes well-connected and wealthy ethnic Ashkenazi American individuals in the Boston-area business, media, academic (BC and Brandeis) and organized Jewish communities. Such analysis also indicates that Charles Jacobs may be providing the coordination. Investigating the public filings of CAMERA, one of a plethora of anti-Islamic and anti-Arab organizations of which Jacobs is identified as a founder, provides the following list of officers, directors, and key employees:

Andrea Levin,
Alex Safian, Ph. D.
Joshua Katzen
Leonard Wisse
Carol Greenwald
Charlse S. Cramer
David Wolf, Esq.
Richard Allen
David Cayne
Marshall Cooper
Linda Frieze
Eli E. Hertz
Leo Kahn
Amelia Welt Katzen
David Kudish
Henry Lerner
Kenneth Levin
Winifred Meiselman
Frank Resnek
Evelyn Rubin
Mark Rubin
Fred Schwartz
Henry Sherman
Hillel Stavis
David P. Steinmann
Saul Stern
Pastor Roy Stewart
Herman Swartz
Judith Swartz
Harry C. Wechsler
Robert Weisberg
Maxine Laura Wolf

I have not investigated these individuals, but two names jump out at the reader at first glance, Leonard Wisse, who is the husband of Professor Ruth Wisse at Harvard, and Hillel Stavis, who was the proprietor of the Cambridge Bookstore Wordsworth, which recently closed.

The Wisses link this web of interconnected organizations to Martin Peretz, the Cambridge-resident arch-Zionist owner and editor-in-chief of The New Republic. Peretz funded the professorship that Ruth Wisse currently occupies. He is also a major contributor to the Democratic Party in Massachusetts and nationally. Ruth Wisse is also a close defender of Lawrence Summers, president of Harvard University. Summers has sacrificed all semblance of commitment to free academic discourse upon the altar of defending Zionist racism. He accused the Harvard Divestment movement of "anti-Semitism in effect if not in intent." Summers effectively thwarted a $2 million contribution by the late Sheikh Zayed, a leading Arab humanitarian, to the Harvard Divinity School and thereby severely impaired the ability of Arabs and Muslims to have any input into discussions of future development of Harvard University.

In the course of this particular controversy, a Harvard Divinity student (now alumna), Rachel Fish, founded Students for an Ethical Divinity School, apparently with secret help from Charles Jacobs. She later went to work for The David Project. The David Project has for years placed racist anti-Arab and anti-Muslims speakers on Harvard Campus. These speakers routinely engage in discriminatory defamation of Arabs and Muslims, and the Harvard administration has been completely deaf to the complaints of concerned students and alumni.

Hillel Stavis has been a large contributor to WBUR/NPR and has worked very hard to influence WBUR/NPR coverage the Middle East. This coverage is highly slanted in favor of Zionism and Israel. A recent "Inside Out" program, Exodus 1948, is quite typical. It provided a laudatory examination of the efforts of ethnic Ashkenazi-run ships to bring Jewish displaced persons to Palestine in 1948. The narrator never mentioned that the ultimate purpose of this transport of Europeans to Palestine was to provide cannon fodder for the theft of Palestine from the native population. The narrator also did not mention that the vast majority of Jewish DPs had no desire to emigrate to Palestine (according to the research of Lucy Dawidowicz and of Yosef Grodzinsky).

With people like the Wisses and Stavis on-board with Charles Jacobs, coordinated efforts to defame Arabs and Muslims apparently extends to Harvard University, at least one national political journal (The New Republic) and National Public Radio.

Analyzing more such connections in the organized ethnic Ashkenazi community would probably have shown many more suspicious connections and assisted in concretizing the complaint of the ISB.

What Was Left Out of the Story?

In comparison with other articles about the Boston Mosque controversy many details were missing from the CS monitor that were present in other reports. Perhaps the most glaring omission were the details of the suit that James Policastro has brought against the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) for selling the Roxbury property to the ISB for less than the city's valuation. It is a strange lawsuit. Cities tend to overvalue assets because the more assets a city has, the higher the bond rating that it can obtain. It is not unusual to give a cash buyer a break, and the goods and services that the ISB has offered to the city are worth far more than the $225,000 difference between the price paid and the city valuation. For example, the ISB agreed to provide Roxbury Community College with a 5,000 book Islamic library. A good 5,000 volume Arabic and English Islamic research library of the sort I might put together could easily run to $500,000 because the books would generally cost $50 -- $200 each.

How are the Parties Paying Legal Expenses?

The Poliscastro-BRA lawsuit is potentially expensive with no obvious remuneration to the plaintiff because relief would be the reversal of the property sale. How is Policastro paying for his attorney, Evan Slavitt?

Are the very wealthy associates of Charles Jacobs paying for the lawsuit?

They certainly have the resources.

Is Slavitt doing the case pro-Bono?

Slavitt is general counsel to the Massachusetts Republican Party and has run for State Attorney General in the past. Romney has tried to generate political capital by talking up the monitoring and bugging of mosques in Massachusetts. Is Slavitt trying to jump on this xenophobic anti-Muslim bandwagon?

Is there perhaps another conduit covering the costs? Jacobs seems to have backdoor access to the Harvard and Boston College administrations via Ruth Wisse at Harvard and Dennis Hayes at BC. Both universities are buying up lots of property. As I understand Harvard intends to acquire a lot of property in Alston and Brighton while BC is looking at a lot of property in Brighton. Jacobs is an Alston-Brighton real-estate investor and slumlord. If he received insider information on upcoming Harvard or BC acquisitions, he would be able to buy low and sell high in order to obtain more than enough money to fund numerous lawsuits as well as the activities of The David Project and his other extremist Zionist endeavors.

Miscellaneous Issues
Evan Slavitt's father, David R. Slavitt, who is a poet, translator, and -- if I am not mistaken -- a pornographer, has run for the office of State Assemblyman to represent several wards in Somerville. I have to wonder whether this political effort might be related to the activities of the Somerville Divestment Project, a local organization committed to ending the application of Somerville's public funds to financially risky and morally reprehensible Israel Bonds and similar instruments of investment. Even though the Somerville Divestment Project has no links to the ISB, the organized Boston Jewish community has probably convinced itself that there are connections. (I hypothesize that the anti-Mosque forces are working to intimidate the Muslims either from making any public statements in support of the Divestment movement or from providing logistic or tactical support.) Many groups involved in the anti-Mosque effort are simultaneously fighting Divestment and the Roxbury Mosque. The David Project maintains the Judeo-Christian Alliance, whose specific purpose is focused on preventing American churches from divesting from Israel.

Why Is There Such an Effort Against the Roxbury Mosque?

Boston ethnic Ashkenazim know very little about Muslims. Even though Zionist propaganda refers to the ages old conflict between Muslims and Jews, ethnic Ashkenazim are Eastern Europeans, who have essentially the same connection to the Middle East (including Palestine) and Muslim populations as the Irish have.

They tend to view the conflict over Palestine through the lens of the conflicts in Eastern Europe between ethnic Ashkenazim and non-Ashkenazim (including Jews that belong to other ethnic groups). Because ethnic Ashkenazi Americans generally know very little about the facts of the history of ethnic interrelations in Eastern Europe, generally believe in a false pogrom and persecution version of their own history, and have developed an extremely ornate anti-Gentile (antigoyizm in Yiddish, Antigojismus in German), the organized ethnic Ashkenazi community reacts with total paranoia to perceived threats. The Boston ethnic Ashkenazi communal structure, developed in the 1930s as a reaction to Father Coughlin, is exceptionally vindictive and aggressive in comparison with other Ashkenazi communities throughout the USA.

When Boston ethnic Ashkenazi leaders view the Roxbury Mosque plans, they see an impressive Muslim counterpart to the Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) building on High Steet. The Roxbury Mosque and its congregation even with the Mosque in its current unfinished state is already more well integrated with the surrounding neighborhood than ethnic Ashkenazi synagogues and their communities ever manage to be. While ethnic Ashkenazim keep themselves aloof from Americans long after they have ceased to practice the remnants of Jewish religion, Muslims have no history of communal separation, work for integration with their neighbors, feed the poor and visit the elderly.

The CJP building serves as command center for Zionist activities along the East Coast of the United States and at least as far west as Michigan. The CJP certainly will not sit by idly as Muslims create (from the standpoint of ethnic Ashkenazi paranoia) an anti-Zionist command center right in the CJP's own backyard.

In fact, as I have learned from attending ISB services and activities, the ISB is almost completely innocuous and focused on religious activities unlike the Boston ethnic Ashkenazi community, which is almost entirely secular and focused on ethnic Ashkenazi ethnic fundamentalist politics. The ISB, which mostly serves Sunni Muslims, faces challenges alien to the experience of ethnic Ashkenazi Americans because the Boston Muslim community is extremely heterogenous and consists of subpopulations from an exceptionally large number of ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds unlike Boston ethnic Ashkenazim, who are almost entirely homogenous in language, culture and ethnicity. As a result, the Muslim community has not found time nor the will to engage in Israel/Palestine debates.

Perhaps the anti-Mosque forces fear above all the possibility of general American realization Muslims and Arabs are also people too not much different from the vast majority of Americans. Such a revelation would send the Neoconservatives and other Zionist subversives into total political isolation even as it rendered unsustainable continued American financial support for Israel, Israel's racism, and Israel's aggression..


Because of the difficulties with which the ISB is faced and because most Muslims, who come from almost entirely Muslim countries, have no experience with the sort of coordinated attacks that the organized Boston ethnic Ashkenazi community has mounted on them, the ISB response has been for several years quite ineffective, but from my observation, the organized Boston-area Muslim community that is coming into being is learning fast.

The Boston Mosque controversy is a small piece of a very large picture that harms not only America but the world. The organized Ashkenazi American community is attempting by every means possible to deprive American Muslims and Arabs of their basic right to freedom of expression. All patriotic US citizens committed to American values and principles should be completely offended by the David Project and related organizations and should feel threatened by this racist ethnic Ashkenazi conspiracy against freedom.

The CS Monitor has failed its journalistic responsibility and duty to cover this story.

[BTW, a very similar controversy may be in the process of erupting in Dearborn, Michigan.

I have not been able to connect Debbie Schlussel directly with Boston anti-Mosque forces, but she has made public appearances with Charles Jacobs.]



Report on Robert Spencer and the Boston Anti-Islamic Controversy

By Joachim Martillo

Anti-Islamic and anti-Arab talks/propaganda sessions that have been taking place with increasing frequency in the USA since the beginning of February seem to be coordinated (at least in the Boston and the New York/New Jersey area where I spend most of my time). The current increase in defamation of Arab and Muslim spokesmen throughout the USA and the world is probably connected with such indoctrination sessions. Robert Spencer's February 3rd talk, which took place in Newton, Massachusetts, and which is discussed below, is fairly typical. *

Spencer spoke a little about the Roxbury Mosque and tried to identify as jihadists some people, who in the past had some association with the Islamic Society of Boston, but most of the talk was a sort of rambling attack on Islam that cherry-picked verses from the Quran, commentaries, ahadith, historical incidents, cultural practices, Islamic legal theory, fatawa of various degrees of importance, and various historical, philosophical and political works by Muslim intellectuals over the last millennium. If you want to get an idea of the nature of the talk, you could peruse Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest Growing Faith at the library. Please do not buy it. Or if you do so, get it secondhand so that he gets no royalty.

Spencer's approach was similar to the anti-Jewish polemic that was common in Germany and Eastern Europe in the late 19th century and early 20th century. (To be honest, I consider Rohling's Der Talmudjude to have been a good deal more coherent and erudite albeit equally wrong and malicious.**) Spencer made a big deal about taqiyah even though Maimonides gives in the Mishneh Torah exactly the same sort of permission to dissemble in the same way under exactly the same circumstances. Spencer has more or less recreated the anti-Semitic calumny that Jews give themselves permission to lie every year during the kol nidrei prayer at Yom Kippur and transformed it into an anti-Muslim slander.

Spencer does not like the Quranic verse that assigns authority to men over women even though Abraham Geiger correctly pointed out over 100 years ago that the verse is practically identical to traditional Jewish interpretations of the punishment of Eve in Genesis. Spencer also made a big deal that the Quran characterizes Sabbath-breakers as apes and pigs and that this language creeps into anti-Israel and Zionist polemic. Perhaps, American Jews are sensitive about the issue because 90% of them are Sabbath breakers, but the Hebrew Bible records in Numbers that Moses ordered the summary execution of a Sabbath breaker. Name calling is mild by comparison. I do agree that the terminology is probably inappropriate when attacking Israel and Zionism. Identifying Zionist colonizers as murderous genocidal racist thieves and interlopers corresponds much more closely to my observations of Zionist behavior in Stolen Palestine (pre-1967 Israel) and Occupied Palestine (the lands conquered in 1967).

Spencer ranted for a while about dhimma even though this area of Islamic jurisprudence is quite similar to the canon law and halakhic rules about nonbelievers under Christian or Jewish authority. In any case, the rules for dealing with nonbelievers in all three religions have historically been mostly theoretical because Jews have only rarely been in a situation where they held sovereignty over non-Jews in recent times, and the major Christian and Islamic political entities over the last 500 years have usually used ad hoc systems in place of the specific ordinances of religious law.

He cited out of context a lot of verses that discussed struggle with idolaters or unbelievers and tried to argue that Islam was incompatible with the idea of universal human rights (as if Zionism is). He also cited Kabbani and another Sheikh (probably out of context) in a sort of ipse dixit argument.

Later during questioning he tried to demonize as uniquely evil the desire of ibn Khaldun for the expansion of Sharia throughout the world as if ideas like manifest destiny, mission civilatrice and the white man's burden did not express a similar mentality in the most positive interpretation and a very racist mentality in a more realistic interpretation.

Over all, Spencer seems to have intended to use the talk to rally the troops against the Mosque and Islam or Muslims in general. Many of the Jewish attendees were quite offended by the thrust and the content. Several questioned Spencer's competence in interpreting the texts and asked why he cited questionable Orientalist literature instead of asking Muslim scholars. Two compared Spencer's talk with traditional anti-Jewish polemics. The reaction was to some degree correlated with age. The older people seemed somewhat more anti-Muslim, but on the whole amount of criticism from the audience suggested that anti-Mosque activity is probably on the decline.

There was a suggestion that there should be an open debate or discussion between Spencer and a Muslim scholar. The proposal is questionable. Spencer can pack an amazing number of lies and misrepresentations into 10 seconds, and the answer to each point would probably require several minutes.

The idea that Muslims must somehow prove themselves worthy to Jews, Zionists or their panderers is simply offensive, and part of the required proof seems to include an affirmation of the legitimacy of Israel even though I can cite hundreds of prominent Rabbinical and Karaite scholars as well as eminent Jewish intellectuals of various ethnicities, who will state unequivocally that Zionism is a vile idea that is either racist or runs counter to the last 1000 years of Rabbinic and Karaite Jewish thought.

If this idea of an open discussion goes forward, the format should provide equality. If Spencer is going to interrogate a Muslim scholar about various religious, cultural, communal, historical, social and political aspects of Islam or about the behavior of Muslims from various ethnic groups or states, the Muslim scholar should be able to pose similar queries to Spencer about various aspects of Judaica, for ethnic Ashkenazi Zionist Neocons have done a tremendous amount of damage to the USA in manipulating the government to make war on Iraq for the sake of Israel. Why does Spencer focus on Arab and Muslim Americans, who have proven time again to be one of the most patriotic Americans, while he ignores the obvious disloyalty of the wealthy and influention Ashkenazi American ethnic group, whose members identify far more with Zionist colonizers than with their fellow Americans?

Spencer seems to fixate on certain aspects of the Quranic text, a few specific commentaries, a very narrow portion of Islamic law, certain cultural practices, and the opinions of representatives of political or fundamentalist Islam. Identifying exactly comparable areas in which to question Spencer would be tricky.

Modern Rabbinic Judaism is historically more the religion of the Talmud than the religion of the Hebrew Bible, but today for most American Jews Jewish religion seems primarily a combination of Holocaust fixation, worship of the State of Israel and ethnic narcissism.

While ethnic Muslim identity exists in Eastern Europe among Polish-Lithuanian Tatar Muslims and among Bosnians, Muslims constitute much more a community of faith than do American Jews or Zionist colonizers. When Muslims use the term Jew, they mean a community that follows the tawrat musa. Before Zionism became the dominant ideology among ethnic Ashkenazim, Ashkenazim typically used Jew (Yid in Yiddish) to mean a member of the Ashkenazi ethnic group, which represents something like 98% of American Jews. In order to legitimize the theft of Palestine from the native population Zionists reinterpreted the Ashkenazi ethnic group as the pan-Judaic ethnonational group of anyone whose ancestors practiced some form of Judaic religion. As a consequence political Islamism is probably much more comparable to Zionism, which Nordau, one of the founding Zionist leaders, called Muskeljudentum (Muscle Judaism).

If Spencer wants to question the role that Saudis play in spreading specifically Saudi forms of Islam, his Muslim counterpart might want to discuss the role that Jewish Hollywood executives play in spreading ideas about male-female relations that seem to have developed in the specifically Eastern European Ashkenazi social context (including the Frankist Jewish heresy that encouraged adultery and promiscuity).

To be frank, Spencer really did not seem to have much in the way of qualifications to write or to discuss Islam, and I do not know of any Muslim scholar that would have sufficient command of Judaica to provide a reasonable counterpoint. A discussion or debate between Spencer and a Muslim scholar would probably generate more heat than light and might even give extra life to the anti-Mosque campaign, which seems to be dying.

* Announcing the event: Thursday, February 3, 2005 8:00 PM The Boston Mosque: Does Tolerance and Diversity Go Both Ways? Robert Spencer, Director of Jihad Watch will discuss the Boston Mosque controversy and why it should be a matter of concern for every defender of Israel and believer in universal human rights. Sponsored by the Temple Emanuel Israel Action Forum. Contact: Denise Telio, 617-558-8100. Free and open to the public.

** Even the titles of books that belong to the modern American anti-Islamic/anti-Muslim polemic are similar to the titles of books that belong to the historic Central and Eastern European anti-Jewish polemic. Robert Spencer's Islam Unveiled is a clear echo of Eisenmenger's Entdecktes Judentum (Judaism/Jewry Uncovered).


The David Project, Inc.


Who We Are

The David Project develops educated, courageous and skillful leaders to defeat the ideological assault on the Jewish State, which is the new hatred endangering world Jewry.



The David Project develops and strengthens Jewish leaders who will mobilize the community to effectively advocate for Israel and support the Jewish people; take back the campus by diminishing the impact of Israel's detractors, increasing the support of Israel on campus, and reclaiming the moral status of Zionism; strengthen the pro-Israel and pro-Jewish forces within the churches; and partner with Jewish schools across the country to incorporate Israel advocacy and leadership skills into their core curricula.



Accomplishments for Fiscal Year Ending December 31, 2004

1. Created wide awareness of the anti-Semitic imagery used by Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center to demonize the State of Israel.

2. Trained college activists from over 41 campuses in effective Israel advocacy.

3. Installed our 14-unit Israel advocacy curriculum into 12 Jewish high schools.

Objectives for Fiscal Year Beginning November 1, 2005

1. Increase the number of Jewish Day Schools using our 14-unit Israel Advocacy curriculum to 20.

2. 100% increase in David Project Campus Fellows participants in Summer 2006.

3. Develop David Project Seminar for Zionist Through and Leadership for synagogue lay leaders; develop the David Project Young Leadership Program featuring nationally recognized faculty to immerse promising Jewish leaders in a transformational experience that fosters courage, passion, skill and commitment to Israel.

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