Robert Spencer Scrubs Muslim “Provocation” Story

Robert Spencer reports on a Muslim outrage on a flight from London to Malta:

Alas, the Malta Independent Online has further details:

The story that made the rounds of the world that a Muslim man was apprehended on an Air Malta plane when he persisted in praying out aloud in the aisle just as the plane was taxying to take off at London’s Heathrow Airport, now has to be revised.

It was a Caribbean Christian man, Maria Busuttil who was on the plane with him, told The Times. And the prayer he was chanting was the ‘Our Father’…

Of course, it would be unfair to blame Spencer simply for taking a news report at face value. Most of us who blog on news matters have probably at some point disseminated a story which has turned out to be problematic or even erroneous – this happened to me in 2006, when I blogged on reports from Canada that some native rock art had been damaged by local neo-Pentecostals.

What distinguishes a responsible blogger from a ideologue hack out to manipulate is how one deals with such mistakes. In my case, it seemed obvious that natural decency demanded that I should follow-up with a corrective blog entry and a note on my original posting. Anything less would be disrespectful to the truth, to my readers, and to those under discussion.

Spencer, however, has a different approach. He sees no need for a correction, or even for an acknowledgement that the story may be disputed (the Malta Independent report contains the detail that “Brian Grech who had a hand in restraining the man, still insisted the man was an Arab Muslim”). Instead, there’s just this:

Not a huge surprise – in August 2009 Spencer did the same thing after disseminating the story of a mass paedophile wedding in Gaza.

(H/T: Eats, Shoots ‘n Leaves and United Shades of Britain)

15 Responses

  1. You should see some of the insanely bigoted comments by Spencer’s fans on that page.

    • I and many others have been aware of those for a long time. Rest assured, very soon the bigotry, racism and Islamophobia on sites like JihadWatch will be exposed on a large scale.

  2. You should see some of the insanely bigoted comments by Spencer’s fans on that page

    Muslims like you see any frank opinions on islam as being bigoted.

    And you view things that way because you are unconscious and unaware of just how disgusting islam’s ‘theology’ is and just how guly the behavior of Muslimds can be.

    21 people ( the figure is rising) were just blown away at a church in Egypt, and the whole world is watching.

    Videos are being circulated on the web in which one hears muslims screaming the supremacist “god-is-great” in arabic.

    Islamists engage in acts of human sacrifice and then jump up and down celebrating those acts like so many unwashed, pagan Aztecs.

    Yet more grist for the EDL’s mill!

    .Rest assured, very soon the bigotry, racism and Islamophobia on sites like JihadWatch will be exposed on a large scale

    It’s never occured to you that Spencer is an Arab, has it?

    I, too, hope that JihadWatch will be given greater exposure.

    That’s what we need.

    • June, a “frank opinion” can be either informed or wholly based on inflammatory and false information–and the whole range that falls between.

      As a Christian, I am loath to be judged by the standards that you use to judge Muslims. Yes, there is a world of ugly being committed by some who are Muslim. There is also a world of ugly being committed by some who are Christian. Both are wrong, but neither is fairly indicative of the teachings of either religion, or the overwhelming majority of the followers in either case.

      People who justify the murder or abuse of young children labelled “witches” exist and claim the umbrella of Christianity. People who call similarly for the execution of those who are gay, or minimally their total exclusion from the whole of society also claim the name of Christian. I pray that they are able to overcome their mistaken understandings.

      I also pray for the coptic Christians who are being targetted for violence in other coutries. But I also pray for the coptic Christians who worship in my own neighborhood who look to many like Muslims, as they arrive to worship in hijab-like scarves and many pray in the prone position.

      I pray that Christianity as a whole wins out over ignorance and hatred aimed now particularly at Muslims. I grieve the ignorance that leads people who have accepted Christianity to see all Muslims as hate-filled murderers, when such is so plainly not the case. Spencer is doing the world no favors. In a world in which love is always up against hatred, one need only ask, which is Spencer furthering?

  3. As Ohioan already mentioned, there’s a difference between legitimate criticism and spreading false information. People like Bernard Lewis dealt with the former, while Robert Spencer obviously deals with the latter. Spencer, for example, falsely claims that Muslims are perpetually at war with non-Muslims, and that Muslims are permitted to non-Muslims.

    It’s never occured to you that Spencer is an Arab, has it?

    Spencer isn’t an Arab. He’s an ethnically Greek Melkite Catholic, and his ancestors are from Turkey. But all this is aside the point; I mentioned that the comments on JihadWatch are extremely bigoted and I was correct. Here were some of the comments on that now deleted page.

    “Was this a seeing eye dog? Because all dogs, cats, pigs, and all other animals are supposed to be kept in the baggage compartments. Its the Airlines fault to have let this undomesticated animal in the human passenger compartment.

    “That is just not acceptable behaviour in a small office, and should be discouraged.
    Have you tried pinning a suitable picture on the cupboard? A Christmas decoration coincidentally in the shape of a six-pointed star? A picture of your pet dog, or your pet pig?
    Or make yourself a stencil of the Danish Mohammed cartoon, and spray it on when no-one is around.
    Or accidentally spill your coffee where she kneels.
    Or spread a few pieces of bacon on the floor.
    A few carols on the radio would help, too, or a loud conversation on the telephone.
    If all else fails, see imnokuffar’s suggestion, above.”

    “Stop Muslim immigration to non-Muslim countries and send back those who are already here. They just can’t live with us and we will be all better off without them!! Their demands and terrorist activities are increasing at an enormous rate. Yes, I would call THEIR praying in planes and on streets a terror activity. Their is nothing pious and holy about it!!! Unless we get tough, they will continue pushing us.”

    Just look at this garbage Spencer inspires. Muslims are animals and praying is terrorism. And on other pages you’ll see calls for genocide. Spencer banned me from commenting for pointing out his factual errors, but he allows for hateful and genocidal comments from his fans (so much for Free Speech). If JihadWatch isn’t a hate site then I don’t know what is.

  4. Spencer, for example, falsely claims that Muslims are perpetually at war with non-Muslims, and that Muslims are permitted to kill non-Muslims.

    Spencer isn’t claiming any of that. He cites example after example taken from islam’s core texts that make that assertion.

    He isn’t claiming that, Islam claims that!

    And many, many ex-Muslims make that claim, as well.

    By the way, more and more people are calling for tight restrictions on Muslim immigration and it has little to do with Spencer and a lot to do with the behaviors and agressions of Muslims themselves.

    When your behavior is disgusting, people will point it out.

    Anyways if you’re that unfamiliar with Islam’s core texts, what’s the point of explaining this.

    Islam’s core texts read like war manuals. I know because I first read them before you’d even soiled your first nappy.

    I pray that Christianity as a whole wins out over ignorance and hatred aimed now particularly at Muslims

    Just how stupid are you?

    Muslims just blew away over 20 people in Egypt and they did so out of blind hatred.

    Why not kick-start you damned brain and pray for the victims, their friends and their families.

    In a web video making the rounds like wildfire, one can hear muslims chanting the supremacist slogan god is great in Arabic immediately after the explosions.

    Charming, eh?

    Pray? You’re evidently too stupid to pray because you can’t even distinguish between agressor and victim

    • “Spencer isn’t claiming any of that. He cites example after example taken from islam’s core texts that make that assertion.”

      He twists and turns at at times flat out lies. Much like that post by that Ph.D guy from Texas on here.

      “And many, many ex-Muslims make that claim, as well.”

      Because doing so makes people like you throw millions at them! Why not do it :)

      “By the way, more and more people are calling for tight restrictions on Muslim immigration and it has little to do with Spencer and a lot to do with the behaviors and agressions of Muslims themselves.”

      It has everything to do with people like Spencer. When you see the pure hate on his site, you ca blame murders and attacks on Muslims on people like Spencer. On top of that, people like Spencer are regularly invited by our governments and law enforcement agencies to give speeches and explain Islam to them. What say we ask for fair treatment by demandin the the KKK give speeches to our law enforcement agencies as well. It would be the same speech, just the group would be different.

      “Islam’s core texts read like war manuals. I know because I first read them before you’d even soiled your first nappy.”

      Which would explain why you don’t remember any of it. Memory tends to go with old age.

      “Muslims just blew away over 20 people in Egypt and they did so out of blind hatred.”

      You do know Muslims were victims in that attack as well right? and that it has been condemned by the Al Azhar rector, one of the highest authorities in Sunnism? Ofcourse you wouldn’t, beause Spencer won’t mention it.

      “Why not kick-start you damned brain and pray for the victims, their friends and their families.”

      You start first. Let’s see you condemn and pray for the victims of the 1000s killed by Christian drones in Pakistan. Or the 12000 killed alst year by Christian gangs in Mexico. Then you can talk.

      “In a web video making the rounds like wildfire, one can hear muslims chanting the supremacist slogan god is great in Arabic immediately after the explosions.”

      God is Great or Oh My God? I ask because Allah is Arabic for God and Islamophobes tend to not speak Arabic, relying on the translations of their fellow Islamophobes.

  5. You do know Muslims were victims in that attack as well right?

    All 21 fatalities were Christian Copts, you dimbulb.

    Some reading material for you.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703915204575103481069258868.html

    • There weren’t just 21 victims. 21 fatalities, but a lot more victims. On top of that, the victims were treated by Muslim doctors in Muslim hospitals.

  6. […] who pass themselves off as experts on radical Islam: there’s no-one as vulgar as Robert Spencer or Walid Shoebat on the […]

  7. […] in 2009 he deleted a bogus story about a mass paedophile wedding in Gaza, and at the end of 2010 he removed an account about a man acting strangely on a plane to Malta – a report used by Spencer said […]

  8. […] either an apology or an explanation. Robert Spencer behaves in the same way (see here and here for two examples). I’ll repeat what I’ve said before: any blogger dealing in current affairs […]

  9. […] or he quietly deletes material from his website without making corrections (see here and here). He also also of course identifies completely Pamela Geller, whose anti-Obama diatribes […]

  10. […] – although given what I know about Spencer’s shortcomings (e.g. here, here and here) I’d be surprised if it’s any good. But if Spencer was overlooked by “media […]

  11. […] case – although given what I know about Spencer’s shortcomings (e.g. here, here and here) I’d be surprised if it’s any good. But if Spencer was overlooked by “media elite and […]

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