Sookhdeo vs White Update

Since writing yesterday’s blog entry, a couple more details about the Sookhdeo-White spat have come to my attention. As I noted yesterday, White recently wrote a critical review of Sookhdeo’s book Global Jihad for Fulcrum, which he brought to the attention of an apparently harmless Muslim blogger who made a mocking pun on Sookhdeo’s surname (“Sookhdevil”). Sookhdeo is now claiming – baselessly and shamelessly – that this has endangered him and his family, and his Barnabas Fund has distributed an email alleging a sinister plot by certain evangelicals to use Islamic extremists against missionaries and “non-white” converts from Islam to Christianity.

I also now see that two of Sookhdeo’s supporters, David Zeidan and Tawfik Hamid, have published a reasonable reponse to the review on Fulcrum, to which White in turn replies here. However, White also notes that there a far more inflammatory version of the same piece being distributed by the Barnabas Fund – the longer text is on the Barnabas Fund website here (a version somewhere between the two was sent out by email and is reproduced on White’s blog). This version attacks White in the most extraordinary and intemperate manner as someone who

seems to accept the racist Islamist view that anything said or written by Jews or Israelis, no matter how scholarly, cannot be credible simply because of who they inherently are

and who

glorif[ies] Bin Laden and…present[s] him in a heroic light as a political freedom fighter and leader of a liberation movement with no religious motivation whatsoever.

In fact, White, following some scholars, simply put Bin Laden into political context. So, the Barnabas Fund describes White as a anti-Semite who celebrates mass murder, yet a joke about Sookhdeo’s surname from a Muslim blogger is beyond the pale. It seems that Sookhdeo and his outfit can dish it out but can’t take even a fraction of it.

Inevitably, the Nazis also get dragged in:

White and his like remind one of those in Britain in the 1930s that were sympathetic to Hitler and the Nazi party, claiming they were merely reclaiming the lost German honour and rebuilding German confidence after the humiliation of the Versailles Treaty. They totally ignored Mein Kampf and all other clear Nazi racist and anti-Semitic statements and actions, or else applauded them. Hatred of America, of Israel, and of Evangelical “fundamentalists” seems to blind White’s eyes to any possible defects in Islam.

Well, two can play the hackneyed historical parallel game: Sookhdeo “and his like remind one” of a certain US Senator who identified a real threat, but who then undermined the fight against it by using the danger to whip up hysteria for self-aggrandizement and to smear anyone whom he disliked or who dared to criticise him. Patrick Sookhdeo: have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?

(Hat tip: Andrew Brown’s Blog)