Robert Spencer Scrubs Another Blog Post

Robert Spencer’s JihadWatch, this morning:

Gunman with “possible terrorist links” murders 4 outside Jewish school in France

Islamic antisemitism boiling over? Maybe…

Same post, this evening:

Not Found

The requested URL /2012/03/gunman-with-possible-terrorist-links-murders-4-outside-jewish-school-in-france.html was not found on this server.

Apparently, the answer to Spencer’s question is “maybe not”, and so he scrubbed the article without bothering to update his followers with the latest developments: there is reason believe that the killer may be part of a gang of ex-paratroopers who were dismissed in 2008 for neo-Nazi behaviour (details in Le Point, cited in English in other news-sites).

This is Spencer’s usual method when he’s made an accusation that turns out not to be true or to be doubtful: 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 the man was a Muslim, but he turned out to be a Caribbean Christian. There are probably other instances; Spencer apparently sees no ethical need to correct any false impression or inaccurate information he may have left his readers with.

As I wrote previously, any blogger dealing in current affairs is likely to make a mistake from time to time; but what separates a serious person from a charlatan or demagogue is how one attempts to put a mistake right.

As for the tragedy in Toulouse, it is of course reasonable to suspect a jihadist motive. However, Spencer was obviously writing in bad faith: that’s why he framed the suggestion as a Muslim “boiling over”, and that’s why he removed the article without explanation when he realised the killer might not be a Muslim.

Alas, Google cache doesn’t have a copy of the post, although a few lines currently remain visible on the Google search results page. Some of the content has also been reposted on JBlog Central.

UPDATE: The BBC reports:

Police hunting a gunman suspected of killing seven people in southern France have surrounded a house in Toulouse.

According to the French interior minister:

…the suspect had made several visits to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“He claims to be a mujahideen and to belong to al-Qaeda,” Mr Gueant said.

“He wanted revenge for the Palestinian children and he also wanted to take revenge on the French army because of its foreign interventions.”

Spencer probably now regrets blinking, although the fact that the gunman also killed two Muslim soldiers might make the obvious polemical line slightly tricky.

UPDATE 2: Spencer now has several new posts on the subject, including one in which he has fun with foreign media for suspecting Neo-Nazis: “I do not blame them for thinking that it could have been Nazis, since they have so much in common with the followers of the Quran”. Of course, Spencer glosses over the fact that reports such as these also gave him a serious case of cold feet – which prompted him to delete rather than to inform.

UK “Cross Display” Cases Used to Whip Up Resentment

From last week’s Sunday Telegraph, and widely reported:

In a highly significant move, ministers will fight a case at the European Court of Human Rights in which two British women will seek to establish their right to display the cross.

It is the first time that the Government has been forced to state whether it backs the right of Christians to wear the symbol at work.

A document seen by The Sunday Telegraph discloses that ministers will argue that because it is not a “requirement” of the Christian faith, employers can ban the wearing of the cross and sack workers who insist on doing so.

…The Strasbourg case hinges on whether human rights laws protect the right to wear a cross or crucifix at work under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

…The Government’s official response states that wearing the cross is not a “requirement of the faith” and therefore does not fall under the remit of Article 9.

While presented as some kind of shocking leak, the “document”  merely restates the London Appeal Court judgement of Eweida v British Airways plc [2010] EWCA Civ 80. The text of the judgement can be easily found on-line, and includes the following:

The [industrial] tribunal heard evidence from a number of practising Christians in addition to the claimant. None, including the claimant, gave evidence that they considered visible display of the cross to be a requirement of the Christian faith; on the contrary, leaders of the Christian Fellowship had stated that, “It is the way of the cross, not the wearing of it, that should determine our behaviour”. (R1, 780). The claimant’s evidence was that she had never breached the uniform policy before 20 May 2006, and that the decision to wear the cross visibly was a personal choice, not a requirement of scripture or of the Christian religion. There was no expert evidence on Christian practice or belief (although that possibility had been canvassed at the PHR in June).

That was a direct quote from the original tribunal judgement; the Appeal Court concurred:

Neither Ms Eweida nor any witness on her behalf suggested that the visible wearing of a cross was more than a personal preference on her part. There was no suggestion that her religious belief, however profound, called for it.

And as for Article 9, the Appeal Court quoted The European Court of Human Rights in Kalaç v Turkey (1997):

“Article 9 does not protect every act motivated or inspired by a religion or belief. Moreover, in exercising his freedom to manifest his religion, an individual may need to take his specific situation into account.”

So: the document seen by The Sunday Telegraph” in fact contains the unremarkable information that the UK government’s “official response” concurs with the normal understanding of Article 9 as expounded by the European Court since 1997, and that the government intends to defend the Appeal Court’s decision in Europe, rather than just cave in.

The Telegraph piece has subsequently been mischievously distorted, so that the lack of an automatic right becomes an actual ban; from Hungary, has an article reporting that

The co-ruling Christian Democrats are “shocked and appalled” by the British government’s claims that Christians should not wear a cross or crucifix openly at work because it is not a “requirement” of the Christian faith, party leader Zsolt Semjen said on Monday.

…The Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday that the British government is to argue in a case at the European Court of Human Rights that Christians should not be allowed to wear a cross or crucifix openly at work. The paper said that a British Airways worker and a nurse had taken their conflict to the European Court in Strasbourg after both faced disciplinary action for wearing a cross at work.

The article has been partially reposted by WorldNetDaily, under the heading “Hungarians Shocked At British Cross Ban”.

The Telegraph adds the detail that

The Strasbourg cases… are supported by the Christian Legal Centre which has instructed Paul Diamond, a leading human rights barrister.

As I noted just yesterday, a report by one of Diamond’s allies claims that Diamond has linked the cases to Islam in Britain; according to William Murray, writing on the Sharia Awareness Action Network website:

The conference [“Constitution or Sharia” – see herewas truly an international event. Barrister Paul Diamond from the United Kingdom spoke of the Islamization of London and his struggle in the courts to represent Christians whose rights have been taken from them.  He presented the case of British Airlines which permits employees to wear Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and other religious clothing, but prohibits them from wearing any cross or other item identifying them as Christians. The courts actually upheld British Airlines’ right to discriminate against Christians. Diamond has founded Christian Concern in the United Kingdom to assist Christians who are persecuted as the United Kingdom becomes more Muslim oriented.

This line has also been developed with typical vulgarity and hateful excess by Pamela Geller:

The cross is an insult to devout Muslims. Sharia in the West. Did anyone think this kind of submission possible after 911? And it’s worse than that… I won’t be a slave to barbarity, despite the traitors in power.

(Geller was originally part of the conference line-up alongside Diamond, although in the event she didn’t attend)

As I’ve written previously (at further length), my personal view (if anyone is interested) is that British society is in the process of trying to adapt to an individualistic culture in which people increasingly feel that their their professional lives should not completely stifle their sense of personal identity. This isn’t a bad development: terrible things have happened because people gave up any sense of individual responsibility once they were given a uniform and a job to do. It has long been recognised in the UK that there should be some accommodation for personal conscience (I blogged on this here), and the area where there is most likely to be a conflict here in is in the area of religion. It’s reasonable for Christians to fight their corner while these processes are still being thought through, but using the politics of resentment to drive the argument is unattractive.

UPDATE: Taking the Chinese whispers even further, Interfax reports from Russia that:

A picket in defense of Christians’ rights in the UK was held near the British embassy in Moscow on Wednesday.

The picket was organized by the Orthodox public movement Narodny Sobor in response to the decision made by the British authorities to fire people for openly wearing crosses, Narodny Sobor told Interfax-Religion.

…According to earlier reports, the British authorities intend to defend the legality of the ban on public wearing of crosses in the UK in the European Court of Human Rights.

I previously blogged on Narodny Sobor in 2007.

Christian Concern Seeks Support in Norwich: “There is Stuff To Do”

From Network Norwich:

On Wednesday 14 March, Norwich charity, Call to Prayer hosted two events with the Founder and CEO of Christian Concern and the Director of the Christian Legal Centre, Andrea Minichiello Williams.

At a lunchtime meeting Andrea, a barrister, spoke to an invited gathering of Christian leaders from the city and in the evening spoke passionately to a group of around 100 Christians at an open event held in the House of Prayer, Fishergate. 

….Christian Concern is one of the founding partners of the ‘Coalition for Marriage’ campaign which encourages Christians to petition against the redefinition of marriage. 

…Another campaign promoted by Christian Concern is ‘Not Ashamed’, a declaration proclaiming ‘Jesus Christ is good news for our nation, that he is the only true hope and solid foundation for our society’. The declaration is supported by the wearing of wristbands and lapel badges displaying the cross. 

…In Norwich, the gathered audience seemed in full support of her message and went away with her final challenge ringing in their ears: “There is stuff to do…be creative. You don’t need to be involved in every campaign. Find your thing and do it. Don’t be overwhelmed and do nothing”.

The same site has further details of the “House of Prayer”:

A House of Prayer was officially opened in Norwich yesterday (February 2) at the Fishergate Centre as the culmination of 18 months of prayer and effort.

An audience of around 70 church leaders and supporters of Call to Prayer, which is the organization behind the Centre, heard from director Jill Gower and Jane Holloway, from the World Prayer Centre in Birmingham.

Gower previously headed “Eden Ministries”, which in 2005 helped to organise a protest in Norwich against the BBC broadcast of Jerry Springer: The Opera. According to a profile:

Two years ago Jill Gower was moved to “bless and build up the churches” through John McKay’s in-depth Bible teaching, The Way of the Spirit.

She studied the course with regular homework and Bible school attendance, noting that “God was speaking directly to his people which provided life rather than just head knowledge”.

McKay (who died in 2001) was a pastor at Kingdom Faith Ministries, which is led by Colin Urquhart in Horsham, West Sussex; Cornerstone Church in Norwich has a “covenant relationship” with KFM.

The Jerry Springer protest notwithstanding, this sort of neo-Pentecostal/evangelical church tends to be very different from the American “Christian Right” organisations with which Minichiello Williams has been making links; I doubt there would be much enthusiasm for the kind of rhetoric associated with, for instance, the EDL-supporting Tennessee Freedom Coalition, which Minichiello Williams met with in November.

However, the Norwich events are a good example of Minichiello Williams’ activism among ordinary Christians, and it remains to be seen whether her efforts will have any kind of politicizing effect. The “Coalition for Marriage” has had some success in framing the debate on same-sex marriage as an attack on religious conscience, while demands that Christian jewelry and accessories be given the same workplace exemptions as marks of religious observance by members of minority faiths has appeal in an era of assertive identity politics. (1)

In 2008, Minichiello Williams appeared in a Channel 4 documentary about conservative Christian activists in the UK; at that time, her public profile was relatively low. Now, her media presence is such that journalists seek her out for her opinion on what kind of person should be the next Archbishop of Canterbury. The 2008 documentary also introduced a fairly obscure back-bench MP with whom Minichiello Williams was working: Nadine Dorries.

(1) Christian Concern’s US allies are ratcheting up resentment by claiming that the purported inconsistency is evidence of a Muslim conspiracy to impose shariah; according to William Murray, writing on the Sharia Awareness Action Network website:

The conference [“Constitution or Sharia” – see here] was truly an international event. Barrister Paul Diamond from the United Kingdom spoke of the Islamization of London and his struggle in the courts to represent Christians whose rights have been taken from them.  He presented the case of British Airlines which permits employees to wear Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and other religious clothing, but prohibits them from wearing any cross or other item identifying them as Christians. The courts actually upheld British Airlines’ right to discriminate against Christians. Diamond has founded Christian Concern in the United Kingdom to assist Christians who are persecuted as the United Kingdom becomes more Muslim oriented.

European “Counterjihad Activists” Making Links with Christian Right

The British Freedom Party reports:

On Friday March 9 a media team from the Christian Action Network came to London to conduct interviews with various Counterjihad activists about the spread of sharia and the Islamization of Europe. Below is their interview with Paul Weston, the Chairman of the British Freedom Party.

The CAN interview with Tommy Robinson was posted yesterday at Gates of ViennaElisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff will be up next.

CAN previously interviewed English Defence League members in 2009, during a visit to the UK with Robert Spencer. CAN used the opportunity to invite EDL activists to a private dinner with Spencer and Douglas Murray, to the embarrassment of the two men; Murray’s Centre for Social Cohesion sent me a message asking me to clarify that “CAN asked Douglas to do an interview with them – upon seeing the presence of the EDL at the CAN discussion he refused to deal with them and left the venue.”

CAN was primarily known for anti-gay activism prior to taking an interest in Islam; CAN’s president, Martin Mawyer, has a history of virulent statements on the subject (in particular, in 1997 he denounced Ellen DeGeneres’ “FILTHY LESBIAN LIFESTYLE”), which Spencer initially dismissed in 2009 as “not jihad-related”. However, in 2010 Mawyer’s views were reported in Dutch media, prompting Geert Wilders to withdraw from the Los Angeles premiere of a CAN documentary entitled Islam Rising: Geert Wilders’ Warning to the West. The premiere, which had been organised by Pamela Geller and Spencer, was quickly cancelled, and Spencer affected to be shocked at the discovery of Mawyer’s “ugly, vitriolic… hysterical, self-righteous, abusive rhetoric”.

The British Freedom Party and the EDL now have several links with Christian Right activists. Weston and Stephen Lennon (“Tommy Robinson”) are regular guests on Michael Coren’s Arena TV show; Coren is a member of the more intellectual end of the Catholic right, and, like Mawyer, he is particularly known for his objections to homosexuality. Weston and Lennon are also friendly with the Tennessee Freedom Coalition’s Andy Miller (the TFC was in the news recently after arranging for local police to be trained in Islam at an evangelical church in Murfreesboro; the group also has links with the British organisation Christian Concern).

Sabaditsch-Wolff, meanwhile, was recently invested as a Dame of “the Knights of Malta — The Ecumenical Order”, by Nicholas Papanicolaou and none  other than Gen William “Jerry” Boykin; the two men are, respectively, the Order’s “Grand Master” and “Grand Chancellor”. Both men are close to the evangelist Rick Joyner, who is a “Deputy Member of the Supreme Council”. Joyner, who receives messages from God about how an earthquake will soon destroy the west coast of the USA, claims that he was introduced to the Order by an “Austrian baron”, and that his books were responsible for a “spiritual renewal” in the Order.

(Hat tip: EDL News)

Kamel Saleem Pushes Defaced Dollar Bill Muslim Conspiracy

Staying with Rick Joyner and Jerry Boykin, RightWingWatch recently noted an appearance by Kamel Saleem with the two men on Joyner’s Prophetic Perspectives programme:

Yesterday, Saleem sat down again with fellow anti-Muslim activists Jerry Boykin and Rick Joyner on Prophetic Perspectives where he warned that as part of the effort of Muslim-Americans to usher in an Islamic theocracy, they are replacing the words “In God We Trust” on the dollar with “In Allah We Trust”.

Saleem claims that the words are stamped “in red ink”, and that their appearance is evidence of Muslim plans to “establish the Caliphate and shariah law”.

Saleem is almost certainly referring to a photo of a dollar bill which appeared on various websites about a year ago, although the stamped phrase was “NO GOD BUT ALLAH” rather than “In Allah We Trust”. According to an anonymous chain-email that came with the photo, the defaced dollar bill was supposedly given to “a lady in Monte Vista” as “part of her change in Alamosa, CO”; an early version mentions “an elderly woman named Janice” and “the Walmart in Alamosa”. However, the details have not been confirmed and no further examples have been reported. The email includes the comment “You don’t think we’re in a war. What thoughts come to mind!”

Saleem’s claim that Muslims are defacing dollar bills to “establish shariah” appears to amount to “someone somewhere about a year ago defaced one dollar bill with a Muslim message, for reasons that remain undetermined”. And, curiously, the sole example went online after “Janice” just happened to sit down at a table opposite someone who felt strongly enough to publicise it as evidence of a Muslim “war” against America.

Saleem came to prominence several years ago, supposedly as a repentant former Islamic terrorist. His awful disclosures established him as an authority on Islam in conservative circles, although his alleged backstory has been seriously challenged. The above perhaps shows that he is getting short of material; alternatively, it may simply be the case that he’s spoken to credulous audiences for so long that he no longer makes much of an effort.

The same career-arc can seen in the case of Walid Shoebat, with whom Saleem sometimes tours as part of a group of “3 ex-terrorists”.

Here’s the defaced dollar bill that shows the reality of the conspiracy:

However, it’s not the only conspiracy out there:

Interreligious Dialogue at the World Public Forum: Evangelist Apologizes for Hollywood’s “Filth and Perversion”

From a blurb on YouTube about the World Public Forum:

The World Public Forum (WPF) “Dialogue of Civilizations” is a deliberative-consultative body that unites into a single network various international and national nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), representatives of public and state institutions, civil society organizations and faith-based groups, academics, representatives of cultural, spiritual, business, and media spheres from different countries, members of diverse civilizations and cultural traditions, and individuals who share the principles of openness mutual respect which form the basis of the contemporary dialogue of civilizations.

The video focuses in particular on “Founding President” Vladimir Yakunin, who heads Russia’s railways and who is close confidant of Vladimir Putin; Yakunin has a particular interest in religious matters, and he recently arranged for a relic of the Mother of God, usually kept on Mount Athos, to tour Russia.

However, 52 seconds in we catch a glimpse of another man – although not named, this is Nicholas Papanicolaou, who co-founded the WPF with Yakunin. Papanicolaou is a US-based businessman, and he has links with neo-Pentecostal players in the Christian Right: in particular, he is a Board Member of Rick Joyner’s Oak Initiative organisation.

Recently, Joyner spoke about his own experience of attending the World Public Forum. Here’s the video, via RightWingWatch:

And a transcript:

I had an experience a few years ago when I was asked to be a delegate at the World Public Forum on Civilizations and Religions and it had the top Mullahs and Imams from every Islamic country … and I spent all the time I could trying to understand … and I wanted to hear their perspective; why did they hate America so much?

They had no clue that there was such a thing as Christians in America that didn’t like pornography. They saw what was coming out of Hollywood as American Christianity … And I did apologize – I understand our Republican candidates all saying “I’ll never apologize for America,” well, I did apologize for America and I won’t apologize for doing that!

I apologized for the filth and perversion coming out of Hollywood that I believe is spiritually and morally polluting multitudes all over the earth. This is one of the main reasons why Islam hates us so bad. They say “you put ‘In God We Trust’ on your money; look at this filth and perversion you’re sending all over the world.”

Nice to see “the principles of openness mutual respect which form the basis of the contemporary dialogue of civilizations” in action.

I’ve written about the WPF a number of times, most recently here.

Papanicolaou is also “Grand Master” of a chivalric order, called the “Order of Saint John – the Ecumenical Order”; Joyner is described as a “Deputy Member of the Supreme Council”, while the “Grand Chancellor” is none other than Gen “Jerry” Boykin. Last year, around the same time as the Rhodes conference, Papanicolaou and Boykin inducted Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff into the group as a “Dame”.

Judith Reisman Warns of “Toxic Social Contagion” in the Philippines

Back in December (as I blogged here), Judith Reisman came to the UK to speak at the SPUC’s “Sex Education as Sexual Sabotage meeting; according to SPUC’s website,

MP for North-East Somerset, Jacob Rees-Mogg, said the meeting was “terrifically important. SPUC’s work is of overwhelming importance for our society”.

…Following the Conference, Jonathan Evans, MP for Cardiff North, and Andrea Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire, joined parents in delivering to the Department of Education a 47,000-signature petition to Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, calling for “sex DVDs” to be banned from the country’s primary schools. (1)

Reisman also spoke in Ireland and in Italy, where she addressed the Alliance of the Holy Family International.

Then in February, she made her way to the Philippines, to give speeches organised by the Two Hearts Media Organization. A Philippines-based blogger named Resty S. Odon went along, and took some notes. Take a deep breath:

…only three hours and we hear sexual, media, political, legislative, cultural, social, religious, and spiritual matters. Where else can anyone hear keywords such as Kinsey, Baal, Nazism, homosexuality, Catholic seminaries, Bible Christian preachers,devil-worship, pornography, Islamic terrorism, pedophilia, pederasty, United Nations, Freemasonry, Rockefeller Foundation, Guttmacher Institute, sex education, papal bulls/encyclicals, abortion, birth control, Marian apparitions, end times, etc., all the sacred and the extremely profane assembling together under one tent? Nowhere else but in prolife talks such as this. 

Reisman is known particularly for her obsession with Alfred Kinsey; as is often the case with social conservatives, wide-ranging changes in society are laid at the door of a malign authority-figure. Odon has a photo of a flesh-creeping poster for the meeting:

More than 50 years ago, a TOXIC SOCIAL CONTAGION was unleashed by a man hailed by the world of science & education as the “FATHER OF SEXUAL REVOLUTION”

Dr. Alfred Kinsey

COME & LEARN how Kinsey’s flawed conclusions on sexuality have unleased the horrors of our present society!

From PORNOGRAPHY to PEDOPHILIA to a global acceptance of all kinds of sexual perversity

To make sure the point is fully understood, Kinsey’s face and the cover of the Kinsey Report are shown juxtaposed to a uniformed Nazi standing next to a schoolgirl.

According to further notes taken by Odon, Reisman’s talk and materials sold there included notice of “the depiction of Baal in the US dollar bill and in the United Nations seal”, and the claim that “Lady Gaga is the most recent incarnation of Baal worship”. Kinsey is morally responsible for kinds of sexual license since 1948, including “an academic pedophile lobby in Wales”. Oddly, given that Reisman is Jewish, Odon claims that Reisman’s talk included a reference to a prediction of “cultural contagion” made at Fatima in 1917.

Reisman was followed by Fr Edgardo ‘Bing’ Arellano, who gave “a call on the audience to action”; according to a quote noted by Oday:

“It’s hard to cure sex addiction because, according to an exorcist, the devil said there are three kinds of demons in sex addiction lust: iuccubus, which invites the person to masturbate; succubus, which invites the person to rape; and osmodeus, which invites the person to murder.”

Reisman’s visit to the Philippines was in opposition to a proposed Reproductive Health Bill. Afterwards, she was interviewed by Michael Coren on his Arena TV show (I previously discussed Coren here).

Miss Poppy Dixon has a nice profile of Reisman here.


(1) One MP missing from the SPUC event was Nadine Dorries, despite being the highest-profile MP to seek more restrictive abortion laws. The SPUC regards Dorries’ proposed reforms as inadequate; Dorries, for her part, regards the SPUC’s John Smeaton as “shameful and cowardly.”

British Freedom Party’s Paul Weston “Co-Hosted” By Lawrence Auster

From American Thinker, last month:

On Thursday night, the Chairman of the newly formed British Freedom Party, Paul Weston, spoke to a group of New Yorkers at an meeting sponsored by Brigitte Gabriel’s Act For America organization. Weston also said he came to warn America that what is happening in Britain today could happen in America in the not too distant future.

It should be recalled that the British Freedom Party has formed an alliance with the English Defence League; Weston’s trip across the Atlantic also included a visit to the EDL-supporting Tennessee Freedom Coalition in Nashville.

The BFP website has posted a video (and transcript) of Weston’s speech, in which two co-hosts are billed at the end:

Video shot at a private apartment 
Manhattan, Feb 23 2012.

The event was co-hosted by Lawrence Auster and members of Brigitte Gabriel’s “ACT! for America

The American Thinker article gives a different date (16 February), but it’s clearly the same event. From a post by Auster here, in which he urges those who “are interested in attending, and don’t have my address” to write to him, the apartment appears to have been Auster’s own.

The association raises questions about Weston’s judgement, given Auster’s views on race relations. Auster is a particularly controversial figure, who fell out with David Horowitz in 2007 after writing an article on “The Truth of Interracial Rape in the United States“. Auster complained about the media’s lack of attention to race in reporting stories of rape:

Each story of black on white rape is reported in isolation, not presented as part of a larger pattern. There is never the slightest mention of the fact that white women in this country are being targeted by black rapists.

The article was published on Horowitz’s Front Page website (and remains there today), but Horowitz, stung by criticism from the Huffington Post, decided it would be Auster’s last piece for the site. There is also bad blood between Auster and Robert Spencer.

Auster’s website contains his thoughts on a number of subjects, such as 2005 piece on the 1960s struggle for civil rights:

Contrary to neoconservatives’ dreamy thoughts on the subject, the true aim of the civil rights movement, of which the 1964 Act was the crowning achievement, was not to attain a universal, race-blind equality of rights for all persons. It was to advance the condition of black people, by any means that would work.

…To criticize the profound harm done to our society by the civil rights movement and its aftermath is not to defend all of the South’s pre-civil rights racial policies. For example, the Jim Crow laws–which not only allowed discrimination against blacks, but mandated it, most notoriously in public accommodations–were an offense to the nation’s conscience and would have had to be eliminated one way or another. But the regime brought into being by the 1964 Civil Rights Act did not stop at correcting specific racial injustices such as those that came under Jim Crow. By attacking, in principle, all racial discrimination, including private racial discrimination, it in effect delegitimized all natural and historical human groupings and cultures, if they were white. It delegitimized white people’s most basic rights of free association and of property, since such rights were now seen as having only one end in view: the oppression of blacks.

In this spirit, Auster went on (in 2007) to defend the membership rules of the BNP:

which is more inhumane and immoral, the established policy of total non-discrimination which is rapidly destroying Britain, or the BNP’s policy of rational discrimination in favor of British descended people and those who are culturally similar, which would save Britain?

Auster has also helpfully provided a list of his “articles about the evolution of the BNP into a non-anti-Semitic party under the leadership of Nick Griffin”.

Auster used to have links with American Renaissance, although according to the Southern Poverty Law Center he has since “spoken out against [Jared] Taylor’s refusal to clearly condemn anti-Semitism.”

UPDATE: On 16 March, the transcript of Weston’s speech was reposted to the Nationalist Unity Forum, which is run by the BNP MEP Andrew Brons. The piece is described as a “guest column”, and a note adds that “the Nationalist Unity Forum invites guest columns from all the parties and factions in Britain, in a spirit of co-operation and unity.” This suggests that it has been reposted with Weston’s permission and approval. Hope Not Hate, which noticed the column’s appearance, also claims that Weston and Brons recently met.

John Bercow Accuses Blogger of “Defamatory Remarks” Over Claim of Peace Deal with Nadine Dorries

Tim Ireland writes concerning John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons:

It was my understanding after direct conversations and correspondence with John Bercow’s wife, Sally Bercow, that a ‘peace deal’ had been brokered between that couple and Nadine Dorries to the effect that she would not act in an aggressive manner towards them if they did not act in an aggressive manner towards her. (If you are not familiar with Nadine Dorries, the laughingly absurd inequities of such an agreement may not be immediately clear to you. Read on.)

John Bercow has now denied that any kind of ‘peace deal’ had been brokered, and described my allegations as “defamatory remarks made against a named Member of Parliament” in an email that – now I look closely at it – does not make it entirely clear if this refers to himself, or Nadine Dorries, or both. Whatever the case may be, it was clearly important that he speak with his wife, and I said so in my reply.

It was important because Bercow’s wife had communicated with Tim in January 2011:

Hi Tim – I’m sure you think I’m a sell-out but I just had to win Nadine over – she was on air abt J & I every week! Xxx… she hasn’t sounded off about us for at least 6 weeks!

A few months later, Dorries was appointed by Bercow to the Panel of Chairs, a supposedly senior advisory body. Telegraph journalist Peter Oborne was incredulous:

Only six months ago [autumn 2010], Bercow was tottering and it seemed possible that he would become the second consecutive Speaker to be thrown out of office. Tory backbenchers were openly contemptuous…

The Speaker suddenly realised that he had a fight on his hands, and went to work to save his skin. His wife Sally played an important role, acting as an intermediary between Dorries and Bercow. Initially, Mrs Bercow was hostile: when Dorries was cleared last year by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner [over her expenses – see here], Sally Bercow emitted one of her notoriously indiscreet tweets: “So Nadine Dorries is a fantasist, not a fraudster. Well that’s alright then…” Later on, however, her attitude became more supportive: indeed, they formed a public friendship, which may have played a role in last month’s announcement that Dorries was joining the Speaker’s panel.

There’s no indication that John Bercow made any similar complaint of  “defamatory remarks” to Oborne – perhaps Bercow thinks bloggers are easier to push around?

Tim has now responded to Bercow, highlighting several instances where Dorries has misled either Parliament (e.g. the Forsaken organisation) or the general public (including false accusations of “stalking” against critics). By giving her a position of responsibility, Bercow may have saved his career, but at the expense of the best interests of the country.

Back in June 2009, Dorries used the Daily Mail to denounce John Bercow as (to quote the headline summary) “an oily opportunist lacking loyalty and courage”; she received her preferment from Bercow less than two years later. More recently, she used David Cameron’s private apology to her for his “frustrated” gaffe as the basis for a Mail piece entitled “The PM Publicly Humiliated Me in Front of the Entire Nation, What Did I Do to Deserve That?” If Cameron shares Bercow’s apparent propensity for appeasement, a few more articles along those lines might get her into the Cabinet.

UPDATE: Sally Bercow has responded, in a Tweet to another person. Here’s the exchange:

Gillon Johnstone: hope your doing ok the bs being spouted by a particular blogger yesterday was below the belt unfair and ridiculous

Sally Bercow: I’m good thanks. And yes indeed – utterly absurd. xx

UPDATE 2: Meanwhile, Dorries has published her most scathing anti-Cameron comment yet; LabourList has the quote, plucked from behind a paywall from the Financial Times:

“The problem is that policy is being run by two public school boys [Cameron and George  Osborne] who don’t know what it’s like to go to the supermarket and have to put things back on the shelves because they can’t afford it for their children’s lunchboxes. What’s worse, they don’t care either.”

Dorries’ comment was gleefully quoted by Labour MP Sharon Hodgson  in Parliament during Prime Minister’s Questions; Cameron dismissed the statement as “nonsense”, but there’s no indication that he thinks it’s time for him to tell Dorries who’s boss.

Rick Warren, Islam, and Chrislam

From the Orange County Register:

The Rev. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest and one of America’s most influential Christian leaders, has embarked on an effort to heal divisions between evangelical Christians and Muslims by partnering with Southern California mosques and proposing a set of theological principles that includes acknowledging that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

…The effort by a prominent Christian leader to bridge what polls show is a deep rift between Muslims and evangelical Christians culminated in December at a dinner at Saddleback attended by 300 Muslims and members of Saddleback’s congregation.

…At the dinner, Abraham Meulenberg, a Saddleback pastor in charge of interfaith outreach, and Jihad Turk, director of religious affairs at a mosque in Los Angeles, introduced King’s Way as “a path to end the 1,400 years of misunderstanding between Muslims and Christians.”

…”We agreed we wouldn’t try to evangelize each other,” said Turk. “We’d witness to each other but it would be out of ‘Love Thy Neighbor,’ not focused on conversion.”

Or perhaps not:

QUESTION: A recent newspaper article claimed you believe Christians and Muslims worship the same God, that you are “in partnership” with a mosque, and that you both agreed to “not evangelize each other.” You immediately posted a brief refutation online. Can you expand on that?

WARREN: Sure. All three of those statements are flat out wrong. Those statements were made by a reporter, not by me. I did not say them … I do not believe them… I completely disagree with them … and no one even talked to me about that article! So let me address each one individually: First, as I’ve already said, Christians have a fundamentally different view of God than Muslims. We worship Jesus as God. Muslims don’t. Our God is Jesus, not Allah… It’s just crazy that a simple Bible Study where people explore Scripture with non-Christians would be reported as a partnership and others would interpret that as a plan for a new compromised religion. Just crazy! Third, as both an Evangelical and as an evangelist, anyone who knows me and my 40 year track record of ministry that I would never agree to “not evangelizing” anyone!…

So where did Turk get a different impression from? It should be recalled that Warren has been somewhat slippery in his statements to the media on various subjects – most famously, as to whether or not he is Rupert Murdoch’s pastor.

Among those rebuking Warren for the Register report is WND editor Joseph Farah (as I’ve blogged previously, Farah harbours a deep hatred of Warren):

If you compare the personality of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the Christian and Hebrew God – with Allah, Islam’s god, the contrast could not be more stark… It would be easier to find common theological ground between Christians and atheists than Christians and Muslims. In a very real sense, as Joel Richardson has propounded in his brilliant work, The Islamic Antichrist,” Islam represents the polar opposite of Christianity.

Richardson (“Glenn Beck’s End-Times Prophet“; see also here) has an article of his own on Farah’s site:

Throughout the Old Testament, the commandment of God to the Israelites was to never enter into agreements, covenants or marriages with the surrounding peoples, lest the Israelites would find themselves led away to worship other gods. In such a post-modern culture, these concepts may sound amazingly intolerant, but the wisdom of the Lord’s proscription against treaties and partnerships is seen in Warren’s agreement not to evangelize his Muslim “friends” and co-laborers for mutual social causes.

Talk of the “the Christian and Hebrew God” and of “the Israelites” of course helps to fudge a different issue: evangelical Christianity’s relationship with Judaism. While the notion of a “dual covenant” in which both religions are salvific has been formally rejected by most evangelicals, the need for Jews to “worship Jesus as God” is not a subject that is very often stressed, for obvious reasons of good taste and expediency.

This is not the first time Warren has been attacked over supposed connections to Islam; last year, the denunciations came from Jack Van Impe, an old-school televangelist. Again, WND reported:

Van Impe explains that the Bible prophesies a one-world government and a one-world religion during the end times, and his concern focuses on the move among some Christian organizations to adopt some Islamic thought and incorporate elements of Islam into their worship.

“We’ve got too many of these mush-mouth preachers. All they’re doing is two stories and a movie review,” he said. But the Bible actually outlines that its messages also are to “reprove and rebuke” Christians for failing to live for God.

Van Impe specially mentioned Rick Warren and Robert Schuller, prompting a split from Paul Crouch’s Trinity Broadcasting Network:

“We received a call from Matt Crouch of TBN informing us that they would not run that program. … The reason he gave was that we specifically mentioned Rick Warren and Robert Schuller and that it is TBN’s policy that broadcasters are not allowed to rebuke other ministries,” Van Impe said.

The suggestion that Muslim-friendly Christian leaders are heralding “the formation of the prophesied one-world religion under the Antichrist” also appeared in a 2009 WND article.

Richardson’s article moves on to a more general discussion of alleged Christian-Islamic syncretism:

Addressing the slide toward compromise and heresy within the missions movement, missiologists Joshua Lingel, Jeff Morton and Bill Nikides have recently co-edited a book titled, “Chrislam: How Missionaries are Promoting an Islamized Gospel.” Nikides has also produced a documentary film titled “Half Devil – Half Child,” which addresses the trend within the evangelical missions movement to promote what is often referred to as “C5,” the “Insider Movement,” or “Chrislam.” This method of outreach to Muslim encourages Christians to adopt Muslim identities and religious culture for the purpose of what might be viewed as “stealth evangelism.” 

From the blurb, the title of the film appears to imply that Western Christians who supposedly promote “Chrislam” are engaging in a form of paternalistic colonialism, although the meaning is not entirely clear.

The phrases “C5” and “Insider Movement” derive from essays written under the name of “John Travis”, the pen-name of a missionary working among Muslims in Asia. The “CI-C6 spectrum” (“C” standing for “Christ-centered community”) was introduced in a 1998 essay for the Evangelical Missions Quarterly, and further expounded in 2000 for the International Journal of Frontier Mission. According to Travis:

For the majority of the world’s one billion Muslims, “changing religions” is never seriously contemplated. Even nominal Muslims tend to see Islam as a single fabric weaving together tradition, culture, and customs related to dress, diet, family life, morality, worship, and in some contexts, even economics and politics.

…I personally know many Muslims who have put their faith in Jesus. Some have formally converted to Christianity and worship at local (often Westernized) denominational churches, or in small home fellowships with other Muslim background believers (MBBs). Fearing persecution, others worship underground. Still others, often called “Messianic Muslims,” follow Christ but remain within the Muslim community. These Messianic Muslims reject or modify unbiblical Islamic teachings (e.g., they insist Jesus did die on the cross), yet still see most aspects of their lives woven together by the social fabric of Islam. They are not silent about their faith in Jesus, though they are discerning about when and where to share. They strive to form groups with other like-minded Muslim followers of Jesus to study the Bible, pray for each other, and fellowship in Christ. Yet they do not view or call themselves “Christians.”

…C5 believers are Muslims who have been drawn to faith in Christ by the Spirit of God, often through reading the Bible on their own, hearing a radio broadcast, receiving a dream or vision, experiencing a miraculous healing in the name of Isa, or seeing the loving, patient, incarnational witness of a believing friend… Just as early Jewish followers of the Way enjoyed fellowship in homes and in the temple with the larger Jewish community, so many C5 believers gather in small home fellowships and in the mosque with the larger Islamic community. Just as early Jewish followers of Jesus changed few of their outward Jewish religious forms, so too C5 believers change little in their outward Muslim religious forms—most of which, incidentally, are derived from ancient Jewish and Christian traditions.

Prior to this, a short article by “Shah Ali” (another pseudonym) appeared in 1992 in Theology, News, and Notes, entitled “South Asia: Vegetables, Fish and Messianic Mosques”:

Our Muslim neighbors defined “Christianity” as “a foreign religion of infidels;” so we often referred to ourselves as “Muslims” (literally, “submitters to God”). The necessity of submitt ing to God is certa inly Christ ian (see Jas 4:7), and Jesus’ disciples call themselves “Muslims” according to the Qur’an (5:111).3 When villages have decided to follow Christ, the people continued to use the mosque for worship of God but now through Christ. Where possible, the former leaders of mosque prayers (imams) are trained to continue their role as spiritual leaders.

…The concept of Messianic mosques and completed Muslims (following the model of Messianic synagogues and completed Jews) still causes considerable misunderstanding among other Christians.

Ali’s article was written “with J. Dudley Woodberry”; Woodberry is Dean and Professor of Islamic Studies at the School of World Mission, Fuller Theological Seminar.

In late 2009, the topic was discussed at The Global Conversation, a website created by Christianity Today and the Lausanne Movement:

C5 believers… challenge assumptions about what it means to be Muslim or Christian. We all have more than one identity and community. For example, most American Christians assume one can be both a patriotic American (loyal to that community) and a faithful Christian, though they may disagree with some things their fellow-Americans do or teach. Believers like Ibrahim seek to be both authentic Muslims (loyal to the community of their birth) and faithful disciples of Jesus, critically evaluating what their fellow-Muslims do and teach in light of the teachings of Christ – sometimes accepting, sometimes reinterpreting, sometimes disagreeing. Do such disagreements require American believers to repudiate American identity and community, or require C5 believers to repudiate the Muslim community and their Muslim identity? How can believers best be “critically loyal” to the community of their birth and to their family heritage, respectfully critiquing what is unscriptural, while upholding God’s Commandment to “Honor your father and mother”?

One is reminded of the problem of ancestor veneration for Chinese and Japanese Christians.

“Chrislam” is the name of a syncretic movement in Nigeria; the use of the term for other contexts appears to be polemical.

(For several links, H/T Beliefnet and Gypsy Scholar)