Saturday, March 15, 2008
Bill Warner and Jihad Watch: Is there some rift between the two we should know about?
Over a year ago, in February of 2007, Robert Spencer posted a “neat encapsulation” of the Problem of Islam written by Bill Warner.
In the comments field, some reader asked the question:
“If the CSPI has a website, please a link to it on Jihad Watch.”
The CSPI is one of the main websites of Bill Warner’s interesting and incisive critiques of the Problem of Islam.
Robert Spencer never answered that reader’s question. Not only that, but over a year later, as of today, March 15, 2008, Spencer still does not provide on the front page of his website, Jihad Watch, a link to CSPI—even though he does provide a copious list of other anti-Islam websites.
What’s going on here?
Furthermore, as recently as January of 2008, Spencer has published news links with the familiar “thanks to” attached (as he has, far more often, thanked that flagrantly and hysterically unhinged personage Morgaan Sinclair)—with “thanks to” Bill Warner a couple of times.
So why does Robert Spencer’s long list of links on his main page conspicuously omit any links to Bill Warner’s sites, including his most important one, CSPI?
Interestingly, there were a couple of recent Jihad Watch articles that may have relevance to this unanswered question.
In a recent article on Jihad Watch by Hugh Fitzgerald, he writes about a recent Front Page round-table discussion and focuses on the most egregious participant, the Muslim “reformer” Edip Yuksel.
One of his main criticisms of Yuksel is his indefensible defense of the Koran. Fitzgerald writes:
The first is that the Qur’an itself, as Robert Spencer points out, contains many passages that are disturbing, for women, and for Infidels, and that the removal of the Hadith would do nothing to correct the problems in the Qur’an itself.
What is conspicuous here is Fitzgerald’s omission of Bill Warner’s contribution to this point in the same round-table discussion. Bill Warner’s contribution was more trenchant and refreshingly incisive than was Spencer’s. And yet Fitzgerald saw fit to completely ignore Warner. Why is that?
In fact, Fitzgerald throughout his essay ignores Warner’s contributions, and only mentions him once—parenthetically—, and not even identifying him as a fellow participant in the round-table which was the main context of Fitzgerald’s critique of Yuksel. Why is that?
Previously, in another thread posted by Spencer about this same Front Page round-table, Spencer also omitted any sufficient mention of Warner. On that thread, I contributed a couple of comments about the same matter:
...one wonders why the latter half of the “Update” was necessary, since Warner already noted with scintillating effectiveness, as you quoted, what Hugh had picked up on.
I was referring here to Spencer’s “Update” to his post, wherein he wrote:
Hugh tells me I should be sure to direct your attention to Edip Yuksel's agitated reaction to criticisms from Bill Warner and me, and his invitation to us to accept Islam. I do think they are revelatory.
What is interesting about this “Update” is that Spencer fails to mention that Bill Warner in that same Front Page round-table already mentioned this in eminently scintillating and adequate terms. So why did Spencer need Fitzgerald to alert him to this? And why did he fail to mention Warner’s adequate and scintillating observation that would render Fitzgerald’s afterthought superfluous at best?
Then, in that same Jihad Watch article about the Front Page round-table, Fitzgerald posted this comment:
...the Qur’an itself, as Robert Spencer points out, contains many passages that are disturbing, for women, and for Infidels.
To which I posted (under the nickname “cantor”) this observation:
Warner also pointed this out, though Hugh fails to mention Warner's contribution. Warner's contribution was water to a person nearly dying of thirst in the desert. Spencer's was pictures of water.
My comment following upon Hugh Fitzgerald’s was in a Jihad Watch article that appeared on March 7, 2008. Fitzgerald’s subsequent article, in which he persists in neglecting Bill Warner’s contribution, was published on March 15—a week later. Fitzgerald thus had ample time to digest the fact that Bill Warner was being given strangely short shrift. Why didn’t Fitzgerald adjust his article accordingly?
Is there some rift between Jihad Watch and Bill Warner? Considering the extremely valuable perspective of Bill Warner, the question becomes more important the longer it remains unanswered.