Kevin Mooney | Staff Writer | Thursday, August 2, 2007
Spencer is scheduled to speak Thursday afternoon at George Washington University as part of YAF's 29th National Conservative Student Conference. His topic is entitled "The Truth About the Council on American Islamic Relations." This same organization, CAIR, is demanding that YAF either withdraw its invitation to Spencer or take alternative steps to prevent any false remarks from being made.
A letter from Joseph Sandler, an attorney representing CAIR, addressed to YAF President Ron Robinson, calls upon YAF officials to make a decision before "close of business" Wednesday, Aug. 1. Jason Mattera, a YAF spokesman, told Cybercast News Service the decision was made to defy CAIR and its demand that Spencer's talk be cancelled.
"We will not be intimidated by radical Islamic thugs," Mattera said. "Not only will we let Robert Spencer speak, but we will invite even more people to hear him. We are not going to fluctuate the conference just to suit their demands."
The letter from the CAIR attorney describes Spencer as a "well-known purveyor of hatred and bigotry against Muslims" who "has a history of false and defamatory statements."
Attorney Sandler vigorously defends CAIR in his letter and claims the organization has "taken a principled position against terrorism and extremism." He also claims Spencer has in the past "falsely accused CAIR of activity that would constitute a federal criminal offense."
In response to the letter, Spencer asked readers to make note of the "non-specificity of charges." CAIR cannot be specific, Spencer argued, because he has not said "anything inaccurate" about CAIR, or Islam or Jihad.
Spencer has previously argued that many of today's terrorists and extremists targeting American interests are making use of Islam's actual theological foundations. As was previously reported by Cybercast News Service, Spencer has been critical of Western policymakers who operate under the assumption that Islam has been "hijacked" by a "tiny minority of Jihadists."
"The texts of Islamic jurisprudence say it is incumbent upon the Islamic community to wage war against non-Muslims until they submit or convert," Spencer said during a lecture given to the Heritage Foundation last November. "This concept is shared by all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence and is not rejected by anything considered orthodox."
Sandler makes it clear in his letter that CAIR has directed their legal representatives to pursue every available legal avenue to "redress" any statements made during the YAF session the self-described Muslim civil liberties outfit views as being "false and defamatory."
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