Readers of What's Wrong with the World know that I am a huge fan of Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch. I consider his work on Islam and the jihad to be first rate, and I owe it to his work at his blog that I am able to be well-informed both about the dangers of Islam and about the dodges used to call it a "religion of peace."
I am therefore astonished and disappointed to announce that I have been, as of today, banned from commenting at Jihad Watch.
In this comment in a thread here on coalitions I mentioned Robert Spencer's decision, with which I disagree, to cancel an event co-hosted with the Christian Action Network because of a rather strident letter written years ago under its auspices condemning the homosexual agenda. I sent further comments on the matter and on my disagreement with the decision to View From the Right, here.
Earlier today I attempted to post a comment at Jihad Watch in which I asked directly just how toned-down the Christian Action Network's rhetoric against the homosexual agenda would have had to be in order for Robert Spencer et. al. to be willing to make public common cause with them against the jihad. For example, had a different letter been written warning against the homosexual agenda in culture, complaining about a TV show, and calling the homosexual lifestyle "unnatural" or even "perverted," would that also have caused the co-hosted event to be canceled when the letter came to light? I did not keep a copy of my comment, so W4 readers will have to take my word for it that there was nothing remotely abusive about it. I think the question is a good one. Mr. Spencer (whom I continue to admire) insists that it is not the views of the Christian Action Network but the way that they were expressed that caused him to cancel the event. Yet almost any fund-raising letter to constituents on that subject from a strongly socially conservative organization would contain expressions and statements that would be deemed bigoted and homophobic by the Tolerance Police. So I think there needs to be a real question asked as to how and whether it would be possible for an organization to meet Spencer's rhetorical requirements while continuing in vocal, clearly worded, and unabashed opposition to the activist homosexual agenda.
That was it. Ten minutes ago, when I (having noticed that my comment had not posted) logged on to see if I could re-post it, I found that I have been banned from commenting at Jihad Watch. When I log in, I am given a message that I do not have permission to comment on the site. If you read the thread, you will see that there are others published there who criticize Spencer's decision and even those who argue over the morality of homosexuality. Why I was chosen for banning remains a matter for conjecture.
I am very, very disappointed in Jihad Watch. I would like to think that the banning decision was made by someone other than Spencer himself. I don't know how these things work at JW. If it was made by Spencer, I am disappointed in him as well, though I continue to applaud him for his courageous and scholarly work in opposing the global jihad, and I will continue to read and recommend his site.
Update (3/27/10): I wrote to Robert Spencer today, using his director's e-mail address found on this page. (I've not previously had any direct contact with him.) He wrote back saying that he would look into it, which I take to mean that the banning was done without his knowledge. He then wrote again and told me to try to see if I could comment and to let him know if it didn't work. It did work, so I am now un-banned at Jihad Watch. Both e-mail notes were brief and, though not un-cordial, not informative. There must be some story behind my banning (apparently by some other blog administrator at Jihad Watch), but I have not been told that story, and it's possible that Spencer does not know it either but decided based on my e-mail to reinstate my commenting privileges. The whole thing is odd and a bit disturbing, but I'm glad to be able to report that the decision was reversed, in any event.