What is the difference between Information and Misinformation?
INFORMATION: Facts provided or learned about something or someone.
Example: ‘a vital piece of information’
Synonyms: details, particulars, facts, figures, statistics, data
MISINFORMATION: False or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive.
Example: ‘nuclear matters are often entangled in a web of secrecy and misinformation’
Synonyms: disinformation, false information, misleading information, deception
A) Is Robert Spencer a Scholar? On Spencer’s Credentials and Methodology
“Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) ranked Robert Spencer as the second leading Islamophobe in the country, losing out the number one position to his boss and financier David Horowitz. Former Nixon advisor Robert Crane calls out Spencer as “the principal leader…in the new academic field of Islam-bashing.” Even though Horowitz can be credited with funding the modern day online Crusade against Islam, it is Robert Spencer who fights on the online battlefield, attacking his Muslim foes and their liberal dhimmi allies. In order to bolster his credibility, Spencer and his allies not only claim that he is a scholar, but his own website touts him as “the acclaimed scholar of Islam”. Because these words are boldly emblazoned on his own site, we can only assume that he takes such claims seriously. It is thus fair game to call him to task for this.
His claims notwithstanding, Robert Spencer simply does not possess any scholarly credentials. To be seriously considered a scholar in the academic world in this day and age, one must at minimum possess some rudimentary academic education in the field in which one is claiming scholarship. In order to be considered a scholar, one must have published numerous peer-reviewed articles in reputable journals, the articles being subjected to rigorous critique by established authorities before being accepted. First year students in Ph.D. programs have published far more of such articles than Robert Spencer ever has. There is good reason for that: Spencer has published no such articles, contenting himself with reproducing work in non-academic and populist publications. Spencer does not even possess a Master’s Degree in anything related to Islam, let alone a Ph.D. and post-doctoral fellowship.
Spencer does have in M.A. in the field of early Christian studies; does that make him a scholar of Christianity? If not, then why is he considered a scholar of Islam without even an M.A. in Islamic studies?…”
B) An ‘expert’ without expertise
By Siena Fay from The Stanford Daily
“Spencer is a blogger, author and director of the website Jihad Watch. He travels the country offering his “expertise” on Islam and jihad to universities, news channels and politicians. Except he is not an expert. He does not hold a Ph.D., master’s or bachelor’s degree in Islamic studies. He has not published any peer-reviewed academic papers, the most basic criterion to be a serious academic scholar. His opinion has been cited by numerous news outlets, but most of his work appears on his blog. That’s right: His blog. It’s true he has been featured on The New York Times bestseller list, but so has Snooki from MTV’s Jersey Shore. Popularity does not in itself make credibility…”
C) Understanding Jihad w/ Robert Spencer
By Asad Ali Al-Andalusi from the Andalusian Project
In order to avoid the criticism that this post is just a sereis of ad hominens against Robert Spencer, I’ve provided the links to two videos so far by Asad al-Andalusi about his work, ‘Understanding Jihad’, which serve to demonstrate the problem(s) he espouses.
QUOTE from 0:32:52:
“I think there’s another thing going on here… I think he’s very much aware of this information [i.e. the context of historical facts that he omits from his books] but he’s deliberately leaving it out. And promoting a false narrative… This has a number of implications…”
(Watch to find out.)
D) Other Rebuttals to Robert Spencer
So does Robert Spencer know a lot more about Islam than many (most?) Muslims? In terms of ‘knowing’ – there is a difference, between ‘knowing information’ (which can be spun, twisted) and ‘knowledge’ (wisdom, which is earnestly about Truth).
And since Islam is all about being on the side of Truth and not speaking lies…
“And do not say that of which you have no knowledge.”
Narrated Sufyan ibn Asid al-Hadrami: I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) say: “It is great treachery that you should tell your brother something and have him believe you when you are lying.”
(Sunan of Abu-Dawood – Book 41, Hadith 4953)
And since Robert Spencer is all about spreading lies about Islam, all his ‘knowledge’ has left him in conflict with the purpose of knowledge, which renders what he preaches void.
“The likeness of the ones who were entrusted with the [original] Torah [READ here: ‘Knowledge’] [of which the extant Torah is a corruption] and then did not take it on, is as the likeness of an ASS carrying tomes. Miserable is the likeness of the people who have cried lies to the signs of Allah; and Allah does not guide the unjust/wicked people.”
(Qur’an, al-Jumu’ah 62:5)
‘No guidance’ means ‘no wisdom’ and, therefore, ‘no Islam’ despite the alleged ‘knowledge’ one possesses if it is not practiced. Robert Spencer is certainly an expert in spreading misinformation about Islam… By so doing, he entirely misses the point of Islam.
A Master of Mislam, certainly. But about Islam… ?