by Glen Roberts, Editor of TheReligionofPeace.com (August 25, 2012)
This article is a belated response to an attack by the website “Loonwatch” on
TheReligionofPeace.com (TROP) which appears to raise questions about the
integrity of the broadly cited list of Islamic terror attacks maintained by TROP.
Loonwatch is an apparently well-funded Islamic website run by an anonymous group which exists for two general purposes: to publicize incidents of offense to Muslim-Americans (which are mostly trivial against the horrific discrimination faced by religious minorities in Muslim lands), and to slander critics of Islam, usually by pretending that they are making bigoted arguments against Muslims as a people when they really aren’t.
The people behind Loonwatch generally ignore or severely downplay Islamic terrorism, since the significance of the issues they promote compares poorly to the hundreds of shootings, bombings, stabbing and beheadings that occur each month in the name of Allah. My own website, TheReligionofPeace.com (TROP) is a frequent target of theirs, since it presents a litany of Islamic violence that is difficult to ignore.
As with other Muslim organizations in America, such as CAIR, Loonwatch suffers from a near absence of moral perspective. While fervent members of their own religion go about imprisoning, assaulting, beating, igniting, shooting, bludgeoning, and torturing Christians who share their faith in Islamic lands, for example, these groups whine incessantly about bacon bits, hurt feelings and the inexorable “someone didn’t hire me because I wear a hijab”. Very rarely will they even bother to denounce specific atrocities meted out in the name of Islam, much less channel their influence toward resolving far more serious problems associated with their faith.
It is this astonishing narcissism that compelled me to being compiling a list of Islamic terror attacks in 2002. In the ten years since, it has grown to about 20,000. My original hope was that confronting Muslim organizations with the magnitude of violence committed in the name of their religion might inspire a realignment of priorities more in keeping with that of other faith and value systems. Obviously, this did not happen.
Instead of inspiring action toward ending the violence, these groups respond merely by trying to discount and shift responsibility, almost as if it is a game. For their part, Loonwatch has produced several articles and videos over the years attempting to manipulate others into believing that the list of attacks is entirely fabricated or that Islam plays no role in the violence. Theirs is the sort of religion that fosters self-absorption without self-reflection, it seems.
Loonwatch demonizes any critic of Islam with a broad-brush. It matters little to them, for example, that my site takes issue only with a supremacist ideology that openly touts the superiority of Muslim men and the relative inferiority of everyone else, or that I passionately denounce the mistreatment of Muslims and even the desecration of copies of the Quran. They prefer instead to blindly slander TROP as a “hate site” and insinuate that there is a sinister effort on my part to promote a false agenda.
A July 10th article on Loonwatch, modestly titled “TheReligionOfPeace.com: Working to Streamline the American Empire’s ‘War on Terror’”, appears to be a slightly more sophisticated attempt to disparage the list of attacks. After years of implying that the incidents on the list were fabricated, it seems that someone at Loonwatch actually analyzed a month’s worth of TROP data and could not find a single one that had not occurred. The focus then shifted to absolving Islam of responsibility for the attacks based on a handful of items that appear to fall into a grey area.
….. Loonwatch entertains standards of “Christian” terrorism that are loose to the point of laughable. Their criticism of my site actually pulls from the work of Sami Zaatari, who is known for having touted a list of what he called “Christian terror attacks” on Muslim-Responses.com. Although he has since gone to great lengths to purge it from Internet archives, Sami’s “list” was a collection of a few dozen bombings carried out over the last 50 years by a motley crew that included Columbian drug gangs, the KKK, leftist terror groups like FARC, and the Marxist-atheist IRA. Most of the perpetrators were not even remotely religious.
In fact, Loonwatch’s own record in the credibility department is a bit sketchy. For example, they are still hammering Robert Spencer for warning that the Muslim Brotherhood would take over in Egypt – scientifically dismissing it as “loony fear-mongering” on the part of someone who “isn’t qualified to speak on such subjects”. Loonwatch’s own panel of experts assured them that Islamists in Egypt were “simply too weak to overtake the secular opposition” in the upcoming elections. Then the elections were held… and Islamists took 76% of the legislative body… and the presidency.
In the case of Loonwatch’s attack on TROP, the real story isn’t so much whether or not 7% of the incidents on the list fit their personal requirements, but rather their lack of interest in the other 93%. Even if half the list could be legitimately disregarded (which it cannot), it would still leave a great deal of horrific violence done in the name of Islam each and every day. There seems to be no flicker of recognition on their part as to the larger problem.
The 202 Islamic terror attacks documented in the period analyzed by Loonwatch occurred across 26 countries. They ranged from Abu Sayyaf strafing elderly women with gunfire in the Philippines to a secular blogger stabbed in the throat by fundamentalists in the Maldives. Of the 1,061 people killed, the incidents with which Loonwatch takes issue accounted for just 36. More innocents than that were massacred in a single Sunday’s worth of church bombings on June 17th by Islamists in Nigeria, who openly credited the Quran’s imperative to fight Christians. In Kenya, Mujahideen threw grenades into two more churches and shot worshippers as they fled. In Tunisia, videotape surfaced of an ex-Muslim convert to Christianity being gruesomely beheaded to shouts of ‘Allah Akbar’ by those who prayed beforehand.
Meanwhile, Loonwatch scours for anomalies in order to make the weak point that a few dozen deaths out of every thousand may not fit the traditional definition of terror attack victims since they were women stabbed in the name of Quranic morals or troops shot in the back by Allah-praising Islamists while trying to protect Afghan children. There’s the moral victory? Really?
Here’s a tip for Loonwatch. Take another look at that list and see if you can tell where religious tolerance is needed most in the world today.