OpIndia recently had a conversation with the Robert Spencer, founder and director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Spencer has written 19 books so far sharing his experiences and thoughts of Islamic Jihad. Two of his books have been listed by FBI as training material. Several Islamic countries, including Pakistan, have banned his books. His views on Islam has resulted in a total ban on his entry in the United Kingdom. He is also co-founder of the group Stop Islamization of America, which is also known as the American Freedom Defense Initiative.
He currently lives in the United States. While talking to OpIndia editor Nupur J Sharma, Spencer said that his family belonged to Ottoman empire and they were exiled because they refused to convert to Islam in 1916. When he tried to learn why his grand grandparents had to leave their native lands, his family did not give a satisfactory answer that led to him studying history in lengths.
Here is the video of the conversation.
There were several points on which Spencer and Nupur had a detailed conversation. The first thing that came up in the conversation is if Islam is a religion of Peace. Robert Spencer laughed and said that every misconception has some source. He said SLM is the root of the word Salam that means peace. Thus, the majority of people think that religion itself promotes peace.
However, SLM also is the root of the word Islam that means submission. Quran says that you can only attain peace if you submit to Allah. True peace in the society only comes from submission of non-Muslims to the Muslims. He added that the definition of peace that other religions think is totally different from Islam. While other religions connect peace to co-existence, Islam believes that peace is only possible if non-believers submit to Muslims. The root cause of such belief is the ignorance of the non-Muslims about the Quran.
The problem of conversion in India
While discussing the problem of conversion in India by Muslims and Christians, Spencer said that there is a huge difference between how Christians and Muslims preach. He said that Christians would come and try to call you to the church so that they can tell you about Jesus. If you tell them that you are not interested, they will leave you along. On the other hand, if you tell Muslims that you will not come to the Mosque to learn about Allah, they will burn down your house.
Left Islamist nexus
During the discussion, the left-Islamic nexus was talked about in detail. Spencer said that though left denies that they are authoritarian, in every part of the world where far left is in power, they deny people the right of free speech and curb any political dissent. He said that though far-right or Marxist support Islam, there is no compatibility between them as both are authoritarian and will try to establish a new order in the way they like.
Role of state religion in controlling Islam
Spencer emphasized that he does not believe that the state should define the religion of the country. However, if the constitution allows all religions, the problem arises when authoritarians like Islamists try to establish their religion in the state. You cannot stop Muslims from practising Islam in such country. They will enjoy all the rights, but as soon as they get a chance, they will establish religious laws in the country. He said the only reason that he can think of that stopped India from becoming an Islamic country is the belief of Hindus in their religion and a desire to save it.