Like Brighton Through Rock: a Reply to Robert Spencer

The below is a statement written by Adam Barnett on behalf of One Law for All:

Following the death threats made against One Law for All during Tuesday’s talk at Queen Mary University, (which were extended to members of the audience and caused the meeting to be shut down), ‘Stop Islamization of America’ director Robert Spencer, who also runs the website ‘Jihad Watch’, has initiated an email campaign to try and discredit our work in combating Islamism. He has also published an article on the subject to which this statement is a response.

Mr. Spencer’s ‘points’ can be summarised thus: 1) Maryam Namazie is a communist, 2) she is also an anti-semite, 3) One Law for All have “libelled” and published lies about Mr. Spencer “and others” which we “refuse to retract”, and 4) the death threats we received were made by “one gang of thugs” on “another” as part of a “turf war.”

That Maryam Namazie is now and has long been a member of a communist party, namely the Worker-communist Party of Iran, is common knowledge and is not something she would ever deny, (nor do I think she should be expected to). Someone will have to break it to Mr. Spencer that not all communists want to “enslave people in gulags and shoot them in the back of the head for being ‘enemies of the people’.” He really ought to have got this right by now, especially since he likes to portray himself as a historian. But then given his views on Muslims, it’s clear nuance is not a part of his repertoire. [Here is Maryam's response to Mr. Spencer.]

Spencer’s charge of anti-semitism is based solely, from what I can tell, on the fact that in 2008 Maryam published on her blog a polemical statement by an Iraqi communist party on the Gaza war, which called for an end to the violence there, a ‘two-state solution’, and condemned both Israeli policy and “the barbaric Islamic movement Hamas, which spares no opportunity to fire rockets at Israeli populated neighborhoods.” If Mr. Spencer is going to make accusations of anti-semitism, he had better have more persuasive evidence than this. The idea that Maryam Namazie has a racist attitude towards Jewish people is absurd, as Mr. Spencer knows perfectly well, as is his claim that she supports “the jihad against Israel.” Her record of opposing the forces of Jihad wherever they operate is second-to-none, and includes demonstratingagainst the Khomeinist ‘al-Quds day’ parades of Hamas and Hezbollah. (Mr. Spencer’s comrades were conspicuous by their absence.) [Read more...]