An author and expert on Islam found himself disinvited, at least for the time being, from giving a speech to the U.S. Army War College after the Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations objected to his invitation.
Scholar Ray Ibrahim said CAIR branded him an “Islamophobe,” The Washington Times reported.
Ibrahim had been scheduled to speak on June 19.
His speech was titled, “Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War Between Islam and the West.”
That is also the title of his book, which takes the position that anti-Western attitudes are endemic throughout Muslim history.
Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu, the outreach and education director for CAIR’s Philadelphia chapter, said Ibrahim’s view is false and harms Islam, PennLive reported.
“That is factually incorrect,” Tekelioglu said.
“It creates anti-Muslim racism. It is a narrow opinion. The very fact that he is going to speak to officers, men and women, who will potentially serve in Muslim countries … that is problematic.”
Some were outraged that CAIR’s view appeared to win the day.
It’s pathetic that the Army War College is more concerned about what CAIR thinks than about teaching soldiers documented history. We might as well wave a white flag now. We surrender! Just don’t call us “haters” anymore! https://t.co/K3auqTpWJl
— Derek Gilbert (@derekgilbert) June 12, 2019
CAIR sent the War College a letter opposing the speech.
“We have been contacted by Muslims and interfaith allies from all over Pennsylvania, and especially from the Harrisburg area which houses over a dozen mosques, who called us to express their shock that such a prestigious institution as the U.S. Army War College would invite, and thereby confer legitimacy on, an individual who spreads falsehoods about their faith, the faith of 1.6 billion human beings, and the fastest growing religion in the United States and the world,” the letter said, according to Task and Purpose.
“As a civil rights organization primarily serving the needs of Muslim Americans, we respect Mr. Ibrahim’s right to his opinions, even though his oeuvre is filled with inaccurate conclusions and inflammatory and dangerous rhetoric,” the letter added.
“As Americans we accept his right to free speech. We do not believe, however, that such views should benefit from the endorsement of an institution established to protect all Americans when it clearly puts others in harms way.”
Ibrahim responded with his side of the argument.
“My primary concern, whether in writing or in speaking, is that my words convey the truth,” he said.
“As such, the burden of proof is on CAIR to show — methodically and with documentation, as I do — how my words are filled with ‘inaccurate conclusions.’ It is because they cannot — history is history, documented and sure — that they resort to hyperbole (complaining about alleged ‘inflammatory and dangerous rhetoric’) in yet another attempt to shut down free speech deemed offensive to the Muslim community,” he told Task and Purpose.
Ibrahim said distorting history serves no one.
“Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it; covering it up or whitewashing it to spare anyone’s feelings will not do,” he said.
“As such, it has been my interest to set the record straight, which is precisely what I tried to do with the book.”
Ibrahim expounded upon his theme in a Tuesday Op-Ed posted on The American Thinker.
“[F]or those who become acquainted with Islam’s true history vis-à-vis the West — a history of virtually nonstop jihad and mind-boggling atrocities that make ISIS appear tame — there is no ‘What went wrong?’ or ‘Why do they hate us?’ to explain — only an unwavering, continuous line of violence and enmity, one that went on hiatus during the colonial era,” he wrote.
Linda Sarour & CAIR’s Disingenuous Campaign to Suppress Free Speech at US Army War College – Raymond Ibrahim https://t.co/AciFvg8aMu
— Raymond Ibrahim (@RaymondIbrahim5) June 11, 2019
Ibrahim told The Washington Times that CAIR unfairly branded him a white nationalist in an effort to get his speech canceled.
“They are playing the race card,” he said.
A statement issued by the War College on the speech said it had been postponed.
“[The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center] sponsors Perspectives in Military History: an evening public education program which draws a community audience that can include USAWC students. The presentation of Mr. Raymond Ibrahim’s book is postponed so USAHEC can pair Mr. Ibrahim’s military history insights in close proximity with another historical perspective, at a time when the USAWC curriculum has addressed historical analysis of influences on conflict,” spokesperson Carol Kerr told PennLive.
Ibrahim said that, in fact, the speech had been canceled.
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