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Islamic Studies Academic Claims Jihadi Was Inspired By Anti-Jihad Author Because Of Qur’an Verses List On His Website

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Published on: April 5, 2020

…Chowdhury was also consuming a considerable degree of right-wing literature presenting Islam as inherently violent, from anti-immigrant activist Tommy Robinson, Robert Spencer’s website Jihad Watch, and the American anti-Islam preacher David Wood. Chowdhury relied on these sources, it was revealed during the trial, to reinforce in his mind the religious necessity of jihad. Spencer has pushed back on the characterization that his writings helped inspire Chowdhury, arguing that a Muslim doesn’t need non-Muslim voices to justify jihadism. Fair enough — and questions of inspiration can be complicated. But evidence shows how seriously Chowdhury took these figures’ views. He saved numerous articles from Jihad Watch, including a list of Quranic passages extolling violence, and he shared Woods’ videos on jihadist attacks with the undercover agents, describing them as potential options….”

Does Nathan Spannaus, who identifies himself on Twitter as a “Middle East and Islamic Studies Ph.D” and author of a book called Preserving Islamic Tradition, actually think that Mohiusunnath Chowdhury would not have had access to the Qur’an if not for Jihad Watch? Does Spannaus actually believe that Islamic jihadis don’t read the Qur’an themselves, and that if “Islamophobes” would just shut up about what’s in it, no Muslims would know its contents, and there would be no jihad terrorism? Spannaus mentions that Chowdhury had been reading jihad manuals and material from al-Awlaki and other jihad preachers, but he still joins the relentlessly biased Lizzie Dearden of the Independent in claiming that Tommy Robinson, David Wood and I are really the ones who set the poor, peaceful lad on the path to perdition.

“That Islam requires violent jihad and that mainstream Muslims are deluded about their faith is a common refrain in anti-Islam circles,” says Nathan Spannaus, as if “anti-Islam circles” made up the idea that Islam requires violent jihad. The problem for Spannaus and Dearden, and for their hapless readers, is that the Qur’an says what it says whether Tommy and David and I quote it or not. And Muslims read it whether we quote it or not. And some Muslims act upon its violent passages, whether or not we mention their existence.

Does Nathan Spannaus, “Middle East and Islamic Studies Ph.D,” really not know this? Or is his article in Just Security all simply part of the Left-fascists’ ongoing attempt to shut down all dissent from their agenda? Certainly, when Dearden’s article came out, there were numerous calls for this site to be shut down and my books withdrawn from circulation, because they supposedly inspired Mohiusunnath Chowdhury. That would be like saying that an anti-Nazi writer in the 1930s, who quoted Mein Kampf and explained Nazi motives and goals, had to be shut down because he was inspiring Nazism. It’s insane, and that’s the world we live in today, where the likes of Nathan Spannaus are respected academics.

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“The Toxic Confluence Online of Anti-Muslim Literature and Jihadist Messaging,” by Nathan Spannaus, Just Security, April 1, 2020:

An unusual and concerning detail emerged in a counterterrorism trial in the United Kingdom last month. A British Muslim, Mohiussunnath Chowdhury, was convicted in February of planning terror attacks. The contours of his case are not surprising: An isolated and angry young man, Chowdhury was befriended by undercover agents posing as fellow jihadists, to whom he divulged, over several months, various plans to attack tourist spots around London. He was eventually arrested and, on the strength of the agents’ recordings of his statements and online communications, convicted.

The trial focused on Chowdhury’s state of mind and motivation. He had previously been arrested and charged for attacking the guards outside Buckingham Palace with a sword in December 2017, but was acquitted after claiming he had been trying to commit suicide by police. While his defense in the new trial argued that he was merely seeking attention through idle talk, the prosecution presented him as obsessed with martyrdom and killing non-Muslims and actively trying to do so.

Chowdhury had been consuming jihadist sources and propaganda since his release from prison in late 2018, including speeches by ideologues Anwar al-Awlaki and Sheikh Abdallah al-Faisal; manuals for jihad; and ISIS videos, publications and social media posts.

However, as reported by Lizzie Dearden in the Independent, Chowdhury was also consuming a considerable degree of right-wing literature presenting Islam as inherently violent, from anti-immigrant activist Tommy Robinson, Robert Spencer’s website Jihad Watch, and the American anti-Islam preacher David Wood. Chowdhury relied on these sources, it was revealed during the trial, to reinforce in his mind the religious necessity of jihad.

Spencer has pushed back on the characterization that his writings helped inspire Chowdhury, arguing that a Muslim doesn’t need non-Muslim voices to justify jihadism. Fair enough — and questions of inspiration can be complicated. But evidence shows how seriously Chowdhury took these figures’ views. He saved numerous articles from Jihad Watch, including a list of Quranic passages extolling violence, and he shared Woods’ videos on jihadist attacks with the undercover agents, describing them as potential options….

That Islam requires violent jihad and that mainstream Muslims are deluded about their faith is a common refrain in anti-Islam circles; Spencer in particular likes to sarcastically invoke Islam as “the religion of peace.”…

The circulation and interaction of these discourses mean that they cannot be kept separate, particularly on social media. Whatever his motivations, Chowdhury found something in these anti-Islam sources that fit with his worldview — enough to share them with the undercover agents, who he believed to be like-minded extremists open to this message. Even if his case is more of an outlier than the start of a trend, jihadists making use of far-right and Islamophobic sources adds a new dimension to the toxic stew that drives extremism and further complicates efforts to stop it.

Article posted with permission from Robert Spencer

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