Apr 29 2016
CANADA: Islam-expert Robert Spencer condemned by leftist Calgary Rabbi as “offensive and bad for interfaith harmony”
The controversial and renowned American author & blogger who exposes Islam drew more than 200 people to a Calgary speech yesterday evening, which was sponsored by the JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE.
CBC Robert Spencer is the author of several books on Islam including some best sellers, but his words prompted a ban from the United Kingdom in 2013 and some in local left wing faith communities condemn Spencer’s sweeping statements on Islam.
“We’re not trying to prohibit him from speaking,” (You would if you could) said Rabbi Shaul Osadchey of the Beth Tzedec Congregation in Calgary.
“Our concern is that this kind of speech then puts in people’s minds different perceptions about the community and I don’t … I know that the Jewish community does not support his point of view in the main (No, only the far left wing Jewish community who refuse to remember the past and are condemned to repeat it).
There are obviously some people that find him to be credible, but by and large he’s been discredited by human rights and civil rights organizations throughout North American, prominently the far-left wing Jewish Anti-Defamation League and the communist-linked Southern Poverty Law Centre in the States.”
Imam Syed Soharwardy — president of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada says “Spencer is a dangerous speaker.” “Robert Spencer incites hate. So, that’s the problem,” Soharwardy said. “When he comes to this country and incites hatred in the minds and the hearts of people and he creates misunderstandings, that definitely is a very dangerous person.”
A multi-faith coalition representing Christians, Jews and Muslims issued a joint statement in advance of Spencer’s event calling on Calgarians to reject his message and instead “pursue the path of religious literacy and to support efforts to build bridges of respect and understanding.”
For his part, Spencer deflects criticism by saying “It’s a well-worn tactic of groups that for some reason are arrayed against opponents of jihad terror, that they charge them with racism, with bigotry, with hatred and so on for telling truths that they don’t want known.”
But to Rabbi Shaul Osadchey, Spencer’s words are designed to divide, not unite.
“We’re expending a lot of energy and effort to create harmony and build good interfaith relationships between Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities and somebody comes in with a speech that is offensive, that misconstrues and stereotypes any one of us,” Osadchey said.
“It just undermines our efforts here in the community.” (I am a Jew and YOU are offensive, Rabbi Osadchey)