Boston Globe Instigates Robert Spencer Speech Cancelation

Catholic Diocese capitulates to Islamic supremacists and leftist media.

To read and order David Horowitz and Robert Spencer’s pamphlet,  _Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Futur_e, click here.

While Christians face escalating persecution from Muslims in Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and elsewhere, the Catholic Church temporizes, ignores the victims, and plays at “dialogue” with Islamic supremacist groups whose announced intent is to “build bridges” with non-Muslims. Such bridges are really just proselytizing mechanisms to convert them to Islam, not an attempt to engage in genuine dialogue: “The chasm between Islam and Jahiliyyah [the society of unbelievers] is great, and a bridge is not to be built across it so that the people on the two sides may mix with each other, but only so that the people of Jahiliyyah may come over to Islam.” – Sayyid Qutb, Milestones, chapter 10.

And so it was that I was scheduled to appear at a Catholic Men’s Conference in Worcester, Massachusetts on March 16, until today, when the Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester, Robert McManus, directed that my appearance be canceled. McManus was under pressure from Islamic supremacist groups who were calling and emailing the diocese demanding that he cancel my appearance. I’ve been informed that they were asked to call the diocese and demand the cancellation by a Boston Globe reporter named Lisa J. Wangsness, who contacted me this morning and appears to have instigated the entire controversy.

This isn’t about me. Robert Spencer will eventually go away, whatever happens. Do Bishop Robert McManus and Lisa J. Wangsness, and the Roman Catholic Church and the mainstream media in general, think that when I go away, their troubles will be over? Do they think that if they make nice with Islamic supremacist groups in the U.S. that Christians will not be persecuted in Muslim countries, and that persecution will not escalate? Do they think that when all the writers and activists who are smeared as “Islamophobes” are finally silenced that a new era of peace and harmony will dawn between the West and the Muslim world?

Such an era will not dawn. When we are silenced, the troubles of the enlightened kuffar who have placed all their hopes in “dialogue” will just be beginning. But when their own turn comes, as it inevitably will, there will be no one left to speak up for them.

Here is my exchange with Lisa Wangsness of the Boston Globe:

1. Wangsness to Spencer:

Message: Hi Mr. Spencer, I am a reporter for the Boston Globe, and I am working on a story about your upcoming speech at the Diocese of Worcester’s Catholic Men’s Conference. I wanted to ask you about what you plan to talk about and about some of your critics’ assessments of your views, which some characterize as hate speech or anti-Muslim bigotry.

This story is for tomorrow’s paper, so if there is any way you could call me back at your earliest convenience I would very much appreciate it.

Lisa Wangsness 617 543 1272
[email protected]

2. Spencer to Wangsness:

There is nothing hateful or bigoted about what I say. My work is in defense of the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people before the law. Islamic supremacist groups like the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations make spurious charges of hate speech and anti-Muslim bigotry against anyone and everyone who dares to stand up against the human rights abuses and violence that are justified with reference to Islamic law by those who perpetrate them. It is a cynical tactic designed to fool people and intimidate them away from resisting jihad and Islamic supremacism.

If you have any further questions, I can be reached at this email address.


3. Wangsness to Spencer:

Thanks very much.

Several of those I’ve spoken with say you lack the credentials to speak with any authority on Islam – you are not a Muslim, you hold no degrees in Islamic studies and you are not an Arabic speaker. Could you please respond to this?

Thanks again,

4. Spencer to Wangsness:

Everything I have written in twelve books on Islam is documented from Muslim sources. No one needs take my word for anything – they can check it out themselves. What I say about Islam is not unusual or eccentric – numerous scholars who have the credentials that those you have spoken with require, and many ex-Muslims, have made the same observations about Islamic doctrine that I have. Karen Armstrong and I have both written two books about Muhammad. She is not a Muslim, holds no degrees in Islamic studies and is not an Arabic speaker. Yet they have no problem with her books and would probably recommend them. What is the difference? She paints a warmly positive view of Muhammad whereas I quote the material from the Muslim sources showing him acting violently, counseling warfare against non-Muslims, having his foes murdered, etc. This is material that those you have spoken with would rather not be known. The fact that they demand what they claim are validating credentials from me but do not demand the same from Armstrong indicates that their criticism is not with the accuracy of my work, but is motivated by another agenda. And the fact that they make these spurious arguments about credentials shows that they cannot dispute the accuracy of my work, and so have to make ad hominem attacks instead.

5. Wangsness to Spencer:

Thanks very much.

I wanted to also ask whether it is accurate that you are a member of [redacted] and that you live in [redacted]?

And can you say something about the subject you’ll be speaking about in Worcester – that is, what are your basic views on Islam’s view of Christianity?

6. Spencer to Wangsness:

Because of the many death threats I receive from the coreligionists of those with whom you are speaking, I make no public statements about my personal life or place of residence. (Have they spoken out against such violent intimidation?)

I will be elucidating Islam’s view of Christianity based on the statements of the Qur’an and Hadith, particularly the Qur’an verses 2:62-65, 5:17, 5:51, 5:72, 5:112-116, 9:29-31, and 61:6.

Also, Lisa, this discussion has centered solely around “bigotry” and credentials. Have you asked those with whom you are speaking about the innocent victims of jihad attacks around the world today? Have you asked them if there is any critic of jihad whom they DON’T find “bigoted” and “lacking in credentials,” and if so, why they target ALL of us with these same smears? Have you asked them if there is any criticism of jihad terror and Islamic supremacism that they find acceptable? Have you asked them who among them speaks out against the slaughter of non-Muslims by jihadists in Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria, Thailand? Have you asked them who among them speaks out against Sharia’s institutionalized oppression of women and non-Muslims? Have you asked them who among them speaks out for the apostates from Islam who live under a perpetual death sentence for the crime of exercising their freedom of conscience?

Or is your questioning proceeding solely according to their agenda?

And finally, have you asked the victims of jihad what they think about my work and the work of those with whom you are speaking?

Thanks for your time.

7. Wangsness to Spencer:

Thanks. I think it is fair to say that the ADL and others have quite strenuously condemned violence perpetrated by radical Islamists….

8. Spencer to Wangsness:

The ADL has unwisely ventured into Leftist advocacy politics, spending more time combating friends of Israel on the right rather than enemies of Israel on the left. Its record in this is nothing short of shameful.

Then, almost four hours later:

9. Wangsness to Spencer:

Hi Mr. Spencer, the Diocese tells me they have disinvited you from the conference because of concerns about how your appearance could affect Islamic-Catholic relations locally and nationally. I wanted to see whether you had a response to this development? Thanks very much, Lisa

10. Spencer to Wangsness:

They haven’t had the courtesy to tell me. If it does turn out to be true, it is new evidence of the cowardice of Roman Catholic officials in confronting the reality of Muslim persecution of Christians and their inability to grasp the importance basing genuine dialogue between religions on truth, however unpleasant, rather than on wishful thinking and comforting fictions.

11. Wangsness to Spencer:

Ok, thanks….

After speaking to sources who told me that Wangsness asked people to call the diocese and ask that my appearance be canceled, I wrote her this:

12. Spencer to Wangsness:

I’m hearing you were behind this, getting people to call the diocese. How interesting. How does that square with your supposed commitment to objective journalism?

13. Wangsness to Spencer:

I reached out to people to solicit comment on your appearance, but if people called the diocese, they did so on their own. I did not and would not tell anyone to call anyone.

14. Spencer to Wangsness:

That’s not what I was told.

And another:

Lisa, please be so kind as to answer these questions for the piece I am writing on this:

1. Whom did you contact in order to get information about me?
2. Whom did you direct to call the Bishop’s office?
3. On what basis do you consider their information reliable?
4. At what point do you consider it appropriate for a reporter to cross the line from reporting the news to trying to influence events?
5. Have you ever read the Quran or studied Islam?

Thanks – I look forward to receiving your answers.

15. Wangsness to Spencer:

I am on deadline at the moment and have referred this to my editors.

16. Spencer to Wangsness:

No problem. If you could just send a complete list of those whom you solicited for comment and asked to call the bishop, I’d be obliged.

I will be most interested to see your piece, particularly in how you describe the organizations I expect you contacted.

17. Wangsness to Spencer:

You can contact my editor, Steve Smith, at [email protected] or 617 929 3100.

18. Spencer to Steve Smith:

Hi Steve. I am doing a piece on recent events surrounding a talk I was scheduled to give in Massachusetts in March, and particularly on media bias and advocacy for causes and groups masquerading as objective journalism.

In connection with that I am asking for your comment on reports I have received that Lisa J. Wangsness directed people to call the Diocese of Worcester and ask them to have my appearance canceled.

Also, I’d much appreciate it if you or she could answer the following questions that I sent to her earlier (the “you” in them is, of course, Lisa J. Wangsness):

1. Whom did you contact in order to get information about me?
2. Whom did you direct to call the Bishop’s office?
3. On what basis do you consider their information reliable?
4. At what point do you consider it appropriate for a reporter to cross the line from reporting the news to trying to influence events?
5. Have you ever read the Quran or studied Islam?

Many thanks and regards
Robert Spencer

No answer from Smith.

Meanwhile, one of the conference organizers sent me a letter that an Islamic supremacist leader in Worcester sent to the Roman Catholic diocese of Worcester:

From: A C DR ASMAL [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 2:31 PM

To: david michael; riaz khan; nabeel khudairi; sulieman mohammed; naim assil; [email protected]

Cc: Vito nicastro; ray helmick; Jerome maryon; Yusufi vali; Wangsness, Lisa J; diane kessler


Importance: High

Father David Michael, 1/30/2013
Archdiocese of Boston.

Dear David,

Please see the note from Yusufi Vali who is the current Executive Director of the ISBCC
He has received a note from the Globe that arch-Islamophobe Robert Spencer who masquerades as a Catholic has been invited to talk on Islam at the invitation of the Worcester Archdiocese.

Mr Spencer has a very deep rooted Islamophobia and argues by selective quoting of sacred passages taken totally out of context , and exploits any and every opportunity he gets to link the lunatic act of a Muslim in any part of the world as a direct consequence of Islam.

He is not an academician, nor does he have a modicum of understanding of Islam.

We in the Boston community who have enjoyed such a warm tradition of mutual respect with all our Christian friends both in the Acrhdiocese of Boston and at the Massachusetts Council of Churches are appalled that a person with such reprehensible credentials should be invited to speak to the Catholics in Worcester.

This is an appeal to you through his Eminence Cardinal O’Malley to exercise whatever influence you can to expose Mr Spencer for the hatemonger he is and get his invitation rescinded.

Thank you for your efforts

Abdul Cader Asmal MD
Co-chair of Communications
Islamic Council of New England.

ps I am copying Dr Vito Nicastro, Fr Ray Helmick, and Jerome Maryon Esq all comitted Catholic friends of the Muslim community,as well as Rev Laura Everett at MCC and Rev Dianne Kessler former EX Director of MCC
and Ms Lisa Wangsness at the Boston Globe

I was given no chance to respond to this tissue of libel. The diocese never contacted me. Instead, Raymond Delisle, Spokesman for the Diocese of Worcester, gave this statement to Lisa Wangsness:


Here is a statement from me for your story.

Although the intention of the conference organizers was to have a presenter on Islam from a Catholic’s perspective, we are asking Robert Spencer to not come to the Worcester Catholic Men’s Conference given that his presence is being seen as harmful to Catholic–Islamic relations both locally and nationally.

Raymond Delisle, Spokesman for the Diocese of Worcester

The rapidity and one-sidedness of the diocese’s reaction was inexcusable – I was tried, convicted and executed without evidence, without investigation, and without a moment’s thought.

Tell them what you think. Please write to Lisa Wangsness and Steve Smith at the Globe, politely and firmly, deploring her collusion with Islamic supremacist libels and her exhorting people to contact the diocese. Tell them that this is deplorable behavior even by the standards of contemporary journalism, and that Lisa Wangsness should be reprimanded and fired.

And please also contact Raymond Delisle and Bishop McManus, asking that they not capitulate to Islamic supremacist lies, and reinstate my appearance, or at very least give me a fair hearing in a face-to-face meeting (for which I will travel from California or wherever I am when he can meet me to Massachusetts at my own expense to attend).

Lisa Wangsness: [email protected]
Steve Smith: [email protected]

Raymond Delisle: [email protected]
Bishop Robert McManus: [email protected]
Diocese of Worcester: 508-791-7171

UPDATE: I received this from Steve Smith of the Globe. It contradicts what I was told by informed sources about Wangsness’s activities:

Good evening, Mr. Spencer.

Lisa Wangsness, the Globe’s religion reporter, sought comment on your scheduled appearance from the Diocese of Worcester, local Muslim organizations, and other groups. As you know, she also reached out to you for comment. She was gathering facts and comments for a story on your appearance. She did not direct anyone she interviewed to make calls or send e-mails urging cancellation of your appearance. It is our policy not to discuss work before publication.

Stephen Smith
City editor
Boston Globe

SECOND UPDATE: Jihad Watch reader Charles notes:

Abdul Cader Asmal is a backer of Tarek Mehanna, identified as his “friend and ally” in this article: Other statements of support for Mehanna by Asmal:

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