Muslim extremisms have threatened to “invade Europe and America,” a right wing pundit told University of Wisconsin community members Wednesday.
Robert Spencer, who has written several books on the topic of Islamic extremism, discussed why certain sects of Islam are a threat to the West in an event sponsored by UW College Republicans.
In his lecture, Spencer highlighted the Muslim Brotherhood as an example of Islamic Extremism, paraphrasing a 1991 mission statement of the group.
“The Muslim brotherhood must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad on eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within … so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions,” Spencer said.
The goal of many of these Islamic groups, Spencer said, is to make Shariah — or Islamic law — the law that governs all Western nations.
Shariah encompasses most aspects of life, which Spencer said takes away from freedoms of speech and religion.
He said it is the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood to get a Muslim in the White House to begin enacting Shariah.
“I don’t think it’s likely that they’re going to succeed,” Spencer said. “But I think it’s likely they could erode many of the freedoms that we enjoy in the United States at some point if their movement is not opposed.”
After his lecture, the floor was open to questions. Spencer was asked about the current efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said efforts were “doomed,” since democracies in both countries still have Shariah as the highest law in the land.
“You’re never going to have a representative pluralistic democracy that allows for the religious minorities to be fully represented in those countries while those provisions stand,” Spencer said.
Several members of the Muslim Student Association were present at the event and could be seen shaking their heads and scoffing throughout Spencer’s lecture.
Rashid Dar, MSA public relations chair, was the first to pose a question. He and several other MSA members ridiculed Spencer for not being informed on the topic and for not being fluent in Arabic.
“It is only you who truly understands how to distort the balance,” Dar said, speaking over commotion in the room and Spencer himself.
Spencer blasted the MSA members for speaking over him and spreading their “propaganda.”
“This lack of courtesy and this kind of arrogance is indicative of an unwillingness to engage in these things honestly,” Spencer said.
CR Chair Sara Mikolajczak said she thought the event went well overall but called the outbursts by MSA “absolutely ridiculous.”
“It’s one thing to ask a question. I mean, that’s perfectly legitimate — that’s why we open it up to Q-and-A,” Mikolajczak said. “But it’s a completely different thing to talk over a speaker and not to adhere to the rules.”
Attendees were asked to follow several rules, including keeping a conversational tone and not intimidating or threatening the speaker.
Those who did not follow the rules were subject to removal by CR members or UW Police.