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The College Republicans promote hate and disinformation

Dear Stanford College Republicans:

We are writing to condemn Robert Spencer’s hateful views and your choice to legitimize them by inviting him to Stanford. Mr. Spencer is a propagandist who promotes fear of Muslims. By having him speak at your “flagship event of the year,” you have thrown your support behind the anti-Muslim policies and discourse that are increasingly accepted within the Republican Party. We respect your right to bring Mr. Spencer to speak on campus; however, we condemn your decision to endorse his bigoted ideology, which targets Muslims, immigrants and people of color across the world, including your fellow classmates and community members here at Stanford.

Mr. Spencer’s anti-Muslim agenda is well documented. He directs a blog called Jihad Watch, which spreads inflammatory and conspiratorial views of Islam[1], and he co-founded the Stop Islamization of America campaign, whose name speaks for itself[2]. Here’s a sampling of his views:

  • Spencer said that Americans needed to consider “very seriously” the possibility that then-President Obama was a jihadist agent carrying out jihad against the United States.
  • He stated: “Immigration is a core Islamic principle…. [T]he idea of immigrating to a new place to conquer and Islamize it, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing…. They set up these Sharia enclaves and then because their birthrate is so much higher than that of the non-Muslim population those enclaves will inevitably grow and continue to grow until finally that’s all there is.”
  • He described as “hogwash” then-President George W. Bush’s statement that Islam’s “teachings are good and peaceful,” because, according to Mr. Spencer, “Islam is the only religion in the world that has a developed doctrine, theology and legal system that mandates violence against unbelievers and mandates that Muslims must wage war in order to establish the hegemony of the Islamic social order all over the world.”
  • He wrote that “[m]ulticulturalism is a heresy” and that “[d]enigrating and ultimately destroying the Judeo-Christian West” is the “point of the whole multiculturalist enterprise.”
  • He has repeatedly defended the baseless assertion that at least 80 percent of the mosques in the United States are actually controlled by extremists.
  • When Justice Elena Kagan was nominated to the Supreme Court, Mr. Spencer said that she would “knowingly and wittingly abet the advance of Sharia.”
  • He has called into question the existence of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims by Myanmar security forces, suggesting that “Islamic jihadis and supremacists may be fabricating atrocities against the Rohingya in order to sway public opinion.”

Your group has attempted to justify inviting Mr. Spencer by highlighting that he espouses “beliefs that many of the staff in the White House hold.” You’re right about the White House: As a candidate, President Trump called for a “shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” and his travel ban aims to make that promise a reality. Unfortunately, it’s not just the White House. For example, the Republican leadership has failed to denounce the anti-Muslim views of Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has referred to Islam as a “false religion” and argued that Representative Keith Ellison should not be allowed to serve in Congress because he’s a Muslim.

In other words, the fact that a Republican president promotes anti-Muslim policies and beliefs is not reason for Stanford Republicans to promote anti-Muslim views on campus. Rather, it is reason for you, as young Republican leaders, to take a stand and steer your party away from the path of intolerance and discrimination.

Confronting Islamist terrorism is one of the greatest challenges of our lifetime. We must better understand and counter extremist groups that have claimed far too many lives. For those genuinely interested in learning more about Islamist terrorism, however, Mr. Spencer has no credibility on the topic. Rather, he has exploited the threat of terrorism to demean and vilify Muslims.

Moving forward, we urge you to use your position of power as representatives of the Republican Party at Stanford to combat — instead of promote — Islamophobia, hatred and fear.

Sincerely,

Muslim Law Students Association – Stanford Law School
Stanford Advocates for Immigrants’ Rights – Stanford Law School

 

Contact the Muslim Law Students Association and Stanford Advocates for Immigrants’ Rights at mlsa.sair ‘at’ gmail.com.

 

[1] Due to its hostility towards Muslims, JihadWatch.org is classified as an active hate group by both the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center.

[2] The Anti-Defamation League describes Stop Islamization of America as follows: “Consistently vilifying the Islamic faith under the guise of fighting radical Islam, the group has introduced a growing number of Americans to its conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda.”

[3] Another statement by the Stanford College Republicans asserts that views like Mr. Spencer’s “are held by many of the highest government officials making national security decisions on behalf of our country[.]”

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