Proof that Robert Spencer’s JihadWatch.org Relies on Bogus Translations
Translating-Jihad is one of the newer anti-Muslim blogs to make its debut to the world wide web. The site’s creator, Al-Mutarjim, fancies himself as a professional Arabic translator and states that his objective is to translate Arabic texts into English in order “to expose [the] darkness [of Islam].”
Robert Spencer, director of JihadWatch.org (arguably the internet’s most popular anti-Muslim website), was absolutely delighted by the emergence of Translating-Jihad. Spencer gushed about Al-Mutarjim:
You are great. I love your work… Thank you so much for doing what you’re doing.
On January 14th of 2011, Al-Mutarjim posted a supposed translation of an Arabic fatwa on his website; he entitled his translation as follows: Fatwa: “It is Permissible to Have Sexual Intercourse with a Prepubescent Girl”. Guess who reproduced this “translation” on his website? None other than Robert Spencer. See JihadWatch.org: Fatwa: “It is Permissible to Have Sexual Intercourse with a Prepubescent Girl”. Spencer opined:
Here is evidence that mainstream Muslims…consider child marriage to be completely justified by the Sharia.
This “translation” by Al-Mutarjim’s Translating-Jihad blog was the “evidence” that the fake scholarRobert Spencer gives to justify his claims.
We here at LoonWatch investigated the matter and discovered that Translating-Jihad’s “translation” was utterly bogus. Read our expose: Translating-Jihad’s Completely Fraudulent Translations. To summarize, Al-Mutarjim claimed that the fatwa says: “It is permissible to have sexual intercourse with a prepubescent girl”, when in fact the fatwa says the exact opposite. The fatwa forbids sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls, and warns:
It is clear that the marriage of children has health concerns, because their reproductive organs are not ready for sexual intercourse yet, nor are they emotionally prepared for sexual intercourse, especially the female child who will most likely be physically damaged. This is especially if her husband is an old man! Sexual intercourse might cause negative physical and emotional ramifications that would stay with her for the rest of her life and affect her sexual future!
Not only did Al-Mutarjim not translate the above (all tactfully hidden in those ever so strategic ellipses), but he also purposefully omitted to translate the fatwa’s conclusion: “In view of medical grounds, we admonish against marriage before puberty at the very least.”
Translating-Jihad’s translation is the epitome of academic dishonesty, and Al-Mutarjim is a fraud, cheat, and liar. But, Robert Spencer has no problem with that, so long as Al-Mutarjim is anti-Muslim. Not only does Al-Mutarjim get high praises from Spencer, but the bogus “sex with prepubescent girls” translation was reproduced on JihadWatch. It can still be found here. As of yet, Spencer has not removed it or issued a correction of any sort.
There can be only a few reasons why Robert Spencer reproduced such a bogus translation on his website:
(1) Robert Spencer is lying when he claims the ability to read and understand Arabic fluently. In that case, maybe he couldn’t understand the fatwa. If that is the case, then he is a liar for falsely pretending to read the language. How can anyone rely on a liar as a credible source?
(2) If #1 is not the case, then maybe Spencer reproduced the translation without bothering to click the link to the original fatwa. If that is the case (which is highly unlikely), then what kind of editorial standards and vetting process does JihadWatch.org have!? What kind of a “scholar” would reproduce something like that without bothering to check the original (which is just a click away)? How reliable can a site be that just believes anything on the internet?
(3) But the most likely explanation is that Robert Spencer is completely dishonest and has absolutely no problems reproducing bogus translations to further his anti-Muslim agenda. Would you really rely on such a guy for your knowledge of Islam?
We wouldn’t be surprised, however, if Spencer comes up with one of his classic explanations about how someone else logged into his user name and posted it, without him first taking a look, yadda yadda yadda. This sort of explanation–which Spencer has used in the past (remember the whole “I got tricked into joining a genocidal facebook group” thing?)–is just about as believable as the teenage kid telling his mom that the marijuana or porn under his bed is really his friends.
Whatever the case, will Robert Spencer have at least the academic honesty to issue a correction? Will he take back his glowing praise of Al-Mutajim and the Translating-Jihad blog? We sincerely doubt it.
It is troublesome to think that Robert Spencer is considered an “expert” on Islam, when clearly he is merely a pro-Christian anti-Muslim fanatic–just like Al-Mutarjim of Translating-Jihad is a religious wing nut. It is frightening to think that Spencer–who has no problems using absolutely bogus translations to further his Islam-bashing ideology–was even used to educate the FBI. No wonder the FBI is completely misguided in its “war on terror”. This country is in trouble when it relies on complete frauds and liars to learn about the world’s second largest religion.