A controversial author, who was recently banned from entering the United Kingdom, is among the guest speakers at a conference being put on by the Napa-based Kolbe Academy Home School.

Robert Spencer served as the director of Kolbe Academy’s national home-school program in the 1990s. He also taught high school history, literature and religion at the Napa campus.

The Kolbe Academy Home School program is a separate legal entity, with separate management, from Kolbe Academy & Trinity Prep — the pre-K-12 school located off Redwood Road.

Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch, a controversial blog that mainly covers terrorism and violence committed by Muslims. He has also written several books, including “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)” and “Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t.”

Mary Rowles, director of the Kolbe Academy Home School program, confirmed Thursday that Spencer is scheduled to speak at the Northern California Catholic Family Home School Conference taking place July 26 and 27 in Sacramento.

He was invited to speak, Rowles said, because of his background in education — specifically classical education. While at the home-school program, Spencer wrote a booklet titled “Classical Education in the Contemporary World.”

“ We felt that he was uniquely qualified to speak to a home-schooling audience regarding classical and Ignatian education,” Rowles said.

While known for his expertise in education, it is Spencer’s work on Islam that has caught attention across the globe.

Last week the British government issued a letter to Spencer stating that he could not enter the U.K. because his presence there “is not conducive to the public good.”

The letter stated that Jihad Watch has been “widely criticized for being Islamaphobic” and that Spencer also co-founded the groups Freedom Defense Initiative and Stop Islamization of America, which have both been described as “anti-Muslim hate groups.”  

“The Home Secretary has reached this decision because you have brought yourself within the scope of the list of unacceptable behaviours by making statements that may foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK,” stated the letter from the U.K.’s Home Office, the lead agency overseeing immigration and passports, drug policy, crime, counterterrorism and the police.

Spencer posted the letter to Jihad Watch on Wednesday under the title “Britain capitulates to jihad.”

The editor-in-chief of Aslan Media, who is also a researcher at Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, wrote a letter published in the Register last week urging Kolbe Academy to rescind Spencer’s invitation to speak. The letter writer, Nathan Lean, said Spencer’s work on Islam is “imbalanced” and focuses “entirely on violence.”

In an email to the Register, Spencer said Lean has a “peculiar and obsessive fixation” with his work. Spencer also disputed any claims that his writings involve “hate speech.”

“My work is dedicated to defending the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people before the law,” Spencer wrote. “My work is factual and I stand ready to defend any assertion I've made in 12 books, hundreds of articles, and thousands of blog posts.”

Spencer said that he is not “anti-Muslim.”

“Muslims who oppose jihad terror are invited and welcome to stand with me,” Spencer wrote, adding, “I do not retail falsehoods or disparage anyone; if my work in opposing an oppressive ideology is hateful, then so were those who fought the Nazis.”

Rowles said Kolbe Academy Home School was aware of Jihad Watch when they invited him to attend the conference.

“In taking a look at his blog, it was our observation that it appears to be primarily a collection of news stories on violent actions by Muslims, quotes from Muslims that call for violence, quotes from the Quran that call for violence and the like,” Rowles said. “We saw nothing that appeared to be a call for violence against Muslims, and nothing on his site struck us as ‘hate speech’ — rather, it appeared more to be a pretty standard type of Internet reporting that focuses on culling relevant information related to a specific topic.”

The conference will take place at St. Stephen the First Martyr Parish in Sacramento. As a parish of the Diocese of Sacramento, St. Stephen’s is subject to Bishop Jaime Soto.

The Diocese of Santa Rosa has no direct affiliation with the Kolbe Academy Home School program and has no jurisdiction over the conference.

“We take obedience to our bishops very seriously, and should Bishop Soto wish to speak with us regarding the conference, we are of course happy to listen,” Rowles said.

(40) comments

Marty

Gary, go to youtube, there are many. Robert doesn't go after all Muslims. We are wondering where the Muslims are that don't support terrorist attacks. I don't hear them.

Gary Orton

Shock: Marty doesn’t know that Muslim leaders have been speaking out against terrorists.

This is but an old rhetorical tactic of Spencer and his kind. As Media Matters put it in 2010 about another making a statement like Marty’s, what he “doesn't seem to understand, or doesn't want to understand, is that for years, prominent Muslim leaders, scholars, and religious figures have advocated for peace and spoken out against terrorism. …[He] could only make that statement if he didn't actually bother to look to see who was ‘speaking up.’ His assessment of the Muslim world shows, at best, a willful ignorance of the modern Muslim community, and at worst a dedication to portraying the entire population of a major world religion as anti-American, violent, terrorism supporters.” http://mediamatters.org/blog/2010/07/08/shock-kilmeade-doesnt-know-that-muslim-leaders/167411 (with links to overwhelming corroboration)

Yep, dedicated is a good description. Persistent, too.

gettingreal

So some Muslim leaders have spoken out against terrorism. What they really need to be doing is giving up the names of the radicals that attend their mosques. You know, walk the talk.

Larry A Singleton

Gary. Maybe you can tell me how many of these Muslims "speaking out against terrorists" would put thier lives on the line if, say America became a Muslim nation like the MB wants, and would step in and defend those being murdered for changing their religion or persecuted for not being Muslim. I have a feeling they'd "get in line" and go with the program. And maybe you can tell me the ratio of freedom versus Muslim population.

Marty

Reza Aslan/Nathan Lean, anti-freedom of speech advocates, supported the Morsi led Muslim Brotherhood who wanted Egypt run by Sharia Law. Wake up America, stop supporting these dangerous people who want to silence people like Robert Spencer. I know Spencer is cheering for the true democracy movement in Egypt. --- http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/07/egyptian-army-tells-morsi-he-is-no-longer-president.html

Gary Orton

This NVR article and the comments that follow relate to Robert Spencer and the character of his speech. Marty wants to change the subject and have us listen to a two and one-half minute audio clip of an American Muslim cleric. Even if the cleric’s speech be deemed hateful to Christians and other non-Muslims (calling them spiritually “filthy, dirty and impure”), Marty fails to tell us how that makes Spencer’s generalization that all Muslims are inherently violent any less hateful and condemnable.

whoa cowboy
whoa cowboy

In looking at Robert Spencer’s website, it appears to be primarily a collection of news stories on violent actions by Muslims, quotes from Muslims that call for violence, quotes from the Quran that call for violence and the like. I didn’t see anything that appears to call for violence against Muslims, or talking about how all Muslims were bad people. Nothing on his site immediately strikes me as “hate speech” – rather, it appears more to be a pretty standard type of internet reporting that focuses on culling relevant information related to a specific topic. In fact, it looks remarkably like what Nathan Lean does on twitter and other places when he collects stories of violence against Muslims, and quotes from those who do call for violence against Muslims. Why is it okay to collect stories about violent actions against Muslims, but not violent actions by Muslims? Why is it okay to collect quotes from those who call for violence against Muslims, but not Muslims who call for violence?

Marty

I bet this Islamic cleric isn't on the SPLC's site. Wonder why. If this isn't classified as hate speech then there is no truth in America. ---http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/06/tennessee-imam-jews-and-christians-filthy-their-lives-and-property-can-be-taken-in-jihad-by-the-musl.html

Marty

10:43 am, Or how about this one...It's all about hate towards Israel, the tiny, democratic nation in the Middle East where Arabs/Muslims have more rights than in any Islamic dominated nation. -- http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/07/egypt-islamic-supremacist-protestors-hate-morsi-for-not-going-to-war-with-israel.html

Marty

10:33 am. Here are the true freedom fighters for democracy in Egypt, not the Morsi led Muslim Brotherhood who want sharia law to rule Egypt. You notice they don't get coverage from CNN or MSNBC --http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/06/30/anti-morsi-activists-set-up-female-only-protest-zone-to-protect-against-sexual-harassment-at-tahrir-square/

selim_sivad
selim_sivad

There is no such thing as a "religion of peace", Islam or otherwise. The whole point of religion is to have an overarching set of values to instill fear in uneducated followers and to ensure that there are enough people following the "right" religion in order to fight the people believing in the "wrong" religion and take their stuff.

Anyone telling you something different is trying to sell you something.

Hagiel

I was born in Napa and worked 24 years at Napa State Hospital...I started reading JW in 2002 and have read and commented nearly every day since...There has never been a time when Spencer lied, threatened, or made any hateful or anti-Muslim remarks...He stands for what he says he stands for...Mr Lean is not an honest broker and makes a career of trying to get Spencer banned from various speaking engagements...Leans methods are often crude and threatening in themselves...
Anti-Muslim is a term used to inflame Muslims passions by taking the debate out of ideology and making it personal...That paints a target on Spencer's back, and non Muslims who use it should be ashamed of themselves...But not Mr Lean...He freely tosses that label around...Take whatever Lean says with a grain of salt...He is not credible...

Ar ar
Ar ar

they accused islam as religion of hatred. so far anywhere in the world you won't find muslim activities anti-christian but christians has anti-islam. think well who is religion of hatred!

Larry A Singleton

Question: Do you Useful Idiots even know what "Islamophobia" means? I'll give you some help.

Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future
http://frontpagemag.com/2011/frontpagemag-com/islamophobia-thought-crime-of-the-totalitarian-future/

Happy Islamophobia Month by Pat Condell
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfJ6FpabknY

To actually use guys like Nick Lowles of "HOPE not hate" and Nathan Lean as any kinds of authorties means that somebody hasn't done their due dilligence or studied the issues. Speaking as someone who IS informed on the issues of Islam using these people as ANY kind of standard is just plain SICK. And says a lot about where our society has gone. A perfect example is the just mind boggling amount of blatant Jew-Hatred I see on Yahoo Comments. If I can I'll try to submit a list of books in the next comment box.

However a good start would be: Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld, That's Conspiring to Islamize America by Gabautz and Sperry

Gary Orton

Spencer's inflammatory rhetoric has caught not only the attention of the British government. Both the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) identify Mr. Spencer’s organization Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) as a hate group. Both the ADL and SPLC are recognized as leading authorities in the prevention of hate-crimes. (See FBI website linking them as resources: http://v.gd/CPDgix.)

The ADL’s analysis of Spencer’s SIOA states, “While the threat of Islamic extremism is a legitimate concern, such a simplistic initiative [of vilifying Muslims and Islam] fails to distinguish between the general Muslim population and extremists motivated by radical interpretations of Islam.” http://v.gd/K1x8Es The SPLC singles out Spencer as a key actor in a “reckless and bare-knuckled campaign to vilify a distinct class of people and compromise their fundamental civil and human rights.” http://v.gd/zOTfc1

No wonder the British won't give him a platform.

Marty

Even the Marxist Chomsky would agree with Robert, "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." Noam Chomsky ---Great book, Marx & Satan by Richard Wurmbrand. He was held in an anti-God communist prison for being a Christian. Just like Christians are being held in Islamic controlled Iranian prisons. Pastor Yousef Nardarkhani , Pastor Saeed Abedini and Pastor Benham Irani are just three of many Christians being persecuted for their faith.

The issue is Freedom of speech, press and religion. Are you for it or against it????

Gary Orton

This is not about the Kolbe Academy’s right to invite Spencer to speak or Spencer’s right to use inflammatory rhetoric to vilify peaceful Muslims or otherwise preach hatred. The First Amendment guarantees these rights. Censorship is not the answer to hate-speech. The best way to combat hate-speech is to shine a spotlight on it for what it is.

The Southern Poverty Law Center points out that Spencer’s tactics are “to undermine moderate Muslims and argue that only confirmed terrorists are interpreting the Koran correctly, [and] …to relentlessly attack individuals and organizations who purport to represent moderate Islam in America, painting them as secret operatives in the grand Muslim scheme …to destroy the West. …The aim is to build a widespread, irrational fear and hostility against Islam in general — encouraging, rather than helping defuse, an eventual global confrontation between East and West.” http://v.gd/5qnHuk

Proud Kafir
Proud Kafir

If you are AGAINST people who do not want ISLAM to rule America such as ROBERT SPENCER...then there is something wrong with YOU...

Marty

9:30am From the current article at Jihadwatch. ---Our message of free speech and equality of rights for all before the law is too hot for them. But just last week they let in a Saudi imam who has said: “Devotion to jihad for the sake of Allah, and the desire to shed blood, to smash skulls, and to sever limbs for the sake of Allah and in defense of His religion, is, undoubtedly, an honor for the believer.” --Looks like the UK allows freedom of speech for those who propose violence, but not for those pointing it out. That's bizarre.

Gary Orton

Here goes Marty again …not addressing the issue of Spencer and his hate-speech. The fact that the UK admitted one inflammatory speaker and denied another shows inconsistency, but fails to tell us how that makes Spencer’s generalization that all Muslims are inherently violent any less hateful and condemnable, a point I made earlier (see below).

Here’s some context. The UK Muslim community did not welcome the Saudi imam. Senior Muslim leaders opposed letting him in, fearing that his “presence could ‘negatively impact the peaceful co-existence amongst the Muslim community’.“ http://v.gd/ZwHjuU They had reason to fear. A spate of recent violent attacks on British mosques led a Jewish security force from New York to volunteer to protect their Muslim brethren from hate-attacks. http://v.gd/qaZck0 Of course Spencer did not mention these efforts to promote peace and harmony; they don’t fit his stereotype of Muslims as violent prone.

TimothySB

I doubt that you would hear anything from the press if Mr. Spencer was speaking about the danger to society of Christian beliefs, for example their views regarding marriage and abortion.

shantz
shantz

Exactly. Using their logic, since some Christians murder abortion doctors, all Christians are extremist.

The religious intolerance that foments in certain areas of American society is truly sickening.

Nikko

Shantz, do a fun little experiment. Count the number of people killed in the name of Christianity in the last 30 years. Now, count the number of people killed in the name of Allah.

glenroy
glenroy

Can't count that high...

shantz
shantz

So you want to conveniently ignore the bloody history within the old testament, the thousands slaughtered in the crusades, and the millions tortured and killed in the name of European colonialism justified by Christianity?

The fact is, Christianity has a violent and bloody history. Its disgusting to see people scapegoat one religion because it isn't the dominant religion.

Those without sin cast the first stone.

Marty

Shants, how come our schools don't teach about the Muslim Crusades? They came first. Are you confusing Christian with Catholic? A lot of people were pretty barbaric in the old testament and in America's early history. Even Budhists have a violent history. Just because someone calls themselves a Christian doesn't mean they are. They will answer to God.

shantz
shantz

Marty,
Thank you for proving my point by pointing out that many people throughout human history have been barbaric and isn't exclusive to a single religion.

And historically speaking Catholics are Christians no matter how much Protestants don't like it. You can't subjectively dictate who is and isn't a Christian.

gettingreal

Why do you keep going back to the crusades. They are history and we cant do anything about them now. The problem with radical Islam is happening now and we can do something about it. At least as it relates to this freedom loving country.

Marty

9:06am --I guess people aren't reading the Nation section of the Napa Valley Register. There is chaos, mass-murder, rape, etc. going on in many nations in the Middle East. Here's another site to learn about the pleasantries of Islam. Hope you have the courage to learn the truth. --www.thereligionofpeace.com

glenroy
glenroy

Thanks Marty... Here is without a doubt one of the top websites relacted directly to this topic...

http://www.longwarjournal.org/

Old Time Napkin

Shantz, maybe you should review the First Amendment or does free speech only exist when it fits your program? This speaker is not even speaking in Napa, he's in Sacramento. So why don't you ask the victims of radical Islam if they think it is a "religion of peace". You're lucky Shantz that you can speak out in this country. In Muslim countries it might find you in prison or worse.

Marty

8:38am, Shantz, how about a little concern for this video. Excerpt: Muslim students association member confesses she wants a second Holocaust to David Horowitz. This is common behavior by Muslim students at a lot of our universities. I'm thinking some people are anti-semitic and or Christophobic. ----http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FwIC7agtqE

Marty

8:35am Not to get to off topic (even though it is indirectly related) is a great article about Gog and Magog. Israel is God's prophetic time clock. Joel Rosenberg covers what is going on in the Middle East from a biblical perspective. Long Live Freedom of Speech!! --http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/what-is-the-war-of-gog-and-magog-part-one/

glenroy
glenroy

The political left has a long and sorry history of siding with any and every extremist group the rest of the nation may find threatening….particularly modern era liberals. Tens of thousands die every few months now because of radical Islam yet they’ll side with them before siding with our military and intelligence agencies which are grossly under manned for the challenge.
That is their model, always has been and it’s more than a little doubtful it will changed anytime soon.

Marty

Shantz, why aren't you speaking out againt the violence caused by Islamic extremists? The title of this story should have been, Anti-freedom of speech advocate, Nathan Lean, creates controversy. Islam is not a religion of peace. Mohammad created Islam and when the people didn't want to follow it he left Mecca, went to Medina, grew an army and when back to Mecca and killed them all. Jimmy Carter and other left wing radicals call Israel Aparthied because they had to build a wall to stop Islamic suicide/homocide bombers(and it's working). But Mr. Carter and others don't talk about how no non-muslims are allowed in Mecca or Medina. Jesus Christ said to love your enemies. Let's all join together to speak the truth and allow freedom of speech.

shantz
shantz

The bible is filled with examples of god ordering his followers to commit genocide in his name:
Deuteronomy 20 "when the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it" (verse13).

After the walls of Jericho came down the Israelites "destroyed with the sword every living thing in it - men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep, and donkeys" (Joshua 6:21)

Joshua 11:20, "For it was the Lord himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the Lord had commanded Moses."

Jesus himself said in the book of Matthew he did come to bring peace to the earth but a sword.

Christians who claim Islam is not a religion of peace by cherry picking facts hold a double standard to their own religion.

We believe in freedom of religion in America. We dont belive in religious discrimination. Its anti-American to slander and intimidate religions that are different from ours.

Marty

It's anti-American to be against freedom of speech, press or religion. All three of which you and Islamic supremists seem to agree on. Islam is a huge discriminator of religious freedom. The Koran says to kill those who change their religion. Glad I don't live in Iran where sharia law is the law and they enforce it.

gettingreal

Shantz,
All of these Bible verses that you quote are from when Gods people were at war. Islam teaches its people to kill others simply for not being a Muslim. Big difference. Islam is completely incompatible with our belief in freedom of religion.

umanyar

The Coptic Christians, who have lived in Egypt even before there was Islam, would beg to differ with you Shantz. Just because its not being covered on ABC doesn't mean its not happening. This is factual information happening right now. "Hate and disinformation" sloganeering and talking points simply point to your ignorance.

shantz
shantz

This Islamaphobia has no place anywhere near our community! Islam is a religion of peace! Spencer is disseminating hate and disinformation!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.