Anti-Muslim extremist Robert Spencer calls peaceful student protesters "children" of "Nazis" at Stanford

Notorious Muslim-basher and pretend expert on Islam Robert Spencer faced a tough crowd earlier this week at Stanford University. Hosted by the Stanford College Republicans, Spencer was unprepared for a peaceful student walkout. 

Spencer started calling students Nazis as soon as they began their silent protest. According to the Stanford Daily

Shortly after this comment, the majority of the auditorium got up and left, accompanied by loud Arabic music and Spencer’s speech into the microphone.

Stanford Against Islamophobia clarified that the music was not associated with the original protest, which it said was intended to be a peaceful and silent reaction to the University’s decision to allow Spencer to speak on campus in the first place.

Spencer proceeded to speak loudly into the microphone, calling the students “neo-brown shirts” and “children and heirs of the fascists and the Nazis.”

Thus ended another enlightening campus event sponsored by the billionaire-backed Young America’s Foundation

Spencer’s ludicrous outburst and attempt to play the victim is of course a lie. According to the Daily, the campus opposition to the event, while fierce, was peaceful. It seems that what was most upsetting to Spencer was his opponents practicing their First Amendment rights.

In the run up to the event, faculty and local faith leaders raised their own voices against Spencer's message of hate by publishing op-eds. Even the president of the Stanford College Republicans made a statement by reportedly resigning in protest when the club’s board decided to sponsor the event.

At the same time, Spencer and his supporters were provided multiple platforms to voice their views. Spencer published an “open letter” to the Stanford community, which was placed as a paid advertisement in the Daily, and his supporters published their own op-eds in multiple campus publications. 

Overlooked in much of the ongoing controversy surrounding student protest is the astroturf funding of hateful provocateurs. In addition to the Young America’s Foundation, another source of support for Spencer’s act is professional bigot David Horowitz and his “Freedom Center.” Between 2006 and 2015, the David Horowitz Freedom Center paid Spencer and his Jihad Watch blog around $2.78 million. Anti-Muslim bigotry clearly pays well. And the Horowitz connection is telling: he's no advocate for academic freedom or free speech.

Horowitz’s book The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America attacked professors “for actions that are entirely within their rights and entirely appropriate in an atmosphere that promotes the free exchange of ideas.” In the book, Horowitz spoke approvingly of students who created “Watch Lists” and defended noted free speech icon Sen. Joseph McCarthy. More recently, Horowitz's group has taken to posting flyers around the University of Chicago calling professors and students, including Muslims, "terrorist supporters." 

Spencer and Horowitz's records make it clear that they're not interested in reasoned debate or the free exchange of ideas.

Kessler falls flat in D.C., but the radical right marches on