A few years ago, Islamofacism Awareness Week came to our university. Robert Spencer, one of the huge anti-Islam critics out there was invited to speak and of course the MSA was not too thrilled. We felt like his invitation was an attempt at bringing bias to our campus and that it was a mockery of intellectualism and scholarship. Spencer was not open to the idea of having a dialogue with the Muslim students and security was posted at the doors as if the Muslim students posed a threat. The fact that they all left at prayer time was marketed as them walking out on the event and protest and it really was entirely silly. We met with the campus administration and explained to them that especially on topics that are bound to irritate certain groups on campus we should be more careful to screen the speakers or talk to the group we might possibly offend. I remember students saying that Spencer was not a scholar of anything remotely Islamic and was not an authority at all.
When browsing the net today, I found an article that spells out clearly how Spencer likes to be called a scholar without any credentials to back it up. “Spencer does not even possess a Master’s Degree in anything related to Islam, let alone a Ph.D. and post-doctoral fellowship. Spencer does have in M.A. in the field of early Christian studies; does that make him a scholar of Christianity? If not, then why is he considered a scholar of Islam without even an M.A. in Islamic studies?”
Interesting article and site: http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/08/is-robert-spencer-a-scholar/