I've been invited to speak at the Freedom Summit in Phoenix, Arizona February 14th - 16th. It's a libertarian conference where the leading minds of the modern freedom movement come together to share ideas and discuss their current projects. Needless to say I was humbled by the invitation. I'll be presenting about the renegade psychological experiment I'm working on. However, apparently one commentator believes that I simply don't belong at such an event, and in fact I should be viewed with suspicion and contempt. Mike Renzulli posted an article titled, "The Davi Barker Deception" on FreedomsPhoenix.com, which is the website of Ernest Hancock, the lead organizer of the event. To be perfectly clear, some people have criticized Ernie for allowing such a thing to be posted on his site, but Ernie believes in the free market of ideas, and so do I. I support Ernie's decision to keep the article posted. I support his philosophy of transparency and free expression. And I recognize that the appearance of the article does not constitute Ernie's support for it's message. Ernie is a stand up gentleman, and a friend. None the less, I also recognize that a free market succeeds best when there is open competition, and therefor it is incumbent upon me to present a response to Mike Renzulli.
By all means go and read Mike's original article, but you won't find much content to sink your teeth into. In fact you'll find almost no content pertaining to me, or anything false or deceptive I've said. Instead you'll find a catalog of deeds committed by other Muslims, or those accused of being Muslim, that I have never met and have no association with. The relevant content in Mike's original article was very sparse, and is therefor contained entirely in my response, so you could read only my response and still get a full and complete picture of the situation. Here is my response:
Let me put your mind at ease by addressing what you've said in the order that you said it.
I've never met Terry Lee Loewen and I've never been to the Wichita International Airport. You're quote from him is just that, a quote from him, not from me. Regarding the Freedom Summit, I have not been asked to talk about Islam at the event. I'll be speaking about authoritarian sociopathy, and perhaps a bit about crowd-funding projects with Bitcoin. If Islam comes up it will probably be because someone of your ilk attempts to lambaste me with questions that are not on topic. I'm prepared for such an interaction, but I'm sure no one but the questioner wants to hear it, so I'd rather such a person meet with me during an intermission, on record if they like, and discusses their concern with me calmly, so as not to take the audience's valuable time, who have paid to attend this event to hear about the topic on the program.
I'm not sure what a "secular faith" is, but as you and Ayn Rand rightly point out, facts are facts independent of what you wish. The fact is that I, as well as other members of Muslims4Liberty.org see a confluence of values between libertarianism and Islam, and have made advocating those values our mission, though you may dislike it. But again, I am not speaking at Freedom Summit as a representative of Muslims4Liberty.org, I am speaking as a representative of BitcoinNotBombs.com. I wear many hats.
It has never been my claim that there is no compulsion in so-called Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia. Those countries have States, and States, secular, Islamic, communist, fascist or otherwise, are by definition monopolies on compulsion. It has been my claim that there should be no compulsion on those countries, or this one, or any other country. My first book "Voluntary Islam" is largely devoted to articulating why such a State is not fit to exist. I also discuss the Islamic theology, tradition and history which adequately defends that position. Regardless of what you and Robert Spenser imagine Islam to be, I do not recognize that Islam, and your article is allegedly about me personally, by name. I do recognize and support freedom of worship, conscience, speech, homosexuality, heresy and nail polish. I have never denied or downplayed incidents of injustice or cruelty in Muslim majority countries. I condemn them in the strongest terms. However, I do not take personal responsibility for them.
As for Pamela Geller, she and I have a history that predates the article you mentioned, which was about billboards. In 2009 she publicly accused me personally of conspiracy to murder a 17 year old girl in Ohio that I have never met. She has never recanted this accusation, or removed the article where she makes it. So forgive me if I am less than cordial when discussing her, or if I don't devote much RAM to her opinions. I've written dozens of articles refuting her criticisms, and devoted numerous essays in my book to it. Just not the one particular article you've linked to.
I cannot personally address the debate between Will Coley and Robert Spenser because I was not involved, and therefor I take no personal responsibility. What you have said is that the debate was canceled. Will Coley says Robert Spenser canceled, and Robert Spenser says Will Coley canceled. Both are merely claims made by the participants. Why then do you regard one as evidence and the other as falsehood? Do you have some other corroborating evidence you're not sharing? Because I do. I was eagerly anticipating that debate, and it was the host of the show who said that Robert stopped returning his emails after discovering who he was up against. But again, that's just a claim. Maybe you have some other evidence.
For the record, I am not friends with Adam Kokesh. I've never met the man. I find his antics entertaining, but I question his judgement. As far as I know Will is not personal friends with Adam either, but then you're not writing about Will. You're writing about me. I'm fairly certain that I've heard Adam say that he's atheist, but I couldn't testify to it. But you keep barking up that tree. It will be endlessly entertaining if you and all your anti-Muslim chums show up and protest when Adam runs for Anarchy President in 2016. But I still won't vote for him.
I am not a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, nor a member of ANSWER. Forgive me if this sounds tongue-in-cheek, but I am not, and have never been a member of the Communist Party. I am not a member of Muslim American Society, or CAIR, or the Muslim Brotherhood. I have never met Mustafaa Carroll, or Omar Ahmad. So how you can claim that something is obvious about me based on these groups and quotes from these individuals is just confusing to me.
To clarify, and perhaps this will clear up all the confusion, libertarians don't say that people are not guilty "of" association, as if association itself is the crime. We say that people are not guilty "by" association. Meaning, you can not draw big circles, connect them with lines, and then assume that I believe what they believe, or I am guilty of what they are guilty of, because of our association. If such a thing were valid, it would also be valid to assume people are innocent by association, and my associations with Ernest Hancock and Darryl Perry, both Christian, or Ben Stone and Ian Freeman, both Quaker, or Brett Veinotte and Stephanie Murphy, both Atheist, would mean that I was also guilty of whatever crimes you concoct for them. But by all means, look to all those names to reveal my character. I am quite proud of those associations.
You assume that I am unchecked, as if somehow this is the first hit piece that's ever been written about me. Or that I assume no one will ever question my claims. I've written extensively about all these things, in public, in view of as many critics and trolls as the Internet has to offer. I am not engaged in a stealth jihad. I've written extensively about my thoughts on jihad. Read "My Jihad Is Language" or "My Hajj Reflections: The Greatest Jihad." I've been pretty transparent about my struggles. Pretty loud, and all together not stealthy at all.
I have never claimed that it is racist to criticize a religion. I completely agree that bringing race into it is a red herring. But it can be bigoted. For example, why do you say "especially" Islam. I can certainly understand saying "including" Islam. Islam should receive equal treatment and scrutiny as other worldviews, and I should receive equal treatment and scrutiny as other humans. But why say "especially?" Why say that I deserve "great suspicion if not outright contempt." Is there something special about Islam and Muslims that makes us categorically different from other humans? Some reason adherents of this faith should be given special treatment, or held to special standards? That is where it begins to sound like bigotry to me. Hold me to the same standard as everyone else, and even if I disagree with your conclusions, I will never call you a bigot. But hold Muslims to a special standard, as in assuming that Will is lying, but Robert is telling the truth, when the same evidence exists for both claims, and it starts to look like maybe you're a little prejudiced.