Jihad Watch

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Jihad Watch
Jihad Watch logo.PNG
Type of site
Online Journal
Available inEnglish
OwnerRobert Spencer
Created byRobert Spencer and Hugh Fitzgerald
Alexa rankIncrease 28,734 (September 2015)[1]
Registration501(c)(3), non-profit organization
LaunchedSeptember 23, 2003
Current statusActive

Jihad Watch is a blog affiliated with the David Horowitz Freedom Center, run by blogger Robert Spencer,[2][3][4][5][6] it has been described as one of the main homes of the Counter-jihad movement on the internet.[7]

According to the website, a theology of violent jihad, which denies non-Muslims and women equality, human rights, and dignity has been present throughout the history of Islam. Jihad Watch says that it is "dedicated to bringing public attention to the role that jihad theology and ideology plays in the modern world, and to correct popular misconceptions about the role of jihad and religion in modern-day conflicts."[8]

It has been criticized by academics who believe that it promotes an Islamophobic worldview and conspiracy theories.[9][10][11][12][13][14]


The site features commentary by multiple editors, although its most notable and frequent publisher of content is Robert Spencer. It has been affiliated with the David Horowitz Freedom Center, as a subsidiary project.[15] Dhimmi Watch was a blog on the Jihad Watch site, also maintained by Spencer, focusing on allegations of acts by non-Muslims in defence of the Muslim world.


The Horowitz Freedom Center has paid Spencer, as Jihad Watch's director, a $132,000 salary (2010). Jihad Watch has also received funding from donors supporting the Israeli right,[15] and a variety of individuals and foundations, like Bradley Foundation and Joyce Chernick, wife of Aubrey Chernick.[16]

Influence and stances[edit]

Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of the London-based pan-Arab newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, wrote that:

Most of the effective surveillance work tracking jihadi sites is being done not by the FBI or MI6, but by private groups. The best-known and most successful of those are [Internet] Haganah ... SITE [Institute] ... and Jihad Watch.[17]

Jihad Watch (or Spencer, as director of Jihad Watch) has been quoted in, among other publications, The New York Times,[18][19] The New York Daily News,[20] The Christian Science Monitor,[21] USA Today,[22] The Daily Mail,[23] and the Toronto Sun.[24] He is a frequent guest on news channels such as CNN[25][26] and Fox News.[27][28]

Articles posted to Dhimmi Watch were archived by several news-gathering agencies and advocacy groups tracking these issues.[29][30][31] As of March 2009, Dhimmi Watch was merged into Jihad Watch.

Jihad Watch said that the English Defence League (EDL) "deserve the support of all free people" and described its opponents in Unite Against Fascism as "fascist."[32] Spencer has withdrawn his support as of June 2011.[33] Arun Kundnani, research fellow at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, groups Jihad Watch with other counterjihad blogs and calls them "paranoid conspiracy theorists", strongly accusing them of providing a false worldview which he writes has served as legitimisation of violence for far-right groups, such as the EDL.[9]


Politico said that during 2008-2010, "the lion's share of the $920,000 it [David Horowitz Freedom Center] provided over the past three years to Jihad Watch came from [Joyce] Chernick".[34]


Jihad Watch has been criticized for its portrayal of Islam as a totalitarian political doctrine,[9] and as such has been accused of Islamophobia.[10][11][12][13][14]

The Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) called Jihad Watch an "Internet hate site" and said it is "notorious for its depiction of Islam as an inherently violent faith that is a threat to world peace."[citation needed] Guardian writer Brian Whitaker described Jihad Watch as a "notoriously Islamophobic website",[35] while other critics such as Dinesh D'Souza,[36] Karen Armstrong,[37] and Cathy Young,[38] pointed to what they see as "deliberate mischaracterizations" of Islam and Muslims by Spencer as inherently violent and therefore prone to terrorism. Spencer has denied such criticism.[39]

Benazir Bhutto, the late Pakistani Prime Minister, in her book Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West, wrote that Spencer uses Jihad Watch to spread misinformation and hatred of Islam. She added that he presents a skewed, one-sided, and inflammatory story that only helps to sow the seed of civilizational conflict.[40] Spencer stated that the passage Bhutto cited was written by Ibn Warraq.[41]

Robert Spencer has been described by some civil rights organizations including the Southern Poverty Law Center[42] and Anti-Defamation League[43] as a hate group leader.

Response to criticism[edit]

Spencer has responded to accusations that Jihad Watch is Islamophobic by saying that the term "Islamophobe" is "a tool used by Islamic apologists to silence criticism."[39]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jihadwatch.org Site Info". Alexa Internet. Archived from the original on 2015-05-04. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  2. ^ Robert Spencer Joins the David Horowitz Freedom Center Archived 2009-04-18 at the Stanford Web Archive, FrontPage Magazine, September 6, 2006
  3. ^ ROBERT SPENCER Archived 2012-03-18 at WebCite Page at Jihadwatch.
  4. ^ Glenn Beck Transcript Archived 2007-02-04 at the Wayback Machine., CNN, August 10, 2006
  5. ^ Glenn Beck Transcript Archived 2007-03-30 at the Wayback Machine., CNN, October 23, 2006
  6. ^ Invitation to author upsets Muslims, Indianapolis Star, March 18, 2007 Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Hegghammer, Thomas (24 July 2011). "The Rise of the Macro-Nationalists". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2014-08-08. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
  8. ^ "Jihad Watch". Jihad Watch. March 28, 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-03-31. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  9. ^ a b c Arun Kundnani (June 2012). "Blind Spot? Security Narratives and Far-Right Violence in Europe" (pdf). International Centre for Counter-terrorism. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2012-07-10. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  10. ^ a b John L. Esposito (2011). "Islamophobia and the Challenges of Pluralism in the 21st Century - Introduction" (PDF). Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2012-08-27.
  11. ^ a b Ismael, Tareq Y.; Rippin, Andrew, eds. (2010). Islam in the Eyes of the West: Images and Realities in an Age of Terror. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. p. 104. ISBN 0-415-56414-X. cited from Webb, E. (2012). "Review of Tareq Y. Ismael & Andrew Rippin (eds.), Islam in the Eyes of the West: Images and Realities in an Age of Terror". Contemporary Islam. doi:10.1007/s11562-012-0196-9.
  12. ^ a b D'Annibale, Valerie Scatamburlo-D', ed. (2011). "Campus Cons and the New Mccarthyism". Cold Breezes and Idiot Winds. Rotterdam: SensePublishers. ISBN 978-9460914072.
  13. ^ a b Varisco, D. M. (2009). "Muslims and the media in the blogosphere". Contemporary Islam. 4: 157–177. doi:10.1007/s11562-009-0106-y.
  14. ^ a b Topal, S. (2011). "Everybody Wants Secularism—But Which One? Contesting Definitions of Secularism in Contemporary Turkey". International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society. 25: 1–3. doi:10.1007/s10767-011-9114-z.
  15. ^ a b Barnard, Anne; Feuer, Alan (October 10, 2010). "Outraged, And Outrageous". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2017-06-24. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  16. ^ Kenneth Vogel and Giovanni Russonello. "Latest mosque issue: The money trail". Politico.Com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
  17. ^ The secret history of al Qaeda – Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
  18. ^ Lichtblau, Eric (April 2, 2009). "After Attacks, Supporters Rally Around Choice for Top Administration Legal Job". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2018-05-30. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  19. ^ Moss, Michael (October 21, 2007). "Militant Islamist Web sites - Terrorists - Internet - Al Qaeda". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2018-01-17. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  20. ^ "ECHOES OF '04. Blasts recall 3–11 train carnage in Madrid". New York: Nydailynews.com. July 8, 2005. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  21. ^ "Shooting of two soldiers in Little Rock puts focus on 'lone wolf' Islamic extremists / The Christian Science Monitor". CSMonitor.com. June 11, 2009. Archived from the original on 2010-10-27. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  22. ^ Oren Dorel (November 30, 2009). "Usatoday.com". USA Today. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  23. ^ "The surprising truth about Rage Boy, America's hated poster-boy of Islamic radicalism | Mail Online". London: Dailymail.co.uk. November 11, 2007. Archived from the original on 2010-03-16. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  24. ^ Lee-Anne Goodman; THE CANADIAN PRESS (November 5, 2009). "Muslims brace for backlash after gunman ID'ed | World | News". Toronto Sun. Archived from the original on November 9, 2009. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  25. ^ JihadWatchVideo (4 June 2015). "Robert Spencer on CNN on the jihad plot against Pamela Geller, June 4, 2015". Archived from the original on 2017-08-11. Retrieved 16 April 2017 – via YouTube.
  26. ^ "You are being redirected ..." Archived from the original on 2016-03-13. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  27. ^ "You are being redirected ..." Archived from the original on 2018-01-06. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  28. ^ "You are being redirected ..." Archived from the original on 2016-05-23. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  29. ^ "Monitoring Middle East Studies on Campus". Campus Watch. Archived from the original on 2011-06-10. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  30. ^ "Watch: Covering the War on Terror". Ss790.fusionbot.com. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  31. ^ "Hindu Voice". Hindu Voice. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  32. ^ UK: Fascist "anti-fascists" attack anti-jihad demonstrators. "UK: Fascist "anti-fascists" attack anti-jihad demonstrators". Jihadwatch.org. Archived from the original on 2010-04-03. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  33. ^ Robert Spencer (June 29, 2011). "Change for the worse at the EDL". Archived from the original on 2012-01-20. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
  34. ^ Latest mosque issue: The money trail Archived 2016-12-24 at the Wayback Machine., Politico, By GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO and KENNETH P. VOGEL 09/04/10 07:05 AM EDT Updated 09/05/10 11:33 AM ED
  35. ^ Drawn conclusions, The Guardian, February 7, 2006
  36. ^ Dinesh D'Souza (March 2, 2007). "Letting Bin Laden Define Islam". Archived from the original on 2007-03-04. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
  37. ^ "Balancing the Prophet". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 2007-09-12. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
  38. ^ "The Jihad Against Muslims". Archived from the original on 2008-02-13. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
  39. ^ a b "Wikipedia and Robert Spencer". Archived from the original on 2011-05-19. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  40. ^ Benazir Bhutto, Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West, Harper, 2008, p.245-6
  41. ^ Spencer, Robert (March 19, 2008). "Parting words from Benazir Bhutto". Archived from the original on 2015-01-13. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  42. ^ "Muslim Basher Robert Spencer Shows White Nationalist Colors". Archived from the original on 2015-05-28. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  43. ^ "Stop Islamization of America (SIOA)". Archived from the original on 2016-06-19. Retrieved 16 April 2017.

External links[edit]