National Review's Andrew McCarthy has made a habit of citing anti-Muslim activist Robert Spencer as a credible authority -- plugging Spencer's book The Truth about Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion, for instance. In a recent blog post, McCarthy said that Spencer was the sort of “expert” who should testify at Rep. Peter King's hearings on the “radicalization of the Muslim-American community.” McCarthy wrote: “I fear the hearings may turn into a non-event, in large part because they are not hearing from all the right witnesses -- experts like Steve Emerson and Robert Spencer. These experts have been excluded, evidently due to fear of the predictable reaction of the Muslim Brotherhood's American grievance network.”
Today, FrontPage Magazine published an interview in which Spencer claims that “the most likely scenario” is that former Rep. Anthony Weiner “did convert to Islam.”
The interviewer asked Spencer a question premised on the notion that Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, is somehow connected to the Muslim Brotherhood through her mother: “How is it exactly that a Muslim woman connected to the Muslim Brotherhood is married to a Jewish man? Something is not fitting here, right?” Spencer responded:
Islamic law prohibits a Muslim woman from marrying a non-Muslim man. A Muslim man may marry a non-Muslim woman, but not the other way around. This is yet another manifestation of Islamic supremacism: the idea is that a wife will become a member of her husband's household, and the children will follow the religion of the father. Thus, Muslim men marrying non-Muslim women ultimately enriches the Islamic community, while the non-Muslim community must forever be made to diminish.
Consequently, when a non-Muslim man begins a relationship with an observant Muslim woman, he is usually pressured to convert to Islam, and such conversion is made a condition of the marriage. Of course, laws are often honored in the breach, and this is not always true. So while we know that Huma Abedin's parents were devout and observant Muslims -- indeed, her father was an imam -- we don't know what exactly is going on with her marriage to Anthony Weiner.
Certainly the most likely scenario is that Weiner did convert to Islam, as Abedin's mother, a professor in Saudi Arabia, would almost certainly have insisted that he do so. Weiner has made no public statement of this conversion, but since it would almost certainly have cost him politically if he had announced it, this silence is not any indication that he didn't actually convert.
However, it is also possible, given the recent scandal involving Weiner's apparently frequent and sexually charged contact with other women, that the rumors that the Abedin/Weiner union is a political marriage of convenience are true. After all, in 2008, Hillary Clinton was running for president. There were widespread insinuations that she was involved in a romantic and/or sexual relationship with Abedin, her ever-present personal assistant. Those whisperings persisted into Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State. Abedin's 2010 marriage to Weiner, at which Bill Clinton presided, put those rumors to rest.
In Islamic law, a Muslim must officiate a marriage ceremony; hence if Bill Clinton was the only one officiating, the marriage was not valid according to Islamic law. Huma Abedin would undoubtedly have known that. Thus, if no Muslim was officiating along with Clinton, Weiner would not have had to convert to Islam, as the whole thing was a charade from the outset, apparently entered into with the full awareness of all parties concerned.
He added, “Either Weiner converted to Islam to marry Abedin, and a Muslim was officiating at the ceremony along with Clinton, or the marriage is a sham and Abedin, at very least, is fully aware of that -- and probably the others are also. I don't see any other possibilities.”
Of course, this is all completely ridiculous. Weiner addressed his interfaith marriage in a profile in the May/June issue of Moment magazine:
[Zionist Organization of America president Morton] Klein is more direct: “People I've spoken to in his district said they wouldn't support him because he intermarried.” In fact, before Weiner came to the ZOA dinner in December, Klein warned him that his marriage to a Muslim might elicit jeers from the crowd. Weiner told Klein that he could handle it, and in the end, the night went off without a hitch. Weiner says that “most people have congratulated me and chided me for how long it took me. I can't say that never did anyone have something discordant to say, but it's very rare. Her faith and my faith are things that are important to our identities and things that we talk about. Our faiths and our grounding in religious ideals have made us closer.”
The fact that Spencer would espouse such a lunatic conspiracy theory is in keeping with his record. He co-wrote the anti-Obama book The Post-American Presidency with fellow anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller, who has a stunning history of promoting anti-Muslim bigotry and false claims.