I was asked by my publisher, Prometheus Books, to respond to the Reza Aslan Fox News interview controversy. Here is what I wrote:
Matthew Franks at First Things has demonstrated (repeated) claims by Reza Aslan that he has “a Ph.D. in the history of religions,” and is “a historian,” are mendacious. Moreover Aslan is not a “professor of religions,” nor is that what in fact he does “for a living.” Perhaps that is why Aslan, during a 2009 interview which covered a subject I have studied in meticulous detail, Islamic Antisemitism, made the dishonest observation that Islam’s well-documented Koranic Jew-hatred is “a silly thing,” because “Arabs are Semites.” A serious and honest scholar would not reiterate this anti-doctrinal, and ahistorical canard—“Semitic” refers to a cognate group of languages, Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Babylonian, Assyrian, and Ethiopic—but Antisemitism, without the hyphen, is a well-established term for general hatred of Jews, specifically, which includes Muslim Jew-hatred. I agree with my colleague and another Prometheus author Robert Spencer that Aslan’s problem is not the faith he professes, but his lack of fidelity to the truth.