Asked Thursday whether he would debate Maajid Nawaz, Robert Spencer replied: “Yes, of course I would. But Maajid Nawaz won’t debate me.” It isn’t hard to understand why that is true. Maajid Nawaz has an image to protect: that of being an all-knowing Muslim reformist who’s never wrong. He presents himself as a softer, gentler, more articulate Muslim than the jihadis walking around in a rage and ready to explode at the mention of Muhammad’s name. He’s part dandy, but always makes sure to look like he’s stepped out of the office, with his tailored suits, ties, and pastel socks. He’s clean, serious, and ready for business. It all looks a bit gay to me, and I’m a gay man who would not be caught dead in half of what he parades around in. Maajid is a Muslim, and he’s visually trying to sell us a cool, funky and fashionable version of Islam, as he sits behind desks or on stages talking and debating with people about the merits of Islam and how truly peaceful it is. He’ll spout this tripe to uninformed and lazy interviewers, who sit and nod their heads like those plastic dogs you sit on the dashboard of your car. And if Maajid is ever in a debate, the viewer is led to believe that he’s engaging with an actual expert on Islamic theology, but more often than not Maajid is dealing with one-dimensional fundamentalists, or “far-right bigots” who don’t know the truth about Islam. He’ll debate anyone, it seems — anyone except for Robert Spencer.