Sunday, August 17, 2003

ON DANIEL PIPES
I have been to busy to write anything on this, so I will now. It appears that President Bush had decided to sidestep Congress and appoint Daniel Pipes to the U.S. Institute of Peace. In the same week, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer was busy whitewashing Daniel Pipes. Let me challenge both Mr. Krauthammer and Daniel Pipes. In the column, Krauthammer writes:

Unlike most of the complacent and clueless Middle East academic establishment, which specializes in the brotherhood of man and the perfidy of the United States, Pipes has for years been warning that the radical element within Islam posed a serious and growing threat to the United States....During the decades when America slept, Pipes was among the very first to understand the dangers of Islamic radicalism...Sept. 11, 2001, demonstrated his prescience. Like most prophets, he is now being punished for being right.
Did he warn of Islamic radicalism? Yes, indeed. I have read the book and he both ignores important and critical historical facts. For example, he cited the decade-long Iran-Iraq war as how Islamic states are inherently war-mongering states, but he doesn't float around the name of Saddam Hussein once, even though it was Hussein's secular Iraq that started the war.

And yes, he is being punished for what he says. Aftert the Oklahoma bombing in 1995, Pipes wrote in USA TODAY that "people need to understand that this is just the beginning. The [Islamic] fundamentalists are on the upsurge, and they make it clear that they are targeting us. They are absolutely obsessed with us." Not only was Pipes wrong; he seems to be the one that's obsessed.
The main charge is that he is anti-Muslim. This is false. Pipes is scrupulous in making the distinction between radical Islam and moderate Islam. Indeed, he says, "Militant Islam is the problem, and moderate Islam is the solution."
Daniel Pipes said: "If militant Islam is the problem..." He never in fact acknowledges that he personally thinks that there's a difference between militant Islam and moderate Islam. He made this statement on April 10 of this year, at a time when Pipes started to gain more and more attention from the mainstream media. Why hasn't Pipes reached out to Muslims with more statements like these alleged by Krauthammer? Instead, he spends his time calling black converts to Islam, "virulently anti-American, anti-Christian and anti-Semitic." Why does he keep isolating and accusing Islamic reformists of being Islamists? My fellow American Muslims know why.

Even Christopher Hitchens--leftist turned neo-conservative--who coined the term "Islamofascism" turned against Daniel Pipes. Hitchens hit the nail in the coffin in one sentence:
The objection to Pipes is not, in any case, strictly a political one. It is an objection to a person who confuses scholarship with propaganda and who pursues petty vendettas with scant regard for objectivity.

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