On August 18, Georgetown University professor John Esposito spoke in Dallas for a Council on American-Islamic Relations fundraiser intending, as he put it, "to show solidarity not only with the Holy Land Fund [sic, Holy Land Foundation], but also with CAIR." The event at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel took place as the Holy Land Foundation trial was underway, day-by-day implicating CAIR ever more clearly with Hamas, a proscribed terrorist organization.
Esposito's speech stands out for its cringingly pro-Islamist sentiments ("Sami Al-Arian's a very good friend of mine"). Esposito mentions me by name at two separate times, which is what I shall focus on here.
About a minute into his talk, out of the blue he predicts that his talk that evening will be "by tomorrow morning � on certainly Daniel Pipes' website if not a number of others." He then recounts giving a lecture at the University of Chicago, quoting himself addressing me then, "And I'm sure, Daniel, you've got people there who will be out there tomorrow." Indeed, he continues, "it was out on the web. I don't know if it was Pipes, but the next morning I googled my name and there it was, �Esposito in Chicago'."
Comment: No, John, I don't stalk you. Yes, I did note your CAIR-sponsored talk at the University of Chicago, but I drew on public sources for that, as you can see by going to what I wrote. And in Dallas, the person who attended your talk had nothing to do with me or my organization. Still, I am glad to be on your mind when you address CAIR � given that you don't allow any protestors at your events, it's probably a good way for both you and it to recall just how fringe your views are.
Then, about a half hour into the talk, Esposito decries the Muslim tendency to complain about things among themselves, spinning wheels, and brings me in as a contrast both to them and to himself:
I mean, you know, what does Daniel Pipes do? He gets people to fund him. And he's all over the country. He's on every screen. He'll take the time. And a lot of times it's a pain in the neck. I don't do some of the media now, simply because you know, you've got travel, 45 minutes to get to a station to be on for 5 minutes.
Comment: There's no compliment like a back-handed one, John, and I'll take this one. (September 10, 2007)