Dr. Daniel Pipes believes Militant Islam resembles Nazism and communism, and he thinks the United States' government needs to attack it with similar tactics.
"Nazism and communism aspired for world control," he said, comparing the ideologies and "radical utopian" goals of the three. "Just as we fought Nazism and communism, we're now engaged in a similar battle with Militant Islam.
Speaking to a crowd of more than 300 students and older adults in the Carnegie Lecture Hall Monday night, Pipes identified Militant Islam as the ideology behind terrorist attacks by people from the Middle East in recent decades.
A political analyst with a Ph.D. from Harvard University and the director of the Middle East Forum, Pipes appears frequently on news shows such as "ABC World News," "Crossfire," and "Nightline."
Pipes helped organize Campus Watch, an organization that, according to its Web site, seeks to "monitor and gather information on professors who fan the flames of disinformation, incitement and ignorance" about the Middle East. The group collects and posts information about members of the academic community on their Web site, www.campus-watch.org.
The Israel and Overseas Task Force organized Pipes' lecture in cooperation with several other Jewish organizations.
Pipes criticized university professors for taking an apologetic stance toward terrorism in the Middle East, and for forcing their views upon their students.
"I worry that it's going to take a higher level of destruction and violence for us to take this seriously and put aside our sensitivities," Pipes said. "I see a pattern of learning by murder. Let's get smart and not have to wait for tens of thousands of Americans to be killed."
Pipes nevertheless encouraged students to study all the cultures of the Middle East and not to focus on their own personal backgrounds.
"Whether the knowledge is about religion or action, I think it's more effective to look at religion as a whole," he said when asked how students should respond to recent anti-Semitic violence and sentiment on campuses. "You want to be on the offensive, not the defensive."
"Victory is not only over individual states, but over ideals," he said, suggesting that the American war on terrorism needs to tackle a specific enemy - the Militant Islamists - while promoting moderate Islam as a peaceful alternative.
"The first victims of Militant Islam are Muslims," he said, describing Militant Islam as a "tyrannical, brutal, aggressive" system with followers intolerant of anyone who disagrees with them.
Pipes estimated that only 10 to 15 percent of Muslims are Militant Islamists, but added that they are "very active, devoted and intelligent."
Although the majority of the audience supported Pipes' ideas, many small groups cheered when audience members challenged him while he took questions.
Before the lecture, members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee handed out fliers accusing Pipes of sparking "a new McCarthyism," comparing Pipes' Campus Watch organization to Senator Joseph McCarthy's hunt for communists in the 1950s. Many innocent government officials and public figures lost their careers when they were accused of sympathizing with communists.
"[Pipes] is an awful person," Michael Drohan said as he handed out fliers. "[He believes that] only people who teach the Israeli government's position should speak in universities."
Pipes defended himself against what he called the "acerbic tactics" of the protestors, saying that, unlike McCarthy, he has no state power of coercion, and therefore can freely criticize the academic community.