The Canadian Jewish Congress has hired extra security for Daniel Pipes' York University lecture today, "just in case" there are problems when the controversial author speaks.
Paid-duty police and private security will be on hand when Pipes, director of the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum, lectures in the Tate McKenzie Building at 2 p.m., said Bruce Kurta, director of public affairs for the congress's Ontario Region. Pipes is known for his warnings on "the threat of militant Islam" and his Campus Watch Web site, which spotlights academics he dubs anti-American and anti-Israel.
Kurta said the congress got involved after the Jewish Student Federation, which planned Pipes' visit, asked it to handle security and media matters.
"This is a just-in-case," Kurta said. "We heard there is a group that will try to block access to the meeting."
Executive director Bernie Farber said that, "Given the potential for aggressive protest, we are not taking any chances."
Pipes was invited by the student group to speak today at the York Student Centre and at a luncheon hosted by York's Centre for International and Security Studies. Both events were cancelled last week over concerns about Pipes' Web site and views on Muslims.
Students who formed the Coalition for Academic Freedom in opposition plan a rally to coincide with the lecture.
"Daniel Pipes is a known hate-spreading racist," said Ali Hassan of the Middle Eastern Students Association. "He ... preaches the exact opposite of what higher academic institutions stand for, such as freedom of speech."