Western European societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene ... All immigrants bring exotic customs attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most."
In 1990, Daniel Pipes wrote the above quote in an article entitled "The Muslims are Coming! The Muslims are Coming!" published in the National Review.
Daniel Pipes has a long history of blatant racism against Muslims and claims to be an academic. His attacks on culture, religion and race put to question what year in which he is living in. Most of his writings seem to be taking us back to the Crusades as he warns Americans of "anti-American" Muslims who "despise American politics and ethics." His claims go well beyond "conservative" or "right-wing" and into a completely new realm of bigotry.
He created the Middle East Forum and its project, Campus-Watch.org to promote his points of view. Campus Watch has been criticized due to its role of seeking out "intellectual terrorists." Included on the Web site is a list of universities and selected articles that are considered to be "anti-American," while the ones with the thumbs-up graphic are in agreement with Campus-Watch.org. Its attack on mostly Arab professors is very disturbing as it encourages students to report un-American activity within Middle East Studies departments around the nation.
Pipes breaks down the situation in an article entitled "Terrorist Profs" in the New York Post last February, where he takes three isolated cases and concludes that Middle East Studies programs need to be "scrutinized," making reference to professors who have no connection to terrorism but are "intellectual terrorists" who question American foreign policy and are doing their job to academically analyze the current political situation.
To fully understand the nature of Pipes' claims, we must look at his assumptions that
most Muslims are extremist and anti-American, while the "good" Muslim is one who is subservient and assimilates completely into American society.
In one of his most recent articles, "Combating the Ideology of Radical Islam" in the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Pipes explains that terrorism is not separate from Islam, which he considers the enemy. He claims "the ideological enemy" needs to be defeated to allow the rebuilding of regions that are under this "ideology."
Pipes' words present dangerous consequences, as they do not include the analysis necessary to make such claims. Most intellectuals and academics completely ignore his empty assertions. His attempts to promote "moderate" Islam are questionable, as he defines "moderate" Islam to be "an act of private faith with few political consequences." In other words, Muslims can believe what they want as long as they remain distant from politics.
In about two weeks, Daniel Pipes will be coming to town to deliver a lecture for the Spotlight Series in the Memorial Union Lakefront Café. How could someone like him be invited to speak in this university? Few academics respect his work as it is biased by anti-Muslim rhetoric and his use of exaggerated facts which foster a hostile climate against Muslims, immigrants and people of color in this country.
Imagine if the university had brought Jerry Falwell to speak on how 9/11 was the direct result of the number of gays and lesbians in American society. As a respectable institution, we would never allow such a lecture to take place using university money. Yes, we must protect freedom of speech; however, this does not mean that we can bring in "experts" whose purpose is to create hostility against a particular race, religion or sexual orientation. This goes directly against the mission of academia.
In times like these, when the Muslim community is already suffering from an influx of hate crimes and ostility, people like Pipes are making life even more difficult for millions of Muslim-Americans who are being labeled as "militant" for voicing their political views.
-Youssef Sawan is a sophomore majoring in sociology