Pipes the right choice
This is in response to Favad Bajaria's attempt to write United States Institute of Peace nominee Daniel Pipes off as a "blacklisted academic renegade" who employs "McCarthy-like" tactics ("Pipes wrong choice to head peace institute," May 1). So what neo-McCarthyite blacklisted Daniel?
Let's set the record straight:
Favad claims the pictures of Palestinians cheering the 9/11 terrorist attacks were "staged." This is clearly offensive to any intelligent person (it was an Associated Press picture). We have all seen the pictures of babies draped in homicide bomber gear, Palestinians burning the American flag to know the immense hatred they have toward us (not to mention their clear disregard for human life). Instead of condemning these activities, Favad dismisses them as "propaganda." It's precisely because of such a brazen attitude that people like Bajaria will never be taken seriously.
• Obviously Bajaria never read Campus Watch's statement (http://www.campus-watch.org/about.php): "Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum, reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North America, with an aim to improving them. The project mainly addresses five problems ... [including] the abuse of power over students. Campus Watch respects the freedom of speech of those it debates while insisting on its own freedom to comment on their words and deeds."
• Bajaria misquotes Pipes as saying, "The Palestinians are a miserable people ... and they deserve to be." Pipes denies this in a letter to the Washington Review of Middle East Affairs (www.danielpipes.org/cair.php)
• Pipes has no association with www.campustruth.org. By misrepresenting this fact, Favad concludes that "the hate tactics of Pipes are clearly recognizable and clearly bigoted."
• Conspicuously left out is the date of the National Review in which Pipes allegedly calls "academics he disagrees with 'barbarians' and 'potential killers.'" This is eerily similar to a quote from the Sept. 25, 2002, Electronic Intifada, which says "Pipes has effectively called for entire Muslim populations to be treated as 'barbarians,' and as 'potential killers.'" Pipes' original statement (NR, "Bin Laden is a Fundamentalist," Oct. 21, 2001), says Islamic fundamentalists (not his adversaries) are "'potential killers.' ... I would say precisely the same about Nazis and Leninists...they too are barbarians. ..."
• Pipes is a Harvard Ph.D. and professor, served in the State department, lived in Egypt and reads Arabic. He is an Islamic scholar who differentiates between moderate and militant.
Substandard journalism is always dangerous, and I am sure your readers would appreciate a follow-through with this issue.
Elana Gutman Katyal
Middle Eastern studies graduate student