Campus Watch in the Media
According to Campus Watch:
A large segment of academe, however, does not believe disinterested scholarship is even possible. Any claim of "truth," it says, is inevitably a product of some parochial viewpoint or political interest. "Objective" truth doesn't exist; history consists of disparate "narratives," all equally legitimate.
In such an environment, there is no possibility of debate because there is no independent standard by which to judge arguments. There is no difference between disagreement and censorship; all one can do is insist on one's own narrative and suppress opposing views.
In order to control the notion of truth, Campus Watch seeks to suppress and censor whichever other truths may conflict with the one expounded by Hollywood and the American media. Campus Watch has been criticized as being a threat to academic freedom. These linear minded organizations must not be welcomed into our institutions, and while its presence may be tolerated by means of non-violent opposition, it is not to be accepted here at Western.
The media does a lot to discredit the moral dilemmas of many individuals in the world, relying heavily upon a westernized, capitalist rights-based framework. Freedom of expression had been restricted by market principles and demands for heavy funding with political strings attached. James McCartney, Washington Reporter and Foreign and Security Affairs Specialist writes:
To me, the best illustration [of] the pro-Israeli bias in the media] is the development of the Palestinian ‘terrorist' campaign. They have resorted to violence to draw attention to, and to dramatize, a real problem for hundreds and thousands of people. It is my personal belief that if the media as a whole in the Western world would have done an adequate job reporting from the Middle East it would not have been necessary for the Palestinians to resort to violence to draw attention to their case.
[Journal of Palestine Studies, vol.5]
Unlearn That Which Is Untrue
Why We're Here...
Daniel Pipes implicitly supports Zionism, an ideology that has resulted in racist practices and acts of violence against non-Jewish people living in and around Israel. We are here in recognition of the fact that freedom for some is unacceptable to our peace loving democratic society.
Daniel Pipes represents the views of a select few, and while he retains the right to express them, we are here to let him know that his views are not welcomed at Western.
Daniel Pipes is involved in Campus Watch, an organization that attacks professional and academic figures who do not entirely support American and Zionist agendas.
Campus Watch alleges to protect the rights of students, but does nothing over than maintain the status quo, supporting discrimination against Muslims while protecting the rights of Jews and Americans. We are here in recognition of the fact that all rights must be protected, and all sides of the story must be told.
The Ugly Side of Daniel Pipes:
Excerpt from the Philadelphia City Paper:
Before Sept. 11, he was often dismissed as alarmist, even prejudiced.
In many ways, the Muslim world today is comparable to Nazi Germany in the extent to which one finds anti-Semitic themes found pervasively throughout the culture.
Today, Pipes backs profiling -this is no time to worry about people's feelings- and calls the FBI's secret detentions absolutely necessary. As Pipes sees it, if some people [who look Muslim] spend some time behind bars that shouldn't be [there], that is a price I'm willing to pay.
The Bush administration, Pipes notes, is referring to the problem as 'terrorism.' It insists on ignoring the connection to Islam.
[Daniel Brook, "Pipes' Dreams" (18 Jul, 2002)].
Excerpts from America's Right Wing News:
The Middle East and the Muslim world more broadly have had a very difficult time coming to terms with modern life. There is a reversal of reality, appearances deceive, everything is topsy-turvy, friends are really enemies, and enemies are really friends... the fervor and the conspiratorial nature is distinctly reminiscent of the Nazi period.
I believe the useful way of seeing a militant Islamist is not in comparison with Christians, Jews, or other members of religious groups. It's more useful to compare the militant Islamists with the fascists or Communists and their radically utopian ideology. Yes its wellspring is religion, but its final form is ideology.
There is no comparable Christian radically utopian ideology or Christian totalitarian ideology, nor Jewish, nor Hindu, nor any other religions.
[Telephone interview with John Haskin, rightwingnews.com/interviews/pipes.php]
A Different Perspective
Excerpt from Electronic Intifada:
Edward Said noted in The Nation on 12 August 1996 that Pipes was one of several anti-Muslim pundits who seeks to make sure that the '[Islamic] threat' is kept before our eyes, the better to excoriate Islam for terror, despotism and violence, while assuring themselves profitable consultancies, frequent TV appearances and book contracts.
Though rehabilitated in some sectors of the media since 11 September 2001, many journalists recall Pipes' dubious track record which includes loud claims that the bombing of the Federal building in Oklahoma was "just the beginning" of a wider Islamic fundamentalist attack on the US (Village Voice, 2 May 1995).
Pipes has effectively called for entire Muslim populations to be treated as barbarians, and as potential killers. In a 22 October 2001 column in National Review Online, Pipes declared that fully one quarter of the populations in Pakistan and the Palestinian Authority, as well as the Saudi royal family, among many millions of other Muslims, fit his definition of fundamentalists. As a consequence, Pipes states:
To me, every fundamentalist Muslim, no matter how peaceable in his own behavior, is part of a murderous movement and is thus, in some fashion, a foot soldier in the war that bin Laden has launched against civilization....For this reason, I have written about the fundamentalists...
Many of them are peaceable in appearance, but they all must be considered potential killers.
By way of comparison, I would say precisely the same about Nazis and Leninists; however non-violently they might conduct their own lives, the fact that they back a barbaric force means they too are barbarians and must be treated as such.
[Nigel Parry & Ali Abunimah, "Campus Watch: Middle East McCarthyism?" (25 Sept 2002), electronicintifada.net/v2/article714.shtml]
Pipes: A Threat to Western?
The Ontario Human Rights Commission spent a week in February calling out specifically for victims of racial profiling and discrimination. While the government has taken measures to increase its policing powers, it has taken some steps to protect the rights of the Arab and Muslim Canadians who silently fall victim to racial profiling. As long we continue to gather in solidarity with the members of our multi-ethnic diverse community, Pipes and his followers can do us no harm.
What follows is written by Rex Brynen, Doctor of Political Science:
"...there has been growing controversy about the [...] lecture by Daniel Pipes of Campus Watch at York University. The following email discussion with David Dewitt of YCISS may help clarify some of the issues involved (I'm circulating it with David's permission). Cheers, Rex."
David [Dewitt of the York Centre for International and Security Studies]:
Just a quick note to warn you that the decision of the [York] Centre for International and Security Studies to invite Daniel Pipes to speak is starting to attract considerable attention in the academic community—I've received a couple of emails about it already today.
The issue is certainly not Pipes' views on the Middle East. I personally think that he's wrong about most things, but I would absolutely defend his right to be wrong—after all, free expression is what universities are all about. I think many of his views border on racism too, but even that I can tolerate (although barely, at times).
However, what marks Pipes out from others with similar views on the region are his well-publicized efforts, through Campus Watch, to intimidate scholars and would-be scholars. The Macarthyite [sic] tone of Pipe's [sic] Campus Watch website is alarming [http://www.campus-watch.org/about.php]:
This bias results from two main causes.
First, academics seem generally to dislike their own country and think even less of American allies abroad. They portray U.S. policy in an unfriendly light and disparage allies. The closer those allies are (first Israel, followed by Turkey, then at some distance Egypt and Saudi Arabia), the more hostile their analysis. In contrast, they apologize for the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Syrian Ba'th regime, and other rogue states. Likewise, the academics downplay the dangers of militant Islam and terrorism. Revealingly, while Americans overwhelmingly supported the war to liberate Kuwait in 1991 and the war on terrorism today, academic specialists just as overwhelmingly rejected the use of force on both occasions.
Second, Middle East studies in the United States has become the preserve of Middle Eastern Arabs, who have brought their views with them. Membership in the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the main scholarly association, is now 50 percent of Middle Eastern origin. Though American citizens, many of these scholars actively disassociate themselves from the United States, sometimes even in public...
As you'll know, Campus Watch has been condemned by virtually every relevant professional organization as a threat to academic freedom. (See, for example the excellent CAUT article on this at http://www.caut.ca/english/bulletin/2002_oct/news/ enemies.asp).
It would be a shame if, by this invitation, the Centre's well-deserved reputation for excellence was suddenly obscured by a major controversy over its perceived support for Campus Watch. (I realize that you don't at all support Pipe's [sic] activities with Campus Watch, but...I'm well aware that perceptions and reactions can take on a life of their own...)
All the best,
Professor, Department of Political Science
[Rex Brynen and David Dewitt, "Daniel Pipes, Campus Watch, and YCISS" (21Jan 2003)] [w
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