I am researcher on Middle East-related issues and am replying to Dan Restrepo's opinion piece entitled, "Fulbright's Terror tie or Pipes defaming lie?" in the University Press of 2/26/04.
Restrepo used distortion and defamation in order to defend Hamas activist Mustafa Abu Sway and attack the noted Middle East specialist Daniel Pipes, who was personally appointed by President Bush last year to be on the board of directors of the USIP - The United States Institute of Peace.
Pipes and Asaf Romirowsky exposed Abu Sway's terrorist connections in two articles entitled "Fulbright's Terror Ties" and "Hamas in the Florida Classroom." www.danielpipes.org/article/1287
At the beginning of his diatribe against Pipes for exposing Abu Sway's ties to Hamas, Restrepo writes that: "Pipes accuses Fulbright scholar Abu Sway of having ties to the terrorist organisation [sic] Hamas... He is trying to send a message that if your work is unpopular or goes against what he thinks is right your'e [sic] a terrorist."
Restrepo's inability to distinquish [sic] between terrorism and academics is symptomatic of the warped perceptions which prompted him to state that Abu Sway "has spent his career preaching peace" despite his documented ties to Hamas.
Restrepo absurdly labels Pipe's Middle East Forum as an "anti Muslim" "'un' think tank" [sic], and confuses the MEF forum and Pipe's website. www.danielpipes.org
Pipes, who wrote about Abu Sway's Hamas affiliations, was named "an authoritative commentator on the Middle East" by the Wall Street Journal. He speaks fluent Arabic, has studied in Egypt, and written 12 books on Middle East related issues.
He is the editor of the Middle East Quarterly and director of the Middle East Forum, a think tank that "works to define and promote American interests in the Middle East." www.meforum.org
His website www.danielpipes.org is a source of reliable information on the Middle East and accessed by thousands of people each day.
One of Pipe's books is entitled; "Militant Islam Comes to America" which explains the difference between the religion of Islam, and militant Islam which propagates terror. www.danielpipes.org/bios
Besides being a known Hamas activist, Abu Sway's academic credentials include being the director of the Islamic Studies at Al Quds University in Jerusalem. Al Quds University has been raided and closed down by the Israeli Defense Forces numerous times due to terrorist activity by it's [sic] students and staff.
In addition to boasting Hamas activist Abu Sway on their faculty, Al Quds maintains the Abu Jihad Center for Political Prisoners [sic] Affaris." "The center is named after the code name for Mr.Khalil Al-Whazir one of the founders of the Palestinian National Liberation movement (Fateh) and a martyr of the Palestinian revolution." wwwalquds.edu/center&institutes?acppa.php
The president of Al Quds University, Sari Nussibeh, appeared on television with Hamas leader Khalid Mischal and praised the mother of a suicide bomber. On an Arab news site he stated that, "There was need to reexamine the benefit of martyrdom operations within Israel in the context of the goals we seek to accomplish." www.theidler.com/IDLER-02/720a.html
Restrepo writes that Abu Sway has "spent his career preaching peace" and neglects to mention that the Jordanian national is presently being investigated by the State Department for his ties to Hamas and terror funding activities. www.danielpipes.org http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/963
Pipes and Asaf Romirowsky exposed Abu Sway based on information provided by the Israeli government.
Besides being documented as a Hamas activist Abu Sway is known as:
*A board member and raised funds for two Jerusalem based Hamas related organisations. [sic]
*Having worked with the Charity Coalition and two other organizations [sic] which have had their assets frozen by the American government
*Being connected to Sheik Ra'ed Saleh -the jailed leader of the Islamist movement in Israel www.danielpipes.org/article/1487
When commenting on the media exposure of his Hamas activism, Abu Sway cynically asserted that: "My views will not change because of this harassment." [sic]
Abu Sway presented examples of how, (as Restrepo claims) he "spent his career preaching peace" to an interviewer in the 'American Muslim' online: When Abu Sway was asked, what in your opinion is the difference between the violence of defending one's rights and terrorism?"
Abu Sway replied: "Sometimes there is really a play on words, and it depends on where one stands...Definitely, if we address the issue from the point of view of national law the Palestinians have a right to defend themselves...Under these conditions. I think that one would only expect that Palestinians would do something about it."
"Now what is the difference between violence and terrorism?"
"I think there is a fine line between both issues and sometimes the cards are mixed." If you target those outside the conflict it is terrorism. But ultimately, if one targets the military force of the occupier, then I do not think it is terrorism although one would wish that the whole thing did not exist in the first place." www.americanmuslim.org/17palestine17a.html
The "whole thing" that Restrepo's 'career peacenik' Abu Sway wishes "didn't exist in the first place" is very likely a cynical reference to Israel.
At a 2001 interfaith conference Abu Sway remarked, to audible gasps from the Jews in the audience that he "wishes the state of Israel would disappear." [sic]
Abu Sway further related that: "On the first day of the new intifada he, (an Al Quds University colleague) was at the Al Aqsa Mosque, and I was there too"...
Abu Sway and his friend from Al Quds University were not the innocent bystanders he pretends they were. Everyone on the Temple Mount at the Al Aqsa mosque that day had come there to attack Israelis. Al Quds University, as a center of Hamas activity would have been at the forefront, not only because of it's proximity to the Temple Mount where the riots began but because the: "Official Palestinian Authority media exhorted the Palestinians to violence. On September 29, the Voice of Palestine, the PA's official radio station sent out calls "to all Palestinians to come and defend the al-Aksa mosque." The PA closed its schools and bused Palestinian students to the Temple Mount to participate in the organized riots. www.us-Israel.org/jsource/myths/mf19a.html#a1
Towards the end of his rant against Pipes for exposing Abu Sway's connections to Hamas and terror funding, Restrepo poses this unintentionally rhetorical question: "While Abu Sway can understand why there are prejudices and accusations against Muslims, does that make them right?"
Regarding the accusations against Al Quds University's visiting Fulbright scholar and documented Hamas activist Abu Sway, the facts speak for themselves.
The answer to Restrepo's question is "yes."