Setting The Record Straight

Campus Watch corrects false allegations made against it.

Response to:

MSU Stands Against Daniel Pipes
by Muslim Student Union
Muslim Student Union (University of California, Irvine)
November 28, 2007

False allegations of suppressing free speech
Misc. Corrections

Campus Watch Responds:

With this statement, the Muslim Student Union at the University of California, Irvine demonstrates its inability to engage in intellectual debate. Instead of examining and refuting the ideas members find objectionable, they turn to slander and namecalling. In this case, the latter is directed at Middle East Forum director Daniel Pipes, who recently spoke at UC Irvine.

Far from "labeling moderate Muslims as terrorists," Dr. Pipes has been consistent in his contention that "radical Islam is the problem; moderate Islam is the solution," as well as supporting the efforts of moderate Muslims. Furthermore, acknowledging the strategic realities of nations struggling to combat Islamist aggression is not cultivating "an environment of hate and paranoia." Dr. Pipes has never promoted hatred, racism, intolerance, or anti-Muslim sentiment, despite the repeated claims of his opponents to the contrary.

As for Campus Watch, the Muslim Student Union makes the following spurious accusation:

Pipes further limits American freedoms through his program "Campus Watch," a Web site created in 2002 that encourages students to blacklist academics who disagree with his stance on the Middle East.

This too has little to no bearing on reality. No one's freedoms are being limited by Campus Watch's criticism of Middle East studies academia. Campus Watch is simply another player in the free exchange of ideas revolving around higher education, something the Muslim Students Union claims to respect, but clearly misunderstands.

Students are not encouraged to "blacklist" anyone, nor could they, given that they are not members of the government. Rather, students are welcome to call incidents of bias and intimidation to Campus Watch's attention for the purpose of publicizing such issues and, ultimately, helping to improve the field.

Campus Watch does not insist that Dr. Pipes' "stance on the Middle East" be promoted. Instead, we focus on the problems stated on the homepage of our website: analytical failures, the mixing of politics with scholarship, intolerance of alternative views, apologetics, and the abuse of power over students.

If this is something with which the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine disagrees, then they should come out and say as much. As it is, their statement consists only of alarmist accusations. It is, of course, their right to engage in the latter, just as it is Campus Watch's right to correct the record.

(Posted by Cinnamon Stillwell)