Pipes in the D

In today’s Daily Dartmouth, there’s a news article and opinion piece about Daniel Pipes. The article was a little too brief, and the opinion piece opposes his politics, so here are some clarifications/defenses, often in his own words.

The “brown-skinned” quote can be found in context here. Actually, context does little to diminish the quotation’s inflammatory nature. As it was presented, I’d call the rhetoric a little heavy-handed, but Pipes later added a footnote about that sentence, which explains that he intended these apparently xenophobic phrases to reflect the views of European leadership at that time (1990). He offers quotations from Chirac, among others, as examples.

The other oft-cited quotation is about the “potential killers.” According to David Frum, what Pipes actually said was

Individual Islamists may appear law-abiding and reasonable, but they are part of a totalitarian movement, and as such, all must be considered potential killers.

Muslims, in Pipes’ view, are not necessarily Islamists. He defines Islamism as an ideology and Islam as a faith. He elaborates extensively here.

How many Muslims, then, are Islamists? He says that 10-15% of the Muslim population have sympathies with the “militant Muslim agenda.” How did he come up with this number? He says:

It is a soft number, based on polling, my personal experiences, talking, studying.

Not exactly scientific. There’s a strike.

Then, the “internment” charge. While he’s decidedly for profiling Muslims and he supports Michelle Malkin, who defended Japanese internment, he claims here:

I am encouraged by the results of the Cornell survey because it means that many Americans understand the need to focus on the segment of the population that is engaged in Islamist activities; I do not specifically endorse its notion of Muslims having to register their whereabouts.

… I raised the subject of the Japanese internment because it “still matters” in its influence on the U.S. public debate, and not because I advocate the internment of anyone today.

He also defends himself here at length against attacks by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Finally, he’s been called a McCarthyist because of Campus-watch.org. Stanley Kurtz disagrees.

So go hear him speak, God damn it.