The Devil and Daniel Pipes

Appointing a noted Islam-basher to the U.S. Institute of Peace is a clear sign that Bush neocons are spoiling for a fight

| October 3, 2003 Issue

President Bush's recent appointment of Muslim-basher Daniel Pipes to the board of directors of the U.S. Institute of Peace has some critics wondering whether the White House is actively working to enrage, rather than engage, the Muslim community. Director of the Middle East Forum, a right-wing think tank, Pipes is notorious for his anti-Islam writings, notes Salim Muwakkil in In These Times. In1995, for instance, he called the Oklahoma City bombing "just the beginning" of a reign of terror by Islamist fundamentalists. "Pipes has repeatedly demonstrated hostility toward Arabs and toward Islam as a religion," says Mitchell Plitnick of Jewish Voice for Peace, one of many Jewish organizations opposing the appointment. "Of equal concern is that Pipes has often espoused the view that force is the most appropriate solution to the problems in the Middle East and the Muslim world." That the Bush administration would appoint such a polarizing force to its Institute of Peace makes almost no sense, writes Muwakkil, unless you accept the neoconservative view that a "class of civilizations" between Christians and Muslims is an inevitable phase through which the U.S. must pass on its way to building a global empire.
-- Craig Cox

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