President Bush asked to rescind nomination of Islamophobe
CAIR is urging President Bush to rescind his nomination of an “Islamophobe,” who claims 10 to 15 percent of Muslims are “potential killers,” to the board of a government institution formed to promote the peaceful resolution of international conflicts.
President Bush yesterday nominated pro-Israel commentator Daniel Pipes, who many American Muslims regard as the nation’s leading Islamophobe, to join the board of the United States Institute of Peace, a federal institution created by Congress. The institute’s board of directors is appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. (Pipes made the claim about Muslims being potential killers in the October 8, 2001, issue of the Philadelphia Daily News.)
“Pipes’ nomination sends entirely the wrong message as America seeks to convince Muslims worldwide that the war on terrorism and the war against Iraq are not attacks on Islam. His bigoted views are incompatible with the mission of the United States Institute of Peace. We respectfully urge President Bush to rescind this ill-considered and poorly-timed nomination,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. He called on the Senate to reject Pipes’ nomination if it is not rescinded by the president.
Awad added that Pipes also lacks the credentials required for service on the institute’s board. All board members are required by law to “have appropriate practical or academic experience in peace and conflict resolution.” “Pipes’ anti-Muslim polemics have had the opposite impact of that sought by the institute. His views promote unending conflict, not peace,” said Awad.
Muslims say Pipes has a long history of advocating the political disenfranchisement and marginalization of America’s Islamic community. In an October 21, 2001, speech before the convention of the American Jewish Congress, Pipes stated: “I worry very much from the Jewish point of view that the presence, and increased stature, and affluence, and enfranchisement of American Muslims…will present true dangers to American Jews.”
He has decried any positive portrayal of Islamic history and beliefs in public schools and termed the PBS documentary “Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet” an “outrage.”
In the Jerusalem Post, Pipes called for increased surveillance of ordinary American Muslims. He wrote: “There is no escaping the unfortunate fact that Muslim government employees in law enforcement, the military, and the diplomatic corps need to be watched for connections to terrorism, as do Muslim chaplains in prisons and the armed forces. Muslim visitors and immigrants must undergo additional background checks. Mosques require a scrutiny beyond that applied to churches, synagogues and temples. Muslim schools require increased oversight to ascertain what is being taught to children”¦” (1/22/03)
Last year, Pipes faced a storm of criticism when he launched Campus Watch, a web site that included “dossiers” on professors and academic institutions thought to be too critical of Israel or too sympathetic to Islam and Muslims. The web site also sought information from students about their teachers’ political opinions. Pipes has been quoted as saying: “The Palestinians are a miserable people…and they deserve to be.” (Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July 2001) His personal web site is maintained by an Israeli settler. He also claims Muslims have no real religious attachments to the city of Jerusalem.
A central theme of Pipes’ commentary is that American Muslims are a threat because they have the goal of “transforming [the United States] into a Moslem country.” (Jewish World Review, 11/16/2000) In fact, he even claimed to have a special mental “filter” with which he can detect those who want to “create a Muslim state in America.” (Salon.com, 11/9/2001) He has also compared American Muslim voter registration drives to those of the Communist Party USA.
Pipes goes so far as to recommend “vigilant application of social and political pressure to ensure that Islam is not accorded special status of any kind in this country.” (Commentary, November 2001) The “special status” Pipes refers to includes ordinary religious accommodations for Muslims in the workplace and “inclusion of Muslims in affirmative-action plans.”
SEE: Who is Daniel Pipes?
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED: (As always, be POLITE and RESPECTFUL.)
Contact President Bush to respectfully request that he rescind Daniel Pipes’ nomination to the board of the United States Institute of Peace.
White House Phone Numbers:
White House E-Mail Addresses:
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500