Senators criticize Daniel Pipes in committee meeting

Senators criticize Daniel Pipes in committee meeting

Alhamdulillah, (praise be to God) Several U.S. senators today came out strongly in opposition to the nomination of Daniel Pipes to the board of the United States Institute of Peace. The senators expressed that opposition during a meeting this morning of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, the body that must take the initial vote on Pipes’ nomination. A vote had been scheduled, but was postponed because too many senators left the meeting to maintain a quorum.

“We thank the thousands of people who e-mailed, faxed or met with committee members to express their concerns about Pipes’ bigoted views,” said CAIR Board Chairman Omar Ahmad. “The political momentum to block his nomination is building on Capitol Hill.”

During the discussion of Pipes’ nomination to the USIP board, Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) described Pipes variously as a “provocative” and “highly controversial” candidate whose “decidedly one-sided” views would be in “direct contradiction” to USIP goals.

Sen. Harkin, who said he took the time to investigate the nominee, spoke at length about Pipes’ statement warning of the “dangers” posed by the enfranchisement of American Muslims and of his web site ( that sought to create “dossiers” on academic critics of Israeli policies.

Harkin said the ongoing controversy generated by Pipes’ possible confirmation would “overshadow” the work of the institute. He also said Iowa is home to the oldest operating mosque in America in Cedar Rapids and that Muslims are a vibrant segment of that state’s population. “[Daniel Pipes is] not the person that ought to be on the United States Institute of Peace board,” said Harkin.

Sen. James Jeffords (I-VT) said the fact that Pipes would stimulate debate was “hardly a reason” to support his nomination. Only Senator John Ensign (R-NV) offered a cautious defense of the nominee, saying he agreed with Pipes’ position on peacemaking needing to be backed up by strength.

“We view the outcome of today’s meeting as a victory for all those who reject bigotry and, unlike Daniel Pipes, seek negotiated resolutions to international conflicts,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “It is clear there is little enthusiasm for Pipes’ confirmation, even among his political supporters. Republican senators need to join their Democratic colleagues in reconsidering this divisive nomination.”

At a news conference held by Muslim and Arab-American groups following today’s meeting, a Pipes supporter threatened Awad, saying, “We know who you are, watch out.” (Those taking part in the news conference included representatives from CAIR, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Arab American Institute, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and Muslim American Society-Freedom Foundation.)

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED: (Calls are best, followed by faxes and then e-mails.)

  1. Contact Sens. Kennedy, Dodd, Harkin, and Jeffords to thank them for opposing Pipes nomination. GO TO:

    Ranking Member: Edward Kennedy (MA), 202-224-4543
    Christopher Dodd (CT), 202-224-2823
    Tom Harkin (IA), 202-224-3254
    James Jeffords (VT), 202-224-5141
    Contact the committee: 202-224-5375

  2. Contact the committee member who represents your state to ask that Pipes’ nomination be rejected. Send copies of correspondence to the other members of the committee and to CAIR at:
  3. Contact other elected officials in your state to ask that they oppose the Pipes nomination. GO TO: