It is a token of the farcical times in which we live when an agenda-driven “scholar” with a track-record of attacking his “subject matter” should feel entitled to be taken seriously.
Daniel Pipes is as much a scholar on Islam and Muslims as David Duke is a scholar on Judaism and Jews. He does not seem to know where scholarship ends and where political advocacy begins. He does not initiate his research by asking questions for which he seeks answers, but by providing answers for which he cherry-picks evidence.
Pipes is wedded to his personal political agenda to such a point that it dominates his worldview invalidating his ability to act as a neutral scholar on Muslim-related topics. Concerned with the interests of Israel above all else, he consistently defines Muslim-Americans exclusively as a function of their position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
For Pipes, a “bad” Muslim is a Muslim who challenges his views on Israel and a “good” Muslim is one who agrees with them; in his “scholarly” lingo, the code terms are “Islamist” and “moderate” respectively.
The fact that Pipes is taken seriously by anyone is an indication of how low the bar of discourse on Islam is today (see M.T. Akbar: “We are not done with racism – yet”). With fear and suspicion clouding reason and critical thinking, it is not difficult for a Harvard graduate with a grim face and a set of intriguing theories to wrestle some media attention.
The type of racism espoused by the likes of Pipes is not the usual banter. There is raw racism and then there is sophisticated racism, and Pipes is a sophisticated man. (MORE)