Posted at 11:58 AM on Friday, October 31, 2008 by David Horowitz
Following Daniel Pipes speech at Washington U, St. Louis, a school which flatters itself as the "Harvard of the Midwest," a panel of Muslim and Leftist faculty assembled to libel Pipes and lend support to America's terrorist enemies by labeling the adversaries of terror "Islamophobes." Note how the entire case against Pipes is built on lies: that Pipes authored a "blacklist" (anyone who criticizes campus radicals automatically gets this label), that Pipes conflates moderate Muslims with Muslim barbarians (few people make the distinction as carefully as Daniel Pipes). If there is "hatred of Islam in America" it is fomented by Islamic terrorists and the members of panels like this who do the work of the terrorists by hiding them in the general Muslim population and attacking their critics.
Panel urges students to ‘Say No to Hate’
Ben Sales Senior News Editor
Published: Friday, October 31, 2008
Calling for more understanding of the Muslim community here and worldwide, four professors and activists spoke to a group of almost 50 students about Daniel Pipes and popular misconceptions of Islam in America Wednesday night. The event came as a response to a speech on campus last week by Pipes, a conservative columnist, called “Vanquishing the Islamist Enemy and Helping the Moderate Muslim Ally,” which was about the threat posed by Muslim organizations in America. The speech was part of the national Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, organized by conservative commentator David Horowitz’s Terrorism Awareness Project.
The panel, “Understand Islam and Say No to Hate,” drew around the same number of attendees as Pipes’s speech and was organized by the Washington University Peace Coalition, which held a protest on the night of Pipes’s speech. Moderated by Professor Fatemeh Keshavarz, chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Literatures and a Muslim active in dispelling stereotypes about the religion, the panel included Professor of History Ahmet Karamustafa, Professor of Anthropology John Bowen, Sheila Musaji, the editor of American Muslim magazine, and James Hacking, a convert to Islam who is a past chair of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in St. Louis.
The panelists focused on criticizing Pipes’s views, providing information on his background as a conservative activist and educating the audience about American Islam and how they feel it is misconstrued in the public eye. Karamustafa spoke about Pipes’s status as an academic and how his views, coupled with fears rising after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, have helped foment hatred of Islam in America. He noted that while Pipes does have a graduate degree in history from Harvard, many experts on Islam and the Middle East consider his work more ideological than academic. “As soon as he got his Ph.D., he went into the world of think-tanks and advocacy,” Karamustafa said. “All this talk of his being a scholar is balderdash. His dissertation is his only scholarly book.” Karamustafa added that Pipes’s advocacy work involved, in large part, “blacklisting” members of the academic community who disagreed with his views.
“Before 9/11, several people, including Pipes, were already targeting Middle East scholars as people who are not doing their jobs,” he said. “Anyone considered to be anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, pro-Palestinian or pro-Islam, that is the criteria. [Pipes] is anti-academic and anti-scholarly.” Bowen continued Karamustafa’s criticism of Pipes by analyzing Pipes’s speech, the motives behind it and the image of Islam that it created. “He equated radical Islam to Islamism,” Bowen said. “He’s putting together in one box the prime minister of Turkey and Osama bin Laden.”
Musaji, by contrast, spoke about the broader context of Pipes’s speech and how it affects civilian Muslim activists like her, telling of several times in which Pipes accused her magazine of advocating Islamist takeover of the United States. “As a Muslim, you can’t win,” she said of Pipes’s worldview. “There’s no logic to it. Nothing that I could say made any difference. This is the kind of paranoia of the hopeless situation we’re in.”
Hacking also focused on challenges that have faced American Muslims since 9/11, attributing the magnitude of those challenges in part to Pipes’s views. “[The FBI] looks at anybody with a beard as someone to be scared of,” he said. “It takes your breath away when you see the severity of the rhetoric.” Questions from the audience followed the panelists’ remarks, many of them coming from Muslims who had faced discrimination. Junior Sean Rhoads, a Peace Coalition member who helped organize the panel, said that the audience members’ stories complemented the panelists’ points. “It shows an awareness that it’s been effectively pointed out to people just how fallacious what Dr. Pipes is saying is,” Rhoads said. “It was primarily effective in bringing a human face to some of Dr. Pipes’s more abstract targets.”
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