Exposing Daniel Pipes – The Truth Behind His Lies



Taken from a special edition pamphlet published by the collective efforts of the Muslim Student Union and Alkalima, the Muslim Magazine at UC Irvine.
Please refer all correspondence to Alkalima/Office of the Dean of Students/Irvine, CA 92697/[email protected]

Daniel Pipes, the so-called “expert” on Islam, Muslims and the Arab-Israeli conflict, has become one of the main American commentators focused on terrorism and Islam by appearing on over 100 television shows and 400 radio programs between September 2001 and 2002. However, a quick look at Pipes’ works and statements will make it clear that, far from being an objective academic or expert on Islam, he is, in fact, an anti-Muslim propagandist.
Throughout his career, Daniel Pipes has exhibited troubling bigotry toward Muslims. Pipes’ political views are harshly critical of Islam—a faith with 1.5 billion followers worldwide. As early as 1983, the Washington Post book review noted that Pipes displays “a disturbing hostility to contemporary Muslims…marred by exaggerations, inconsistencies, and evidence of hostility to the subject.”
In 2002, Pipes created “Campus Watch” with the objective of limiting free speech by stifling any criticism of Israel or its policies and by blacklisting any professors who dare not comply. Pipes labelled these academics as “advocates of suicide attacks and militant Islam,” “self-hating,” or “anti-American.”
Pipes often makes the claim that most American Muslim institutions are infiltrated by “Islamists” and that the American Muslim leadership is “Islamist;” a scare tactic term that Pipes never clearly defines. Pipes uses such language as he attempts to convince the American public that they face an imminent threat from Muslims.
Pipes propagates notions like it is, “us against them,” or the “West versus Islam.” The only consistency here is Pipes’ unconcealed racism and persistent push to silence —at any cost— Muslim-Americans and Arab-Americans who stand for truth and justice. Driving him to make the baseless and bigoted accusations is the idea that in libelling Muslims and anything seemingly Middle-Eastern, he somehow bolsters Israel’s security against the onslaught of “Islamists.”

The Notorious “Campus Watch”

In an attempt to silence any academic debate or criticism of the Apartheid State of Israel, the Middle East Forum (MEF) – Daniel Pipes’ think-tank, launched the website Campus Watch in 2002.
Campus Watch posted “dossiers” on eight American academics who had criticized US foreign policy and its unlimited support for Israel. Far from being intimidated—and as a gesture of solidarity with their profiled colleagues—more than 100 academics subsequently contacted MEF asking to be added to the list. Considered by many as an attempt to intimidate professors and restrict their academic freedom, these “dossiers” generated a wave of criticisms and condemnations from scholars worldwide. Subsequently, Campus Watch took down the dossiers but moved their contents to the “Survey of Institutions” section on their site, which now profiles twenty-four American universities, organizations, and programs.
In another controversial section entitled, “Keep Us Informed,” Campus Watch encourages students to contribute to the site’s “original research.” Rather than openly challenging their professors and contributing to the academic debate on campuses, students are asked to inform Campus Watch of their professors.
As Kristine McNeil noted in her article in The Nation,1
“The Campus Watch site is a showcase for the signature distortions on which Pipes has built his twenty-five-year career. He twists words, quotes people out of context and stretches the truth to suit his purpose. John Esposito, director of Georgetown’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and an expert on ‘militant Islam’, is depicted as a Hamas apologist and blamed, without evidence, for the State Department’s decision to refuse crucial Sudanese intelligence on Osama bin Laden before September 11. Joseph Massad, an assistant professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia, is maligned for signing a letter to the editor of the Columbia Spectator in defense of Edward Said in 2000.”

Campus Watch In The Words Of Academics:

“…obviously Mr. Pipes has managed to generate lots of publicity for himself and his associates, all otherwise failed academics who have no scholarly credentials to recommend them. This whole [Campus Watch] exercise is a massive propaganda stunt to create credibility for discredited think-tankers by attacking established scholars.” – Professor Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University
“I am of course disgusted by these policing operations by failed academics of the caliber of Kramer and Pipes who opted for a propaganda role on behalf of the racist colonial settlement that they support. However, their marginalization in academia continues despite their valiant efforts to obtain respectability.” – Professor Joseph Massad, Columbia University
“This noxious [Campus Watch] campaign is intended to silence such perfectly legitimate criticism, by tarring it with the brush of anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism, truly loathsome charges. They reveal the lengths that these people apparently feel impelled to go to in order to silence a true debate on campus.” – Professor Rashid Khalidi, University of Chicago

What The Critics Have To Say About Daniel Pipes…

“Clearly, Pipes’ concern is not ideology, and it is certainly not national security: it is attacking prominent, articulate Arab-Americans and Muslims any way he possibly can, including through outright lies and slander.” -Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
“Those familiar with (Daniel Pipes and Alan Dershowitzs’) track records understand that, in writing these books, Pipes and Dershowitz are promoting a point of view that is pro-Israel and anti-Arab/Muslim. As an ‘associate’ of the pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy…Pipes has made a career of Arab- and Muslim-bashing.” -Gary Keenan, Vancouver Sun, September 14, 2002
“Reading Daniel Pipes’s latest book, brimming with dire warnings of Islamic threats, made me deeply envious. I so wish I could be a polemicist, then I’d never have to worry about accuracy and balance, about passing off egregious nonsense as alarming statement of fact, about repetition and self-contradiction.
I, too, could trumpet mediocre fictions as insightful prophecies…” -Peter Rodgers, former Australian ambassador to Israel, Weekend Australian, November 16, 2002
“In a column on the mixed reaction to Lieberman among Muslims, columnist Daniel Pipes baldly states that Muslim claims that they face discrimination and harassment in the United States are ‘false.’ He gives no supporting evidence. Pipes goes on to write: ‘all Islamists (fundamentalist Muslims) have the same ambition, which is what they call ‘the Islamization of America.’ By this, they mean no less than saving the US through transforming it into a Muslim country.’ Where’d he find that, some pseudo-document called the Protocols of the Elders of Mecca?” -Vlae Kershner, The San Francisco Chronicle, August 17, 2000
“… I picked up a copy of Commentary last month to find that professor Daniel Pipes had written an article entitled: ‘The Danger Within: Militant Islam in America.’ After mocking editorial writers, politicians, and the president of the United States for having ‘tripped over themselves’ to describe American Muslims as just ordinary people who ‘love their country,’ Pipes warned that the ‘Muslim population in this country is not like any other group, for it includes within it a substantial body of people…who share with the suicide hijackers a hatred of the United States…’ Thus having set the stage for the entire Muslim population in this country to be considered ‘not like any other group,’ Pipes goes on to cherrypick statements from Muslims, not all of them Americans, that would indicate their evil intentions…This kind of rhetoric is the real face of the danger within.” -H.D.S. GREENWAY, The Boston Globe,December 24, 2001

In his own words…

“Western European societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene…All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most.” -Daniel Pipes, National Review, November 19, 1990
“Look, I have a filter. I’ve studied Islam and Islamism for 30 years. I have a sense of how they proceed and what their agenda is like. And I see it. You don’t…I can’t prove that to you. I can tell you that there are all sorts of intimations of it. I can tell you I can sense it.” -Pipes, in an interview with Salon.com, November 9, 2001
“So I conclude, the Palestinians must have their will crushed so that they will no longer be trying to eliminate Israel; so they will tend to their own affairs, and we, as well, alone. Crushed. There’s no alternative; I wish there were, but there is none. To have the Palestinian will crushed requires that they go through the bitter crucible of war, of loss, of despair.” -Pipes, at UC Irvine, January 31, 2007
“Iranians and Pakistanis, to take two groups of non-Arabs, are at least as widely conspiracy-minded and as anti-Semitic as, say, Tunisians and Kuwaitis.” -Pipes’ Commentary, September 1, 1999
“…black converts tend to hold vehemently anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-Semitic attitudes.” -Pipes’ Commentary, June 1, 2000
After the Oklahoma City bombing: “People need to understand that this is just the beginning. The fundamentalists are on the upsurge, and they make it very clear that they are targeting us. They are absolutely obsessed with us.” -Pipes, to USA Today, May 2, 1995 [Muslims were not behind the bombing.]
“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…” -Pipes, to Jerusalem Post, January 22, 2003

1 Kristine McNeil, The War on Academic Freedom, The Nation, November 11, 2002