Wide Coalition of Americans Call Press Conference Asking President Bush to Withdraw Pipes Nomination

August 14, 2003


MPAC, along with a wide coalition of interfaith, civil rights and academic freedom groups, participated in a packed press conference this morning at the National Press Building in Washington DC decrying the possible recess appointment of Daniel Pipes to the United States Institute for Peace (USIP).

The press conference was moderated by Dr. Reverend Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, a national, grassroots, non-partisan, faith-based organization of 150,000 members who come from over 65 different religious traditions.

In his opening remarks, Rev. Gaddy said, "Though the people behind this podium come from different religious traditions and hold diverse political perspectives, we speak with one voice to oppose Dr. Pipes' nomination. With unified intent, we ask President Bush not only to hear our concerns, as has the responsible Senate Committee, but to refuse to ignore the wisdom of Dr. Pipes' suitability for the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) and circumvent the due process for such appointments."

Representing MPAC was Communications Director Sarah Eltantawi, who said in part, "There is a reason Daniel Pipes would have to be confirmed to the USIP by President Bush through a back-door recess appointment that subverts the Democratic process. Daniel Pipes holds extremist, anti-American views that offend Americans from all walks of life. He has said that Muslims maintain "different standards of hygiene" and should undergo increased surveillance in their mosques and schools. Daniel Pipes has refused to condemn Japanese internment. Daniel Pipes has made racist and insulting comments about African American Muslims, claiming they hold, 'virulently anti-American, anti-Christian and anti-Semitic" views. Daniel Pipes has assaulted academic freedom by creating the neo-McCarthyte website campus-watch.org, which attempts to ruin the careers of professors that do not agree with his extreme views on the Middle East.

Most shockingly with respect to the USIP, Daniel Pipes has repeatedly disparaged the very notion of diplomatic solutions to conflict. In the Middle East, his idea of conflict solving is the total military defeat of Palestinians. In April of 1987, Daniel Pipes wrote an article in The New Republic advocating for increased weapons sales to Saadam Hussein's Iraq, claiming that President Regan did not support Saadam's regime enough."

Other speakers at the press conference included Nihad Awad of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Hussein Ibish of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Charles Lenchner of Jews for Justice in Palestine and Israel, Helen Samhan of the Arab American Institute, Dr. Virginia Lapham from Academics for Justice, Dr. Mark Lance also from Academics for Justice, Mahdi Bray of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, Khaled Turanni from American Muslims for Jerusalem and Joan Drake from Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

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