Daniel Pipes USIP Nomination Stalled In Committee

July 22, 2003

Members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee say they need "more time" to study "controversial nominee."

Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) opened the discussion by articulating that it is of the utmost importance that immigrants to America feel welcome. Senator Kennedy went on to underscore the important role all immigrants, including Muslims, play in shaping the American mosaic. Citing one of Pipes' statements, "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." (National Review, 11/19/90), Senator Kennedy ended by urging his colleagues to oppose Pipes' nomination.

Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) associated himself with Senator Kennedy, adding that the "purpose of the USIP is to seek solutions to conflict without recourse to violence. Mr. Pipes writes that 'diplomacy rarely ends conflicts'." Due to Pipes' views, Senator Dodd continued, "Mr. Pipes will not be able to direct colleagues in the mission of the USIP."

The most eloquent statements opposing Pipes' nomination came from Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), who spoke at length about how offended he was, as a child of immigrants from Europe of the Catholic faith, by the Pipes' bigoted, anti-Muslim commentary. Senator Harkin said, "some people call [Pipes] a scholar...but this is not the kind of person you want on the USIP." Senator Harkin added, "My state has the very first Mosque ever built in the United States... in Cedar Rapids, IA, and Muslims are a vibrant part of our diverse community."

Citing Mr. Pipes quote, "(The) increased stature, and affluence, and enfranchisement of American Muslims...will present true dangers to American Jews." (American Jewish Congress Convention, 10/21/01), Senator Harkin, appearing exasperated, said, "Enfranchisement Mr. Pipes is talking about voting!...Mr. Pipes' fears of Muslim enfranchisement fall on deaf ears when it comes to this Senator...if Mr. Pipes' views on Muslims were true, that what we would have in Iowa would be exactly the opposite of what we have today...American Muslims who are lawyers, union members, doctors...Muslims who are thoroughly Americanized."

Senator Harkin demonstrated that he had truly studied Pipes' statements and records. His office took the time to contact Professor Juan Cole, Professor of History at the University of Michigan, who found himself included in a list of "dossiers of professors" on Pipes' controversial, neo-McCarthyte website, called "campus watch" (www.campuswatch.com). Senator Harkin quoted a letter by Professor Cole, in which the professor detailed Pipes' outrageous record of slandering academics on his website.

Senator Harkin concluded, "When [Pipes] talks about Muslims being funny looking, maintaining different standards of hygiene...I don't know why we are even considering this person, Mr. Chairman. I have not been able to question him. There has been no hearing."

Senator James Jeffords (I-VT), ended the meeting by saying, "the only argument for [Pipes] is that he would stimulate debate...and that is not very strong."

Senator John Ensign (R-NV) followed Senator Dodd with statements appearing to support Pipes' positions on American Muslims, citing Ronald Reagan's saying "peace through strength."

Following the hearing, MPAC along with other Arab, Muslim and Interfaith Groups convened a press conference in the hallway. Sarah Eltantawi, Communications Director of MPAC, moderated the press conference, and said on behalf of MPAC that "the American Muslim and Arab communities will remember who voted which way on Pipes for a long time to come. We are very pleased with the outcome of today's hearing, but the fight is not over."

Other participants in the press conference included Mary Rose Oaker, President of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), who said that she was very pleased with the outcome of the discussion, and thanked Senator Gregg for having the "good sense" to give members more time to study pipes. Nihad Awad, Executive Director of the Council on American -Islamic Relations (CAIR), expressed pleasure at the outcome and urged American Jews to come out in greater numbers in opposing Pipes' nomination. Jean Abi-Nader, Managing Director of the Arab American Institute (AAI) called for the committee to withdraw Pipes' nomination all together, and Mahdi Bray, Executive Director of the Muslim American Society (MAS) Freedom Foundation, said that Muslims would continue being politically enfranchised.



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