He has been called the country’s leading Islamophobe. He claims that up to 15 percent of Muslims are “potential killers.” He says Muslim government police officers, soldiers and diplomats “need to be watched for connections to terrorism.” And he contends that “mosques require a scrutiny beyond that applied to churches and temples.”
His name is Daniel Pipes. He is the founder of the Middle East Forum and a columnist for the New York Post.
He has now been nominated by President Bush to serve on the United States Institute of Peace.
Muslim groups have protested Bush’s selection. Now the Washington Post has called on Bush to rescind the nomination.
So far Pipes has generally refused to discuss the nomination.
Last week Pipes walked off the set of an Al Jazeera news show when he learned representatives from the Council on American Islamic Relations would also appear on the show.
Almost two weeks ago we talked with Pipes, as well as Hussein Ibish of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American Islamic Relations.
Since it was a phone interview Pipes couldn’t walk off the set. But he did the next closest thing. He hung up. Not once but twice. But we were able to ask him a few questions.
I began by asking for his response to the charge that he was the nation’s leading Islamophobe.
- Daniel Pipes, founder of the Middle East Forum.
- Hussein Ibish, communications director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
- Ibrahim Hooper, spokesperson for Council on American Islamic Relations.