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The Daniel Pipes apologetic article from Flemming Rose/Jyllands Posten

Monday 6 February 2006

Flemming "Muhammad cartoons" Rose traveled to Philadelphia in 2004 in order to meet Daniel Pipes (the neo con who’s advocating to keep US muslims in concentration camps). Here’s the translation of the article that ensued.

Translation by Nina.

The Threat of Islamism
by Flemming Rose
Jyllands-Posten
29. Oktober 2004

According to Daniel Pipes, the Muslim world at the moment is trying,
for the third time, to define itself in relation to the West. The two
first attempts aimed at (or resulted in) imitating various aspects of
the West. The third represents a totalitarian ideology, commensurate
to fascism and communism.

Philadelphia. There is no name sign on the door, and it is locked.
The visitor must pop in at a neighbor’s to verify that the address is
correct. Yes, that it is for sure. The Middle East Forum and Daniel
Pipes are staying on the tenth floor of an anonymous skyscraper, just
a stone’s throw away from the building where the Fathers of the
Nation assembled in 1787 to set down the country’s foundation. Down
on the street, a few middle-aged women are trudging away with voting
posters in favor of John Kerry, who is in town to kick off the finish
of his campaign. Pennsylvania is one of the so-called "swing
states” (proper expression?) that may well determine the outcome of
the presidential election next Tuesday.

For Daniel Pipes himself, there is no doubt where his sympathy lies.
He will vote for George W. Bush and describes himself as
conservative. The 54-year-old historian, whose areas of special
interest are the Middle East and the Middle Ages, has since 1994
headed the think tank "The Middle East Forum”, which aims at
"defining and facilitating American interests in the Middle East”.
Pipes spoke and wrote about the threat of islamists long before
September 11. Already in 1995 he observed that they had initiated an
undeclared war on the U.S. and Europe.

Pipes’ voice is so quiet that it is almost drowned out by the buzzing
noise of the air conditioner in the modest office, but nevertheless,
this voice, soft as velvet, has caused uproar in academical, left-
wing and certain muslim circles. When Pipes talks about militant
islam at universities, his critics threaten with uproar and boycott.
His appointment last year by President Bush as leader of the
government’s think tank, US Institute of Peace, triggered great
clamor, and it is not coincidental that there is no name sign on the
front door of the think tank’s office.

A totalitarian ideology

For 20 years, Pipes has written and talked about militant islam as a
totalitarian ideology commensurate to fascism and communism. His
perspective on ideas, history and politics does not stem from far
away. Daniel Pipes’ father is Richard Pipes, one of the 20th
century’s foremost experts in Russian and Soviet history, who,
opposed to the spirit of the 1960s and 1970s, insisted on the
totalitarian nature of the Soviet regime and its hostile attitude
towards the liberal democracies of the West.

The son recognizes his father’s influence. "The islamists’ agenda is
way different from that of communists or fascists. It is about
belief, and as opposed to communism and fascism, they don’t have
large countries such as the Soviet Union or Germany behind them; but
if you look at their methods and their goals, the likenesses are
striking”, Daniel Pipes says. "All three ideologies are radical
utopias which, at their core, have a theory for how the human race
can be improved. No more, no less. All three are dominated by a
small, chosen elite that shall bring the great idea to life. They are
ready to resort to all conceivable means; they are true believers,
fanatics, and they don’t hesitate to resort to force and brutality to
accomplish their project. They do not respect other perspectives and
wish to control all sides of life. Once they have succeeded in one
country, their ambitions are to extend it to other [countries]", he
adds. "It makes sense to look at the current conflict between the
civilized world and militant islam in the light of the two earlier
confrontations with communism and fascism. One of them we were able
to defeat in a total war over a relatively short period of time,
whereas the other conflict, the Cold War, lasted for decades. In this
third confrontation, militant islam is the challenge. The core of
militant islamic ideology is hidden in the expression "el Islam wul
hal”, which means: Islam is the solution. No matter what the context,
education, upbringing, romance, work, public or private matters -
Islam has the answer. This is a recipe for a totalitarian ideology.”

Something else than terror

Daniel Pipes’ fascination for islam and the Middle East started when
he lived in Egypt in the early 1970s. Back then, he did not perceive
islamism as a threat. That first happened with the islamic revolution
in Iran in 1979, the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat
two years later and a surge of violations of American interests in
the region.

Pipes thinks that it is misleading to talk about the current conflict
with islamists as a war against terror. He points out that wrong
definitions and terms lead to erroneous proposed solutions. When
President Bush cites the numbers of killed Al Qaida leaders to state
how well the war on terror is going, he misses the mark (goes in the
wrong direction). "That does not say anything - or at least very
little. It is a euphemism, a paraphrase, to talk about a "terror
threat” or a "war against terror”. Terror is a policy, not an enemy.
We don’t say either, here in the U.S., that the Second World War was
about sneak attacks. It was a war against fascism”, argues Pipes.

Moderates must be supported

He stresses that the conflict is not directed at islam as a personal
belief, but at militant islam, an aggressive political ideology
striving for the establishment of islamic law, sharia, throughout the
world. This difference bears in itself the seed of the conflict’s
solution. "If militant islam is the problem, then the opposite,
namely moderate islam, must be the solution”, Daniel Pipes concludes.
"I don’t mean to say that islam, once and for all, is condemned to be
on a collision course with the modern world. The majority of muslims
do not wish to live in a regime such as under the Taliban in
Afghanistan. We have millions of muslims on our side. If you look at
it this deeply (?), the current conflict is one that must be fought
out and won within the muslim world.” According to Daniel Pipes, it
is now important to find alternative leaders and ideas that can take
up the fight against militant islam. "In the confrontations with
fascism and communism, we were victorious because we succeeded in
marginalising the enemy’s ideology and making it look repulsive in
the majority’s eyes. In 1991, the Soviet leaders no longer believed
in their system. We are also obliged to convince the islamists of the
fact that they are wrong. We have to find alternative leaders in the
islamic world, in the same way that Konrad Adenauer emerged in
Germany and Boris Yeltsin in Russia. There are two steps: on the one
hand, we must overthrow the ideology by force of arms and by means of
education, media and information; and on the other hand, we must
support anti-islamist muslims, who wish to keep their faith, but do
not wish to live under islamic law - in much the same way as we
supported Anti-Communists and Anti-Nazis in the Soviet Union and
Germany respectively. In the end, it is a fight between two visions
about the muslims’ place in the world.”

Not in the nature of Islam

Daniel Pipes recognizes that the current situation does not exactly
gives rise to optimism, but he is nevertheless convinced that the
muslim world will, sooner or later, define itself in a positive way
in relation to the modern world. "The existing situation does not
arise from to the nature of islam. On principle, Judaism is also a
(lovbærende? "law-bearing”) religion just like Islam, but they
succeeded in finding a coexistence with modern life. Islam’s current
situation is the result of an historical development. If you and I
were having this conversation in the 1930s, we would have singled out
Germany’s and Japan’s problems with modern life, but those were
temporary. We would also, maybe, have been attached (?) to the Turk
leader Kemal Atatürk’s attempt to build an alternative, secular model
for the islamic world. At this moment, this idea is unfortunately not
considered especially attractive in the Middle East. The islamists’
ideas seem so much more timely and attractive”, declares Pipes.

Third attempt

He subsequently gives us a course in the history of the islamic world
- at lightning speed. "The first 600 years of the history of Islam,
being a muslim was like playing in the winning team. It was an
advanced society that got along well, materially as well as
spiritually. It was a rich, powerful and healthy world.
During the next 600 years, the islamic world shut itself in and lost
all connections to what happened in other places, not least Europe.
When muslims in the 19th century discovered the wealth and power of
the West, they asked themselves, perplexed and shocked: What went
wrong, and how do we fix it?
During the first 120-130 years, that means up to the 1930s, they
tried to imitate the liberal West, most of all France and Great
Britain. During the next 60 years, they tried on the contrary to
imitate the non-liberal West, i.e. fascist and communist movements.
Now, for the third time, they try to answer the challenge of the
West, and this time they have turned towards the primal, non-liberal
Islam. This also will live through its time and fail, and so they
will try a different way again. I believe that the next attempt will
more closely resemble the first one - the imitation of the liberal
West - than the two others”, says Pipes with controlled optimism.

Europe baffles

But that should not be seen as a reason to lean back and wait for
things to happen by themselves, Pipes thinks. He is amazed that
Europe is not more alarmed about the challenge that Islam poses,
considering plummeting birth rates and a weakened perception of its
own history and culture. "This is one of the biggest stories in our
time. The reactions in Europe are bafflingly relaxed. There is much
denial at work. It is paradoxical that muslims come from countries
that are weaker in economic and political terms, but within the rich
and strong Europe, show more cultural ambitions than the Europeans.
That baffles me as an American. Europe has been the driving force of
history throughout the past 500 years, but now it looks as though it
will go the other way. Here in the U.S., the situation is far from
being as dramatic.” According to Daniel Pipes, muslims do not account
for more than about one per cent of the (U.S.) population, 3 to 4
million people, and their social status is different from what it is
in Europe. "There are groups that speak for islam at schools and
intimidate politicians and muslims who insist on their right to free
speech. Militant islam has an extensive non-violent agenda. Muslims
in the U.S. consist of two groups, immigrants and Americans converted
to islam. Muslim immigrants have a higher social and economic status
than they have in Europe. There are doctors, engineers and others
with professional education making serious money.”

Failed research

Daniel Pipes has taken on a large part of the academic world. He is
critical of much of the research undertaken in the Middle East
studies and thinks it has overseen or ignored important movements,
but in other areas have been all too quick to ascribe a modernising
or democratising effect to fundamentalists. It has, he thinks, often
been politicising with a liability to a left-wing twist. "Left-
wingers are unhappy with the society formed in the West, but
conservatives are content. Left-wingers’ discontent and feelings of
guilt often makes them go too far in their accommodation of
opponents. They seek understanding and compromise, whereas
conservatives are more inclined to take on a confrontation. People in
Middle East Studies have not perceived the hostile and violent
elements in radical Islam. They have ignored Saddam Hussein’s brutal
regime, widespread anti-Semitism, slavery in Sudan, the cultural
repression of Berbers in North Africa, and they have attempted to
convey the impression that the word "Jihad” means something entirely
different than military efforts to extend Islam’s territory. Some
simply think that Jihad is about becoming a better person. As if the
Palestinians’ Islamic Jihad uses the word in the sense of becoming
better men.”

Facts ("blue book”)

Daniel Pipes, 54 years. Educated in history at Harvard University.
Has held positions in the Department of State and the Department of Defense. Since 1994, he has concentrated on the operation of the think tank
"Middle East Forum”, as well as of an unusually popular website,
www.danielpipes.org, that receives more than 2 million hits per year.
Pipes also has 20.000 subscribers to a free newsletter on the web. He
established the Middle East Forum at his home with two friends, but
during the day, he stays at a select address in central Philadelphia,
has 15 employees and a budget of more than 1 million dollars. Pipes has authored 12 books, the latest being "Minatures: Views of
Islamic and Middle Eastern Politics”.

Forum posts

  • This gem of interpretation from the BBC today:

    ’The row over the Danish cartoons is yet another dramatic illustration of the huge gap between secular liberal values in the West and the predominantly religious outlook of Middle Eastern societies.’

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4678220.stm

    No, it’s not. What the hell do you think would happen if large-circulation dailies like the Irish Times or El Pais or the Chicago Tribune published cartoons showing Jesus getting a blowjob from Mary Magdalene or Moses using the Ten Commandments as a dildo or snorting cocaine or something? [Use your imagination to think of offensive things Moses could be depicted doing.]

    As for the West’s liberal values, these have been dramatically revised in recent decades to the extent that in practice they only apply to Zionists and their allies. Ask the Holocaust revisionists - those currently incarcerated including Germar Rudolf, David Irving and Ernst Zundel - what they have learned from experience about the West’s ’liberal values.’

    Come to think of it, imagine if the Jyllands-Posten actually took on the West’s REAL religion, the Holocaust. What kind of furore do you think would erupt if cartoonists depicted Auschwitz as one big sex orgy or the Warsaw ghetto as a pedophile utopia?

    Can you seriously imagine the Danish prime minister telling Jewish lobby groups that Jyllands-Posten had the right to publish cartoons of starving and emaciated Jews having sex with three-year-olds or - even worse - not agreeing to with the Jewish lobbyists to talk about the issue at all?

    The furore over the Danish cartoons is, in fact, yet another dramatic illustration of the West’s double standards.

    Everything will be done to accommodate Zionist sensibilities and to placate Zionist demands - and to facilitate Zionism’s war on Islam.

    But nothing will be done to accommodate Muslim sensibilities or to placate Muslim demands.

    - Social Democracy Now
    http://www.blogigo.co.uk/socialdemocracynow

    • BINGO...WELL STATED!!!! and SOOOOOOOO accurate!!!

    • links about Magazinet that published cartoons

      http://www.magazinet.no/default.asp?menuid=296&linktype=2&linkid=21855

      http://www.ulfekman.org/

      http://www.charismamag.com/a.php?ArticleID=9738

      http://www.livetsord.se/new/default.aspx?idStructure=530

      http://www.livetsord.se/default.asp?n_section=106

      http://www.christiansuppliers.com/pages/listgen.asp?layout=description.asp&Author=SM-833-371

      http://www.nccg.org/006Art-ProsperTheology.html

      http://www.answers.com/ulf%20ekman

      Ulf Ekman

      http://www.answers.com/ulf%20ekman

      Ulf Ekman (born 8 December 1950 in Göteborg, Sweden), is a controversial Swedish pastor and the founder of the equally controversial extremist church Livets Ord. The church, which brought the charismatic christian movement to Sweden, was founded in Uppsala 1983 and Ekman remained as local pastor until passing on the pastorship to Robert Ekh in 2000 to focus on international work.

      Before becoming an evangelist, Ekman was briefly a member of KFML(r). (Communist Party (Sweden))

    • Pipes is quite a critter however a bit to anal retentive for my tastes. However, as a convert to Islam and a former Jew, it is quite normal that I disagree with 99.99% of his assumptions, even if his cv is loved by the neocon(artists).
      I especially disagree with his comment that,” On principle, Judaism is also a (lovbærende? "law-bearing”) religion just like Islam, but they succeeded in finding a coexistence with modern life.” Law bearing; yes, if you are referring to the Torah and orthodox Jews. Reformed Jews are free to take it or leave it and basically just go with traditions. The finding of a coexistence with modern life essentially means watering down beliefs. Islam, has coexisted or shall I say, other religions co-existed with Islam for centuries. Aba Eban rightfully called the 8 centuries or so of Jewish life under Islamic spain, the Golden Period because Jews flourished in medicine, arts and life in general. Unfortunately, Zionists have conveniently left that part of history out of there occupation and oppression policies.
      Muslims are peacefully living in nearly every society and they are not all immigrants. I personally believe the nightmares that people like pipes, rose and others suffer from stems from what I call the ‘absoluteness of Islam’. No other belief is so firmly rooted and unchanged. There are no dark corners in Islam. People have flaws, all of us, but not Islam. Plenty shall disagree with that, that is obvious, yet, many more do not and that is why we continue to witness people from every nation and walks of life entering Islam; many without anyone discussing with them. Some, will undoubtedly do a bit of research after the most recent efforts to give credence to the paranoid ideation of a ‘clash of civilizations’ with the manipulation of the Danish media and the stupid cartoons heralding their beloved freedom of speech ( and freedom of sex, homosexuality, drugs, etc….) and will likely come to Islam. It happened after 911 and frankly, it happens every day. Islam is self perpetuating, no fees, no hard sell, no written contracts or free gifts to join! This is another sign of its Divine source. So, yes, pipes, the free living Danes, and others have a reason to be afraid. Not because of violence but the opposite of it. Morality for starters, something lacking in Denmark. I understand this point well because I lived a raucous lifestyle and nothing in this life could take me away from it accept for something much more powerful then myself and my desires.
      The issue of violence is an important one but separate the actions from the religion. To employ th logic of detractors of Islam then every organized religion can be labeled based upon deviants from within. Shall we call the Pope a pediophile because of deviant priests, or all Jews as occupiers, etc.,? No, of course not. We know these beliefs do not call for these acts against humanity. So, why only label Islam this way? Because, it’s threat lies in its pristine Truth, not in the actions of some Muslims who either misunderstand or misinterpret Islam, or are just plain pissed off. (Being ‘pissed off’ is not an excuse; if one commits murder in Islam be the victim muslim or non-muslim, he/she must pay the price according to Shar’ia law).
      Islam does not call for blatant murder of ‘infidels’; if it did there is a good chance I would not have been alive to become a muslim.
      Pipes, as all Muslims know and many non-Muslims understand just hates Islam. It is quite simple. His allegiance is clear and he uses his position to further his own ‘jihadist’ views of how to deal with the ‘growing threat’ of truth, justice and morality; which is what Islam is and why Allah sent it down for all of humanity.

    • the stirring of this pot is a bit too convenient. Consider Rose, the writer of this Pipes article is the cultural editior of Jyllands Posten and also the person okayed the publication of the cartoons.

    • Pipes must be out - the office staff must be out for this to get on. Good reply! Where can you get the best Holocaust cartoons? 911 cartoons would probably upset most Americans - any takers if we commissioned a few?

    • Your using an extreme analogy to make your point. Who wouldn’t be offended in the west with anyone doing something sexually with anything. The world, including Europeans would be offended if Mohamid was depicted having sex with three-year-olds like you stated in your post. I know you tried to make the point but I didn’t get the comparison you were trying to make.

      "starving and emaciated Jews having sex with three-year-olds or - even worse - not agreeing to with the Jewish lobbyists to talk about the issue at all?"

      You see, all I saw that was offensive was the depiction of Mohamid with a bomb in his turban. I know there was several time I saw Jesus pertrayed with a dunce cap instead of a crown of thorns and I though that was over the top. I never had it in my heart to cut off someones hands for it or behead that cartoonist. Maybe I’m not that religious but I hunged around alot of Saudi’s in college and we did some heavy drinking and so i though they were just like us when it comes to these matters.

      Perplexed

  • What utter tripe and nonsense! Asserting militant islamists want to establish worldwide Sharia law has got to be the "mother" of all conspiracy theories. Mr. Pipes is quite the comedian.

    JP

  • There is some truth to Pipes wholesale distorted propaganda. Islam does require Muslims to establish a "homeland" for the Muslims where Allah is the legislator of the land, ie. Islamic Sharia is implemented on the citizens of that "homeland", be they Muslim or non-Muslim. But is life under the Taliban or the Al-Saud Monarchy or Iranian Clergy, an example of this healthy life within the "Islamic homeland"? No.
    There is not one "Islamic State" (also known as Islamic Khilafah) in existance today that fully implements the tenets of Islam. People too often have a tendency to drown themselves in the details of capital punishment and civil liberties when they investigate Islam. And even that with distorted (secularized) information at best.
    The big picture is quite straight forward:
    Islam: Sovereignty belongs to Allah alone! Of the 3 branches of human governance (Executive, Judicial and Legislative), the Legislative branch belongs to Allah and not subjected to the fancy or bias of any people or elite. The people are obliged in the other 2 branches to govern the citizens in the Islamic Khilafah within the limits set by Sharia (which has been legislated by Allah).
    There is no clergyship in Islam. The people elect their rulers and judges via various means. And yes an individual is presumed innocent until proven guilty with *real* and not hidden or circumstantial evidence. Eves-dropping and sying within the Khilafh is forbidden, period! This list goes on with many more laws that actually emancipate humans from modern day secular-feudalism.
    Speaking of capital punishment, in Islamic Sharia the State is required to spare the life of a proven and convicted murderer if the victim’s family/guardian chooses to forgive the murderer.
    So as one of the above responses to the article mentioned: it is the "truth" of Islam (that humans have free agency to submit their will to The Creator rather than to the whims and desires of humans) that is the real "threat" to Daniel Pipes and company’s secular ideology of human slavery.

  • Pipes argues that "radical" (versus "moderate") Islam poses a threat not only to the nations of the West but to the citizens, particularly the female citizens, of countries in the Middle East. While one can easily, indeed whole-heartedly, agree with his point about the suppression of women in Islamist states, the preponderance of the female population in the countries of the Middle East seem unlikely to join the National Organization of Women if allowed to do so. Moreover, in their present state of military preparedness the nations of the Middle East cannot in any sober assessment be considered to represent a military threat the U.S. or any nation that enjoys its protection. Admittedly, they are capable of the kind of asymmetric (terrorist) military initiatives associated with bin Laden and al-Zarqawi. How that is most effectively dealt with is a most contentious point, though it does not appear that anyone has the answer to it, least of all England or Israel, both of whom have been the target of terrorism for a generation. Pipes appears to think that it is best dealt with by an all out pre-emptive war.

    Pipes argues that Islam is compatible with democratic government—though radical, or fundmentalist, or Wahabist, Islam is not. While Islamic countries appear to be thoroughly besotted with Jihadist attitudes at present, Pipes calls attention to the genuinely surprising changes that were effected in Japan and Germany in the aftermath of WWII. I do not know if one is entitled to suppose that Pipes is endorsing an all out war against Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Syria of the kind waged against Germany and Japan as an acceptable means by which to bring about the displacement of radical elements. It would however appear that Pipes has no moral objection to a war in which the nations of the West combine against those that profess "militant" Islamic values, a war in which perhaps millions of human beings would need to be killed for their own good and the good the the West.

    The objective of this war, presumably, would be the imposition of pro-Western governments whose values harmonize easily with those of the aggressor nations, the ones that pre-emptively (and high-mindedly) invaded these countries en masse. These governments, not incidentally, would be more to the liking of people like Pipes and other neo-conservatives. In the name of Western style liberalism these governments would be permitted to stand only if they agreed in advance to prevent those who favor a theocratic "Islamist" government from achieving their end. It would very likely be necessary to suspend the self-styled allegiance of the West to the democratic process for as long as it takes to assure that, when democracy is implemented, the majority of those allowed to vote would hold the line against the fundamentalists—if any are be left standing—in their midst.

    This I genuinely understand to be the position endorsed by Pipes. If I have no misunderstood him, my question is this: Does not the present state of affairs in Iraq attest the naivety of his position? The invasion of Iraq was predicated on the supposition that, when the bad fellows were rooted out, the good ones would create (or agree to) a government along the lines thought desirable by the architects of this war. We see now that the situation is infinitely more complex, infinitely more costly in blood and treasure, infinitely less susceptible of being effected by military means than was thought at the advent of the war by its neo-conservative architects. I pause for a reply.