Fw: #314: Phil. Inq. on Pipes appt to US Inst. of Peace board
Group pans selection of Phila. man for panel
Inquirer Staff Writer
Fri, Apr. 04, 2003
The White House yesterday announced that President Bush had nominated Daniel Pipes of Philadelphia, a controversial scholar of militant Islam, to the board of the U.S. Institute of Peace.
An American Muslim advocacy group that Pipes has called "Osama bin Laden's representatives in Washington" quickly denounced the appointment as "insensitive" and called on Bush to rescind it.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) yesterday described Pipes as "the nation's leading Islamophobe" and an advocate for Israeli interests.
Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum, a think tank based in Center City.
The Institute of Peace is a Washington-based federal institution, funded entirely by Congress, whose mandate is to promote "peaceful resolutions of international conflicts."
"Pipes' nomination sends entirely the wrong message as America seeks to convince Muslims worldwide that the war on terrorism and the war against Iraq are not attacks on Islam," CAIR declared in a statement.
CAIR and other Muslim groups say Pipes has made inflammatory assertions about Islam, including his estimate that from 10 to 15 percent of Muslims are militant Islamists.
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for CAIR, said in an interview that he was unfamiliar with the institute "but... it [Pipes' nomination] is bad.
"It says: 'We're really not concerned with your [Muslims'] sensitivities. We don't care that you perceive certain actions of the U.S. government as slights to your faith and tradition.' "
Reached by phone in Washington, where he had been visiting the institute's headquarters, Pipes yesterday said he has "always distinguished between Islam and militant Islam" in his writings and speeches.
"CAIR repeatedly chooses to ignore my assertion that militant Islam is the problem and modern Islam is the solution," he said.
With a budget of about $16 million, the Institute of Peace has about 70 employees, many of whom are fellows, and 10 board members. The secretaries of state and defense sit ex officio on the institute's board.
The Senate must approve Pipes' appointment.
Contact staff writer David O'Reilly at 215-854-5723 or doreilly@....
See also: "Muslim Group Criticizes Nomination Of Philadelphia Scholar," Associated Press, Apr. 4, 2003, http://kyw.com/Local%20News/local_story_094092901.html.
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