Five to one disagree with Pipes

Michael A Baker reviews Daniel Pipes talk at UCI which was disrupted by Islamists. Of particular note is his reference to the fact that many of Pipes followers have gone past his thinking and now embrace the views I expressed yesterday in Pipes is wrong in his assessment of Islam.

But I don’t agree with him on some points. A recent biography of him in Philadelphia Magazine, “Radical Departure – Is the country’s most controversial Middle East scholar mellowing?” states, “The discussion has changed, and the man once considered the most hard-line anti-Islamist finds himself worried about critics holding a darker view: that Islam is an inherently evil religion.” The article states that “by a five-to-one margin, readers of his own website now disagree with him about his take.”

I am one of them. I think I speak for an even wider majority of Americans who are by and large silent.

We live in a free society, unlike many in Muslim dominated countries and cultures. A society founded on Judeo/Christian ideas. A pillar of that freedom is academic and intellectual freedom – freedom of mind and conscience. The freedom to critically examine any belief system or individual and hold them up to the scrutiny of intellectual study and objective critique – and ideas to rise or fall on their merits. This is foundational to American excellence and superiority in the global arena.

Since 9/11 the academic offering from a wide spectrum of thought has made its way into this free marketplace of ideas. Professor Pipes is just one – in fact, the point man – of many now well known academics who have published and distributed their work, like Steve Emerson, Robert Spencer, David J. Jonsson, Brigitte Gabriel, and Ibn Warraq to name a few of many more well known authors. It is within this structure of many different scholarly views that the American people have learned exactly what the Koran says and what Muslim believe.

The Internet, as an arm of the alternative media, further magnifies this research. As the war against Islamic terror continues, it is myriad incidents like the Saudi religious police preventing the escape of “unveiled” girls trying to escape a burning school, the brutal and destructive conduct of the festival of Ashura, or Palestinians dancing around with the entrails of their victims or their own dead, that cannot but impel any rational person to utterly reject anything Islam because of its effects on culture.

Additionally, the conduct of Islamists/Muslims in America as they protest, and coerce, and try to threaten and intimidate the mainstream population into submission to their demands, whether through the courts and legal means, or to silence legitimate debate through means such as I witnessed first hand tonight, and we have seen in other quarters, further deepens the resolve of those who oppose them. America is not an effete European culture like France, to cower before the tyranny of the few, yet are long on patience. Still, that tolerance not being inexhaustible, we do not acquiesce to threats and coercion, and we will certainly not submit.

February 2, 2007 | 2 Comments »

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