Update: Pipes harms cranks’ image

At the Wonk Room , Matt Duss discusses attempts by the National Review to prove that Barack Obama might actually be a closet Muslim who (gasp!) studied Quran as a child in Indonesia. And here I thought the unhinged right was busy sliming Obama for his connections to his pastor.  What an interesting man that Obama is, what a religious innovator: A Muslim, a follower of a controversial black pastor, and a Marxist too. A one-man repertory theater, as talented as the Jews who were once accused of being bankers, communists, zionists and cosmopolitans all at once.

As prooftext for the Obama-is-Muslim attack, NR’s writer brings articles by none other than Pipes. "We don’t know if he is [Muslim], but we know Daniel Pipes is no crank," says NR’s Lisa Schiffren.

Matt agrees: Labeling Pipes a crank would libel all those harmless folks

…who believe that our planet was seeded by aliens who will soon return to harvest us, or people who design and construct hugely complicated machines to perform odd combinations of simple household tasks… There’s nothing harmless about Daniel Pipes… who, since 9/11, has made a career of trafficking in hoary old Orientalist stereotypes in order to stoke Americans’ prejudice against, and fear of, Islam.

Lurking behind Pipes’s fixation is his fear – which I’ve discussed before – that Muslims will exploit the democratic process to infiltrate and destroy democracy. Much as McCarthyites once believed that democracy had to be protected from communism by negating democratic rights, so Pipes-dreamers believe that it must be protected from Islam by virulent intolerance toward anyone who might have been exposed to Islam – or who spent part of his childhood in a moderate Islamic country and might be more open to dialogue with Muslims.

Heaven knows what such a person might do as president. Why, he might remove the troops from Iraq in under 100 years, or avoid turning Isfahan into plate glass.



4 thoughts on “Update: Pipes harms cranks’ image”

  1. If Pipes is really that paranoid about Muslims, shouldn’t he welcome a President who is well aquainted with Islam? Isn’t the first and most fundamental rule of war to “know thy enemy”? Maybe Pipes just prefers leaders like Bush, who didn’t know that the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam even existed until after he invaded Iraq.

  2. Barak Obama will be the object of much of this kind of vivious religious and race baiting during the general election process. Pipes wishes to ignore FDR’s statement to a depressed nation ” that we have nothing to fear but fear itself” You now see the 527 and Republican ” game plan” of smear and slime to be played until November. Some the same “swift boat” and 527 people who slimed John McCain in the 2000 primary will be back on board on his behalf.

    One wonders how much Islamic knowledge did a little boy ,who was raised by a single non-Muslim mother and non-Muslim Grandparents retain.

    Barak is a big fan of the prophet Jeremiah and some of the underpinning for his book THE AUDACITY OF HOPE can be traced to Jeremiah who crertainly was unpopular with his contempories when he implored to make the best of adversity,and to cherish the long-term certainty of G-d’s justice in their heart while in captivity. Barak is a good and decent man and a child of G-d .As I remember this is the same G-d worshipped by Jews,Christians, and Moslems. It is my fervent hope that my countrymen will cast away their bigotry and bias and take advantage of this wonderful chance to show the world we truly are the shining light we profess to be.

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