Islamophobe Daniel Pipes to promote potential war crimes on Capitol Hill

This blog from our friend Lindsay Schubiner at the Center for New Communities is already a week old – but still worth a read. Because sadly, the influence of professional Islamophobes like Daniel Pipes is going to still be with us.

Dehumanization is the backbone of both Islamophobia and Israeli policies that further agendas promoting violence and military occupation.  Pipes blatant deployment of dehumanizing rhetoric exposes how support for Israel and Islamophobia work hand in hand. We know that key islamophobes like Pipes are fully behind the right-wing Israel agenda, and it is our obligation to stand against them and their hateful ideas.

For more info please check out newcomm.org and againstislamophobia.org

Islamophobe Daniel Pipes to promote potential war crimes on Capitol Hill

by Lindsay Schubiner
first appeared in Imagine 2050 on April 26, 2017

Reps. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Bill Johnson (R-OH) have teamed up with an architect of the organized anti-Muslim movement to hawk policies that weave together anti-Muslim sentiment with militarist Middle East foreign policy proposals likely to defy the Geneva Conventions.

Tomorrow, April 27th, anti-Muslim demagogue Daniels Pipes will join DeSantis and Johnson at the Capitol Hill launch of their new “Congressional Israel Victory Caucus.” The two Members of Congress appear to have unreservedly embraced Pipes and his far-right think tank Middle East Forum. According to DeSantis and Johnson’s press release, the new caucus “builds on ideas promoted by the Middle East Forum.”

Pipes’ advocacy–both foreign and domestic–has a common thread: support for collective punishment and a blatant disregard for human life.

During the Capitol Hill event, Pipes will be promoting a new policy paper on Israel. In it, he argues that Palestinians killed by Israelis should be secretly buried in unmarked graves, that their homes and land should be seized, and that Israel should shut off water to Palestinian civilians in retaliation for acts of violence. If an attack occurs, he writes that Israel should strike back against the area from which it “originate[d].” These collective penalties are prohibited under the Fourth Geneva Convention, and would likely constitute war crimes. Yet Pipes writes that targeting all Palestinians in these ways is necessary to “[break] the Palestinians’ will to fight.”

Pipes’ wildly anti-Muslim domestic positions are founded on a similar ideology of collective punishment. He argues that in the U.S., Muslims should be surveilled and racially profiled because “while most Muslims are not Islamists and most Islamists are not terrorists, all Islamist terrorists are Muslims.” This cavalier suggestion that people should have their civil rights violated because they share a religion with those who have committed crimes could hardly be more chilling.

This bigotry is not limited to rhetoric. Pipes founded Campus Watch, a website that targets college professors based on their presumed political views. In 2010, Pipes joined other extremist anti-Muslim figures in opposing the Park51 community center in lower Manhattan. He called Muslim community members “unsavory Islamists” and said the community center “carries the unmistakable odor of Islamic triumphalism.”

In 2013, Pipes claimed it would serve the U.S.’s “strategic interests” to support the Bashar al-Assad regime over the Syrian rebels in order to prolong Syria’s bloody civil war. “I don’t want to see this end,” he said about the conflict in an interview with Real News. “I don’t want to see them turn their guns on us or our allies.”

These views would be toxic to most elected officials, but apparently not to DeSantis and Johnson. Both have troubling anti-Muslim records of their own. Earlier this month, DeSantis gave an interview to Breitbart News, the far-right media outlet known for promoting white nationalist “alt-right” rhetoric, in which he supported designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. In fact, both DeSantis and Johnson co-sponsored legislation to do just that. Not only is this policy steeped in anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, but it also seeks to vilify Muslim civil rights leaders and stifle Muslim American civil society. Johnson has also been vocal in his support of Trump’s Muslim travel ban, a policy so overtly driven by bigotry that the courts have shut it down.

As is evident in his policy paper, a deep and abiding racism appears to drive Pipes’ work, and has for over three decades. In an article published in National Review in 1990, Pipes wrote: “Fears of a Muslim influx have more substance than the worry about jihad. Western European societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene.”

It’s terrifying that Daniel Pipes and his racism have gained a platform in Congress. What would be worse is if he is met with silence.

Lindsay Schubiner is the Interim Advocacy Director at the Center for New Community. This post was co-authored with Imagine2050 staff.




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