Surprisingly, a White House not exactly renowned for tolerating perceived disloyalty has, to date, not penalized those who have engaged in such activities. Many continue to be afforded the opportunity to meet with Administration officials and, in turn, to cite such meetings in press releases and public statements as evidence that they must not be Islamist-sympathizers, after all.
Thus emboldened, the AMC, CAIR and other organizations like the Islamic Institute have launched a jihad against President Bush’s nomination of Daniel Pipes to the U.S. Institute of Peace board. Pipes’ opponents are demanding that the appointment be withdrawn and urging the Senate to reject it if the President does not do their bidding.
Unfortunately for the pro-Islamists, the more they attack Dr. Pipes, the greater the likelihood that their true nature will be illuminated. It is not he who is demeaning all Muslims by pretending there is no distinction between those law-abiding, patriotic, tolerant Americans who adhere to Islam and those who are none of the above, and who want to destroy this country and the freedoms it affords all religions.
Dr. Pipes’ calls for greater scrutiny of the latter who may be masquerading as the former -- notably in the context of the recent alleged fragging of the 101st Airborne leadership in Kuwait by a Muslim sergeant named Hasan Akbar -- is not evidence of racism or bigotry. Most of us recognize that it is, rather, simple prudence in light of the now-indisputable determination of Islamists to shed American blood.
The effort to smear Daniel Pipes and to derail his nomination is overreaching by the pro-Islamist groups. Heretofore, their largely behind-the-scenes pressure campaigns have induced the Clinton and/or Bush administrations to allow them to: place extremist Wahhabi or like-minded clerics to proselytize in the U.S. and state prison systems; certify Islamists as chaplains for the military; and even conduct "sensitivity training" for the FBI With this open assault on the President’s nominee, however, the wisdom of these decisions -- to say nothing of that of making such organizations the favored interlocutors with the American Muslim community -- can no longer escape critical public examination.
President Bush is to be commended for recognizing the valuable contribution Dr. Pipes can make to understanding the threats to peace we will confront in the 21st Century. By rebuffing demands that he abandon this nomination and by securing its approval in the Senate, Mr. Bush can reinforce the powerful message the Pipes’ appointment sends to Muslims and non-Muslims, alike: This Administration will resist -- here at home, as elsewhere around the world -- those who seek to pervert and dominate the Islamic faith towards radical, intolerant and anti-American ends.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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