I know it doesn’t seem possible and I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t read it with my own eyes but…the Israeli far-right hosted an “international conference on jihad” at which Pipes was actually the liberal in the room. That should tell you about what garbage the rest of the anti-Muslim jihadis were spewing.
Among them was Geert (“‘Fitna’ is Dutch for ‘Garbage'”) Wilders who denied that there is such a thing as moderate Islam:
Wilders…told his listeners that “as the terrorist attacks in Mumbai proved, there’s no moderate Islam,” and it is time for the West to realize it is “in a conflict with the Muslim faith at large.”
Shockingly, this and similar statements by an Israeli Islam-hater provoked a demurral from Pipes:
Haifa University’s David Bukay…averred that “moderate Islam” does not exist and that the Koran could not be reformed or modernized.
But American scholar and activist Daniel Pipes disagreed…Pipes said the Koran “is like a supermarket where one takes what one wants and leaves the rest.” This freedom of selection, he argued, provides a means for reshaping Islam.
Pipes opined that those who regard Islam rather than jihad as the enemy fail to realize that a change has occurred over the past few years: Although moderate Muslims are still a small force, they are stronger than they were two years ago.
“Millions took to the streets to protest Turkey’s Islamist ruling party, the AKP,” he said when asked to name examples. And “hundreds of thousands demonstrated in Pakistan” following the murder of prime ministerial candidate (and former premier) Benazir Bhutto last year.
Pipes returns to true form by exploiting historical events that provide no support for what he claims they do. In Turkey’s case, the Islamist party actually is the type of moderate Islamic movement Pipes claims to support. The opposition, which he seems to imply represents moderate Islam, does nothing of the sort. It is an anti-Islamic political movement composed of the Turkish military and conservative elements of society whose perogatives are threatened by the ascendancy of political Islam.
In the case of Pakistan, while Bhutto was an opponent of the Pakistani Taliban who may’ve assassinated her, the jury is still out on whether there is enough will within Pakistan to fight Islamic extremism. Pipes’ view that the demonstrations against Bhutto’s murder represent the ascendancy of moderate Islam is far too premature.
And in this passage, Pipes returns to his truly hateful anti-Palestinian form:
Pipes said he supported more determined Western military action against radical Islam as a means of fostering this change. He also advocated “crushing the Palestinians‘ hope for eliminating Israel” and opposed the creation of a Palestinian state and the ongoing peace talks.
That’s my man, Dan. The rejectionist we’ve all come to know and “love.”
You can imagine what type of cauldron of hate the Israeli extremist right is when, at this conference, Dan Pipes is seen as the most sympathetic speaker to Islam. The event was organized by far-right Jewish jihadi, MK Aryeh Eldad.