Monthly Archives: March 2002

A REPLY TO DANIEL PIPES

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/44527.htm

IN a heated exchange on MSNBC’s Allan Keyes show recently, Daniel Pipes
was so badly beaten on the merits of the argument that he was reduced to
shouting at me to “shut up.” Having failed to convince me to silence my
advocacy on behalf of the Arab-American community voluntarily, Pipes now
seeks to have me banned from the TV shows where I have repeatedly
carried the day. In the pages of the New York Post he urges the media
to “close their doors” to me.

Pipes accuses me of being “anti-American” because I have criticized some
aspects of US foreign policy, something he does all the time. He calls
me “anti-Semitic,” but provides not a single piece of evidence of this
because none exists.

Almost all his “evidence” that I should not be allowed to defeat him in
television debates any more is quotes ripped out of their context and
misrepresented, mainly from articles I wrote as a university student
many years ago. It is truly touching to think of poor old Dan pouring
over musty issues of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian in a futile
search for means to discredit me.

This is not the first time that Pipes, who is a veritable geyser of
falsehoods, has resorted to such fabrications. In August 2000, he
labeled me a “fundamentalist Muslim,” whose goal is “the Islamization of
America.” This nonsense fell completely flat, and has occasionally come
back to haunt him, since I was then and remain an ardent secularist. It
has now given way to equally absurd claims that I promote “a set of far
left-wing views.”

So, in Pipes’ mind, I’ve suddenly gone, in the space of less than two
years, from being a far right-wing fundamentalist to an extreme leftist.

Pipes gets everything wrong, including his idea that I am an “immigrant
from Lebanon.” In fact, though born in Beirut, I have been an American
citizen all my life, and am the direct descendent of one of the founders of
Brooklyn, Jan Schenck. His house, built in 1675, is, by the way, on
display at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Perhaps the most pathetic element of Pipes’ article is his attack on my
“immoral lifestyle.” The accusation, as I understand it, is that when I
was in university, I enjoyed smoking cigars, drinking a beer or two and
meeting girls. Guilty as charged!

I suppose I should take all of this as a compliment. After all, professional Arab-bashers would hardly go to this much trouble if the views of the Arab-American community were not reaching an ever-increasing audience with ever-increasing effectiveness.

 

[NOTE: when the same slanderous's Pipes column was reprinted in the Jerusalem Post, they printed the following letter from me, on August 18, 2000:

Daniel Pipes completely misrepresents my religious and political beliefs in his op-ed ("American Islamists and Lieberman," August 8) by putting me in the category of "Islamists - also known as fundamentalist Moslems." Indeed, my voice is the very first he cites among "Islamist" and "fundamentalist Moslem" perspectives in the US. This is a preposterous misrepresentation and an outright falsehood. For better or worse, not only am I not an "Islamist" or a "fundamentalist Moslem," I am not a religious man.

I work for a completely secular Arab-American organization, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), whose staff and membership includes both Christians and Moslems, and whose mission statement specifically declares it to be "non-sectarian." Pipes's mischaracterization of my political and religious stance is not a laughable error. It is a deliberate and malicious slander against the work I do on behalf of my community and my organization.

Pipes claims that "whatever their differences, however, all Islamists (which according to him includes me) have the same ambition, which is what they call the 'Islamization of America.'" Pipes is familiar with my work, and I challenge him to produce a single citation, quote, article or any other statement I have made which can be in any way construed as advocating the "Islamization of America," whatever that might be.

There is more than a touch of racism in Pipes's outrageous misrepresentation of my views. He has simply found a politically active Arab-American with a Moslem name ("Hussein") and labeled him with a whole set of beliefs, both religious and political, that are not held by him. The process whereby any politically active American born into a Moslem family or with origins in a Moslem society automatically becomes a "fundamentalist" is nothing more than raw prejudice.]

 

David Horowitz Acknowledges Charges against Ibish are a “Fraud,” Issues Public Apology, Retraction

Columnist David Horowitz has publicly apologized to Hussein Ibish, Communications Director of the American- Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), for publishing false claims by that he had secretly celebrated the 9/11 attacks on the United States. In his latest column Horowitz’ website FrontPageMagazine.com, entitled “An Apology to Hussein Ibish,” Horowitz writes that “Hussein Ibish is rightly upset that the letter from the alleged ‘Saudi Citizen’ contains what are in his words ‘false accusations’ which ‘constitute not only a vicious and absurd slander, but also an incitement to violence against me.’” Horowitz’ apology can be read online.

Horowitz’ March 15 column, based on an unsigned “letter from a Saudi citizen,” presented unattributed claims that a Saudi individual was with Dr. Ibish on Sept. 11 and that he was “cheering and singing” in private before denouncing the attacks on TV. Horowitz prefaced the unsigned letter with a note saying that “I have no way of knowing whether it is authentic, but its particulars seem accurate to me.”

Horowitz writes today that “The fraudulent nature of the claim in the ‘Saudi’ letter (at least insofar as it may have been intended to refer to this Hussein Ibish) was brought to my attention on the evening of the day it was posted (Friday March 15) by my friend Christopher Hitchens, whose word on this matter as far as I am concerned is conclusive. I received Christopher’s e-mail Friday night when I returned from a weeklong trip to the Northeast and immediately sent an e-mail apology to Hussein Ibish.”

Horowitz cites “political disagreements” with ADC, Ibish and Hitchens, but affirms that “these are irrelevant to the fact that this is a matter of a man‘s character and reputation, and it is important to set the record straight. I have therefore removed the letter from our site and am taking this occasion to make a public apology.”

On Friday, Joseph Farrah, editor and CEO of WorldNetDaily.com which had linked to the March 15 column, wrote to ADC that the website offered “an immediate retraction.”

“We do apologize for any bad judgment made in linking to material that may be incorrect or wrongly injurious,” Farrah added.