(FinalCall.com) – Daniel Pipes–described by Law Professor Paul Campos of the University of Colorado as a “well-known neoconservative intellectual”–wrote in his daily column in the New York Sun on Dec. 28, 2004, that “yes, I do support the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.” Mr. Pipes continued: “given what was known and not known at the time, the U.S. government made the correct and right decision.”
Mr. Campos writes on Jan. 4, in the Rocky Mountain News, that Mr. Pipes implied in the Dec. 28 column that the wholesale relocation of American Muslims to internment camps might be a “good” idea.
Mr. Pipes used his column to review “In Defense of Internment: Case for Racial Profiling in World War II and the War on Terror,” a book by West Coast neoconservative author Michelle Malkin, which she says is a “challenge” to the revisionist view of the ethnic Japanese internment in 1942. Ms. Malkin claimed that the “civilian liberties Chicken Littles” were using the issue of racism to prevent the discussion of curtailing the movements of American Muslims during the Bush administration “war on terror.”
Mr. Pipes also said he was encouraged by the results of a Cornell University survey that said nearly 44 percent of all respondents agree that at least one form of restriction should be placed on Muslim American civil liberties.
On Dec. 29, Mr. Pipes attempted to clarify his comments in the column: “I am encouraged by the results of the Cornell survey, because it means that many Americans understand the need to focus on the segment of the population that is engaged in Islamist activities; I do not specifically endorse its notion of Muslims having to register their whereabouts.”
The survey said 42 percent of highly religious respondents believe that Muslim Americans should register their whereabouts with the federal government.
“I raised the issue of the Japanese internment because it still matters in its influence in the U.S. public debate, and not because I advocate the internment of anyone today,” Mr. Pipes said.
Nevertheless, Mr. Campos suggests that Mr. Pipes has put forth a dangerous argument. “Mr. Pipes has claimed that American Muslims are uniquely dangerous and have a potential for disloyalty, because the Muslim population in this country includes within it a substantial body of people who share a hatred for the United States.”
He further contended that Mr. Pipes was using this climate to suggest that offensive measures, such as internment camps, may be the price “we” have to pay.
Mr. Pipes is using smoke screen-tactics that must be understood, charges Imam Al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid of the Manhattan-based The Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood and the Deputy Amir of The Muslim Alliance in North America.
During a telephone interview with The Final Call, he insisted that, “We have to understand that Pipes and Malkins are engaged in a chipping away strategy, a little piece at a time. Their ultimate objective is complete demonization of Islam and Muslims, in general.”
He wondered to whom the Cornell survey people had talked; and whether they were trying to prey on the fears of White people.
“This is an annual survey that uses a specific topic to explore the relationship between public opinion and political behavior,” explained Dr. James Shanahan, associate international professor in the Cornell Department of Communications.
A summary of the Cornell survey, entitled “Restrictions on Civil Liberties, Views of Islam & Muslim Americans,” appeared on Dec. 17 on the Associated Press wire that “nearly half of all Americans believe the United States government should restrict the civil liberties of Muslim Americans, according to a nationwide poll.”
The Cornell survey was conducted in 2004 between Oct. 25 and Nov. 23 by the Communication 282 Industry Research Methods class in the Department of Communications, in cooperation with the ILR Survey Research Institute at Cornell.
Dr. Shanahan told The Final Call that “715 Americans were interviewed using a national listed household sample,” but would not disclose their ethnicity. The survey is available on line at: www.comm.cornell.edu/msrg/msrg.html.
“The thing we must see through is that Mr. Pipes is raising the issue of internment camps as if they don’t already exist,” offered Imam Rashid. He said that a recent report indicated that New York State had turned over several locations thought to be internment camps to the Immigration Naturalization Services (INS). “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out who will fill these camps,” Imam Rashid suggested.
The Cornell survey summary said 37 percent of respondents believe a terrorist attack within the next 12 months is likely; 19 percent of the respondents who pay a high level of attention to television news “feel personally” in danger, as opposed to the nine percent who pay low level attention to television news. Nearly half (47 percent) of respondents believe that Islam is more likely to encourage violence compared to other religions. That percentage rises to 65 percent among highly religious respondents.
When Mr. Shanahan was asked why this particular topic was used, he said that it was a timely topic; and they wanted to see if the subject would generate a wide debate, which he said it had.
“The government has adopted Madison Avenue advertising techniques to influence public opinion,” argues Imam Rashid, noting that world-renowned lecturer and writer Noam Chomsky calls it the “science of the engineering of public consent.”
Observers suggest that the plan to demonize Muslims in America may now be complete with the nomination of Judge Michael Chertoff as U.S. Attorney General. Mr. Chertoff, as an assistant attorney-general at the Justice Department’s criminal division, engineered the plan to preventively detain immigrants of Arab descent after 9/11, even after a 2003 warning by a Justice Department inspector general “raises” serious legal liability questions.
“This debate should be placed front and center in the Black community,” argues Prof. James Smalls, international director of the Organization of African American Unity. He questioned whether anyone thought that the government would hesitate one minute to intern Muslims since they are hard at work saying that Islam is synonymous with terrorism.
Humza Al-Hafez, minister of Islam of the Brooklyn-based Temple of Islam, Inc., said this talk of internment of Muslims in America “doesn’t surprise me at all.” He added that history rewards all research.
Imam Rashid recommends that those interested in the debate read “Holy War on the Home front” by Harvey Kushner and Bart Davis. “They say all Muslims are a threat,” the imam stressed.
Another neoconservative book gaining attention is “How Islam Plans to Change the World” by William Wagner, a professor of Missions at the Golden Gate Theological Seminary. Mr. Wagner writes in his book that Islam has grown in America as a result of a detailed strategy that was already in place long before radical Islamists associated with Osama bin Laden perpetrated the tragedies of Sept. 11, stated the reviewer of the book at Baptist Press online on Jan. 19.
“I think that we need to be aware that they really are a threat to us and that, if we don’t wake up, one of these days it is going to be too late,” Mr. Wagner writes in the book’s liner notes, according to the review.
Though the book is not meant to be a condemnation of Islam, the reviewer added, Mr. Wagner is unapologetic about his ultimate answer to the so-called “threat posed by Islam.”
“The real antidote for the problems before us is clear,” writes Mr. Wagner. “Let’s become more active in living out our Christian faith and proclaiming the truth as found in Jesus Christ.”
Daniel Pipes, the expert of hate (Voltairenet, 03-02-2006)
Muslim publisher speaks on issues facing Islamic communities since 9/11 (FCN, 09-11-2003)
The Devil and Daniel Pipes (In These Times, 09-08-2003)
Neocons Facts (zFacts.com)