Who is Daniel Pipes?
Daniel Pipes runs a personal blog www.danielpipes.org, where he has espoused alarmist Islamophobic rhetoric and has endorsed government programs that target the Muslim community, including proposing a White House commission to target Muslims and supporting surveillance programs of Muslims. As of February 2023, Pipes asserts that his blog has received 87 million page visits worldwide.
Pipes is a frequent contributor of FrontPage Magazine, a prominent far-right online publication run by David Horowitz, who the Southern Poverty Law Center designates “the godfather of the modern anti-Muslim movement.”
Pipes is a longtime advocate of racial and ethnic profiling of the Muslim community.
In his 2003 op-ed “The Enemy Within [and the Need for Profiling]” published in the New York Post, he suggested that: “There is no escaping the unfortunate fact that Muslim government employees in law enforcement, the military and the diplomatic corps need to be watched for connections to terrorism, as do Muslim chaplains in prisons and the armed forces. Muslim visitors and immigrants must undergo additional background checks. Mosques require a scrutiny beyond that applied to churches and temples.”
Pipes has linked his call for racial profiling of Muslims to the profiling of Japanese-Americans during World War II. In 2004, Pipes said he supported the widely repudiated internment of Japanese-Americans. He wrote: “Yes, I do support the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II.“ Pipes “endorsed the internment of ethnic Japanese in American prison camps in World War II and held that up as a model for dealing with Muslims today.”
In 2012, a brief wave of incidents regarding thieves in Philadelphia misappropriating the burqa to carry out robberies raised concerns within the Muslim community. However, Pipes hijacked the narrative to endorse a burqa ban in the United States. In 2013, Pipes asserted, “as full-body Islamic covers spread, criminals increasingly use them to perpetrate their offenses.” Pipes concludes that officials need to “Ban the niqab and burqa in public places.”
Pipes has called for racial profiling of Muslims in European nations and advocated for a partnership with far-right European political parties to support a debunked conspiracy theory of an incoming Muslim ‘Eurabia’.
In his 1990 article titled “The Muslims are Coming! The Muslims are Coming!”, Pipes asserted: “Western European societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene…All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most.”
Pipes has endorsed the views of far-right French racist Jean-Marie Le Pen. He said Le Pen “represents an important outlook in the national debate over immigration and Islam” and said that he (Pipes) supports racial and religious profiling of Muslims and Arabs. Daniel Pipes falsely claimed for many years a total of 751 “no-go zones” in France controlled by ‘Muslim vigilantes’ to support his views.
In 2002, Pipes launched Campus Watch, a website that includes “dossiers” on professors and academic institutions he considered to be too critical of Israel or too sympathetic to Islam and Muslims.
Joel Beinin, a professor of Middle East History at Stanford University, wrote an essay entitled “The New American McCarthyism: Policing Thought about the Middle East,” which criticized Campus Watch as part of a “sustained campaign by the American Right and the Bush administration to delegitimise critical thought about the Middle East, Islam and the Arab world” through anti-Muslim McCarthyist ideology. Beinin identifies Campus Watch for its role in “[introducing] legislation in 2003 to place university-level Middle East studies under much closer government control (via HR 3077).”
In 2017, Pipes’ Middle East Forum prepared plan for a “White House Commission on Radical Islam.” Building upon national security programs that have disproportionately harmed the Muslim community such as the Obama administration’s Countering Violent Extremism program. Former President Donald Trump claimed that he would create the commission following a meeting with Daniel Pipes and the Middle East Forum.
The proposed program received widespread criticism from numerous civil liberties advocacy groups. A staff attorney from the American Civil Liberties Union said the proposed program’s explicit focus on American Muslims violates “basic constitutional principles.” The commission was never established.
Former President George W. Bush was forced to bypass a Republican-controlled Senate confirmation process to place Pipes temporarily on the board of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). Pipes faced stiff opposition to his USIP nomination and would not have been confirmed if his nomination was subjected to a vote.
At a July 23, 2004 Senate committee meeting, Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) all opposed his appointment. Sen. Harkin, who was involved in the formation of the USIP, spoke at length about Pipes’ statements warning of the “dangers” posed by the enfranchisement of American Muslims and his “dossiers” on academic critics of Israeli policies. Pipes only served an interim term.
Pipe’s writings were cited 18 times in Anders Breivik’s manifesto as part of his motivation for carrying out his July 2011 attack in Norway that resulted in more than 70 killed.
Juan Cole, a history professor at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor asserts that Daniel Pipes (amongst others) influenced the views of American white supremacist terrorist Dylann Roof, who carried out the murders of nine church goers in a Charleston church in 2015.
Cole wrote in an article for The Nation that: “The trope that Europe is being overwhelmed by immigrants or the absurd charge that Muslims will shortly make up 50 percent of the continent’s 500 million residents is pushed by an elaborate and well-heeled Islamophobic network on both sides of the Atlantic, spearheaded by far-right neo-fascist parties such as Marine Le Pen’s National Front in France or the UKIP in Britain, and by professional stalkers of Western Muslims such as Geert Wilders. Among Wilders’s enthusiastic cheerleaders are Pamela Geller and Daniel Pipes.” Mentioning Pipes as part of the Islamophobia network in the article, Cole determines that: “…this Islamophobic network appears to have contributed to some of Dylann Roof’s anxieties about the fate of white people in their supposed European homeland.”