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"The Iran Deal has the makings of a catastrophe"
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Incirlik Base and Operations Against PKK
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Spying on Friends: The U.S. and Israel
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Assessing the Iran Deal
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50 Years of Dangerous Immigration Legislation

by Daniel Pipes  •  October 3, 2015

Unlike other government decisions – say tax rates or defining the nature of marriage – those affecting immigration are both irreversible and profound. In that light, today marks a half-century since the passage of one of the least heralded but most significant pieces of legislation in American history.

That would be the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, known as the Hart-Celler Act, which ended the highly restrictive terms of the prior 1924 legislation, opening the United States to larger and more varied immigration.

Put in numerical terms, according to the Pew Research Center, the United States was 84 percent white, 11 percent black, 4 percent Hispanic, and 1 percent Asian in 1965; today, it is 62 percent white, 12 percent black, 18 percent Hispanic and 6 percent Asian, and 2 percent other. The center projects that in 2065, the population will be 46 percent white, 13 percent black, 24 percent Hispanics, 14 percent Asian, and 3 percent other.

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Middle East Provocations and Predictions

by Daniel Pipes  •  September 9, 2015  •  Mackenzie Institute

The Middle East stands out as the world's most volatile, combustible, and troubled region; not coincidentally, it also inspires the most intense policy debates – think of the Arab-Israeli conflict or the Iran deal. The following tour d'horizon offers interpretations and speculations on Iran, ISIS, Syria-Iraq, the Kurds, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, and Islamism, then concludes with some thoughts on policy choices. My one-sentence conclusion: some good news lies under the onslaught of misunderstandings, mistakes, and misery.


Iran is Topic No. 1 these days, especially since the nuclear deal the six great powers reached with its rulers in Vienna on July 14. The "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" seeks to bring Tehran in from the cold, ending decades of hostility and inducing Iran to become a more normal state. In itself, this is an entirely worthy endeavor.

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A Tiny Silver Lining in the Otherwise Bad Iran Deal

by Daniel Pipes  •  September 9, 2015  •  Philadelphia Inquirer

I despise the July 14 Vienna deal because it could do incalculable damage to the United States and its allies. That said, I find a tiny silver lining in the possibility that it could, if everything goes just right, end up hurting the Iranian regime more than its enemies.

The drawbacks of the "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" are so numerous that listing them requires more space than the 159-page treaty itself. In very brief, the JCPOA offers the tyrants in Tehran over the next 10-15 years more money, more legitimacy, more arms, and an approved path to nuclear weaponry. As an Israeli analysis sums up the problem, "the agreement unilaterally and unconditionally grants Iran everything it has been seeking without any viable quid pro quo."

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Are Muslims Fatalists?

by Daniel Pipes  •  Fall 2015  •  Middle East Quarterly

"According to God, your age is written on your forehead."
An Arabic proverb

"Sit on a beehive and say this is fate."
Another Arabic proverb[1]

After a building crane fell into Mecca's Grand Mosque on Sep. 11, 2015, killing 114 and injuring 394, the mosque's Imam Abdul Rahman Al Sudais visited the injured and, as he met each one, told them, "This is God's will."[2]

Likewise, in February 2004, after a stampede killed at least 244 hajjis (pilgrims) in Mina, a town near Mecca, Saudi hajj minister Iyad Madani oxymoronically responded: "All precautions were taken to prevent such an incident, but this is God's will."[3]

And, when in July 1990, pilgrims fell from a bridge over the crowded al-Mu'aysim Passageway, a panic ensued, and about 1,400 hajjis lost their lives, King Fahd (r. 1982-2005) neither assumed responsibility for the bridge's faulty construction nor apologized to the families. Instead, he attributed the event to "God's irresistible will."[4]

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Sweden's Populist Surge

by Daniel Pipes  •  August 26, 2015  •  Washington Times

According to the most recent poll, the innocuously-named but ferociously anti-establishment Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna or SD) has the largest support of any political party in Sweden. This news has potentially momentous implications not just for Sweden but for all Europe.

Sweden is a special place. One of the richest and most peaceful countries in the world (it has not been engaged in armed conflict for two centuries), until recently it was a remarkably homogenous society where socialism, with its optimistic assumption that people are born good and circumstances make them bad, worked and the government enjoyed great prestige. Swedish pride in the country's accomplishments translates into an ethical superiority symbolized by the oft-heard claim to be a "moral superpower."

This heritage has also inspired an intolerance of dissent, however; "Be quiet, follow the consensus, let the bureaucrats carry it out." The country has become so notorious for its stifling faux-unanimity that I actually heard a Dane recently ask at a public forum, "Why has Sweden turned into the North Korea of Scandinavia?"

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If Tehran Turns Down the Nuclear Deal

by Daniel Pipes  •  August 20, 2015  •  Washington Times

Whether congressional Democrats accept or reject Barack Obama's Iran deal has great importance and is rightly the focus of international attention. But there's another debate taking place over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that may be even more critical: the one in Iran. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the country's decision maker, just might reject the laboriously worked-out agreement that he helped negotiate.

On one level, that makes no sense. As a plethora of analyses have established, the Vienna deal is enormously favorable to the Islamic Republic of Iran, legitimizing its nuclear research, assuring its future nuclear weapons program, helping its economy, and boosting its aggressive international goals. These advantages would make it appear absurd for Khamenei not to accept the deal. Plus, most Iranians celebrate the accord.

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A "Pig" Incident in Jerusalem

by Daniel Pipes  •  July 28, 2015  •  Israel Hayom

As most non-Muslim visitors to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem can attest, groups of screaming female banshees accost them, yelling Allahu akbar and other Islamic slogans, making for a highly unpleasant experience. (Called the Murabitat, or the Steadfast, they are funded by an Islamist organization.)

On schedule, this recurred on July 23, when a Jewish group visited the holy area; worse, the banshees followed the group outside the Temple Mount and into a surrounding street, harassing and threatening the group.

Irritated, a female member of the Jewish group, Avia Morris, 20, responded into a video camera sent out by the Jerusalem Information Center (Markaz A'lam al-Quds) with two words: "Muhammad khanzeer," Arabic for "Muhammad is a pig," obviously a very pungent insult.

The next day, Israeli police arrested Morris. Despite this, the video went viral and may have contributed to Sunday's riots on the Temple Mount.

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Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare – and Me

by Daniel Pipes  •  July 22, 2015

Two associate professors of political science at San Diego State University, Emanuele Saccarelli and Latha Varadarajan, argue in their new book, Imperialism Past and Present (Oxford University Press), that "western [sic] imperialism did not end with the close of colonialism, but continues to define international relations today." In support of this hackneyed leftist argument, the authors rely, almost predictably, on Edward Said. In turgid academese, they explain The Master's views (on pp. 68-69):

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How Israel Might Destroy Iran's Nuclear Program

by Daniel Pipes  •  July 16, 2015

The Vienna deal has been signed and likely will soon be ratified, which raises the question: Will any government intervene militarily to stop the nearly inevitable Iranian nuclear buildup?

Obviously it will not be the American or Russian governments or any of the other four signatories. Practically speaking, the question comes down to Israel, where a consensus holds that the Vienna deal makes an Israeli attack more likely. But no one outside the Israeli security apparatus, including myself, knows its intentions. That ignorance leaves me free to speculate as follows.

Three scenarios of attack seem possible:

Aerial. Airplanes crossed international boundaries and dropped bombs in the 1981 Israeli attack on an Iraqi nuclear installation and in the 2007 attack on a Syrian one, making this the default assumption for Iran. Studies show this to be difficult but attainable. Alternatively, bombs can be delivered via rockets.

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Obama's Iran Deal Has the Makings of a Catastrophe

by Daniel Pipes  •  July 14, 2015  •  National Review Online

Barack Obama has repeatedly signaled during the past six and a half years that that his No. 1 priority in foreign affairs is not China, not Russia, not Mexico, but Iran. He wants to bring Iran in from the cold, to transform the Islamic Republic into just another normal member of the so-called international community, ending decades of its aggression and hostility.

In itself, this is a worthy goal; it's always good policy to reduce the number of enemies. (It brings to mind Nixon going to China.) The problem lies, of course, in the execution.

The conduct of the Iran nuclear negotiations has been wretched, with the Obama administration inconsistent, capitulating, exaggerating, and even deceitful. It forcefully demanded certain terms, then soon after conceded these same terms. Secretary of State John Kerry implausibly announced that we have "absolute knowledge" of what the Iranians have done until now in their nuclear program and therefore have no need for inspections to form a baseline. How can any adult, much less a high official, make such a statement?

The administration misled Americans about its own concessions: After the November 2013 Joint Plan of Action, it came out with a factsheet which Tehran said was inaccurate. Guess who was right? The Iranians. In brief, the U.S. government has shown itself deeply untrustworthy.

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Introduction to "Nothing Abides"
Perspectives on the Middle East and Islam

by Daniel Pipes  •  2015  •  New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers

The English romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822) fortuitously captured two themes in his phrase that serves as my epigraph, "Nor peace within nor calm around."[1] To be sure, Shelley wrote of his inner turmoil in this poem, Stanzas Written In Dejection, Near Naples, and not his reflections on the Middle East and Islam; but he also succinctly made the two key points, about internal and external unrest, that recur throughout the following study and so might serve as this book's catchphrase.

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Turkey's Unimportant Election

by Daniel Pipes  •  June 5, 2015  •  The Washington Times

Almost every assessment of the national parliamentary election to take place in Turkey on June 7 rates it among the most important in the republic's nearly century old history. The New York Times deems it "crucial" and the London Daily Telegraph "pivotal." Huffington Post calls it "the biggest election" in the republic's history. The Financial Times declares that "Turkey's future is at stake."

But I disagree. I see it among the least important of Turkey's elections. Here's why:

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I Give Up: There Is No Terrorism, There Are No Terrorists

by Daniel Pipes  •  June 2, 2015

When the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the world's largest news operation, decided in January not to call the Charlie Hebdo attackers terrorists, this made an impression on me. The head of the BBC Arabic service, Tarik Kafala, explained its reasoning:

Terrorism is such a loaded word. The UN has been struggling for more than a decade to define the word and they can't. It is very difficult to. We know what political violence is, we know what murder, bombings and shootings are and we describe them. That's much more revealing, we believe, than using a word like terrorist which people will see as value-laden.

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That Failed Philadelphia "Islamic Jew-Hatred" Bus Ad

by Daniel Pipes  •  May 27, 2015  •  Philadelphia Inquirer

Did a controversial, austere, black-and-white advertisement that ran for one month on Philadelphia buses achieve its goal of winning sympathy for Jewish victims of Muslims?

The ad was sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative and placed on buses of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), a regional-and-state-run authority. The ad read: "Islamic Jew-Hatred: It's in the Quran. Two thirds of all US aid goes to Islamic countries. Stop the hate. End all aid to Islamic countries. IslamicJewHatred.com." A November 1941 photograph ran with the caption, "Adolf Hitler and his staunch ally, the leader of the Muslim world, Haj Amin al-Husseini." SEPTA received $30,000 to run the 30-by-80 inch ad on 84 buses out of SEPTA's 1,400 buses during April.

No, the ad failed to achieve its goal, and spectacularly so. Count the ways:

To begin with, the text is factually inaccurate. Amin al-Husseini was never "leader of the Muslim world." He was a British appointee in the Mandate for Palestine, where Muslims constituted less than 1 percent of the total world Muslim population.

Second, Husseini's meeting with Hitler did not represent a permanent or universal alliance between Muslims and Nazis; it was a one-time, opportunistic consultation between a fugitive Palestinian figure and his patron.

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ISIS Attacks the West

by Daniel Pipes  •  May 22, 2015  •  The Washington Times

The May 3 assault on a Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, prompted much discussion about the assailants' connections to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh. Did ISIS run them as agents? Are they part of a new network of terror in the West?

Clearly, the Garland jihadis had some connections to ISIS. The leader, Elton Simpson, used Twitter to trade calls for violence with Muhammed Abdullahi Hassan (also known as Mujahid Miski), 25, an ISIS recruiter who grew up in Minneapolis. On April 23, Hassan tweeted: "The brothers from the Charlie Hebdo attack did their part. It's time for brothers in the US to do their part," attaching a Breitbart.com story about the Muhammad cartoon contest. This appears to be what brought the Garland event to Simpson's attention; Simpson retweeted this call to action and responded: "When will they ever learn. They are planning on selecting the best picture drawn of [Muhammad] in Texas." Hassan then further goaded Simpson: "One individual is able to put a whole nation onto its knees."

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