Articles and Blog Posts by Daniel Pipes
How Islamic Are Muslims?
by Daniel Pipes • July 28, 2014 • National Review Online
Islamic law demands much of Muslims; how successfully do they fulfill its precepts?
Scheherazade S. Rehman and Hossein Askari of Georgetown University provide an answer in a 2010 article, "How Islamic are Islamic Countries?" In it, they establish the Islamic teachings and then calculate how well these are applied in 208 countries and territories. They posit four separate indices (economics, the law and governance, human and political rights, international relations); then they combine these into a single overall index, which they call the IslamicityIndex.
Perhaps surprisingly, the ten countries that top the list of Islamicity turn out to be, starting at the top, New Zealand, Luxemburg, Ireland, Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Netherlands. The bottom ten are Mayotte, the West Bank and Gaza, Somalia, the Isle of Man, Eritrea, Sudan, the Channel Islands, Iraq, the Comoros, and Angola. Put differently, none of the top ten "Islamic" countries has a Muslim-majority, but in seven of the bottom ten, one-half or more of the population is Muslim.
Forty Years after the Invasion of Cyprus
by Daniel Pipes • July 20, 2014
Today marks the gloomy 40th anniversary of the day that Turkish troops overpowered the tiny, almost undefended island of Cyprus in a brutal exercise of military might whose immorality only intensifies with the passing decades. Some thoughts in honor of the day:
- The invasion did not take place under Islamist rule: Although an Islamist (Necmettin Erbakan) served as deputy prime minister in a coalition government for almost all of 1974, he was not the key decision maker in Turkey. Rather, Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit, a leftist, enjoyed that privilege.
- The Ecevit-Erbakan cooperation in 1974 symbolizes a support among Turks of all political persuasions for the invasion of Cyprus that still persists. This near-unanimity is a basic fact of Turkish political life.
- That consensus will presumably remain in place until the Turkish occupation begins to take its toll – economic, diplomatic, or even military – on the Republic of Turkey. After 40 years, this has not even started, making one wonder if it ever will.
Are Millions Worldwide Protesting Israeli Actions?
by Daniel Pipes • July 19, 2014
RT, the Russian government's news network – and successor to the Soviet-era Pravda – published an article under the extreme, attention-seeking headline, "'In our millions, we're all Palestinian': Wave of protests worldwide demand end to Gaza slaughter." The article goes on to list anti-Israel demonstrations. However, if one actually reads the article, it quickly becomes apparent that the headline contains two major inaccuracies:
- There are no "millions" involved. Far from it. Using RT's own numbers, we find them significantly smaller: 17 participants; more than 10,000; 1,300; dozens; 4,000; and 150 demonstrators.
- The protests are hardly worldwide. RT lists them as having taken place in the United States, Argentina, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, France, Germany, and Australia.
Muslims Turn away from Islamism
by Daniel Pipes • July 15, 2014
The Pew Research Center, a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, has the means to sample opinion with unique frequency and on a major scale. It has used its funds to track Muslim attitudes toward Islamism in general, toward specific terrorist groups in particular, and also suicide bombing over the past decade . The most recent study, "Concerns about Islamic Extremism on the Rise in Middle East," released on July 1, conducted among 14,244 respondents in 14 countries between April 10 to May 25, 2014, holds much interest. Pew summarized the overall results:
As well-publicized bouts of violence, from civil war to suicide bombings, plague the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, concern about Islamic extremism is high among countries with substantial Muslim populations. … And in the Middle East, concern is growing. Lebanese, Tunisians, Egyptians, Jordanians and Turks are all more worried about the extremist threat than they were a year ago. Meanwhile, publics hold very negative opinions of well-known extremist groups, such as al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah.
In my reading, the survey makes two major points and also offers some lesser tidbits of interest: :
Don't Put Terrorists on Trial
by Daniel Pipes • July 14, 2014 • National Review Online
The Obama administration has brought an accused Libyan terrorist named Ahmed Abu Khattala to Washington for trial. His saga reveals how the government views the Islamist threat, and it's discouraging. Fortunately, a much better alternative exists.
Abu Khattala stands accused of taking part in the murder of an ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi in September 2012. After an achingly slow investigation, during which time the suspect lived in the open and defiantly gave media interviews, the American military seized him on June 15. After being transported by sea and air to Washington, D.C., Abu Khattala was jailed, provided with a defense attorney, Michelle Peterson, indicted, arraigned, and, after listening to an Arabic translation of the proceedings, pleaded not guilty to a single charge of conspiracy and requested a halal diet. He potentially faces life in prison.
Surprising Support for Israel, not Hamas
by Daniel Pipes • July 11, 2014
The current Hamas assault on Israel has lured the predictable coven of Palestinian nationalists, Islamists, Leftists, and antisemites from the woodwork to bash the Jewish state. But, more surprisingly, Israel is getting support, or at least restraint and fairness, from unexpected sources:
Why Does Hamas Want War?
by Daniel Pipes • July 11, 2014 • National Review Online
Politicians start wars optimistic about their prospects of gaining from combat, Geoffrey Blainey notes in his masterly study, The Causes of War; otherwise, they would avoid fighting.
Why, then, did Hamas just provoke a war with Israel? Out of nowhere, on June 11 it began launching rockets, shattering a calm in place since November 2012. The mystery of this outburst prompted David Horovitz, editor of the Times of Israel, to find that the current fighting has "no remotely credible reason" even to be taking place. And why did the Israeli leadership respond minimally, trying to avoid combat? This although both sides know that Israel's forces vastly out-match Hamas' in every domain – intelligence gathering, command and control, technology, firepower, domination of air space.
CAIR Steals My (Intellectual) Property
by Daniel Pipes • July 5, 2014
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, founded by Hamas supporters and seeking to overthrow Constitutional government in the United States, has engaged in so many morally dubious activities that there's a bibliography of my writings on not trusting CAIR; also, America's self-styled "Largest Civil Rights and Advocacy Organization" has played so many dirty tricks on me that I finally had to document these in both an article and then a follow-up blog.
One Year After Morsi, How Goes Egypt?
by Daniel Pipes • July 3, 2014
Egyptians took to the streets in numbers never seen anywhere, ever on June 30, 2013 to protest against their Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi. Three days later, Defense Minister Abdul Fattah al-Sisi responded to this outpouring by overthrowing Morsi. How do things look now, exactly a year later?
Pretty awful. Looking at the two most urgent arenas, Islam and the economy, almost nothing offers a sign of hope.
In the debate over the proper role of Islam in the lives of Egyptians, the dividing lines have only increased, spawning violence, further extremism, and a sense that the country's split between Islamist and anti-Islamist factions will last for many years. Even the dividing lines among Islamists and among anti-Islamists are hardening. The inscrutable Sisi presides over this mess as the new Husni Mubarak, stolid and repressive, with his own views seemingly contradictory and elusive.
Netanyahu's Steady Hand
by Daniel Pipes • July 2, 2014
Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave an important speech worthy of discussion when he addressed the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv on June 29. The following excerpts are from the official translation on the prime minister's office website:
An historic change is taking place in our region, with major repercussions for Israel's security and the security of the entire world. The Sykes-Picot agreement which, almost a century ago, defined the borders in our region, has come to an end. … we are now looking at many years of conflict and instability.
I agree that Sykes-Picot, a secret agreement between the British, French, and Russian governments in 1916, is likely defunct. But it is one thing for me as historian and analyst to make this point and quite another for a sitting prime minister to do so. It's probably not wise for the head of a government, who has enough on his hands, to engage in such public speculations. They can harm him more than help him.
The Acute Danger of Iraqi Dams
by Daniel Pipes • July 1, 2014
It's been apparent at least since the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 that the Mosul Dam, Iraq's largest, could spell devastation for Iraq due to a combination of faulty construction, governmental indifference, and an ongoing civil insurrrection. Were it to collapse, it would lead to the largest human-induced loss of life in history. (For more on this problem, see my coverage here and here.)
The conquests in 2014 by what used to be known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and now just as the Islamic State, have dramatically shown that other dams in Iraq can also pose problems, if not on so catastrophic a scale.
First, when ISIS seized Falluja in January 2014, it also took control of the Falluja Dam (or Barrage), which is on the Euphrates River, and proceeded to manipulate it for its purposes. Hamza Mustafa of Asharq Al-Awsat quoted a pro-government militia leader a few months later, after Baghdad government forces managed to recapture the barrage, explained ISIS' tactics: ISIS
The Worst Day in History
by Daniel Pipes • June 28, 2014
A hundred years ago today, June 28, 1914, was arguably the worst day in human history. Not that anything so awful happened during those 24 hours, but the assassination in Sarajevo of the heir to the Hapsburg throne by a 19-year-old Bosnian Serb nationalist, Gavrilo Princip, initiated a series of events that led to not just the horrors of World War I but arguably also those of World War II as well as the rise to power of the fascist and communist movements.
In brief, that vicious era that historians have dubbed the short twentieth century, 1914-89, with its unprecedented numbers of deaths, of extremist movements, and of general human misery began with the shots that festive summer day. (June 28, 2014)
July 26, 2014 update: I omitted to mention the economic devastation that followed that worst day, on which see Terence Corcoran, "World War One: The war that ended growth."
More on Turkish Support for ISIS
by Daniel Pipes • June 18, 2014
In an article today, "Turkish Support for ISIS," I made the case that the AKP government of Prime Minister Erdoğan stands behind the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. This blog pursues the topic with new proofs.
To begin with, Michael Rubin has simultaneously with me published an article on this same topic, "Turkey: Al-Qaeda Not Terrorists."
June 23, 2014 update: Salih Muslim, the co-chairman of Syrian's dominant Kurdish organization, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), explains his basis for saying that the Turkish government has been supporting ISIS. Excerpts:
"ISIS itself says it gets Turkey's support. Its media gives details of how they get assistance from Turkey and how their militants reach them via Turkey."
Why the seizure of hostages in Mosul? "Some groups within ISIS could have done it without informing the others. For their safety or to blackmail Turkey not to alter its moderate approach to ISIS. It could well be an agreed scenario."
Turkish Support for ISIS
by Daniel Pipes • June 18, 2014 • The Washington Times
The battle in Iraq consists of "Turkish-backed Sunni jihadis rebelling against an Iranian-backed Shi'ite-oriented central government," I wrote in a recent article.
Some readers question that the Republic of Turkey has supported the "Islamic State in Iraq and Syria," the main Sunni group fighting in Iraq. They point to ISIS attacks on Turkish interests, within Turkey, along its border with Syria, and in Mosul and a successful recent meeting of the Turkish and Iranian presidents. Good points, but they can be explained.
First, ISIS is willing to accept Turkish support even while seeing the Islamist prime minister and his countrymen as kafirs (infidels) who need to be shown true Islam.
ISIS Rampages, the Middle East Shakes
by Daniel Pipes • June 12, 2014 • National Review Online
The jihadis' takeover of Mosul on June 9 won them control of Iraq's second-largest city, a major haul of weapons, US$429 million in gold, an open path to conquer Tikrit, Samarra, and perhaps the capital city of Baghdad. The Iraqi Kurds have seized Kirkuk. This is the most important event in the Middle East since the Arab upheavals began in 2010. Here's why:
Regional threat: The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a designated terror group, is in a position to overthrow the governments of Iraq and Syria and perhaps beyond, starting with Jordan. Straddling the Iraq-Syrian border, it may both erase the nearly century-old border between these two colonial creations and end their existence as unitary states, thereby overturning the Middle Eastern political order as it emerged from World War I. Rightly does the U.S. government call ISIS "a threat to the entire region."
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