Special Report Talks to the Experts
Fox News Channel
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BRIT HUME, HOST: President Bush has been at pains in the days since the terrorist attacks to encourage tolerance toward Muslims in America. And in so doing, he's met with prominent Muslims at the White House and at a mosque here in Washington. For their part, those Muslim spokesmen say it's unfair to associate them or the Muslim faith with terrorist terror. But have all these Muslim leaders always been as opposed to terrorism as they say they are now? For answers, we turn to Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, author, and former official in the Defense and State departments, who joins me from Philadelphia.
Welcome to you, sir.
DANIEL PIPES, MIDDLE EAST FORUM: Thank you, Brit.
HUME: Before we start, I want to go back to that scene at the mosque here in Washington, when the president was meeting with some of those Muslim leaders and listen to what the president and one of those spokesman for the Muslim community had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: This is a great country. It's a great country because we share the same values of respect and dignity and human worth. And it is my honor to be meeting with leaders who feel just the same way I do.
NIHAD AWAD, COUNCIL ON AMER. ISLAMIC RELATIONS: There is no place in Islam, in Islamic theology, in the Koran, in the history of Islam, for any of this evil to take place. And we have condemned it from the beginning. And we still continue to condemn it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUME: I don't know if you were able to see it, but you probably could have heard. That was Nihad Awad of the group that is called CAIR, which is the Council on American Islamic Relations. And he's been very visible in the time since this attack. What about him, sir?
PIPES: Well, Mr. Awad is the head of an organization called CAIR. CAIR is an extremist organization that has pretended to be, all these years, a moderate, normal organization.
HUME: Well, what is extremist about it?
PIPES: Well, let me give you one example.
Three years ago, when we had our first attack on Usama bin Laden in August of 1998, someone in Los Angeles put a billboard up which had a picture of bin Laden. And it said "Enemy No. 1." CAIR, Mr. Awad, came out and protested this, said this was a bad idea. What one finds over and over again is that CAIR is apologizing for the people who engage in terrorism against us and criticizing those who want to fight back against them.
HUME: Can you cite another example other than protesting a billboard?
PIPES: I will give you another example. A gentleman by the name of Khalid Duran, who is a Muslim, a moderate Muslim, an author, wrote a book on Islam. CAIR came out with a vicious attack on it. And, as a result of that, a militant Islamic leader in Jordan put a death edict on Mr. Duran, said-he lives, by the way, outside of Washington, Mr. Duran does. CAIR, instead of denouncing this edict coming out of Jordan, denied that it ever took place. So what one sees here is a kind of one-two punch, where CAIR attacks an American, the Jordanian launches a verbal and potentially criminal assault on him, and CAIR then backs away, and says: "We have nothing to do with it." Over and over again, one see this pattern.
HUME: What about some of the other groups there? You mentioned CAIR. Identify, if you can, someone else who was present there that you think might not have belonged at that meeting with the president.
PIPES: There's also the American Muslim Council.
HUME: Represented there by?
PIPES: Represented, I believe, by Mr. Abdurahman Alamoudi. There is...
HUME: I wonder if we have a picture of him. I'm not sure.
PIPES: ... the Muslim Political Action Committee. There are a number of organizations: the Islamic Circle of North America, the Islamic Society of North America, all of which are the most important Muslim organizations. Unfortunately, they're also extremist. And the moderate, healthy, traditional, moderate organizations don't get to meet with the president, don't get invited to the State Department, are excluded. So we have a problem.
HUME: Now, what is it about these other organizations that you-you say they're extremists. You mentioned a couple of examples with regard to CAIR. But can you buttress your case against these other organizations?
PIPES: I will give you a case of an organization I just wrote an article about called the American Muslims for Jerusalem. If you go to their Web site, it's a perfectly ordinary, moderate-sounding organization. But I happen to have intelligence about their first fund-raising dinner, their first fund-raising dinner a couple of years ago. It was wild-eyed, extremist, hair-raising, conspiratorial, aggressive, nasty stuff.
HUME: Like what?
PIPES: Well, this is the-Jerusalem now is the topic there. On the Web site, it says: We're on favor of free access of all religions to Jerusalem. At the dinner, what they're talking about is getting Muslim leadership to turn Christians against Jews in this country, because, according to them, Jews run this country. And the Christians have to rise up, under Muslim leadership, to throws the Jews out of control. This is crazy.
But that's the real American Muslims for Jerusalem organization, not the kind of nice one that you see on the Web site. So what ones sees here is a pattern of, on the surface, being reasonable, mainstream, but underneath-and sometimes even coming out in public, as I gave you the example of the Los Angeles billboard-coming out and showing their true colors.
It is very important, I think, that the president and other public officials not meet with these organizations. It is very important that corporate leaders not meet with them. It's very important the media not cite them as the authorities, because they're not. They're extremists.
HUME: You say they are extremist in their outlook and you cite some examples. Do you connect them in any way with these events that-with the terrorist attacks, for example?
PIPES: I connect them at a distance with it. I am not going to say there's any kind of operational connection. But I would say that they are encouraging steps which make it difficult to protect ourselves.
For example, they're dead set against any kind of airline profiling that would take into account religion or ethnicity. If we had had religious and ethnic profiling on the 11th of September that was effective, I don't think four teams of Arabs would have been able to get on-Muslim Arabs would have been able to get on those planes.
Likewise, the Islamic groups are against what they call secret evidence, which is holding immigrants who are suspect without letting them out into society and holding them without letting them know why they're being held.
HUME: Well, they have got plenty of company in being opposed to that, though. There are all kinds of people on Capitol Hill on the left and the right who think that's a bad idea.
PIPES: Well, people can think it's a bad idea, but if you put it all together, you find that their program is one which constricts us. They're against taking action against the people who want to-who do hit us. They're in favor of handcuffing American response, handcuffing American defenses.
So, in that broad sense-and also showing sympathy for the terrorist organizations-they are more on that side than on our side. And, as such, while I am not going to deny them their First Amendment rights, I am going to say these are fringe organizations that should not have any place at the table. But like David Duke-David Duke looks nice, presents himself well, but as soon as he opens his mouth, you see he's a wild-eyed maniac. Well, so are these people.
HUME: All right, Daniel Pipes, very interesting. Thank you very much, sir.
PIPES: Thank you.
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