April 14, 2003
The Honorable George W. Bush
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We write on behalf of the American Jewish Committee, an organization which had the privilege of hearing from you in May 2001 and which has been devoted over the course of nearly a century to fostering understanding among ethnic and religious groups. We wish to express our admiration for Dr. Daniel Pipes, a prominent scholar and commentator on international affairs whom you nominated last week to serve on the board of directors of the U.S. Institute of Peace.
Through his careful research and insightful analysis, Dr. Pipes has for years played a crucial role in public discourse, alerting the American public to the dangers posed by extremist Islamism in this country and abroad, not the least of which is the fashion in which such extremist elements condone and even provide material support for terrorism as a means of imposing their world views. After the horrendous events of September 11, it became clear that Dr. Pipes' warnings were remarkably prescient. At the same time, Dr. Pipes has been a defender and champion of moderate Islam. He continually underlines that moderates constitute the great majority of the Muslim world and are often the first victims of extremist Islamists in this country and abroad.
You have selected an eminently qualified candidate with broad knowledge of the threats posed by extremist, anti-American interpretations of Islam and with the wisdom not to confuse the militants who make up that movement with the vast body of decent, moderate adherents of a proud and vibrant faith. The American Jewish Committee welcomes and commends you for this significant appointment, and looks forward to the contributions of Dr. Pipes to the important work of the Institute.
Mr. President, we wish you continued strength and success during this defining period in world history.
David A. Harris