As the oldest and one of the largest pro-Israel advocacy organizations in the United States, we at the Zionist Organization of America are writing to express our strong support for the nomination of Dr. Daniel Pipes to serve on the Board of the United States Institute for Peace ("the Institute").
The Institute's Congressionally established mandate is "to support the development, transmission, and use of knowledge to promote peace and curb violent international conflict." In order for the Institute to fulfill its mandate, it is essential that its Board members have a thorough understanding of the challenges that lie ahead in promoting peace and preventing conflict in a post-September 11th environment. Specifically, the need to confront international terrorism and the militant Islam (as opposed to moderate Islam) that fuels it poses a major challenge for those seeking to promote peace, and Dr. Pipes has crucial contributions to make in this regard.
Dr. Pipes is a well-recognized and widely sought-after expert on the subjects of the Middle East, international terrorism, and Islam. His work has been widely published, and his commentary on these subjects has been sought after for years by the media and Congress. The Wall Street Journal has called him "an authoritative commentator on the Middle East," and MSNBC has described him as one of the best-known "Mideast policy luminaries." According to the April 15th edition of Pakistan Today: "Many moderate American Muslims, frustrated by and angry at the extremist policies of militant Islamist organizations in the US and their efforts to portray themselves as the sole voice of Islam, have welcomed the nomination of Daniel Pipes."
In spite of Dr. Pipes' widely sought-after expertise on these urgent issues, his nomination has been met with strong opposition by some groups, most notably the Council on American-Islamic Relations ("CAIR"), which has labeled him as an "Islamophobe". It is well-documented, however, that CAIR is an extremist organization that not only is unrepresentative of moderate Islam, but is also an advocate for Islamic supremacy and a supporter of terrorism, as CAIR's record clearly indicates:
While we do not deny CAIR's right to object to any nomination, we strongly feel that given CAIR's troubling history, its criticisms of Dr. Pipes should be placed in their proper context and met with a healthy degree of skepticism. We urge you to confirm the nomination of Daniel Pipes to the Board of the Institute, and we invite you to look over the attached materials to assist you as you consider his nomination.