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Dear Dr Pipes - please re-examine "ad hominem attacks"

Reader comment on item: Keith Ellison, Where Are You?

Submitted by Noor (United Kingdom), Feb 18, 2010 at 18:11

From my reading of the article, Dr Pipes, Mr Ellison did not refer to you as paranoid, but the notion, whoever happens to hold it, that he is a threat to American society - note that he is criticising what you say, not making personal attacks on you or impugning your character. The same goes for you being called "incorrect", "seriously" so or otherwise, and your point of view [in this matter] being "inaccurate" - being wrong isn't a character trait, but a matter of what is true and what is false. Similarly, he did not refer to you as not being serious, but stated that the same notion is, due to its being, in his estimation, incorrect, not worthy of being considered weighty.

Whether or not Mr Ellison is an Islamist, vanilla or "2.0" [I'm undecided on this at the moment, partly due to his confusing claim to support Israel], is irrelevant to the definition of what constitutes an ad hominem attack.

I have been reading articles on your site for a while, and I can't discern exactly what you mean by an Islamist. I'd be interested in your definition and to discuss it further - I remember at one point seeing a tentative litmus test of sorts here once, but cannot find it.

I hope you'll have the time to reply

Submitting....

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Daniel Pipes replies:

There are many ways to define an Islamist and I have done so variously since my first writings on this subject in the 1970s. Here is a brief definition: An Islamst is a Muslim who wants to apply the Islamic law in its entirety so as to make the umma strong.

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