69 million page views

D'Souza and Pipes

Reader comment on item: How Barack Obama Sees the United States

Submitted by Peter Herz (United States), Aug 18, 2012 at 21:51

While I'm also critical of D'Souza's thesis about the Left informing the Islamic world's anti-Americanism and believe that Islamic theology offers plenty of room for and even positive encouragement to someone who wants to hate the Kufr, I'm not going to criticize him here.

D'Souza simply gave Dr. Pipes a forum in which to make a few characteristically salient points about the US position in the Middle East and about President Obama's associates over the years. Frankly, I share Dr. Pipes' position on keeping out of the Syrian fracas, and also thought that the USA had no interests at stake in either party to the late Libyan conflict. Further, if the USA wants to stand as an advocate for minority rights in the rest of the world, I can only say that it has been losing under President Obama, as the last Tunisian Jewish communities and the 10% of Egypt that is Christian come under increasing pressures in the wake of the so-called "Arab Spring".

But, to return to D'Souza, I don't blame him for his criticism of the Left. He simply goes too far and falls under the spell of the Marxist myth that the non-Western peoples' histories simply don't count; and anything of significance that happens among them arises because of something comprehensible to the dismissive Marxist mind that sits like a frog in the bottom of a well and declares that the sky is small.

I'll also take the opportunity to note, re Dr. Pipes' mention of Edward Said, that Said's critique of "Orientalism" is an attack on the intellectual curiosity that made the Western world great. Further, Said never accounted for the legions of Western Orientalists who were genuinely interested in what another cultural tradition had to say.

I'm sceptical about the existence of "moderate" or "liberal" Islam (unless Bahai'ism counts as such) in that I've never heard of a large and influential body within the 'Ulema that wants to conform Islam to the beliefs of the 18th century continental enlightenment. But on a lot of other matters, I remain respectful and deferential to what Dr. Pipes has to say about America and the Middle East.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to D'Souza and Pipes by Peter Herz

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2022 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)