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cooking an opinion from opinions, misrepresentation

Reader comment on item: [Defending Lars Hedegaard:] "A Stew of Anti-Muslim Bile and Conspiracy-Laden Forecasts"

Submitted by myth (Germany), Mar 8, 2013 at 05:42

I read the entire article Higgins wrote. He introduces people he selected for the article by name. Here's who (I quote):

Lars Hedegaard, an anti-Islam polemicist and former newspaper editor

Karen Haekkerup, Denmark's minister of social affairs and integration

Qaiser Najeeb, a 38-year-old second- generation Dane whose father immigrated from Afghanistan

Mikael Rothstein, a religious history scholar at the University of Copenhagen

Asmat Ullah Mojadeddi, a medical doctor and the chairman of the Muslim Council of Denmark,

Anders Gravers, a xenophobic butcher from the north

Kurt Westergaard, the artist who drew a cartoon of Muhammad

Following the descriptions, none of these people are connected to Hedegaard. Higgins does not explain why he chose the testimonies of the people selected with respect to Hedegaard as a person. Have any of these people actually met Hedegaard? An authentic characterization requires a relation between Hedegaard and the one doing the characterizing. Statements of people who have no such relation express an opinion, no more, no better than my own.

I conclude Higgins cooks his opinion from the mere opinions of irrelevant people. Opinions are too weak a basis to found another opinion.

Daniel Pipes knows Hedegaard personally and collaborated with him. That makes him an authentic source, not just an opinion, on Hedegaard's character and work.

Higgins also misrepresents Hedegaard as measured against the other individuals he quotes. Higgins attributes academic credentials "religious history scholar", "medical doctor" to Rothstein and Mojadeddi. Yet, he omits academic credentials describing Hedegaard. In comparison Higgins misrepresents Hedegaard with intent.


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Daniel Pipes replies:

The last paragraph makes a particularly good point.

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