Ibish Replies to Pipes in the Jerusalem Post
Letter to the Editor: Pipes Slandered Me From Hussein Ibish
The Jerusalem Post August 18, 2000, Pg. 8a
Sir, – Daniel Pipes completely misrepresents my religious and political beliefs in his op-ed (“American Islamists and Lieberman,” August 8) by putting me in the category of “Islamists – also known as fundamentalist Moslems.” Indeed, my voice is the very first he cites among “Islamist” and “fundamentalist Moslem” perspectives in the US. This is a preposterous misrepresentation and an outright falsehood. For better or worse, not only am I not an “Islamist” or a “fundamentalist Moslem,” I am not a religious man.
I work for a completely secular Arab-American organization, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), whose staff and membership includes both Christians and Moslems, and whose mission statement specifically declares it to be “non-sectarian.” Pipes’s mischaracterization of my political and religious stance is not a laughable error. It is a deliberate and malicious slander against the work I do on behalf of my community and my organization.
Pipes claims that “whatever their differences, however, all Islamists (which according to him includes me) have the same ambition, which is what they call the ‘Islamization of America.'” Pipes is familiar with my work, and I challenge him to produce a single citation, quote, article or any other statement I have made which can be in any way construed as advocating the “Islamization of America,” whatever that might be.
There is more than a touch of racism in Pipes’s outrageous misrepresentation of my views. He has simply found a politically active Arab-American with a Moslem name (“Hussein”) and labeled him with a whole set of beliefs, both religious and political, that are not held by him. The process whereby any politically active American born into a Moslem family or with origins in a Moslem society automatically becomes a “fundamentalist” is nothing more than raw prejudice.
HUSSEIN IBISH, Communications Director
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee