Skip to comments.Daniel Pipes - In The Arena At UC Irvine
Posted on 02/03/2007 6:32:39 PM PST by Salem
Finally being able to meet Daniel Pipes in person was a great opportunity, with his visit to University of California, Irvine (UCI). He was hosted by Hillel at UCI and the Hillel Foundation of Orange County. A forty-five minute trip through rare light traffic brought me early for the event to UCI and the Physical Sciences Lecture Hall on the sprawling campus.
I was anticipating some sort of protest by Islamist interests, which always appear when Professor Daniel Pipes speaks at a California University campus. The exterior of the lecture hall was peaceful as a few elderly Jewish men and I found our way inside. Upon entering the 448 seat auditorium, I immediately noticed about forty to fifty Islamist students monopolizing the center area in the steep seating area. Most wore black, blue, and red Keffiyeh's that Islamists and faux revolutionaries have taken to wearing, ostensibly in support of the Palestinians against the oppressive Israelis.
Professor Pipes' subject matter, The Threat to Israel's Existence: Why It's Back, What It Means, predictably brought out the annoyed regulars.
I sat down in one of the rear rows and watched as people filtered in. As the event started, the auditorium had over three hundred in attendance, with about one hundred Islamist students dominating the center area. An individual representing the LaRouche Youth had handed me one of their magazines before this, which I left under the seat.
The event coordinator introduced Daniel Pipes and he began his presentation. Having followed Daniel Pipes closely since 9/11 and reading his books and writings till I was bleary-eyed, I was more than familiar with a lot of his positions. He is certainly not crippled academically by political correctness. The giggling and inaudible snide comments started and then fifteen minutes into the event, one Islamist youth stood up in the middle of the crowd and started shouting, Daniel Pipes! Daniel Pipes! Daniel Pipes! The rest of the Islamist youth, on this queue, then stood up and began to loudly shout in unison, Anti-Israel! No to oppression! Anti-Israel! No to oppression!
I heard a shout, All of you out! I assumed it was one of the uniformed Police officers ringing the top level of the auditorium. The Islamist youth then began to march out after this choreographed demonstration. After they left, the rest in attendance began to applause, whether glad they had left, or in moral support of Professor Pipes. He finished his presentation and a question and answer session began. I was about to write a question down to have sent up to him, but Daniel answered it in context of another person's question.
I respect Daniel Pipes greatly. He was in this arena while the rest of us were still getting out socks on, and he has stayed consistent in his efforts and views ever since. His intellectual and academic discipline is peerless. Furthermore, his courage in the face of insurmountable odds, whether death threats, violent protest, or public slander from all quarters, has earned him the respect of the society of warriors.
But I don't agree with him on some points. A recent biography of him in Philadelphia Magazine, Radical Departure - Is the country's most controversial Middle East scholar mellowing? states, The discussion has changed, and the man once considered the most hard-line anti-Islamist finds himself worried about critics holding a darker view: that Islam is an inherently evil religion. The article states that by a five-to-one margin, readers of his own website now disagree with him about his take.
I am one of them. I think I speak for an even wider majority of Americans who are by and large silent.
We live in a free society, unlike many in Muslim dominated countries and cultures. A society founded on Judeo/Christian ideas. A pillar of that freedom is academic and intellectual freedom freedom of mind and conscience. The freedom to critically examine any belief system or individual and hold them up to the scrutiny of intellectual study and objective critique and ideas to rise or fall on their merits. This is foundational to American excellence and superiority in the global arena.
Since 9/11 the academic offering from a wide spectrum of thought has made its way into this free marketplace of ideas. Professor Pipes is just one in fact, the point man of many now well known academics who have published and distributed their work, like Steve Emerson, Robert Spencer, David J. Jonsson, Brigitte Gabriel, and Ibn Warraq to name a few of many more well known authors. It is within this structure of many different scholarly views that the American people have learned exactly what the Koran says and what Muslim believe.
The Internet, as an arm of the alternative media, further magnifies this research. As the war against Islamic terror continues, it is myriad incidents like the Saudi religious police preventing the escape of unveiled girls trying to escape a burning school, the brutal and destructive conduct of the festival of Ashura, or Palestinians dancing around with the entrails of their victims or their own dead, that cannot but impel any rational person to utterly reject anything Islam because of its effects on culture.
Furthermore, in the context of the Palestinian/Israeli "conflict" that the Islamic world uses as a club to beat the West over the head with, the defeat of the ideology of fundamentalist, expantionist Islam is foundational to the resolution of this conflict. Until a wider reform movement happens in a more tangible way within, not only Muslim dominated countries, but the West as well, people will be forced to choose between the two. Until then, we stand with Israel.
Additionally, the conduct of Islamists/Muslims in America as they protest, and coerce, and try to threaten and intimidate the mainstream population into submission to their demands, whether through the courts and legal means, or to silence legitimate debate through means such as I witnessed first hand tonight, and we have seen in other quarters, further deepens the resolve of those who oppose them. America is not an effete European culture like France, to cower before the tyranny of the few, yet are long on patience. Still, that tolerance not being inexhaustible, we do not acquiesce to threats and coercion, and we will certainly not submit.
Daniel didn't sugar-coat his comments to the audience of supporters of Israel either, and very bluntly stated the challenges coming for the nation would be great. His comments certainly diverged from the happy talk incessantly coming from official government and media sources. He encouraged all to stay intellectually engaged, not with the extremists and closed-minded, but the open, and those uninformed with the particulars of the challenges facing Israel, whether friends, family or people we interact with every day.
As the lecture broke, I joined the throng at the front of the auditorium. I was seconds away from introducing myself to Mr. Pipes at the podium, when a representative from Hillel grabbed him and they went to take a group picture with the kids of Hillel.
There are memories that stick in people's minds from events like this, and the sight of Daniel Pipes squirming into the center of a group of this university's Jewish kids is one. It was the crest of this evening, as this man, in all points their champion who has over the years stood ram-rod straight in the face of some pretty blistering hate directed against them in the arena of the war of ideas, modeled the courage and integrity in the face of opposition that they to will be called to reproduce in the days ahead as their lives become more intertwined with the wider Jewish community and the Nation of Israel. Good for them!
I finally finally had the chance to shake Daniel's hand and introduce myself before another supporter accosted him and turned him away. But heading home, I was really in high spirits. True, the Nation of Israel is under a lot of fire from many different directions, but her impending demise is greatly exaggerated. The world has still not seen the half of what this small nation and people are capable of, especially in her sure history ahead.
For the benefit of those not on Daniel Pipes' email list, the other content for this event is posted at his Blog here:
It was an absolutely dynamic and exciting evening!
Be advised, FREE REPUBLIC was flying their colors there as well!
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Letter To The President In Support Of Israel ~
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"I am one of them."
So am I and that has really been my only disagreement with Pipes. I'm glad you were able to attend, Salem. I envy you, actually. Thanks for sharing the experience!
Thanks for this excellent article. I am a fan of Daniel Pipes and also of his friend, Robert Spencer. Yes I did see the video and it makes me more certain about the need to preserve our God-given freedom by not being afriad to stand up to those radicals.
"Additionally, the conduct of Islamists/Muslims in America as they protest, and coerce, and try to threaten and intimidate the mainstream population into submission to their demands, whether through the courts and legal means, or to silence legitimate debate through means such as I witnessed first hand tonight, and we have seen in other quarters, further deepens the resolve of those who oppose them. America is not an effete European culture like France, to cower before the tyranny of the few, yet are long on patience. Still, that tolerance not being inexhaustible, we do not acquiesce to threats and coercion, and we will certainly not submit."
This paragraph speaks the truth that unlike Europe, America can with the help of both books and websites such as Mr. Pipes, the truth about Islam is coming and the more Americans will not end up becoming dhimmi.
Thank you, Salem!!!
Glad to hear FReepers were there.
Ping to Alouette and SJackson.
You're quite welcome!
It was one of those events we tend to read about at Free Republic or another blog that other people get to be a part of. I'm still jazzed it was finally my turn.
Thanks, Ma'am! Always wanted to be just like you!
You make a good point. With his web site and the comments section, combined with easily accessible video technology and the advent of YouTube and Google video, with the multi-facetted input from his supporters (both text and audio/video), together with the bilingual translations, this makes for some great content unique to all our efforts and not just another blog linking to other's content. I really like the sense of community behind it all.
You're quite welcome, sir!
Pod'nah, if you watch, I believe it's the one long video but I'm not sure, where the camera man is at the top of the auditorium and the Muslim kids are walking out, you'll notice one girl lean over a bit towards some people while shouting "Anti-Israel!"
Well, that was a Jewish couple sitting there. I was three seats down. It was pure cruelty.
It took some restraint on my part not to start shouting, "Death to Islam! Death to Islam! Death to Islam!" The UC cops would have probably asked me to leave as well.
Tactically, we all benefited by me keeping my mouth shut, because I was thus equipped to write this article. I've been monitoring the traffic to it off of Pipe's site, Atlas Shrugs, and Israpundit ... and it has been astronomical.
Thus we see patience, self-restraint, and professionalism pays off in the long run, as the event went forward and the fellowship afterwards was very productive.
But then, maybe the site of me coming over that Jewish couple into the middle of all those little punks would have had some sort of impact as well.
I think that would have been a welcome sight. And you're right, in the long run, it'll pay off. Just as we will win in the long run. But in the short run, it's gonna be a bumpy and unpleasant ride.
Glad to know you were there, Salem. It fills me with confidence.
FRiend, all glory to G-d for the rich and valuable things He provides His people. The intangible things; the eternal things....
Islam is evil. Murder, theft, torture, rape and abduction is an integral part of Islam. Any religion that teaches that lying is OK to justify what your position is, a cult, and any religion that teaches suicide and murder as glorified is a death cult.
In fact I will go one obvious point farther, anybody who chooses a religion that is a death cult is inherently evil.
Muslims are clearly evil. I am just shocked that political correctness has gone so far that so few dare to say it.
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