US President, George Bush, plans to bypass Congress and appoint Daniel Pipes, seen by some as an Islamophobe, to serve on the board of a federally funded think tank, created to promote peaceful solutions to world conflicts.
Congressional sources on Tuesday said Bush’s expected appointment of Pipes could spark a backlash from some Muslim Americans and Democrats in Congress, who oppose his nomination to serve on the US Institute of Peace.
Congress set up the think tank to promote peaceful resolutions. Pipe’s nomination has been stalled for months in the Senate, where key Democrats object to his controversial statements and writings defending racial and religious profiling. He is also a champion for police surveillances of mosques.
Bush has stood by his nominee despite the uproar. He plans to issue a recess appointment as early as this week, according to sources.
In doing so, Pipes will sidestep the Senate confirmation process and could serve on the Institute’s board through next year.
Pipes' words of wisdom:
"I worry very much from the Jewish point of view that the presence, and increased stature, and affluence, and enfranchisement of American Muslims...will present true dangers to American Jews."
Speaking at the American Jewish Congress on 21 October, 2001
"Muslim visitors and immigrants must undergo additional background checks...Muslim schools require increased oversight to ascertain what is being taught to children."
Jerusalem Post on 22 January, 2003
"All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes but Muslim countries are more troublesome than most."
1990 National Review article
Top Democrat on the Senate committee that oversees the Institut, Senator Edward Kennedy, said Pipes’ “record and experience do not reflect a commitment to bridging differences and preventing conflict”.
He urged Bush to “find someone better”.
A spokesman for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Ibrahim Hooper called the expected appointment “a defeat for democracy and an affront to Muslims, Arab Americans and all those who seek peace”.
“It’s a nail in the coffin of their outreach efforts to the Muslim community and will…echo in a very dramatic way in the Arab world as a real affront,” said Head of the Arab American Institute, James Zoghby.
He was referring to the Bush administration’s moves to improve relations with Muslim Americans since the 11 September 2001 attacks.
Pipes has aroused criticism for launching “Campus Watch”, an organisation reminiscent of the McCarthy era that collects complaints against professors and academic institutions, deemed to be biased in favour of Islam, Muslims and Palestinians.