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by Daniel Pipes

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-393-05204-4
Publisher: Norton

A cri de guerre in which the noted scholar (Conspiracy, 1997, etc.) again urges that militant Islam is an enemy and must be treated as such.

The fundamentalist, ahistorical (but not anachronistic), and uncompromising face of Islam does not have much to do with the faith of Muhammad, writes Pipes. By far the great majority of Muslims reject the “Islamicist” program, which resembles fascism and communism more than any flavor of religion, and which, though cloaked in populist garb, is the ideological offspring of “money, education, and privilege”; though it rejects westernizing cultural tendencies, what Pipes brands “Islamicism” in fact is oddly reliant on the West, if only because the West provides a convenient bogeyman. Islamicist regimes, Pipes writes, are far more dangerous than are the “odd shipwrecks” of leftist regimes in the Arab world and, for this reason, must be combated at every turn. Pipes urges that the overarching goal of US foreign policy in the Islamic world be to prevent Islamicist parties such as Hezbollah and, for that matter, the Taliban from coming to power. Echoing Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, Pipes also urges that the West simply refuse to engage in dialogue, private or public, with any militant Islamic group, and that it shun any action that might be construed as giving in to or appeasing any Islamicist power or party. Although not all Muslims hate the West, Pipes allows, and although militant Muslims constitute perhaps only 10% of the Muslim population worldwide, he suggests that the US government keep a watchful eye on immigrant Muslims—for, though “American politicians from George W. Bush on down have tripped over themselves to affirm that the vast majority of Muslims living in the United States are just ordinary folks,” that population still harbors a significant body of people who despise America and intend it harm.

Highly controversial, at times inflammatory—but worthy of attention and debate in a time of crisis.