An interview with Daniel Pipes.
(Page 2 of 4)
DP: It has terribly deleterious effects on Muslims. Many of them are put off by Islam. In Iran, for example, one finds a lot of alienation from Islam as a result of the Islamist rule of the last 30-odd years.
TB: Has it happened anywhere else?
DP: One hears reports, especially from Algeria and Iraq, of Muslims converting to Christianity. And in an unprecedented move, ex-Muslims living in the West have organized with the goal of becoming a political force. I believe the first such effort was the Centraal Comité voor Ex-moslims in the Netherlands, but now it’s all over the place.
TB: Nonetheless, Islam has lasted for 1,500 years.
DP: Yes, but modern Islamism has been around only since the 1920s, and I predict it will not last as a world-threatening force for more than a few decades. Will Muslims leave the faith or simply stop practicing it? These are the sort of questions I expect to be current before long.
TB: What about Islam in the United States?
DP: In the long term, the United States could greatly benefit Islam by uniquely freeing the religion from government constraints and permitting it to evolve in a positive, modern direction. But that’s the long term. Right now, American Muslims labor under Saudi and other influences, their institutions are extreme, and things are heading in a destructive direction. It’s also distressing to see how non-Muslim individuals and institutions, particularly those on the left, indulge Islamist misbehavior.
TB: How do they do that?
DP: Well, turn on the television, go to a class, follow the work of the ACLU or the Southern Poverty Law Center, and you will see corporations, nonprofits, and government institutions working with the Islamists, helping promote the Islamist agenda. The American left and the Islamists agree on what they dislike—conservatives—and, despite their profound differences, they cooperate.
TB: Presumably some Muslims here deconvert, right?
DP: There are some conversions out of Islam, yes. And the Muslim establishment in this country is quite concerned about that. But numerically it is not a significant number.
TB: The ones who convert don’t talk about it very much?
DP: In some cases they do; they take advantage of Western freedoms to speak their minds. They are the exceptions, though.
TB: I suspect that the decline of Christianity has encouraged Islam.
DP: Very much so, as the contrast between Europe and the United States reveals. The hard kernel of American Christian faith, not present in Europe, means that Islamists are far better behaved in the United States. They see the importance of a Christian counterforce.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?