Daniel Pipes steps out of the closet… as an Islamophobe

Historians in the News

Daniel Pipes. the controversial columnist who has had to defend himself more than once against charges that he was an Islamophobe, put to rest any doubts about his feelings towards Muslims in his National Review column, ‘’Why I Stand with Geert Wilders.’’

Pipes goes out of his way to lavish praise on Wilders, calling him “the most important European alive today.” (No word from the Vatican on if the Pope has any response to his relegation to the number two position by Pipes.)

For years, Pipes has denied accusations that his columns have espoused Islamophobic rhetoric, but his recent column in the National Review goes out of its way not just to endorse Geert Wilders, but also to explicitly praise anti-Muslim statements made by Wilders....

Wilders has gained notoriety for his explicitly anti-Muslim statements in the Netherlands. He has called for a ban on the Koran in the Netherlands, claimed that ‘’radical Islam doesn’t exist’’ and compared the Koran to Mein Kampf.

He has been charged with “incitement to hatred and discrimination” in the Netherlands and was banned from entering the United Kingdom last year when the Home Office decided that his presence was a “threat to one of the fundamental interests of society”. The ban was subsequently overturned.

During his frequent trips to the U.S., Wilders has enjoyed the hospitality of Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, David Horowitz’s Freedom Center, Pipes’ Middle East Forum, and the Republican Jewish Coalition.

My colleagues Daniel Luban, Ali Gharib and I wrote about Wilders in February, 2009 and I blogged about Wilders, and those who host him, a month later.

Pipes’ assertion that Wilder’s politics are ‘’without roots in neo-Fascism, nativism, conspiricism, anti-Semitism, or other forms of extremism’’ simply does not line up with the facts.

In a December 17, 2008 interview with Haaretz Wilders acknowledged that he was considering forming an alliance with the Belgian, Flemish nationalist, far-right Vlaams Belang party.

Vlaams Belang is widely shunned by Belgian Jews and attracts controversy for advocating the rehabilitation of convicted Nazi collaborators....

Pipes’ endorsement of Wilders brings a new low to his credibility as a serious commentator on Middle East affairs....

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