Volume 96, Issue 89
Wednesday, March 19, 2003

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Pipes mirrors CNN

Re: "Controversial speaker takes the 'Pipe' to militant Islam," Mar. 11

To the Editor:

I attended Daniel Pipe's lecture last Monday. In all honesty, Pipes reminds me much of CNN. CNN promotes itself as a leading news agency, while clearly displaying a bias in many of their news stories. As a current example, CNN's cover title for the crisis in Iraq is, "Showdown with Saddam."

Like a ticking time bomb, it acts as a countdown sequence to war. CNN does not report false information, rather it broadcasts primarily one perspective. In comparison, Pipes considers himself to be an expert on the Middle East, while dismissing valid arguments by using generalizations as his foundation. Here's an example: Turkey is a democratic country that is seen by the West as a clear ally and is even a member of NATO. It is also in serious consideration for membership to the European Union, and is a working example of democracy and Islamic values working co-operatively.

Then you would understand my bewilderment when Pipes equated Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to that of the Taliban. Furthermore, he completely dismissed the Israeli persecution of Palestinians, the repressive post-colonialist governments set up by the West over 50 years ago and American foreign policy as having any factor in the breeding of militants. Any Muslim would tell you that these events are at the heart of animosity towards the West.

Pipes also states that approximately 10-15 per cent of Muslims are militant regardless of demographic and socio-economic background. Western is home to approximately 1,000-1,500 Muslim students; according to Pipes's logic, that would mean that we have around 150 militant Muslims on campus. Where are they? Can you name me even one? A protest was not even held objecting to Pipes's lecture. What distressed me during Pipes's lecture was not his clearly biased arguments, but the seemingly passive audience that barely questioned his flawed logic.

Rami Sultan
Software Engineering III

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