Fearing the imposition of an Islamic order, Pipes calls for the return of Islamic greatness
In her December 29 column Diana West points to something Daniel Pipes wrote on September 19, in the midst of the Muslim uproar over Pope Benedict’s Regensburg speech:
At the time, Daniel Pipes explained why placating such anger with silence was dangerous for the West: “The Muslim uproar has a goal—to prohibit criticism of Islam by Christians and thereby impose Shariah norms in the West. Should Westerners accept this central tenet of Islamic law, others will surely follow. Retaining free speech about Islam, therefore, represents a critical defense against the imposition of an Islamic order.”Thus, a few months ago, Pipes for the first time said the problem was Islam, not “Islamism,” and expressed his fear of “the imposition of an Islamic order” in the West. Yet in a November 29 blog entry, as I discussed earlier this week, Pipes said the “trauma” of Islam that has led to Islamic radicalism was the loss of Islam’s historic power and confidence, implying that the way to end Islam’s trauma and thus cure Islamic radicalism is to help Islam regain its historic power and confidence. He approvingly quoted Wilfred C. Smith that the challenge for modern Muslims is to “rehabilitate” their past history, “to set it going again in full vigour, so that Islamic society may once again flourish as a divinely guided society should and must.”
So, on September 19 Pipes said we must fight against the imposition of an Islamic order.
But on November 29 he called for Islam to rehabilitate its past power and glory as a divinely guided society.
Does Pipes want an increase of Islamic power, as the way to heal the trauma that leads to Islamic radicalism, or does he oppose an increase of Islamic power, as necessary to prevent us from coming under the power of Islam?
Pipes himself hasn’t the foggiest. It is all too evident that he does not think beyond the boundaries of each bite-sized column he writes. He never looks at his various columns together and notices their contradictions, let alone try to reconcile them. On the left or right, he is the most confused intellectual writing in America today. Yet his confusion is not without an intelligible structure. As I wrote two days ago, there are clear indications that Pipes is moving toward surrender to Islam.