Controversial Middle East Scholar Proposes Progressive Muslim Institute

April 7, 2004

Source: United Press International

On April 7, 2004 United Press International reported, "The Middle East Forum, which is headed by a controversial Jewish scholar, is seeking support to form a progressive Islamic institute that would represent liberal Muslims living in the United States. The problem is that many Muslims see the Forum as too pro-Israel and fear its chief, Daniel Pipes as someone 'out to destroy both Islam and Muslims,' as one of his critics said. This image is so well entrenched that those few Muslims who sympathize with him are afraid of expressing their sympathies in public...People like [Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations] are confident that any Muslim organization that Pipes forms will not take off. If Mr. Pipes wants to form an organization, he is free to do so. Unfortunately, his institution seems to be designed to block Muslim empowerment and enfranchisement,' said Hooper whose organization, CAIR, is one of those U.S.-based groups identified in the Middle East Forum's proposal as advocating 'a supremacist and totalitarian form of Islam in the United States.'"