Editorial: White House Messages Inconsistant on Islam

April 27, 2003

Source: The New York Times


On April 27, 2003 The New York Times printed an editorial by Richard Stevenson stating that "since the 2001 terrorist attacks, Mr. Bush has consistently said that Islam is a religion of peace and warned against anti-Muslim prejudice. Yet he also recently nominated to a government institute a scholar, Daniel Pipes, who has enraged many American Muslims by suggesting that mosques are breeding grounds for militants and that Muslims in government and military positions should be given special attention as security risks... Some political analysts and scholars said the inconsistent signals coming from the White House reflected a tension between two factors. On one side, they said, is Mr. Bush's instinct that his party should stand for tolerance and inclusion, for both moral and electoral reasons. On the other, they said, is the political reality that he cannot afford to alienate - and may not want to alienate - Christian conservatives, who make up much of his base of support, or the neoconservative foreign policy hawks whose influence on his administration has been profound."