Is Islam a religion of peace? What should we do about Iran -- or, more specifically, an Iran with nuclear weapons? Why is it in our national interest to support Israel?
In answering these and other questions about the thorniest issues confronting the United States in the Middle East, Daniel Pipes provides some surprising answers. Among them, Pipes asserts that Israel is quite capable of standing up to a nuclear Iran on its own- Hoover Institution
Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and a prize-winning columnist who writes for the New York Times Syndicate. His website, DanielPipes.org, is one of the most accessed internet sources of specialized information on the Middle East and Islam.
The Wall Street Journal calls Mr Pipes "an authoritative commentator on the Middle East." CBS Sunday Morning says he was "years ahead of the curve in identifying the threat of radical Islam."
For example, Pipes wrote in 1995, "Unnoticed by most Westerners, war has been unilaterally declared on Europe and the United States." The Boston Globe states that "If Pipes's admonitions had been heeded, there might never have been a 9/11."
Pipes received his AB (1971) and PhD (1978) in History from Harvard University and spent six years studying abroad, including three years in Egypt. Mr Pipes speaks French and reads Arabic and German. He has taught at the University of Chicago, Harvard University, the US Naval War College, and Pepperdine University.
Pipes also served in various capacities in the US Government, including two presidentially-appointed positions: vice chairman of the Fulbright Board of Foreign Scholarships and member of the board of the US Institute of Peace. He was director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in 1986-93.
Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he writes about business and politics, edits the Hoover Institution's quarterly journal, the Hoover Digest, and hosts Hoover's television program, "Uncommon Knowledge."
Robinson is also the author of three books: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life; It's My Party: A Republican's Messy Love Affair with the GOP; and the best-selling business book Snapshots from Hell: The Making of an MBA.
Daniel Pipes, Director of the Middle East Forum, presents three forms of Islam: traditional Islam, radical Islam (a twentieth century invention) and moderate Islam.
Moderate Islam, Pipes says, "doesn't yet exist" but hopes that it will form for political reasons. Pipes allows for a wide range of interpretation, quoting a scholar who said "the Koran is like a supermarket, you can take from it what you will."
Daniel Pipes, Director of the Middle East Forum, discusses Israel's nuclear capability and its ability to use preemptive strikes to defend against Iran. Pipes suggests that while Israel could use the United States' Cold War tactic of speaking loudly about carrying a large stick, it could also take military action.
With a growing Muslim population in Europe and a majority in some countries Daniel Pipes, Director of the Middle East Forum, offers three scenarios of a Muslim Europe citing civil strife as likely.
While harmony is possible, Daniel Pipes suggests that it is much more likely that Muslims come to dominate European culture and society, or a conflict between indigenous Europeans and immigrant Muslims erupts.
Major world religion founded by Muhammad in Arabia in the early 7th century AD. The Arabic word islam means surrenderspecifically, surrender to the will of the one God, called Allah in Arabic. Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion, and its adherents, called Muslims, regard the Prophet Muhammad as the last and most perfect of God's messengers, who include Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and others. The sacred scripture of Islam is the Qur'an, which contains God's revelations to Muhammad. The sayings and deeds of the Prophet recounted in the sunna are also an important source of belief and practice in Islam. The religious obligations of all Muslims are summed up in the Five Pillars of Islam, which include belief in God and his Prophet and obligations of prayer, charity, pilgrimage, and fasting. The fundamental concept in Islam is the Shari'ah, or Law, which embraces the total way of life commanded by God. Observant Muslims pray five times a day and join in community worship on Fridays at the mosque, where worship is led by an imam. Every believer is required to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest city, at least once in a lifetime, barring poverty or physical incapacity. The month of Ramadan is set aside for fasting. Alcohol and pork are always forbidden, as are gambling, usury, fraud, slander, and the making of images. In addition to celebrating the breaking of the fast of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Muhammad's birthday (seemawlid) and his ascension into heaven (seemi'raj). The 'Id al-Adha festival inaugurates the season of pilgrimage to Mecca. Muslims are enjoined to defend Islam against unbelievers through jihad. Divisions occurred early in Islam, brought about by disputes over the succession to the caliphate (seecaliph). About 90% of Muslims belong to the Sunnite branch. The Shi'ites broke away in the 7th century and later gave rise to other sects, including the Isma'ilis. Another significant element in Islam is the mysticism known as Sufism. Since the 19th century the concept of the Islamic community has inspired Muslim peoples to cast off Western colonial rule, and in the late 20th century fundamentalist movements (see Islamic fundamentalism) threatened or toppled a number of secular Middle Eastern governments. In the early 21st century, there were more than 1.2 billion Muslims in the world.