WASHINGTON - August 13 -
The Interfaith Alliance has learned that Daniel Pipes, an outspoken critic of Islam, will be seated as a Director of the U.S.
Institute of Peace through a Presidential Recess Appointment. After languishing in the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions
(HELP) Committee for several months, the Senate Committee indefinitely postponed a vote on the nomination of Daniel Pipes
six weeks ago.
"Sidestepping Congress is a familiar tactic of the White House, especially
when the White House does not get its way," said the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of The Interfaith Alliance. "Ultimately,
by disregarding the counsel and labor of many Senators, Muslims and other community groups, the president is doing by appointment
that which he has been unable to accomplish through the legislative process. The public's outrage over Dr. Pipes' nomination
is an indication of the need to reassess his ability to serve, not an invitation to bypass the process."
On May 15, The Interfaith Alliance, at the invitation of the Senate HELP
committee staff, brought together a diverse panel of religious leaders from the Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Sikh communities,
to raise concerns and serious objections over the nomination of Dr. Pipes. While the panelists' individual messages were derived
from their own unique faith perspectives, they agreed that Dr. Pipes' nomination sends a chilling message to all Muslim Americans.
The Interfaith Alliance also submitted a letter to all 100 members of
the Senate raising concerns over Dr. Daniel Pipes' nomination to the United States Institute of Peace:
"As has been made clear by his own remarks, Daniel Pipes - an outspoken
nominee who clearly harbors inherent biases against Muslim Americans - is hardly an appropriate fit for the United States
Institute of Peace..."
"As Americans who have witnessed hate crimes against Muslims and Sikhs
in a post- September 11 world, and as people of faith and good will who fear backlash against these communities in a time
of international unrest, we believe this nomination by the president is ill-advised and antithetical to the very purpose of
the organization that Dr. Pipes has been nominated to serve."
Full text of the letter can be found here.
Founded in 1994, The Interfaith Alliance (TIA) is a non-partisan,
clergy-led grassroots organization dedicated to promoting the positive and healing role of religion in the life of the nation
and challenging those who manipulate religion to promote a narrow, divisive agenda. With more than 150,000 members drawn from
over 65 faith traditions, local Alliances in 38 states and a national network of religious leaders, TIA promotes compassion,
civility and mutual respect for human dignity in our increasingly diverse society.