Here is Daniel Pipes on CAIR, taken from a generally good writeup on him in Harvard Magazine (thanks to all who sent this in):
The true obstacle to bridging differences in the United States, he repeats, is Islamism, principally its “worst, most aggressive, and most prominent” practitioner, CAIR. “CAIR and I are engaged in an effort of mutual delegitimation, and it gets vicious. In 2000 they bought a website with my name [DanielPipes. com] and posted one calumny after another. [CAIR allowed the website to lapse after Pipes threatened legal action.] These lies were reprinted in various Muslim publications, and I got barrages of hate mail, including threats.” CAIR, he asserts, “tries to present itself as a civil-rights group, the Muslim equivalent of the NAACP. But CAIR, with Saudi financing, is the attack dog of Islamist institutions in the United States. CAIR has two primary goals: to help build Hamas against Israel and to promote militant Islam’s agenda here. Its people are all over the place, extremely active, but they are the totalitarians among us, the front for the enemy in this country, and they should be shunned, as David Duke or Louis Farrakhan is shunned.” In fact, three CAIR staff members””Ismail Royer, Ghasan Elashi, and Bassem Khafagi””have been convicted on mail fraud and terrorism-related charges.
Note also this:
In a scathing article for Commentary, “Jihad and the Professors,” he reported that a survey he made of media comments by some two dozen academics had turned up definitions ranging from “a struggle against our own myopia and neglect” to “resisting apartheid or working for women’s rights.” For example, he quoted David Mitten, Loeb professor of classical art and archaeology, a convert to Islam and faculty adviser to the Harvard Islamic Society, as saying that true jihad is “the constant struggle of Muslims to conquer their inner base instincts, to follow the path to God, and to do good in society.” Three years later, Mitten says, “Sure. I’ll stand by that quote. This is what is called greater jihad, dating to the eleventh century, and is superior to lesser or militaristic jihad, extracted by Osama and Zarqawi for their own dastardly purposes. We knew Zayid’s speech would be controversial; the word is inflammatory, but he wanted people to understand the real meaning of greater jihad.”
“But of course,” Pipes erupted in his article, “it is precisely bin Laden, Islamic Jihad, and the jihadists worldwide who define the term, not a covey of academic apologists. More importantly, the way the jihadists understand the term is in keeping with its usage through fourteen centuries of Islamic history.”
And that definition, he continued, to the majority of Muslims meant, and means, “the legal, compulsory, communal effort to expand the territories ruled by Muslims (known in Arabic as dar al-Islam) at the expense of territories ruled by non-Muslims (dar al-harb).” Khaleel Mohammed agrees. “The normative meaning has become war””whether expansionist or defensive,” he writes. “The academic professors at Harvard, et cetera, often confuse their Islamica and their political thought.” Tashbih Sayyed goes even further: “When the apologists talk about greater jihad or lesser jihad, they are basically playing with words. If it is so and jihad is good deeds or good thoughts, then why do they never call their thinkers mujahadin, holy warriors? Why are only those people who wage war with swords and behead non-Muslims glorified as mujahadin?”
Pipes does acknowledge the concept of greater or higher jihad, which he says is usually associated with Sufism and with the reformist approach to Islam that “reinterpret[s] Islam to make it compatible with Western ways.” But he calls this approach “wholly apologetic,” owing “far more to Western than to Islamic thinking.”