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Dinesh D'Souza
Born April 25, 1961 (1961-04-25) (age 48)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Residence Fairbanks Ranch, California
Nationality  United States
Education Dartmouth College
Occupation Political writer
Known for Political commentary
Political party Republican
Religion Roman Catholic
Spouse(s) Dixie Brubaker
Children Danielle
Website
http://www.dineshdsouza.com

Dinesh D'Souza (born April 25, 1961) is an author and public speaker who once served as the Robert and Karen Rishwain Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.[1]

D'Souza is the author of numerous New York Times best selling books and a conservative writer and speaker. D'Souza is a Roman Catholic.[2]

Contents

Early life

D'Souza was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India to parents from the state of Goa in Western India. He arrived in the United States in 1978, originally through a Rotary International program, attending Patagonia Union High School in Patagonia, Arizona, and then Dartmouth College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in English in 1983.[3][4]

According to Boston Globe journalist Peter S. Canellos, in 1981, D'Souza published the names of officers of the Gay Student Alliance in an article for The Dartmouth Review, including the names of those who were still closeted.[5]

While at Dartmouth, D'Souza became the editor of a conservative monthly called The Prospect. The paper and its writers ignited much controversy during D'Souza's editorship by, among other things, criticizing the College's minority admission policies.[6]

Early career

After his time in Dartmouth, D'Souza moved to Washington, D.C., where he served from 1985 to 1987 as an editor of Policy Review, an influential conservative journal then published by the Heritage Foundation (and since acquired by the Hoover Institution).[4] In "The Bishops as Pawns", D'Souza theorized that U.S. Catholic bishops were being manipulated by American liberals in agreeing to oppose the U.S. military buildup and use of power abroad and actually knew very little about these subjects to which they were lending their religious credibility, writing:

Interviews with these bishops suggest that they know little or nothing about the ideas and proposals to which they are putting their signature and lending their religious authority. The bishops are unfamiliar with existing defense and economic programs, unable to identify even in general terms the Soviet military capability, ignorant of roughly how much of the budget currently goes to defense, unclear about how much should be reallocated to social programs, and innocent of the most basic concepts underlying the intelligent layman's discussion of these questions.[7]

In 1988 D'Souza left the magazine to serve as an advisor in Ronald Reagan's White House until 1988. He joined the American Enterprise Institute in 1989, where he was the institute's John M. Olin fellow, before later joining the Hoover Institution as its Robert and Karen Rishwain Fellow.[4]

Personal life

In 1992, D'Souza married Dixie Brubaker, whom he first met during his time in Washington, D.C. They have one daughter, Danielle, and reside in Fairbanks Ranch, California.[4]

Prior to his marriage in 1992, D'Souza had relationships with two well-known female conservatives, Laura Ingraham, a nationally syndicated radio commentator to whom he was engaged but never married, and best-selling conservative author and commentator Ann Coulter.[4]

During his career, D'Souza picked up the nickname "Distort D'Newza" from his more vocal critics.[8] Although not flattering, he actually finds the nickname amusing. "I think I'm the one who thought of it," he told Spy magazine in 1989. "I can't remember the exact origins of Distort D'Newza, but I was very proud of it when it came out."[9]

Opinions

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Human nature

D'Souza is a noted conservative, and defines conservatism in the American sense as "conserving the principles of the American Revolution".[citation needed] In Letters to a Young Conservative, written as an introduction to conservative ideas for youth, D'Souza argues that it is a blend of classical liberalism and ancient virtue, in particular, "the belief that there are moral standards in the universe and that living up to them is the best way to have a full and happy life." He also argues against what he calls the modern liberal belief that "human nature is intrinsically good," and thus that "the great conflicts in the world…arise out of terrible misunderstandings that can be corrected through ongoing conversation and through the mediation of the United Nations."[citation needed]

Social policy and affirmative action

D'Souza challenges beliefs and projects such as affirmative action, and social welfare. In the book Illiberal Education, D'Souza argued that intolerance of conservative views is common at many universities.

D'Souza has often stated his belief that idealizing the rebellion against slavery is a source of disability among some African Americans. He speculates that slaves, to preserve a sense of dignity, in the circumstances of slavery, would by nature tend to be defiant. This defiance would become the central heroic reference for African-American slaves, restoring a degree of pride and dignity to all. But, he continues, the price of this would be the habitually ingrained attitude of defiance that is ultimately self-destructive. He extends his belief that these self-destructive habits still have a legacy today. D'Souza contends that the degree to which many slave descendants suffer from social and self-esteem issues is due to this concept.[citation needed]

D'Souza has attributed many modern social problems to what he calls the "cultural left". In his recent book The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11, he wrote that:

The cultural left in this country is responsible for causing 9/11 ... the cultural left and its allies in Congress, the media, Hollywood, the non-profit sector and the universities are the primary cause of the volcano of anger toward America that is erupting from the Islamic world.[10]

Multiculturalism and the Greatness of America

D'Souza's book What's So Great About America (ISBN 0-142-00301-8) (Penguin, 2003), defends his adopted country against the criticisms that have been directed at it in the last couple of decades. In particular, he argues against the criticisms leveled by the Islamic world, domestic multiculturalists, those seeking slavery reparations, and especially America's left wing. Instead, he contends, Americans themselves are too critical and take for granted the blessings bestowed on them by living within the borders of the United States.[11]

He also takes this a step further and challenges the notion that all world cultures are equal. "If one begins with the multicultural premise that all cultures are equal, then the world as it is makes very little sense," he says. "Some cultures have completely outperformed others in providing the things that all people seek -- health, food, housing, security and the amenities of life."[11]

Critic of feminism

D'Souza has also criticised aspects of feminism in Letters to a Young Conservative, writing that:

The feminist error was to embrace the value of the workplace as greater than the value of the home. Feminism has endorsed the public sphere as inherently more constitutive of women’s worth than the private sphere. Feminists have established as their criterion of success and self-worth an equal representation with men at the top of the career ladder. The consequence of this feminist scale of values is a terrible and unjust devaluation of women who work at home.[12]

Jesus Christ

In a Christian Science Monitor article he indicated that "the moral teachings of Jesus provide no support for - indeed they stand as a stern rebuke to - the historical injustices perpetrated in the name of Christianity." [13]

Atheism and Nonbelief

D'Souza often speaks against atheism, nonbelief, and secularism.

In the Christian Science Monitor he contended that "Atheism, not religion, is the real force behind the mass murders of history." He asserts that Hitler's murder of the Jewish people was not religiously motivated[13] and that Hitler was an "atheist tyrant" who committed his crimes 'in the name of atheism'.[13]

Sam Harris though has disagreed with this position of theists like D'Souza who state that atheism caused the massive violence of the 20th century:

"The problem with fascism and communism, however, is not that they are too critical of religion; the problem is that they are too much like religions. Such regimes are dogmatic to the core and generally give rise to personality cults that are indistinguishable from cults of religious hero worship. Auschwitz, the gulag and the killing fields were not examples of what happens when human beings reject religious dogma; they are examples of political, racial and nationalistic dogma run amok. There is no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too reasonable." [14]


D'Souza asserts that during times of strife, atheists disappear; "Notice something interesting about the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings? Atheists are nowhere to be found. Every time there is a public gathering there is talk of God and divine mercy and spiritual healing." [15]

Austin Cline of About Atheism, though notably disagreed with this statement, stating: "Atheists are nowhere to be found? Did Dinesh D'Souza think to look or ask, or did he simply decide that because there is a lot of public talk about piety and God, then atheists are all in hiding? It's true that tragedies like this lead to a lot of public religious expression, but that doesn't mean that atheists have disappeared. No, atheists are right in the same places they always were — they're just being ignored more than usual. People like Dinesh D'Souza are helping encourage that state of affairs by promoting the falsehood that we aren't even there in the first place. [16]

D'Souza also asserts that it was Christianity that ended slavery and that people of other religions (including atheists) "stood by and watched" [17] There were though Christians who had defended slavery by pointing out biblical verses that were pro-slavery and there were secularists such as Thomas Paine who had strongly opposed slavery.[18] [19] The end of slavery also coincided with the Age of the Enlightenment which saw the Christian church weaking in Western Civiliation. [20]

D'Souza referred to atheists as "morally corrupt" in an interview with Phil Brennan on Newsmax "I think it is the main reason, the desire to escape not just sexual rules but also to escape from ultimate moral judgment. Marx once said that religion is the opiate of the masses. He implied that religion was a kind of refuge. I turn this around and note that atheism is the opiate of the morally corrupt. Atheists try and escape the idea of judgment by getting rid of the judge." [21] This argument of course presumes that atheism leads to greater social ills or harms while at least on study showed an effect of secularism in society lead to lesser social problems. [22]

Separation of Church and State

In a Catholic Education Resource Center article he shared his belief on the separation of church and state: "Groups like the ACLU, with the acquiescence if not collusion of the courts, are actively promoting a jurisprudence of anti-religious discrimination. In a way the Supreme Court has distorted the Constitution to make religious believers of all faiths into second-class citizens." He argues that by enforcing the separation of church and state, the government unfairly promotes secularism. [23] The ACLU has a history though of defending the free exercise rights of various religous groups, including those of Christians. [24] [25]

Islam

Dinesh D'Souza claims to have studied radical Islam for 3–4 years[26] and read the Qur'an[27].

Dinesh D'Souza debated Robert Spencer about Islam on March 1, 2007 at the Conservative Political Action Committee and labelled Spencer an "Islamophobe". D'Souza made the following points:

"In arguing his thesis Spencer locates all the violent verses in the Koran and all the hideous deeds performed by Islamic conquerors, especially in their early centuries of irredentist expansion. Then he links these to the words and actions of Khomeini, Bin Laden and today's Islamic radicals. Spencer is an effective polemicist.",[28]
Spencer's "historical argument is dubious. It emphasizes violent passages in the Koran, while downplaying the passages that urge peace and goodwill. It applies a moral standard to Islamic empires that certainly could not be met by the Roman empire or the empires established by the Portuguese, the Spanish, the French and the British. In the Spain of Ferdinand and Isabella, for example, Jews had three choices: convert to Christianity, leave the country, or be killed. No Muslim empire legislated or systematically enforced such a policy toward its religious minorities."[28]
"Yes, the Koran says 'slay the infidels' but no Muslim empire actually did that. For example the Muslims ruled North India for two centuries before they were displaced by the British. The Mughal emperors could have killed the tens of millions of Hindus under their control, or at least forced them to become Muslims. They did nothing of the sort.[29]
"Spencer glibly jumps over entire centuries in linking, say, the savagery of the Ottomans in Constantinople with the savagery of Hezbollah in Lebanon or the Taliban in Afghanistan."[30]

Robert Spencer addressed Dinesh's claims mentioned above, in an interview after the debate found here.

Gay Marriage

In an interview with Enterstageright.com he claimed that homosexual marriage did not work because "Marriage does not civilize men. Women do. This point is even evident in the gay community: it helps to explain why lesbians are generally much better than male homosexuals in sustaining long-term relationships. The reason that society privileges marriage and gives it a special legal status is because marriage is the only known incubator for the raising of children." [31]

Abu Ghraib

With regards to the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse, Dinesh asserted that the abuse to the prisoners was due to the "sexual immodesty of liberal America" and that Abu Ghraib reflected "the values of a debauched liberalism run amok." Dinesh also claims that had Charles Graner and Lynddie England been "professors at an elite liberal arts college, their videotaped orgies might easily have become the envy of academia. If they were artists staging these pictures in a loft in Soho they could have been hailed as pioneers and encouraged by leftist admirers to apply for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts."[32]

Media appearances

D'Souza has appeared a few times on CNN,[33][34] including on Glenn Beck. Other media appearances include ABC's Nightline, CBS's Face the Nation, Fox News Channel's Hannity & Colmes, MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, and CNBC's Dennis Miller.[citation needed]

On November 30, 2007, he debated Tufts University professor Daniel Dennett at Tufts on whether or not God was a man made invention.[35]

During an interview on The Colbert Report on January 16, 2007, while promoting his book, The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11, D'Souza blamed liberals for causing the September 11, 2001 attacks. He says they convinced the Carter administration to withdraw support from the Shah, which allowed Muslim fundamentalists to take control of the Iranian government. He also stated that the distorted representation of American culture on television is one of the main sources of resentment of the U.S by Muslims worldwide. D'Souza believes that while traditional Muslims are not too different from traditional Jews and Christians in America, in the media only liberal America is depicted, which by traditional standards is morally depraved; and this false image of America that is broadcast to the world both turns people in traditional cultures against America and is destructive to the traditional societies themselves.

Stephen Colbert, while keeping with his character, mockingly agreed and suggested that Franklin Delano Roosevelt's liberal policies such as social security and the New Deal also contributed to the September 11, 2001 attacks. D'Souza stated that Roosevelt had an indirect influence by allowing the Soviet Union to take over Eastern Europe during the Yalta Conference. This paved the way for the Soviet Union to invade Afghanistan, allowing Muslim fighters to gain influence there and take over the country. On January 17, 2007, Keith Olbermann ridiculed D'Souza's statements on The Colbert Report on his show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann in his "Worst Person in the World" segment.[36]

On September 10, 2008, D'Souza debated Christopher Hitchens at the Powell Symphony Hall in St. Louis, Missouri on the merits of belief in a god. The debate was titled "God on Trial" and hosted by the Fixed Point Foundation (a self-professed Christian "think tank").[37]

On December 3, 2008, D'Souza debated Peter Singer at Biola University. The debate was hosted by the Fixed Point Foundation and is titled "Can there be morality without God?"[38]

On October 7, 2009, D'Souza debated Bart Ehrman at UNC-Chapel Hill. The debate was also hosted by the Fixed Point Foundation and was titled "God and the Problem of Suffering: The Debate." [39]

On April 7, 2010, D'Souza will debate Christopher Hitchens at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana. The debate will be entitled "The God Debate at Notre Dame: Is Religion the Problem?" [40]

The Enemy at Home

In early 2007, D'Souza published The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and its Responsibility for 9/11, in which he argues that the American cultural left was in large part responsible for the Muslim anger that led to the September 11 attacks.[10]

The book was criticized in major American newspapers and magazines and called, among other things, "the worst nonfiction book about terrorism published by a major house since 9/11"[41] and "a national disgrace."[42]

D'Souza's book caused a controversy in the conservative movement, invoking a barrage of attacks back and forth between D'Souza and his conservative critics who widely mocked the thesis of his book, that the cultural left was responsible for 9/11. In response to his critics, he posted a 6,500-word essay on National Review Online,[43] and NRO subsequently published a litany of responses from conservative authors who accused D'Souza of character assassination, elitism and pseudointellectualism.[44]

Bibliography

Books

Books authored by Dinesh D'Souza include:

  • 1984: Falwell, Before the Millennium: A Critical Biography, Regnery Publishing (ISBN 0-89526-607-5)
  • 1986: The Catholic Classics (ISBN 0-87973-545-7)
  • 1987: My Dear Alex: Letters From The KGB (with Gregory Fossedal), Regnery Publishing (ISBN 0-89526-576-1)
  • 1991: Illiberal Education (ISBN 0-684-86384-7)
  • 1995: The End of Racism (ISBN 0-684-82524-4)
  • 1997: Ronald Reagan: How An Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader (ISBN 0-684-84823-6)
  • 2000: The Virtue of Prosperity (ISBN 0-684-86815-6)
  • 2002: What's So Great About America, Regnery Publishing (ISBN 0-89526-153-7)
  • 2002: Letters to a Young Conservative (ISBN 0-465-01734-7)
  • 2007: The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11 (ISBN 0-385-51012-8)
  • 2007: What's So Great About Christianity, Regnery Publishing (ISBN 1-596-98517-8)
  • 2008: Foreword, Conspiracies and the Cross by Timothy Paul Jones, Frontline Books (ISBN 1-599-79205-2)
  • 2009: Life After Death: The Evidence

Articles

Articles written by Dinesh D’Souza include:

References

  1. ^ "Hoover Fellow Dinesh D'Souza Discusses Cultural Differences". dineshdsouza.com. http://www.hoover.org/pubaffairs/whatsnew/2896101.html. 
  2. ^ "More About Dinesh D'Souza". Dinesh D'Souza. http://www.dineshdsouza.com/more/about_more.html. 
  3. ^ "About Dinesh D’Souza". Dinesh D'Souza. http://www.dineshdsouza.com/more/about.html. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Dinesh D'Souza". NNDB. Soylent Communications. http://www.nndb.com/people/810/000049663/. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  5. ^ Peter Cannellos (2007-04-19). "Conservatives Sour on Rebel Media". Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/04/19/conservatives_sour_on_rebel_media/?page=full. 
  6. ^ "Critical Monthly Rouses Princeton". New York Times. 1984-04-29. pp. 52. 
  7. ^ 20 years of Policy Review, Policy Review, July 1997
  8. ^ "Distort D'Newsa," Jihad Watch, July 28, 2007.
  9. ^ Spy Magazine, July, 1989 "The Boys Who Would Be Buckley"
  10. ^ a b salon.com/news, January 20, 2007
  11. ^ a b Thomas Sowell (2002-06-07). "What's So Great About America?". Capitalism Magazine. http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=1639. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  12. ^ D'Souza, Letters to a Young Conservative, pp. 105-6
  13. ^ a b c Atheism, not religion, is the real force behind the mass murders of history, Christian Science Monitor, November 21, 2006
  14. ^ 10 Myths and Truths about Atheism
  15. ^ Where Is Atheism When Bad Things Happen?, AOL Newsbloggers, Apr 18th 2007
  16. ^ Conservative Christians: Atheists, Atheism Responsible for Virginia Tech Killings 19 April 2007]
  17. ^ Who Killed Slavery?, AOL Newsbloggers
  18. ^ Did Christianity Abolish Slavery?
  19. ^ Welcome back Thomas paine, unsung Americanhero
  20. ^ D'Souza and the Model of Immorality
  21. ^ Phil Brennan. "D'Souza: Atheism is the Opiate of the Morally Corrupt", Newsmax, October 15, 2007
  22. ^ Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side 27 September 2005
  23. ^ http://catholiceducation.org/articles/persecution/pch0114.htm
  24. ^ ACLU Defense of Religious Practice and Expression
  25. ^ The ACLU fights for Christians
  26. ^ http://www.catholicity.com/commentary/saint-paul/00041.html
  27. ^ "Serge Trifkovic catches out Dinesh D'Souza", Jihad Watch, March 6, 2007
  28. ^ a b Dinesh D'Souza (2007-03-02). "Letting Bin Laden Define Islam". http://newsbloggers.aol.com/2007/03/02/letting-bin-laden-define-islam/. 
  29. ^ ibid
  30. ^ ibid
  31. ^ http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/0203/0203dsouzaint.htm
  32. ^ http://townhall.com/Columnists/DineshDSouza/2007/02/26/rethinking_abu_ghraib?page=full&comments=true
  33. ^ CNN.com - US - Segregation now? Some still see racial divide on campus - May 30, 2000
  34. ^ Media Matters - "Distort D'Newsa" now a CNN analyst
  35. ^ "Daniel Dennett debates Dinesh D'Souza". RichardDawkins.net. 2007-12-01. http://richarddawkins.net/article,1942,Daniel-Dennett-Debates-Dinesh-DSouza,Tufts-University. Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
  36. ^ http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16688755/
  37. ^ http://www.fixed-point.org/aboutus.asp
  38. ^ http://www.fixed-point.org/billboard/billboard.asp?ItemID=51
  39. ^ http://fixed-point.org/index.php/news/30-debate-at-unc-chapel-hill
  40. ^ http://www.nd.edu/~cprelig/nddebate/
  41. ^ Incendiary - washingtonpost.com
  42. ^ The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11 - By Dinesh D'Souza. - Books - Review - New York Times
  43. ^ The Closing of the Conservative Mind, Dinesh D'Souza, National Review Online, March 12, 2007
  44. ^ An NRO Symposium on The Enemy at Home on National Review Online

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