Campus Watch Research
Answering Khaled Abou El Fadl
by Daniel Pipes
"Shari'ah Watch: A View from the Inside" blares the headline of a talk announced for Nov. 3 by the Center for Near East Studies at UCLA, "Lecture and Extended Q&A with Professor Khaled Abou El Fadl, Moderated by Professor Asli Bali. Please join us for an informed discussion about Shariah and its role and impact in the West."
For a Campus Watch report on the lecture as a whole, see "UCLA's Professor of Fantasy" by Cinnamon Stillwell and Eric Golub. They pay particular attention to Abou El Fadl's false statements about Robert Spencer and Steven Emerson – that's the "fantasy" in the title. His falsehoods about them are so egregious, they deserve to get Abou El Fadl sacked.
He also mentions me repeatedly in the course of his lengthy, rambling, and self-indulgent meander. First, he wonders whether my colleagues and I even matter:
Oddly, Abou El Fadl avoids replying to his own question but, obviously, his devoting a whole talk to us strongly suggests we do make a difference.
Second, he distorts our shared hope that moderate Muslims will arise to challenge the Islamist hegemony:
For the record: We hope that moderate Muslims will challenge Islamists in the realm of ideas, not by starting a religious war or engaging in violence.
Third, Abou El Fadl gets personal, referring to my lengthy 2004 analysis of his work titled "Stealth Islamist: Khaled Abou El Fadl." What I mean by "stealth," he replies
No, that's another distortion: My article does not suggest that Abou El Fadl is a sleeper agent who might engage in terrorism; it argues that he is an Islamist posing as a moderate.
Finally, he mangles what I wrote in a 1990 article and reminisces that
Comment: How interesting that Abou El Fadl, even as he distorts my message and calls me names, belatedly and reluctantly appreciates my "reserved and more civil" position opposition to Islamism, as opposed to all of Islam. (December 24, 2010)
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