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Is this the same Khaled Abou El Fadl?

Reader comment on item: Stealth Islamist: Khaled Abou El Fadl

Submitted by Michael Voytinsky (United States), Nov 13, 2005 at 13:32

I have just read "The Great Theft" by Khaled Abou El Fadl, and I am curious whether or not this is the same El Fadl that Mr. Pipes writes about.

I know that Mr. Pipes is a scholar of outmost integrity, and would never resort to prooftexting or lies to make a point - and if I accept that premise, which I do, it would follow that Mr. Pipes is writing about some other El Fadl.

For example, Mr. Pipes writes:

In common with other Islamists, Abou El Fadl wants Muslims to live by Islamic law (the Shari‘a), the law that among other things endorses slavery, execution for apostasy, and the repression of women, and treats non-Muslims as second-class citizens. "Shariah and Islam are inseparable," he has written, "and one cannot be without the other." In a revealing passage, he confesses that his "primary loyalty, after God, is to the Shariah."

But Mr. El Fadl writes in "The Great Theft" (p. 159) that Islamic moderates (of which he obviously considers himself to be one) do not believe that any punishment attaches to apostasy.

Mr. El Fadl writes (p. 255) writes that most Muslim scholars have reached the conclusion that slavery is contrary to Quranic morality.

Take a look at p. 214-215 for Mr. El Fadls views on non-Muslims (or read the entire chapter 203-129). Supremacist attitude towards non-Muslims is inconsistent with Islamic theology.

Similarly, the Islamic law as described by El Fadl concerning women does not fit with Mr. Pipes summary of Islamic law above.

In Ch. 12 El Fadl condemns the various oppressive practices - from mandatory veiling to women always being under the control of a male relative.

As to the Sharia (p. 150), Mr. El Fadl states that it is the eternal unchanging law as it exists in the mind of God. Human implementation of the Sharia are, on the other hand, fallible - so loyalty to the Sharia, in this view, is not a loyalty to an inflexible set of laws.

So the opinions Mr. Pipes attributes to El Fadl do not fit the opinions presented in this book.

Since I know that Mr. Pipes would never resort to prooftexting or making stuff up, other possibilities include:

1) This is not the same El Fadl.

2) El Fadl changed his mind.

3) El Fadl is presenting these beliefs as a deception, and does not really believe these things.

4) Mr. Pipes is prooftexting. Wait. This is impossible. Never mind.

5) I have overlooked some other explanation.


Regards,
Michael

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Submitting....

Daniel Pipes replies:

My 2004 article obviously could not anticipate what appears in a 2005 book. I have not read the book and cannot say if it is consistent with the author's prior thinking or marks a change.

DP

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Reader comments (35) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
2El Fadl's book, The Great Theft [427 words]Jon PaulAug 29, 2014 02:37217483
Freedom of speech is the right to offend [262 words]PutupwithitOct 3, 2008 23:05139516
Does "Islam" mean "Hypocrisy"? [140 words]TomApr 12, 2008 02:48125421
laughing [198 words]dfwhite19438Apr 10, 2008 03:08125255
"It is a matter of sending a message to Muslims...that their choices of values and morality are not welcome in the West." [35 words]DrRJPApr 6, 2008 18:03124865
Not Welcome??? [33 words]Linda HaslamApr 10, 2008 11:07124865
Killing and eating turtles- Islamic Moral Value.- No Fatwas by even Moderate Muslims. [108 words]YnnatchkahApr 6, 2008 02:18124806
knowing islam 39 years [80 words]G.VishvasMar 5, 2008 22:30121848
more wolves in sheep/s clothing [319 words]Rebecca MouldsMar 1, 2008 16:26121507
They didn't forget ! [218 words]dfwhite19438Apr 10, 2008 19:21121507
I Hope This Makes You Laugh [168 words]AlexFeb 29, 2008 10:59121417
napoleon [19 words]dfwhite19438Apr 11, 2008 02:22121417
Abou El Fadl is indeed a stealth Islamist [44 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 29, 2008 07:11121398
About muslim liberals [160 words]G.VishvasAug 29, 2006 09:2554247
Learning about New Islamists [26 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
MuslihoonAug 28, 2006 16:5154179
Well spotted [100 words]Dr. Denis MacEoinApr 18, 2006 13:3743489
Is this the same Khaled Abou El Fadl? [407 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Michael VoytinskyNov 13, 2005 13:3228326
Wondering if Mr. Pipes has had occasion to read The Great Theft yet? [60 words]AdamJan 17, 2011 11:1528326
Constitutional Rights Foundation. [329 words]Tom LaichasOct 31, 2005 02:0827537
Another excellent article. [20 words]natJun 1, 2004 09:1815472
Not merely an Islamist problem [280 words]Rory WardJun 1, 2004 03:1915468
ambiguity [245 words]John W. McGinleyMay 31, 2004 15:5015457
A voice in the wilderness [17 words]E.K. WoodsMay 31, 2004 08:4115447
Taking Action [97 words]DontRestMar 1, 2008 15:2115447
??? [92 words]Frank BradyMay 31, 2004 01:5915444
Thanks again, Dr. Pipes [121 words]Morgaan SinclairMay 30, 2004 16:4115433
Even al Buraq leaves a mess of horse feces [60 words]Walton CookMay 30, 2004 13:0815427
1The camel's nose is in the tent! [219 words]Richard RheinerMay 30, 2004 12:2815426
1The real terror. [58 words]Stealth Islamist: Khaled Abou El Fad!May 30, 2004 11:4715425
I agree with your assessment of Mr. El Fadl [217 words]Nonie DarwishMay 30, 2004 11:3615424
1Brothers, Cousins, Neighbors, World [178 words]Peter J. HerzMay 30, 2004 00:3815422
Tip Of The Iceberg [81 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
yonasonMay 29, 2004 23:3915421
Abou el Fadi [33 words]Milton WeissMay 29, 2004 21:5015420
1Stealth Islamists [87 words]Darwin BarrettMay 29, 2004 19:4915418
Excellent [18 words]Richard OngMay 29, 2004 19:0715417

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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