Monday, February 04, 2008

reply to memo

I was urged to look anew at Khaled Abou El Fadl following a visit to the IntelFusion blog and a post with the longish title: Memo to Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England: This is What an Islamic Law Expert Looks Like. It is mainly a copy-and-paste job but is also a follow-up to blogger Jeffrey Carr's clearly unpleasant encounter with the Jihad Watch people. I've had similar encounters myself in the past, so I can sympathize and report that the following description is spot on:

As I was dog-paddling in a sea of Islam-bashing commenters, the waters parted and "Hugh" appeared. Think Moses parting the Red Sea. That's how the acolytes of the Comment section responded to his entrance - with awe and reverence. Hugh launched several 300+ word posts at me and each was more irritating in tone than the one before. Apparently, neither he nor his acolytes could understand why I didn't crumble like other "dhimmies" did. Finally, when I was fed up to HERE reading the hate speech of religious bigots, I asked Hugh if he had a concrete plan to win the Long War against Jihadi terrorism, or if he just liked to talk about how evil Islam was. Hugh answered that he had written hundreds of articles and thousands of posts on the subject. I just wanted one, I said. He pointed me to Countering the Jihad.

from Jeffrey Carr @ IntelFusion: Jihad Watch - Don't be a hater

As much as I support Carr's evident disgust at the Jihad Watch commenters' (and especially Hugh Fitzgerald's) bigotry, I cannot support Carr's silly reliance on Fadl's scholarly respectability: he really needs to read Daniel Pipes (Stealth Islamist: Khaled Abou El Fadl) at the very least and possibly also my own earlier post today, patient research.

(I know, I know, it's taken me over a month to "reply" to Carr's original "memo" but the Australian Open Tennis tournament intervened and I've been distracted.)

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At Monday, 04 February, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your heads-up on this post. I should probably correct the confusion around my intention for the "Memo" post. It was to illustrate what a qualified candidate looks like, not to say that Fadl is the one who should fill the role. I'd be even happier if State had 20 candidates to choose from, as long as they began with truly qualified individuals (i.e., advanced academic degrees, published articles in peer-reviewed journals, experience in Islamic jurisprudence, etc.).

As to Daniel Pipes, sure. I'd be fine including him in the list, assuming that he has training in Islamic law and produced a body of work in peer-reviewed journals. He clearly has advanced academic training in the subject of Islam generally.


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