The Life of a Liberal Muslim

(New Republic) Franklin Foer - Shortly after September 11, 2001, Khaled Abou El Fadl, a professor of Islamic jurisprudence at UCLA, began to receive death threats from fellow Muslim Americans accusing him of selling out the faith after he published an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times charging that the "rampant apologetics" of Muslim thinkers had "produced a culture that eschews self-critical and introspective insight and embraces projection of blame and a fantasy-like level of confidence and arrogance." He called the police after he noticed a van that repeatedly lingered outside his relatively isolated home, and after the windows of his car were smashed in a crowded parking lot but nothing was stolen. "Naively, I had assumed that the freedoms afforded in the United States...would allow for a Muslim intellectual rebirth," he wrote. But, instead of tolerance, Abou El Fadl found a community that wasn't significantly more open than the one he'd left behind in Egypt, with rigid conformity to Wahhabi-like practices.

2002-11-21 00:00:00

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