Khaled Abou El Fadl: UCLA's Professor of Fantasy
The Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES) at the University of California, Los Angeles and the UCLA School of Law's Journal for Islamic and Near Eastern Law co-sponsored a lecture (podcast available here) last month by Khaled Abou El Fadl, chair of the Islamic Studies Interdepartmental Program, with the vague title "Shari'ah Watch: A View from the Inside."
The flyer for the lecture promised "an informed discussion about Shariah and its role and impact in the West," yet Abou El Fadl delivered neither. Instead, his audience of 35 -- comprising mostly seniors and left-wing students -- witnessed a meandering, repetitive lecture that had little or nothing to do with the stated premise.
It turns out Abou El Fadl's lecture had little or nothing to do with the truth, either. It was filled with smears directed at Middle East Forum director Daniel Pipes, who has responded at his blog (read "Answering Khaled Abou El Fadl"), and fabrications involving Steven Emerson and Robert Spencer. Both are quoted in the article rebutting Abou El Fadl's untruths and Spencer has responded at his blog (read "Islamic supremacist pseudo-academic Khaled Abou El Fadl lies about Sharia, freedom fighters").
As we note in the conclusion to the article:
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For the chair of UCLA's Islamic Studies Interdepartmental Program -- and the Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Distinguished Professor in Islamic Law at UCLA's School of Law -- this is inexcusable. Now that this information is publicly available, will Abou El Fadl's superiors take steps to prevent a repetition?
We call on law school dean Rachel F. Moran to investigate this incident and to look more generally at Abou El Fadl's record. We call on UCLA chancellor Gene Block to draw a clear line against dishonesty among his faculty.