Excerpt from the Claremont Review of Books
(Vol. III, Number 4, Fall 2003) on Dr. Abou El Fadl,
in "Reading Up on Islam" by Paul Marshall.
"...Among the most hopeful signs of serious Muslim intellectual work committed to freedom are the writings of Khaled Abou El-Fadl, who recently moved from UCLA to Yale Law School. He is turning out several books a year but of special interest is his Reasoning with God, which traces the relation between reason and religion in medieval Islam and afterwards. He focuses especially on the nature of divine will and proposes taking reasoning beyond the traditional Islamic boundaries of textual interpretation. The fact that El Fadl's work is often isolated reveals how weak is America's current intellectual engagement with Islam. A thousand years ago the greatest minds of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, such as Thomas Aquinas, Maimonides, Al-Farabi, and Averroes were engaged in fundamental debate about the nature of revelation, of faith, of reason, of law, and in their respectful disagreements created a common discourse across their religious boundaries. In the modern age we are left with vacuous calls to toleration and diversity. Unless American thinking and policy become once more rooted in political philosophy of such depth, we are likely to continue to flail and be rescued only by the excellence of our military..."
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