His position on appeasing the Muslim world—a fixed feature of the current administration’s policies—is clear. Aboul-Enein recommends that, if ever an American soldier desecrates a Koran, U.S. leadership must relieve the soldier of duty, offer “unconditional apologies,” and emulate the words of Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Hammond: “I come before you [Muslims] seeking your forgiveness, in the most humble manner I look in your eyes today, and say please forgive me and my soldiers,” followed by abjectly kissing a new Koran and “ceremoniously” presenting it to Muslims.
Likewise, after rightfully admonishing readers not to rely on skewed or biased accounts of Islam, he presents Islamic apologist extraordinaire Karen Armstrong—whose whitewashed writings on Islam border on fiction—as the best source on the life of Muhammad.
Then there are Aboul-Enein’s flat out wrong assertions and distortions, examples of which this review closes with:
- He asserts that “militant Islamists dismiss ijmaa [consensus] and qiyas [analogical reasoning].” In fact, none other than al-Qaeda constantly invokes ijmaa (for instance, the consensus that jihad becomes a personal duty when infidels invade the Islamic world) and justifies suicide attacks precisely through qiyas.
- He insists that the Arabic word for “terrorist” is nowhere in the Koran—without bothering to point out that Koran 8:60 commands believers “to terrorize the enemy,” also known as non-Muslim “infidels.”
- He writes, “when Muslims are a persecuted minority Jihad becomes a fard kifaya (an optional obligation), in which the imam authorizes annual expeditions into Dar el Harb (the Abode of War), lands considered not under Muslim dominance.” This is wrong on several levels: a fard kifaya is not an “optional obligation”—an oxymoron if ever there was one—but rather a “communal obligation”; moreover, he is describing Offensive Jihad, which is designed to subjugate non-Muslims and is obligatory to wage whenever Muslims are capable—not “when Muslims are a persecuted minority.”
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