'From a purely academic point of view, this translation is superior to anything produced by orientalists in the way of translations of major Islamic works." Taha Jabir al-Alwani was writing about Reliance of the Traveller, the English version of Umdat al-Salik, the classic manual of sharia ("Islamic Sacred Law," as the cover of Reliance puts it). Alwani is no lightweight in these matters. His specialty is fiqh — Islamic jurisprudence. In fact, he has been a member of the Islamic Fiqh Academy in Saudi Arabia and is renowned among orientalist scholars in the West as president of the Fiqh Council of North America.
More significant, he was writing in his capacity as president of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). Headquartered in Virginia, IIIT is an Islamist think tank created by the Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1980s.
I was reminded of Dr. Alwani when reading the latest hit job against my friends David Horowitz and Robert Spencer, authored by the Center for American Progress. Directed by Clinton White House chief of staff John Podesta, CAP is a lushly financed leftist think tank that profoundly influences the Obama administration — indeed, Podesta oversaw the Obama transition after the 2008 election. CAP's sugar daddy, George Soros, has made a cottage industry out of whitewashing Islamist ideology. This enterprise has lately produced a lengthy ad hominem rant called "Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America."