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March 29, 2007

Tariq Ramadan - A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

Tariq%20Ramadan.jpgTime.com describes Geneva-based university lecturer Tariq Ramadan as the leading Islamic thinker among Europe's second- and third-generation Muslim immigrants, who also inspires a good deal of mistrust--from both Arab Muslims for his Western sensibility and Westerners for his controversial Islamic roots. Although many European liberals appear to be enamored by Ramadan, Westerners have good reason to be leery of a man who equates secularism with dictatorship, opposes "economism, individualism, imperialism," is far from liberal in his outlook - most obviously when addressing Muslim audiences rather than Western journalists, and who insists that the Qur'an and Sunnah should govern life for today (for everyone - not just Muslims). Tariq Ramadan is not the Islamic reformer some believe him to be; he is an Islamist, and nothing less. He is a wolf in sheep's clothing, and fortunately there are many who are not deluded by what he appears to be (including the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security).

Among the non-deluded is David Thompson. Yesterday, David addressed the willingness of certain left-leaning commentators to present Tariq Ramadan as "moderate" and "reformist", despite evidence to the contrary, in his "Squinting at Extremists":

"Ramadan's ability to befuddle left-leaning commentators with practiced ambiguity and elision is well noted... Sometimes this befuddling has comical effects. It's hard to forget Rosemary Bechler's interview with Ramadan for OpenDemocracy, during which the besotted Bechler cooed: 'From the start, I felt in the presence of leadership: but of the style of an exiled prince, a king over the water, a president in exile, an errant soul...'

Swoon. Be still my girlish heart. Dear Rose was, of course, far too busy describing Ramadan's manly charms - and comparing him with Hamlet - to actually test the substance of his claims. So breathless was her admiration, we never got to hear what Ramadan's use of two distinct and contradictory narratives says about the compatibility of his two - apparently distinct and contradictory - audiences."

Read more here.



Posted by Richard at March 29, 2007 7:41 AM





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