Double Speak of Tariq Ramadan

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Double Speak of Tariq Ramadan

By | November 2012
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by Caroline Fourest (Foreword by Denis MacShane), The Social Affairs Unit, 2008, 293 pp.

Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan
Max Dunbar

Many readers of Democratiya will also be readers of Harry’s Place, a blog that promotes leftwing critiques of Islamism. This June, its writer David Toube wrote about the launch of a Government funded organisation called Campus Salam: ‘designed to help to deradicalise Muslim students at University by providing them with a safe space to talk about Islam, free from the clutches of the evil jihadists.’ A non-Muslim friend sent him an enthusiastic email about the project. Toube’s concern was that the venture would be used as a base for the Muslim Brotherhood, a far-right theocratic organisation that stands for the word of God over the rule of law, for the oppression of women, for the murder of apostates, and (as Hamas) for terrorist attacks against civilians. Don’t worry, my friend said. We will be looking for genuine moderate voices in the Muslim community to help us out. Indeed, my friend said, he’d been talking to a very intelligent and moderate Muslim leader who was advising them how to defeat radicalisation. Perhaps I’d heard of him? His name was Tariq Ramadan. [1] Who? Tariq Ramadan is considered the Islamic thinker of our time. Recently named the eighth top public intellectual by Prospect magazine, he has also been profiled by the New York Times and the New York Review of Books, in which he was praised by Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash respectively. He is a visiting research fellow of St Anthony’s College at Oxford University, has lectured on Islam to the Metropolitan Police, was a member of a European Commission advisory panel on dialogue between people and cultures, and sat on the UK government’s working group, ‘Preventing Extremism Together’ – set up by Tony Blair in the aftermath of the London bombs. A gifted orator, his written output is no less formidable: around fifteen books plus articles and...