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A very peculiar perspective on Ramadan

Reader comment on item: Why Revoke Tariq Ramadan's U.S. Visa?

Submitted by Sean McIntyre (United States), Jul 22, 2005 at 17:10

I had the pleasure of seeing Tariq Ramadan in action recently in a public debate in Berlin and I would characterize him as a bold proponent of a liberal, open-minded and progressive Islam.

Given Ramadan's many outspoken writings against fundamentalism and Islamo-fascism and his passionate pleas for a modern, liberal Islam.
I urge you to do your own google and library searches on Mr. Ramadan and read what he has written. I was very, very impressed by his firm defense of liberal, open societies and the need to confront the extremist ideology of Islamism in this public debate in Berlin. Moreover, as can be expected of a debate in a theater milieu in Germany, the audience was quite hostile toward him. The majority of the audience vigorously rejected his claim that Islamic extremism is NOT the result of European society failing to live up to its' own liberal-democratic ideals. He argued firmly against this 'social' explanation for extremism and fanaticism and reminded the audience that Islamism is a POLITICAL ideology that often finds a warm reception among relatively privileged, assimilated Arabs of the middle class and up (like members of his own family nearly a century ago). Moreover, he argued that the social explanation also fails to see that Islamist extremists are not at all interested in Europeans living up to their own liberal-democratic norms and ideals, but is instead a fully rationalized and emphatic REJECTION of those very ideals. This is something the audience refused to believe, of course. Many persisted with the usual (and understandable) habit of self-critique: 'it is our fault because these young men experience racism and lack of opportunities... because our societies are alienated...etc. etc.'

In short, my experience of Tariq Ramadan was of a heroic defender of liberal-democracy and a much-needed analyst and debater against naive, Left-oriented understandings of and excuses for political Islam. If anything his pedigree should not count AGAINST him, as Mr. Pipes presents it, but should count to his credit: he KNOWS quite intimately how seriously we must take this ideology; he knows with what ideas we are dealing with and how best to argue against this ideology of hate and death.

For my part I would love to see Professor Ramadan teaching in the U.S. and contributing to our public discourse on terrorism and the dangers of political Islam. I think he has many valuable insights to contribute to this fight and will be an eloquent and significant contributor to our public dialogue. He could be, for N. America, what he already is for this dialogue in Europe: a rare and eloquent Islamic defender of the principles, norms and ideals of liberal democracy against the ideology of political Islam (an ideology that finds its origins in part in Ramadan's own family, as Pipes noted). Mr. Ramadan is doing exactly what the columnist Thomas Friedman called for in his NY Times opinion piece today (7/22/05): telling the truth about Islamo-fascism.

Sean McIntyre
Submitting....

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Reader comments (85) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
2Tariq: racist, pro Jihad, propagating fake Muslim 'victimhood' [134 words]MonaMar 30, 2012 06:55194863
1Muslim Brotherhood's buddy Tariq Ramadan sees "no" anti-Semitism in Mohamed Merah [342 words]AliciaMar 29, 2012 07:25194848
And since? [12 words]zacooperleMar 15, 2012 22:38194429
Wazzup with Notre Dame/ [31 words]BobbiJan 23, 2010 19:40167796
AustraliaMr [13 words]Peter RobinsonNov 12, 2009 04:37164461
5This is a Misleading Post about Tariq Ramadan [174 words]D.O.Mar 19, 2009 14:37152500
2we must expose those who hate [241 words]Phil GreendJul 10, 2007 11:50103352
Mr. Pipes, a little clarification on a few of your points? [989 words]Saqib HussainJun 24, 2007 23:42100985
Ramadan's defense against his visa revocation is nothing short of pathetic [433 words]Roosevelt's DiscipleJun 23, 2007 03:19100431
Reply to: Ramadan's defense against his visa revocation is nothing short of pathetic [148 words]Saqib HussainJun 25, 2007 02:09100431
1A rose by any other name [52 words]Michael ZacharkoAug 25, 2006 22:4654011
Keep This Terrorist Out! [37 words]KurniaOct 22, 2017 19:4854011
Ramadan should be kept out of the US...for now [420 words]jason smithMar 29, 2006 15:5341808
2ACLU, TOO [49 words]DEANE LEDSWORTHJan 25, 2006 13:2932441
it is amazing [200 words]kemalFeb 1, 2006 08:3032441
not that it matters a lot but... [63 words]matei calinJan 22, 2006 08:4532164
2Tariq is a human with a message [130 words]joanaJul 24, 2007 16:4232164
1An Asault on American's right to HEAR [314 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Cole PensingerOct 22, 2007 23:2332164
It is easy to accuse but... [183 words]S. MirmoojiDec 2, 2005 20:3529334
1Evil Ramadan [61 words]Man de HuNov 13, 2005 14:2228328
I respond in disappointment to Faqi Hussein [620 words]Ramy RamadanAug 31, 2005 11:3925277
Prof Ramadan " Oxford's new visiting Professor" [815 words]Faqi HusssainAug 30, 2005 21:5725249
2A very peculiar perspective on Ramadan [490 words]Sean McIntyreJul 22, 2005 17:1023703
Give me a better reason to keep him out [75 words]Carl LarsonSep 29, 2006 22:4323703
Ramadan has exactly the same goal as the terrorists, which is to spread islam [100 words]Roosevelt's DiscipleJun 23, 2007 03:2823703
Tariq Ramadan ... [221 words]Tim HolmesJul 16, 2005 20:3123529
Gullible Americans [86 words]RichardApr 26, 2005 23:2421844
Ramadan not a moderate [164 words]JeffApr 26, 2005 16:0021833
Ramadan, Pipes and Manji [69 words]AliMar 19, 2005 20:2921067
Show me some proof ... if there is any [248 words]Sylvia WilsonMar 12, 2005 18:2520967
Tariq Ramadan [35 words]Mary Jane StickleyFeb 1, 2005 11:2220035
What a Stupid Decision [330 words]Salim ChishtiJan 25, 2005 06:2019846
Does not make sense [71 words]Maria EvangalistaDec 29, 2004 23:0819232
And so history repeats itself [212 words]JamzDec 21, 2004 23:3419104
The absence of proofs [117 words]Darraz ElKhadieDec 16, 2004 11:3119023
Notre Dame University? [22 words]BobDec 14, 2004 21:1418998
1Laugh or cry... [324 words]Ahmed El ZeinDec 5, 2004 04:4918861
Bonus: tossing away freedom of expression and association gives "them" less reason to hate us [90 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Konrad AdererOct 6, 2004 13:0017544
It's clear and obvious what Ramadan is guilty of [48 words]Roosevelt's DiscipleJun 23, 2007 03:3317544
AP Wrote Biased Article... [55 words]A.Oct 1, 2004 17:4717492
Response from Ramadan himself [50 words]ThermanSep 24, 2004 14:0717192
Good for America [39 words]K SalehSep 17, 2004 13:2317019
Any free thinkers in da house? [201 words]Mohammad SyedSep 17, 2004 12:4617017
Is this evidence? /DHS has bad strategy if in good faith [151 words]Special gSep 13, 2004 11:5816925
Thank you! [70 words]Katheryn ScottSep 9, 2004 12:4516867
1McCarthyism Lives [51 words]Brian McBrideSep 8, 2004 18:3916842
Every person is judged and two persons never got the same chance [70 words]Magnus AnderssonNov 6, 2007 21:3216842
Too quick to judge, too scared to be objective? [173 words]WarrenSep 8, 2004 10:5416806
Hasn't Colin Powell Had Sufficient Time? [30 words]John RiemanSep 2, 2004 21:1616665
Now he's back [60 words]Brian MelkunAug 31, 2004 19:2216635
Rogue State Department? [40 words]Freeper7Aug 31, 2004 18:3316632
Keep on identifying the enemies within our midst [43 words]James Hellwig, US Dept Commerce (Retired)Aug 30, 2004 14:4616596
Highly Informative [87 words]AvrahamAug 29, 2004 23:1516577
What's goin' on at the State Dep't? [189 words]John W McGinleyAug 29, 2004 22:0816576
Ramadan critique [59 words]T. A. Green (Ted)Aug 29, 2004 17:0916573
State Dep't vs DHS [51 words]Marjorie LindeeAug 29, 2004 03:2016570
Ban Ramadan but allow the Saudis free reign? [183 words]Nelson HortonAug 29, 2004 01:1616569
Cogent [35 words]Howard R. WolfAug 28, 2004 14:4016568
Good Job! [84 words]Maureen CoteAug 28, 2004 11:1516566
Repulsive [274 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Richard SilversteinAug 28, 2004 01:2516561
2Trust no Muslim Brotherhood [522 words]Nonie DarwishAug 28, 2004 00:3916559
What can I do? [87 words]Laurie KursAug 27, 2004 21:0016556
Superb work [7 words]Alon ReiningerAug 27, 2004 19:2916555
I agree [12 words]George HAug 27, 2004 15:4816551
A fine line... [53 words]Lloyd Lionel KleinAug 27, 2004 14:0616548
What's wrong with the State Dep't? [112 words]Muriel EfronAug 27, 2004 13:3816546
Islamist Deception [61 words]A readerAug 27, 2004 13:2916545
ISLAMISM, Mohammad, Quran, Muslims, Dhimmitude, Wahhabism, Jihad [3 words]Chard JeromeAug 27, 2004 11:2316543
State Dep't must change its ways [199 words]Bernadette KimAug 27, 2004 11:1416542
2Where's the beef? [186 words]Egypt SteveAug 27, 2004 10:5516541
Other possibilities [36 words]David RomeroAug 27, 2004 10:3016540
Thanks! [13 words]William KinneyAug 27, 2004 10:2416538
Enlightening [84 words]LowellAug 27, 2004 09:2216536
Please continue your efforts [53 words]Martha McGillAug 27, 2004 09:0416535
Not So Fast ... Tariq [204 words]Arlinda DeAngelisAug 27, 2004 08:4116534
Wonderful News [27 words]R. Gene PayneAug 27, 2004 08:3016533
Let's stop shooting ourselves in the foot [180 words]S.F.Gohara, M.D.Aug 27, 2004 08:0916532
Why not exclude all Germans [70 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
D HenstridgeAug 11, 2006 18:5616532
Why did the State Dep't encourage Ramadan to reapply? [19 words]Z TelpnerAug 27, 2004 07:2216531
There is some justice! [55 words]Harace (Rosinbaum) HammondAug 27, 2004 06:4016530
Thank you again. Keep 'em coming! [139 words]Menahem DunskyAug 27, 2004 05:4716529
Who's in charge at State? [73 words]Martin EkremAug 27, 2004 05:0216528
The works of Tariq Ramadan [129 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Shammai FishmanAug 27, 2004 04:0816527
Thanks [71 words]Tarek AbdelhamidAug 27, 2004 03:2216526
A good decision but... [119 words]Rachelle AssoulineAug 27, 2004 02:4916523

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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