You never can tell where ol’ Taqiyya is going to show up. The busy scholar certainly gets around.
This time he was interviewed for the April 2008 edition of the ‘Lifestyle’ magazine The Suburb, a free, glossy, throwaway rag published in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
Reader JP sent us a snip and it was so interesting that we asked for the whole thing. As it turned out the magazine’s only online presence does not carry the articles from the print edition. As far as we can tell, no online version of this interview currently exists. According to JP, “this glossy expensive free magazine is funded (apparently) by adverts for curry houses!” Next thing you know, he’ll be seen in grocery store flyers.
Hearing our enthusiasm, JP took the trouble to transcribe the whole thing. He says that all the spelling peculiarities are to be found in the original.
You’ll see Taqiyya Ramadan described as a “philosopher and Arabist”. As the Baron said, “If Taqiyya is an ‘Arabist’ then I’m a ‘programmer and Virginianist’, and Fjordman is a ‘scholar and Vikingist’.”
Me, I’m the Queen of Hearts… and I present TR at his finest:
Interview with Professor Tariq Ramadan – A visionary
Professor Tariq Ramadan is the son of Said Ramadan.
Heh. The author doesn’t mention that he’s also the grandson of one of the founders of the Muslim Brotherhood, or that they left Egypt for Switzerland when Granddaddy was assassinated and things got too hot in Cairo for the M.B. political style.
As well as holding an MA in Philosophy and French literature, Professor Tariq Ramadan also holds a PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies gained from the University of Geneva. In Cairo, he has also studied for a classic Islamic scholarship where he received one-to-one intensive training from Al-Azhar University.
In addition to being a Professor of Islamic Studies (Faculty of Theology at Oxford), Dr Tariq Ramadan is also a Visiting Professor in Identity and citizenship at Erasmus University in Rotterdam (Netherlands). As an active individual, also known as a philosopher and Arabist, the professor has authored and co-authored over twenty books and seven hundred articles.
I wonder if this makes the 701st article? After the first couple of hundred, why would any scholar keep the numbers in his head? Could our humble professor be a wee bit egotistical? And what in heaven’s name is a “Visiting Professor of Identity and Citizenship”? I didn’t think we were allowed to have citizens with identities. Isn’t that politically incorrect, if not downright racist? Hmmm…maybe it depends on who is doing the identifying and signifying here.
– – – – – – – – –
He lectures at academic and civic organisations around the world in which he has contributed substantially to the debate on the issues of Muslims in the West and Islamic revival in the Muslim world. Many of his lectures involve issues including social injustice, ethics of citizenship and dialogue between civilisations.
Of course, he doesn’t lecture in the U.S. because Homeland Security vetoed a visa when Notre Dame tried to get him on board. A rare hurrah for the bureaucrats.
Luckily, The Suburb Magazine managed to catch up the very busy Professor Tariq Ramadan on route to delivering a speech at the University of Bradford where he gave us a quick insight of many of his ideas, principles, and visions.
‘I am just trying to do something simple. We all are faced with this deep challenge – a challenge of how to stay true to our faith and to understand the challenge of reconciling faiths.’
The Professor talked about the problems that Muslim’s face in the West and what should be done to combat these. ‘The problem we face is the perception of Islam in the West. We are treated as an immigrant religion when technically Islam is itself a European religion. We need to embrace the richness of this historical relation between Islam and Europe and look at our positives to combat the negative perceptions connected to us. There are millions of Muslims who hold a civil, social and intellectual presence here and this is a very important message when addressing these different perceptions linked to Muslims.’
Now you see why we call him Taqiyya. If the Muslims ever came to power, the good professor could turn on a dime and start preaching his Muslim Brotherhood
politics faith. But for the moment, the Ummah isn’t here so he has to sound sincere.
‘As Muslims in the West, we not only ask questions in regards to our identity but also find that the society around us is asking us the very same question. My opinion is that identity issues have occurred throughout history and are nothing new. In fact today, even if we look at life regardless of religion, we will find that we have identity problems and will always suffer from them’ commented the Professor when talking about Identity issues. He continued on this topic stating that ‘however, we Muslims should be able to state confidently that we are European Muslims and not be viewed as being naturalised civilians of a state. The process of overcoming the issue will take time and the grassroots level is very important here. The professor expressed his confidence and hope for the change he wants to see and remarked that ‘In today’s society we can see women overachieving men generally and this seesm to be especially the case for Muslim women which means that at the grassroots, change is gradually coming.’
“Naturalized civilians”?? What is that? Jihadists in disguise? And of course, he is a “European” not a citizen of Switzerland. How does one say “uber alles” in Arabic? As for the p.c. stuff about women, don’t buy it. When they were stoning women in Tehran, the most he could do was to ask them to call a temporary halt to the more barbaric parts of Shari’ah. Of course, that was immediately following his turndown by the United States, so he had to pick his way carefully through that minefield. But should Islam reign supreme, I expect to see him pick up the first rock.
During our discussion about Islam in the West, the Professor commented on how he believes that Islam is safe in the West and noted that each individual will have a different view on this but ‘there should be no problem being a Muslim and living in the West. To me, the principles of Islam are much more protected here in Western countries. However we should not fall into binary statements like whether Islam is easier tp practice in Western countries or eastern countries. It all depends on how we view the term ‘better’.
Well, gentle readers, he’s certainly right about that. The principles of Islam are protected especially by the EUSSR and the UNSSR. I love the “binary statements” rhetoric.
He then went on to say ‘in the social, political and economic fields, it is easier being a Muslim in the West. Even so, we still need to achieve better health care and education in the Muslim countries. This ultimately is a global issue.’
Furthermore, the Professor in response to the questions of what Muslims need to do if they want to see change stated that ‘The starting point for change is to stop hypocrisy and corruption within states. We also need to be self critical and most importantly put a strategy in place in order for any changes to occur. Ideally, it is important for us to be in touch with civil society and commit at grass roots levels. We cannot and should not wait for anybody to bring change to us. It is important for us to strive ourselves and not rely on others.’
‘It is important to realise that we must not just focus on western Muslim’s. We must take a multiangled approach and learn from each other and not restrict ourselves to a set geographical area.’ For Professor Tariq Ramadan, everyone working together cannot be emphasised enough as he argued that ‘ultimately the point I am trying to make is that there is not a certain individual or group who is expected to lead change, but rather it is the responsibility for our entire society to work together. We are all in the same boat trying to find the right direction’.
This is not “multiangled” at all. It’s a deft soft-shoe routine across the face of Western civilization. His doublespeak is actually “multitangled” which is how I read the word initially. Ramadan has a talent for making the eyes glaze over.
He further commented that ‘the importance of equality and concept of ‘one platform for all’ cannot be understated. We must all work together in terms of society as a whole. As citizens no-one is a minority. As fellow citizens we must understand that democracy is about ideals and if the government’s ideals match your’s then support it, but if these ideals go against your own then stand in opposition to it. This is the very cornerstone of democracy.’
Placing emphasis on the fact that everyone should work together and how each individuals efforts are valued, the Professor also stated that ‘I am trying my best as an individual and I hope that people do not only look at my strengths but also my weaknesses. I am not a lone figure on some kind of venture. It is important that we have effective leadership by different individuals. However my message is not to idolise those individuals but to be creative, active and have self confidence. These things are very important to achieve change.’
Oh, dear Lord..” ‘the importance of equality and concept of ‘one platform for all’ cannot be understated. We must all work together in terms of society as a whole. As citizens no-one is a minority.” One-size fits all government means “no one is a minority.” What is this man smoking?? Obviously he yearns for Utopia, the Muslim Lake Wobegon where all the children are above average and all the women are in the back, unseen and unheard. Right where they belong.
And now to the merciful last paragraph:
Our short but very useful insight into the thoughts and views of Professor Tariq Ramadan ended with a few comments about the Professor himself as he told us that, ‘People often ask me what motivates me. For me it is simple, I am nothing new. I come from a background of creative thinkers and am simply following the footsteps of those before me. What I hope that everyone understands is that I want people to walk with me and not just simply follow me.’“
Hint: when he says he is “simply following the footsteps before me” he’s referring to his grandaddy’s size 13 D sandals. Let me tell you, those are some deep, dark footsteps he’s falling in. Definitely not a game for amateurs.
Al-Banna was assassinated for probable cause; let’s hope his grandson avoids the same fate.
Hat tip: JP