On Sunday, C-Span ran the Cooper Union panel with Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and — until recently — banned from America for funding terrorists and working with their networks. On the platform were Slate’s Jacob Weisberg, the moderator, and George Packer (who provided the only illuminating moment in the proceedings) and Joan Wallach Scott, a notorious academic enabler of Ramadan and terrorist Sami al-Arian, and a professor at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study. Also present was Dalia Mogahed, a Muslim version of Scott. Ramadan claimed to be an all-American democrat (but kept attacking the Iraq war which brought democracy to millions of Muslims as “illegal”).
Mogahed and Scott deflected questions from Weisberg about the oppression of women in Islam — an international scandal — by 1) talking about economic inequality and joblessness among Muslim immigrants in Europe and 2) in Scott’s case — the oppression of women in Catholicism. This was an instance of immoral equivalence brought to a new low. Weisberg asked Ramadan about his revealing statement that there should be a “moratorium” on the stoning of women for alleged infidelity. Here Ramadan introduced a word he was to use throughout the evening: “contextualization” — the verbal equivalent of a fog machine. If you contextualized “stoning” you could forget the barbarity of it and see it as a cultural oddity which needed to be reconsidered. Wallach Scott, professing to be a “feminist,” thought the moratorium to be a good idea, and in doing so raised progressive hypocrisy to new levels.
The discussion got really interesting when Packer brought up the fact that Ramadan’s grandfather had declared the Hitlerite grand mufti of Jerusalem — the father of Palestinian nationalism — a hero and helped to save him from being tried as a war criminal after the Holocaust was over. Ramadan contextualized this, saying his grandfather would not support a Nazi except as a nationalist and only supported the mufti because he opposed Zionism. Precisely. “Kill the Jews” is what the Palestinian cause and the Muslim Brotherhood are about, and why both seek to destroy the only democracy in the Middle East and the only state that is tolerant towards others. Packer held his ground manfully but neglected to mention that Ramadan’s grandfather had Mein Kampf translated into Arabic in the thirties and that the war against Israel in the hands of the Brotherhood and its offspring Hamas is a war against the Jews in precisely the sense that the Nazis conducted its precursor. In fact, the mufti — who is the George Washington of the Palestinian cause — was conducting a genocidal campaign against the Jews in the Twenties before Hitler got his going. Joan Wallach Scott supported Ramadan’s contextualization throughout, even when it came to rationalizing the murder of her own people.
When it was over I took a shower.