Hitchens vs. Ramadan

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A few days after author Christopher Hitchens announced to the world that he had an advanced and deadly cancer, the 92nd street YMCA in Manhattan announced that it would be hosting a debate between the pugnacious author and Tariq Ramadan, the infamous Islamist apologist and progeny of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. The pair met to spar over the question: “Is Islam a religion of peace?”  I bought my tickets not knowing whether Hitch would be up to the task considering his condition; it was a leap of faith.

The event, which was simulcast to several Jewish community centers in Colorado, Rhode Island, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Chicago was moderated by The New York Times religion correspondent, Laurie Goodstein. The debate was supposed to have taken place over three years ago, but for whatever reason, Dr. Ramadan withdrew. Hitchens, being who he is, attempted to re-stage the canceled encounter by unexpectedly confronting Ramadan at a literary festival in Mantua, Italy later that year. Hitchens asked some very good questions, but the short exchange only whet the appetite for more.

Finally, after much anticipation, the world was treated to a discussion on this consuming question. To add even greater significance, the debate took place at a venue 110 blocks from where the proposed “Ground Zero” mosque may soon be built.

Ms. Goldstein briefly introduced the speakers and even more briefly introduced the rules. It was a rather informal debate with guidelines for times but not strict limits.

Hitchens began by declaring that Islam could not be a religion of peace because there is no such thing as a religion of peace simply by definition. Religion and peace are incompatible because, at its core, religion is a war on reason. Religion, especially Islam, professes to be the vehicle by which humans achieve salvation, but humans also rely on it to think for them. Islam, like any other religion, is a flawed attempt by flawed people to create (or arrive at) a final and a definitive answer to everything. Thus, according to Hitchens, its totality is totalitarian. Not coincidentally, religion’s manifestations are often correspondingly totalitarian, and brutally so.

Ramadan’s initial response was that the problem with religion, and in particular with Islam, is not with its religious book per se but with the book’s readers. Misguided interpretations of Islam’s religious texts are what have caused some people to stray from God’s original intent. For Ramadan, Hitchens unfairly distills and simplifies a religion which is multifarious, just as the human race is. There is indeed good Islam present in the world, and there are many adherents of it (according to Ramadan, more than we know about).

Furthermore, Ramadan believes that in its ideal form, Islam is what allows us to save ourselves from ourselves — that is, from all those human qualities which we abhor. This process, he claimed, is jihad. Ramadan believes that jihad is one of the many terms that Americans and the West misunderstand. At this point, I could not help but be reminded of the defense that Communists give when confronted with the horrors perpetrated in the name of their political philosophy throughout the 20th century. That was not the “real” Communism, they say.

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  • Michael

    Where can one view this debate, or download the transcript?

    • coys

      I was there and it's sad that these debates are not televised live for people to educate themselves. However, keep searching bc it was one hell of a performance from HItch. He is sick and we all know his cancer is bad, but I must tell you one thing, he got it all up there still. Great great debate

  • http://calling-muggins.blogspot.com/ Muggins

    It would be nice to get a transcript of a video of the debate.
    I'm wondering why it wasn't broadcast on TV. Is the news
    media in that much of a shambles?

  • proxywar

    I would love to watch this debate as well.

  • rationalist

    yes, I would really like to see the debate or read the transcript.

  • o4tuna

    Thank you for sharing this with those of us who couldn't be there. Great job!

    But for the sake of accuracy, I have to take issue with your assertion in the last paragraph that ". . . there is no comparison . . . with the loving and peaceful teachings of Jesus of Nazareth . . ."

    From The Gospel of Mathew:

    "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it." (Matthew 10:34-39 NASB)

    Also, from The Gospel of Luke:

    "I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism* to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father* against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. (Luke 12:49-53 NASB)

    So there you have two "direct quotations" from Jesus' teachings, as reported in the only record of his teachings–one that many believe is the product of divine inspiration . . . the infallible word of God. And of course, Jesus claimed descendance and authority from the god who, if you acquaint yourself from the rest of the "word of God", is brutal–even genocidal.

    Ramadan isn't the only one who is willfully blind to what is plainly set out in his god's official manual.

    • sebyandrew

      All in the context of taking up their cross. When one takes up their cross they are on the receiving end of violence – not the giving end. Read early Church history and the idea of conquering with the sword is not found. Christ predicted suffering for His followers bec. among other things the world wd. reject Him. "Marvel not if the world hate you…."Bad try.

    • tanstaafl

      Yeah, but those quotations are easily read as metaphors for the impact of Christianity upon the older religions that were present in Israel at the time. We should also look at Jesus's actions to judge whether he advocated a "war-like" faith.

      Mohammed, on the other hand, used violence to spread Islam. In fact he was much more successful as bandit in Medina, then when he was a preacher in Mecca. "Islam is sheltered by the sword".

      I truly feel, after reading the Qur'an, that Islam suffers from comparison with any religion. There is no morality – hideous and inhuman crimes are permitted as long as they are done to advance Islam. In the 1400 years of Islam, over 270 (estimated) million infidels (unbelievers) have been killed. Since 9/11, there have been over 16,000 Islamic jihadi attacks all over the world. No other religion has such a violent history against those who do not worship Mohammed and his alter ego, Allah.

      I am not a Christian, I am a Unitarian-Universalist but I would much rather live next to a born-again Christian or Hindu or Buddhist or Shintoist or Sikh or member of any other faith then I would a Muslim. It would be the equivalent of living next door to a Nazi or a member of the KKK.

    • bdouglasaf1980

      You know some biblical terminology but have misapplied it if you think this is teaching that Christians are supposed to be violent.

      I agree with the author, there is no real comparison.

    • ViewPoint

      Whether or not these particular words of Christ were mere symbolisms are made inconsequential by the fact that the actions of Christ were peaceful, and encouraged love and respect. Christ never encouraged others to kill non believers, for example… nor did He ever raise His hand in brutal aggression against anyone. This can not be said of the Quran, and Mohammed. More than 60% of the Quran incites murderous intent against non Muslims… and 75% of Mohammed's bio encourages the same. Mohammed personally beheaded between 600-1,000 non Muslims. The most hostile thing Christ ever did was raise His voice as He turned over a few tables. Any reasonable person can see the enormous contrast.

    • aspacia

      You are correct, albeit, Jesus was never as violent as Mad MO.

  • Patrick Henry

    If religion is defined by sacrifice and the collectivist impulse to force people to adhere, to place everyone into good versus the evil, it will produce violence. If it is defined by individual salvation and the impulse to live a pious life by example, it will produce a prosperous culture, a city upon a hill for others to emulate.
    Thus violence springs from the instinct to control others. Unfortunately, Islam (i.e. "submission") is all about coercion while Christianity has lost most of that impulse since the Enlightement led to the separation of church and state (an arrangement that necessarily corrupted each other). This is the way out: Islam must go through a painful Reformation.

  • femalecontradictioncomplex

    Ramadan was severely Hitch slapped. I was at the event, and hope that there will be an online recording so I can experience it all over again.

  • Cuban Refugee

    When Luke tells us that Jesus speaks of "a fire upon the earth," he means in "spiritual" terms — the heat and fire of the Holy Spirit within each soul who loses his life (meaning his egoic existence) to come to unity with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit that dwell within all, and everywhere, waiting to be found by those with the open eyes of a new life in the spirit. If Mr. Hitchens ever felt such a spiritual fire, he would cease being an atheist; if Mr. Ramadan felt the peace of Christ in his soul, he would be a new prophet for Islam, working for peace instead of glorifying the sword of Allah.

    • Ali

      Ohhh. I see…When violence is written in Bible it is not literally taken, but with Koran it is. What a hypocracy.

      • Tom Solomon

        It's not hypocricy, but the result of post enlightenment interpretation of scripture for Christian.. Islam is still a fundamentalist religion.

      • winoceros

        Your inability to see what the passage means, not even in context, but even on its own literal terms, bespeaks a level of either stupidity, which is not your fault, or brainwashing by your Islamic apologist teachers, which is your fault.

      • winoceros

        I mean, do you see brothers killing their sisters over their levels of belief in Christianity? Like, anywhere? Like, any time in history?

    • S. Stacey

      Thank you Cuban Refugee! An excellent observation.

  • Michael

    How can Islamics profess Islam to be a "Religion of Peace"? I don't see Christians bombing their own places of worship. Don't see Christians carrying signs saying "Behead those who Insult Christianity". Christians didn't assasinate "The Christ Pissed" artist, A Muslim killed VanGogh. No Musims are on trial for their "Hate Speech".
    Islam is not being sued by the ACLU. Christianity is. I've talked to Muslims . All one has to do is say the word "Jew" and you can see the hatred in the eyes and facial expression.
    Had the Jews had a Geert Wilders perhaps Hitler would have had second thoughts about Genocide.
    American Christian Infidel
    Michael Canzano

    • Ali

      Well Mtr. Christian defender Michael, Christains killed in Bosnia by hundreds of thousands, raped by tens of thousands in the name of Christianit. They kill doctors in the USA. They kill childred in Africa. Everyone kills Mr Christian apologist..Everyone….

      • Sashland

        deception at work…

        you are attempting to justify religious violence by say "other do it".

        Wrong on both points… false equivalence.

        One book talks allegorically, the other is prescriptive.

      • winoceros

        War is not genocide, and in Bosnia, since the death of Muslims was exceptionally misreported, we'll just say the jury is out. Interesting, though, when non-Muslims finally get sick of political Islam and fight back?

        They did none of it in the "name of Christianity". Prove it.

        One or two guys committed murder because they believed they were bringing justice to murderers. They were wrong, of course, and prosecuted.

        They did not kill children in Africa, they have saved literally millions of children in Africa, and THAT they did in the name of Christianity.

        Again, just not that bright, or can't sort out truth from what you've been told by your thin-skinned coreligionists?

  • Jacob

    The Jews did have their own Geert Wilders (unfortunately not in the 1930s-40s, though). His name was Rabbi Meir Kahane. He was a leader with such keen political insight that the Arabs knew he presented a threat to their ongoing campaign of jihad. So they dispatched one of their goons, a cowardly terrorist named El Sayyid Nosair, to assassinate Kahane in 1990.

    I can only hope Geert Wilders, the Dutch people's Meir Kahane, does not meet the same fate.

    • Ali

      I cannot beleive you are defending a racists. Geert Wilders would have been Hitler if he was a live 70 years ago. Darn, this place is full of biggots..

      • Sashland

        Slimy irony: Hitler was BFF with islan's leader, the so-called grand-mufti. Partners in genocide, and you try to slime Wilders as a hitler, when it was islan that allied with the nazis. The biggest nazi fans today are in the Mid-east, and its NOT the Jews…

      • sebyandrew

        I cannot beleive you are defending a racists. Geert Wilders would have been Hitler if he was a live 70 years ago. Darn, this place is full of biggots..

        Also with people who can't spell, can't argue, and aren't really muslim.

        • ObamaYoMoma

          Name just one thing Geert Wilders has said about Islam that isn’t true! The truth is you can’t. Indeed, you are confusing truth with evil and this is because your moral compass has been rendered null and void through years of leftist indoctrination and moral relativism.

      • winoceros

        Wilders decries the suppression of liberty by Islam and you think that makes him bigoted somehow? What race is Islam, again?

  • PAthena

    I would like to see a transcript of the debate.
    Hitchens is not right about all religions, since Buddhism and Jainism are atheist and pacifist.

  • Ygrundun

    It is only in the United States that Chritianity, freed of its Constantinian bargain with the State, has become what it out to have been all along – strong on faith and civil liberty. Here alone, without the bribe of bread, or coercion, or establishment, have varieties of religious experience been allowed to compete, check each other, and collectively flourish. It is no accident that the Christian religion has done best in that country whose patron goddess is Liberty, who I hope will always lead its people.

  • http://www.scaramouchee.blogspot.com Scaramouche

    If only Hitchens weren't so g-d inconsistent, giving it but good to Ramadan in one breath, and siding with Rick Sanchez re Jewry' "hidden" influence over the media in another breath: http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/hidden+i

    Inconsistency and incoherence thy name is Hitchens.

  • EdC

    I was there. Good debate. I spent the rest of the night arguing with friends over each element. If you can view it somewhere, you should.

  • Ali

    Most people posting here are no atheists but Islam haters.

    • crazyhorse

      Why is that….

    • winoceros

      Got that right.

  • moshav

    There is nothing peaceful about or within islam. If its adherents take the koran and sharia seriously, they must wage jihad against unbelievers until non-muslims "feel themselves subdued." islam is a totalitarian death cult dedicated to the destruction of western civilization. Moderate muslims, if they actually exist, must denounce the violent aspects of islam (which is most of the ideology) and function as responsible citizens uninteresed in forcing others to convert or be enslaved. All of this is unlikely to happen.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Wait a minute, is this for real? Talk about the theater of the absurd! There was actually a debate held between Christopher Hitchens, a devoted delusional leftist and secular fundamentalist who has devoted a lifetime to demonizing and vilifying Christianity while at the same time cramming his hardcore brand of atheism down everyone’s throat and Tariq Ramadan, the Muhammadan son of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood who specializes in espousing taqiyya to deceive the West, and this writer somehow thinks this was a worthy debate to the point that he even dedicated an article about it. Wow!

    Please give me a break, Islam is not even a religion, it’s a militant theo-political totalitarian ideology that seeks to subjugate the world via the imposition of Sharia as its main goal. It only masquerades as being a religion to infiltrate the societies it intends to subjugate and subsume, which should give you an idea how gullible, naïve, and stupid Hitchens is. Meanwhile, Ramadan specializes in lying about Islam to deceive the West. Hence, in essence there was a debate between an unhinged leftwing loon and a Muhammadan liar. Talk about the theater of the absurd, this debate takes the cake. I think I suffered severe IQ damage just by reading about it. Yet, I see some people actually want to read the transcript and watch the video of this garbage. Wow again!

    • Hans

      You are an idiot. Hitchens is the most relevant intellectual of the last 40 years. And the most formidable.

  • proto

    I think that Hitchens argument that all religions are equidistant from peace and tolerance is making it easy for himself and a bit lazy I would say.
    A religion is an ideology and world view. At the core of any ideology is an big idea that is believed to be true. For religions it is the belief in the idea of God, in spirituality, in the possibility that thought can comprehend aspects of this world that are beyond the falsifiability of the scientific method. This big idea is not inherently evil. What leads to evil is to motivate humans to take away the right to not believe. This is where the Koran and the other Islamic text stand the most aggressive teachings for removing and limiting the rights of non believers.

    Socialism and communism also have a big idea as a foundation. This big idea has lead to as much misery as religions. Communism built a wall around its captives to force them to live their big idea and has 100 million deaths to its name.
    So the distinction Hutchins makes between religions and other ideologies is really not based on reason but preference.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Gee I missed the whole thing…………………….William

  • Eve

    Atheists will never make headway in countering radical Islam. You see genuine belief – the Judeo-Christian God who inspired the Holy Bible has sustained us in the fight for freedom up until now. But without genuine faith in God, we will never be able to defeat the Islamists in the coming battle. Why?

    Because their belief – and therefore their determination, persistence and willingness to suffer for the sake of obedience to their god. (albeit a false one.)

  • bobbie

    I just don't understand why this is even an issue. You want to know about Islam? Read the Koran, Hadith, etc. There's nothing peaceful about Islam! The "prophet" was a thug!

  • coys
  • truebearing

    In the debate, Hitchens stated: “The only way to moral or intellectual satisfaction comes to those who are willing to take the great risk of thinking for themselves”

    This statement, besides being arrogant, is non sequitur, and arrives at conclusions wholly unsupported.

    First of all, “moral satisfaction” is an odd expression and tinged with an element of ego, which is antithetical to morality. Pride goeth before the fall, as they say.
    What is moral satisfaction anyway? From the context of the entire statement one has to assume he means arriving at an interpretation of morality that satifies oneself, which is supremely egotistical and subjective. Satisfying oneself with clever literary conceits and setting oneself up as the most intelligent of all beings may satisfy Hitchens' ego, but has little to do with true morality, which, last time I checked, includes humility. Somehow I don’t see humility satisfying Hitchens.

  • truebearing


    The second part of this statement has some merit, since one could hardly be intellectually satisfied with only the thoughts of others, and intellectual satisfaction is so intertwined with, you guessed it, the ego!

    OK, we know Hitchens is very intelligent, and so does he, but what he is inadvertantly doing with his intended belittling of religious people is exposing the primary reason intellectuals resent even the thought of a superior being called God. The intellectual wants badly to be the smartest, and now there is this omniscient being to deal with. Bad for the intellectual ego! Very bad!

    The problem with this “risk” Hitchen’s posits is that he implies only intellectual atheists are capable of this heroic risk, which is pure sophistry. Everyone thinks for themselves, but not necessarily about the same things, or about woefully inadequate “proof” that God doesn’t exist.

  • truebearing

    How exactly is thinking for oneself a risk for an atheist who despises religion and doesn’t believe in God? Hitchens talks like he is living in Medieval Europe. Of course the politically correct atheist Europeans did let massive numbers of Muslims into Europe, so I guess there is risk from them.

    The fact that Hitchens views morality as an intellectual category, and as one requiring “satisfaction” clearly shows he is out of his element, and by his own admission has not lived a particularly moral life. Not having valued morals, Hitchens has spent a good deal of his time devaluing them, and that is where he has gotten his “moral satisfaction”. It’s all about his intellect “winning”.

    Hitchens hasn’t accepted the limitations of the human intellect, partially because his is so impressive, and partially because he doesn’t want to. Hitchen’s intellect is a pleasure organ, and feeds his ego magnificently. He’s not about to risk giving that up for moral clarity.

    • Cuban Refugee

      truebearing, it is rare when I find comments regarding an article better reading than the actual article; this was one of those literary jewels. Thank you!

    • winoceros

      Agreed. He, and most atheists, feel there is an inherent "morality" that somehow they feel is necessary, so they invent it by saying that humans just should know "right" from "wrong" which they define within the context of the societies they inhabit.

      Somehow "right" and "wrong" is (amazingly) just an inherent part of the biology of humans, and is not necessary to be derived from a codified belief system.

      It's okay if they don't believe in God, of course. It's just disingenuous to not acknowledge where "right" and "wrong" as social constructs come from.

  • BUTSeriously

    Today's turmoil may have an unsuspected, push away cause. If one thinks what the worst post-W.W.II crimes are, these two should top the list:

    1. The corruption of the Balfour Mandate. The term '2-STATE COMPROMISE" was stated by Churchill – for carving off 80% of an already tiny land – and now they are calling another carve up as a 2-STATE – again: How dare those Zionists occupy 15% of their land!

    2. The lack of a UN Resolution of the multi-state Arab attack on Israel in 1948, a UN established state where the attacking Arab states actually voted in the motion. This was a declared genocidal attack. Why no UN Reso?

    The rest is history.

  • Chezwick_Mac

    I've struggled with the question of which world view – Judeo-Christianity or secular humanism – could be more effectively utilized in the fight between freedom and Islamic supremacism. Unfortunately, both have their short-comings.

    In Judeo-Christianity, we find a profound contrast between the message of tolerance promulgated by Jesus ("turn the other cheek") with the intolerance of Muhammad ("fight until there is no religion but Allah's"). But this contrast – in particular the pacifism of Christ – often puts our civilization at a disadvantage. Furthermore, there are many Christians and Jews who celebrate Islam as part of our Abrahamic tradition and who embrace inter-confessional dialogue as an end in itself. From liberal Protestant denominations that are so ideologically blinkered that many are on the cusp of divesting from Israel…and conservative Christians like Dinesh DeSouza, who proclaim that Muslims are allies in the fight against Godlessness,…to Jews who are so repelled and fearful of the ugly specter of anti-Semitism that just out of principle, they go out of their way to validate Muslim obfuscations such as the hue and cry of "Islamophobia", it's apparent that a significant strata of the Judeo-Christian world is entirely unprepared for the civilizational fight at hand.

    At least though within Judeo-Christianity, we find an actual sociological and moral identity. Secular humanists may embrace philosophical and ethical concepts, but they are far more nebulous in the specifics of identity. Most are atheists with a libertarian bent. They promulgate human freedom to be sure, but beyond that, what do they actually stand for and – whatever it is – are they sufficiently motivated to fight for it? One can readily contrast the fighting zeal of a devout Evangelical Christian with the genteel intellectualism of a typical secular humanist.

    In the end, I think we need BOTH Judeo-Christians AND secular humanists, along with Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists and every other member of the human family to join in the fight against Islam. For unlike Islam, these belief systems are not necessarily mutually exclusive or fundamentally antagonistic towards one another.

    If history has taught us anything, it is that a constellation of entities must coalesce to defeat a hegemonic threat. And history has also taught us that there is only one particular religion in this world which – because of its very theological essence – cannot live in peace with others. The non-Muslim world best get on with the business of uniting if it hopes to preserve itself.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      And history has also taught us that there is only one particular religion in this world which – because of its very theological essence – cannot live in peace with others.

      Actually, that is incorrect. The only time when Islam was a religion only was the Islam of Mecca. However, immediately after the Hijra, Muhammad’s migration from Mecca to Medina, Muhammad turned to jihad and politics and it was this transformation of Islam from the realm of religion to the realm of politics and conquest that set forth the enormous success of Islam.

      Indeed, subsequent to the Hijra had Islam remained a religion only it would have died out in the desert with Muhammad and no one would have ever heard of Muhammad and his Islam. In any event, it was this miraculous transformation of Islam from the sphere of religion only to the sphere of politics and conquest that enabled Islam to conquer most of the known world a mere hundred years after the death of its prophet Muhammad. Hence, Islam today is not a religion; it is instead a militant theo-political totalitarian ideology that seeks to subjugate the world via the imposition of Sharia as its main goal. It masquerades as being a religion to infiltrate the societies it intends to subjugate and subsume.

      Moreover, what faith-based religion requires total submission? What faith-based religion restricts the freedom of conscience? What faith-based religion punishes apostates and blasphemers under the pain of death? What faith-based religion restricts the freedom of speech? What faith-based religion systematically persecutes and often violently oppresses females and non-Muslims? The answer to all of those questions is no faith-based religion does those things. Only Islam alone does those things because the fact of the matter is Islam is not a religion. Instead it is a militant theo-political totalitarian ideology that seeks world domination as its main purpose and goal.

      • Chezwick_Mac

        I realize the issue is important enough that it transcends semantics. Still, it could be readily argued that Islam IS a religion, simply because it entails a concept of Deity and worship. But as you point out, it is much, much more than JUST a religion. Perhaps "religion" with the quotes,…or religion/ideology. To me, religious fascism would do. Regardless, your point is well made and well taken.

  • http://southernrunner.blogspot.com loseyateefa

    How can someone who claims there isn't a god at all think he knows enough to evaluate someone else's belief in god? My husband never dreams. I dream vividly every night. How can my husband state there is no such thing as dreaming? Hitchens is wrong twice. He denys the existence of both God Almighty AND he denies the existence of allah aka satan or lucifer. The biggest showdown since satan rebelled is shaping up on the battlefield of earth using mankind. he has always been against humanity and his most successful tirade was Mohammed's vision and the creation of Islam. Islam will rise until it reveals itself as the kingdom of the antichrist, the beast and the false prophet. Every aspect of Islam is against mankind and ruins or makes null the very qualities that make us human(made in God's image) But he will not win the ultimate battle.

  • Ryan Armishaw

    Here is part 1 of 10 on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eA5CXjS05pU&fe

  • Femto

    "The debate was supposed to have taken place over three years ago, but for whatever reason, Dr. Ramadan withdrew"

    He "withdrew" ??Get your facts straight before making such inference !

    Hint : Perhaps was it remotely related to the fact that the GWB administration forbade Ramadan to enter in the US and that this interdiction was lifted only some months ago (the motive was that he gave 60 euros to an organisation that was blacklisted as terrorist two full years after his donation)

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