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Chicago Tribune reporter Manya Brachear has kindly written to me to alert me to this article. In her email to me she invited Jihad Watch readers to comment at her Tribune blog on this story, so have at it — why shouldn’t News Real readers join in the fun as well? Note her identification of Tariq Ramadan as a “religious scholar” in her parting question below. “Chicago welcomes once-banned Muslim scholar,” by Manya Brachear in the Chicago Tribune’s Seeker blog, April 5:
[...] Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Chicago chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, said he wasted no time inviting Ramadan to speak when the scholar’s rights to enter the U.S. were restored in January. He had last spoken with Ramadan in December when both of them spoke at the Parliament for the World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia. Ramadan now has a 10-year visa.”We are all about reconciling Islam and the West,” Rehab said. “We challenge those who attempt to drive a wedge between Muslim and being American. That’s really the life cause of Tariq Ramadan as an academic and philosopher and media personality. He often says that he’s culturally Western, nationally Swiss, ethnically Egyptian and religiously Muslim. For him and for us as well, there is no inherent schism between being Muslim and being American.”…
Rehab said Ramadan’s visa was originally yanked by a “paranoid” Bush administration. He said Ramadan was, and still is, one of the most popular Muslim voices in the world. He is grateful that the Obama administration realized the absurdity of barring an intellectual to speak in the U.S.
But author Robert Spencer says that popularity is dangerous. In interviews, he has criticized Clinton for making an exception to U.S. law that prohibits supports of terrorist groups from entering the country. Spencer said Ramadan should still be barred for donating money to a group that funds Hamas.
Spencer contends that the scholar has the same goals as Osama bin Laden–to impose Shariah law in the West. While Ramadan paints himself as a moderate intellectual, Spencer said, he is actually a “stealth jihadist.”
What do you think? Is allowing a religious scholar to speak in the U.S. dangerous or democratic?
A “religious scholar”? Is that really all that Tariq Ramadan is? Ramadan is the grandson of Hasan Al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood — an international Islamic supremacist organization that is dedicated, in its own words (according to an internal Brotherhood document captured in a raid of the Holy Land Foundation), to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house.” While he has alluded vaguely to disagreements with his grandfather, he has also lionized him, and has never repudiated the Brotherhood’s program.
The Trib article may give the impression that I am the originator of any suspicion of Ramadan’s reformist bona fides. In fact, that is not the case. French journalist Caroline Fourest, who has published a book-length study of Ramadan’s sly duplicity, Brother Tariq, concludes that this much-lionized putative Muslim Martin Luther is actually anything but a reformer: in reality, Ramadan is “remaining scrupulously faithful to the strategy mapped out by his grandfather, a strategy of advance stage by stage” toward the imposition of Islamic law in the West.
Ramadan, she explains, in his public lectures and writings invests words like “law” and “democracy” with subtle and carefully crafted new definitions, permitting him to engage in “an apparently inoffensive discourse while remaining faithful to an eminently Islamist message and without having to lie overtly — at least not in his eyes.” Ramadan, she said, “may have an influence on young Islamists and constitute a factor of incitement that could lead them to join the partisans of violence.”
Ramadan was barred from the country by the Bush Administration not for disagreeing with the Iraq war, as Brave Ahmed Rehab suggests here and as even the Obama Administration has irresponsibly claimed, but for contributing to an Islamic charity that funded Hamas. Ramadan has also recently been in the paid employ of the Islamic Republic of Iran.