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    Uthman's Avatar
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    Tariq Ramadan hits out over sacking

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    Dutch authorities fire Swiss intellectual and TV anchor over links to Iran.

    Thursday, 20 August 2009

    The controversial Islamic theologian Tariq Ramadan has been fired from two jobs in the Netherlands for allegedly endorsing the Iranian regime by hosting a chat show on a Tehran-backed TV channel.

    Mr Ramadan, already persona non grata in the United States, has dismissed the decisions as "simplistic" and driven by the "Islamophobia" generated in Dutch politics by the populist campaigner Geert Wilders.

    The Swiss writer, lecturer and theologian, 46, has been frequently accused of preaching a moderate "European" Islam to Western audiences and taking a more extreme line when talking to fellow Muslims. He has been hailed by his admirers as an "Islamic Martin Luther", capable of reconciling the Koran with democracy and Western modernity, and attacked by critics as an anti-Semite and terrorist fellow traveller.

    Mr Ramadan has, nonetheless, become one of the most influential Islamic voices in the world. He has been given a series of high-profile jobs by European institutions and governments, including a place on a task force set up by Tony Blair in 2005 to combat Islamic extremism in Britain.

    The city of Rotterdam and the Erasmus University based in the city have jointly decided to dismiss him from his posts as community adviser and visiting lecturer on religion. This follows several days of heated debate in the Netherlands about Mr Ramadan's position as a presenter of a political chat show on Press TV, a London-based, Iranian-backed satellite TV channel.

    In a joint statement, the city and the university criticised Mr Ramadan for remaining host of Islam and Life despite the "hard-handed stifling" of opposition to the results of the July elections. They said that he had "failed sufficiently to realise the feelings that participation in this television program... might provoke in Rotterdam and beyond".

    In an open letter on his website, Mr Ramadan has dismissed the allegations as driven by Dutch politics rather than a TV programme devoted to "critical debate" on Islam.

    "Should we be surprised that this latest accusation has surfaced only in the Netherlands?" he wrote.

    "It is as if I in particular, and Islam in general, were being used to promote certain political agendas in the upcoming Dutch elections. Geert Wilders, who wins votes while comparing the Koran to Hitler's Mein Kampf, casts a long shadow."

    Mr Ramadan said that he had publicly criticised the repression of opposition in Iran and supported the country's "long march... toward transparency and respect for human rights".

    His TV show was committed to "critical debate". His guests had included "atheists, rabbis, priests, women with and without headscarves". They had debated issues such as "freedom, reason, interfaith dialogue, Sunni versus Shia Islam, violence, jihad, love and art".

    "I challenge my critics to scrutinise these programmes and in them to find the slightest evidence of support for the Iranian regime."

    Mr Ramadan is the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, one of the founders of the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, while his great uncle, Gamal al-Banna, was a prominent liberal Islamic reformer.

    Critics point to a puzzling ambivalence in some of Mr Ramadan's teachings and writings, reflecting the influence of both his grandfather and his great uncle.

    He argues for a "European Islam" which will respect European traditions and laws but he also speaks of the supremacy over secular law of the Koran and sharia. In 2003 he refused, during a TV debate with the future president Nicolas Sarkozy, to condemn the use of stoning as capital punishment but called for a "moratorium" on it.

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    Tariq Ramadan hits out over sacking


    "I spent thirty years learning manners, and I spent twenty years learning knowledge."

    ~ 'Abdullāh bin al-Mubārak (rahimahullah)

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    Uthman's Avatar
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    Re: Tariq Ramadan hits out over sacking

    Tariq Ramadan answers his Dutch detractors

    Tariq Ramadan has once again come under fire in Rotterdam, where he is an adviser on integration. Ramadan says he is not surprised that it is only in the Netherlands that his collaboration with Iranian state TV has been criticised. "The controversy says far more about the alarming state of politics than about my person."

    By Tariq Ramadan

    Once again I have come under attack in the Netherlands. Last May and June, I was accused of 'doublespeak', of 'homophobia' and of demeaning women. Upon investigation, the Rotterdam municipality declared the accusations unfounded.

    Today, the argument goes that I am linked to the Iranian regime; I support the repression that followed the recent elections. Should we be surprised that this latest accusation has surfaced only in the Netherlands? It is as if I in particular, and Islam in general, are being used to promote certain political agendas in the upcoming Dutch elections. [Local elections will be held in 2010, Ed.]

    Geert Wilders, who wins votes by comparing the Koran to Hitler's Mein Kampf, casts a long shadow. I am cast as the cause of an outburst of political passions that is far from healthy. But the present controversy says far more about the alarming state of politics in the Netherlands than about my person.

    The attacks on my involvement have been extremely violent; to those, I will respond with utmost clarity. When, in April 2008 I agreed to host a television program on PressTV, the Iranian worldwide 24-hour news network, the decision followed three months of careful evaluation, as well as discussions with Iranian friends and media experts. Over time I have closely followed political developments and growing internal tensions in Iran. I was among the first Muslim thinkers in the West to oppose the fatwa against Salman Rushdie.

    For the past twenty-five years, while observing that compared to the Arab countries Iran has made substantial headway in women's rights and democratic norms, I have been critical of the lack of freedom of expression there, of the obligation for women to wear the headscarf, and, more recently, of the 2006 Holocaust conference (which dangerously blurred the lines between criticism of Israeli policy and anti-semitism). It goes without saying that I have condemned the shooting of demonstrators and the repression that followed the June elections.

    My position has always been one of constructive criticism. I have devoted much of my time to studying the internal dynamics of the Iranian political system. I refuse to be swayed by propaganda claims, either from the Iranian regime, or from Israel (which asserts, all the while proclaiming its innocence, that Iran is the main obstacle to peace), from the United States or the European countries, all of whose strategic interests are involved. In Iran, the relationship between religion and politics is extremely complex.

    The simplistic view that posits two opposing camps - the fundamentalist conservatives versus the democratic reformists - displays a profound ignorance of Iranian reality. Moreover, no evolution toward democratic transparency can take place under pressure from the West: the process will be internal, lengthy and painful.

    When I agreed to host a television program on Islam and contemporary life, I chose the path of critical debate. I accepted no obligations. My guests have included atheists, rabbis, priests, women with and without headscarves, all invited to debate issues like freedom, reason, interfaith dialogue, Sunni versus Shia Islam, violence, jihad, love and art, to name only a few. I challenge my critics to scrutinise these programmes and to find the slightest evidence in them of support for the Iranian regime. My programme proclaims its openness to the world; all guests are treated with equal respect.

    Today, as Iran is torn by crisis, I intend to take all the time necessary to make the proper decision. All the facts must be carefully weighed in order to devise the optimum strategy for supporting the long march, in Iran, toward transparency and respect for human rights. Violent polemics and overheated debate of the kind we see today in the Netherlands lead nowhere. Before deciding on a course of action, I am determined to form a fully rounded picture.

    When I accepted the offer from PressTV, in London - my sole contact was with the British producers who were proposing a concept to the network - I did so on the clear condition that I would be free to select my topics and that I would have full editorial freedom within the parameters of a weekly programme dealing with religion, philosophy and contemporary issues.

    My method, from the start, has been to explore these issues without lending support to the Iranian regime, and without compromising myself. It has been a choice that many Iranian friends have not only understood, but also encouraged. Money is not a consideration. Another international news network has offered me three times more than what I receive from PressTV, an offer I refused on principle.

    Were I to change my political and religious beliefs I would be a wealthy man, as anyone who has followed my career well knows. But not for me the flattery of kings and princes, of regimes and of the rich. The price for my political stance has been high; I have never traded on principle. I cannot to travel to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Libya or Syria because of my criticism of these undemocratic regimes that deny the most basic human rights.

    The United States revoked my visa because of my outspoken condemnation of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and its unilateral support of Israel. Needless to say, I am considered persona non grata in Israel. Twenty years ago, a staff member from the Chinese embassy gave me to understand that the Beijing authorities were well aware of my commitment to the Tibetans.

    I have always taken full responsibility for my views; I have never supported either dictatorship or injustice in any Muslim majority society, or anywhere else for that matter. As for those who condemn me 'on principle' for hosting a television programme on an Iranian network, I reply: to work for a country's television network does not mean support of that country's regime. Were things so straightforward my detractors, those paragons of political virtue, would have long ago insisted that the government of the Netherlands sever all political and economic ties with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel or China.

    Curiously, their voices are not to be heard, just as when Rotterdam municipality publicly cleared me of the false accusations of 'doublespeak' or 'homophobia', or, more recently, when an American federal court quashed the decision of a lower court revoking my visa. Why the silence? Why the accusations that seem to fit me alone?

    The answer is simple: when they single out a 'visible Muslim intellectual' for attack, their real agenda is the politics of Muslim-baiting and fear. When it comes to seeking votes, all options are on the table, even the most dishonest and the most scurrilous.

    I respect my principles far too much to submit to this deceitful propaganda campaign. Not only as a question of personal honour, but in the name of human dignity, and faith in the future.

    Tariq Ramadan is a Egyptian-Swiss philosopher and theologist and an adviser to the local Rotterdam government on multicultural issues. He is also a guest lecturer at Rotterdam's Erasmus university.

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    Tariq Ramadan hits out over sacking


    "I spent thirty years learning manners, and I spent twenty years learning knowledge."

    ~ 'Abdullāh bin al-Mubārak (rahimahullah)

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    Uthman's Avatar
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    Re: Tariq Ramadan hits out over sacking

    I have watched some episodes of Islam and Life on Press TV and it doesn't even discuss the Iranian regime whatsoever, let alone endorse it. The only thing I have observed is that the show seems to have become a little more 'Shia-orientated' since the Iranian elections.

    Does anybody or has anybody else watched it?
    Tariq Ramadan hits out over sacking


    "I spent thirty years learning manners, and I spent twenty years learning knowledge."

    ~ 'Abdullāh bin al-Mubārak (rahimahullah)

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    Re: Tariq Ramadan hits out over sacking

    thats good news, the same kuffars he sucked up to screwed him over

    this is what happens to these 'moderate' muslims

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    Re: Tariq Ramadan hits out over sacking

    ^^ rofl how true..
    I am not sure they care though, as they hate Islam in any form, they'd love to corrupt it to something more in concert with their agenda but so whatever Muslims are there, are running on no principles, but still loathe it in any form..

    He is a moron, and that is the price to sell outs...

    2:114 ---------For them there is nothing but disgrace in this world, and in the world to come, an exceeding torment.

    Tariq Ramadan hits out over sacking

    Text without context is pretext
    If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him 44845203 1 - Tariq Ramadan hits out over sacking


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    Re: Tariq Ramadan hits out over sacking

    Come on guys, at least he does share many of our orthodox views. There may be some points upon which we would disagree with him, but this sacking was completely unjust.
    Tariq Ramadan hits out over sacking


    "I spent thirty years learning manners, and I spent twenty years learning knowledge."

    ~ 'Abdullāh bin al-Mubārak (rahimahullah)

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    Re: Tariq Ramadan hits out over sacking

    Nowadays Europe's choice is to be secular(unfortunately), so at least they should defend what they already stand for. Mr Ramadan, person somehow connected to Muslim Brotherhood, fiercly anti christian and anti european organization, shouldn't be a welcomed guest in Europe. Islamophobes dont go to Egypt or Indonesia to live there. Our politicians were fools enough to choose demliberalism and secularism, at least they shouldnt be fools X10 to tolerate missionaries of other religions hostile to european culture and civilization. They only should tolerate enemies of demoliberalsm and secularism coming from christianity, because for God's sake, this is our continent and no paper constitutions can change it.
    Tariq Ramadan hits out over sacking

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    Re: Tariq Ramadan hits out over sacking

    Quote Originally Posted by Amadeus85 View Post
    Islamophobes dont go to Egypt or Indonesia to live there
    I live in Indonesia, and there are plenty of islamophobes coming to live here.
    Stop talking things you don't know about.

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    Re: Tariq Ramadan hits out over sacking

    Quote Originally Posted by naidamar View Post
    I live in Indonesia, and there are plenty of islamophobes coming to live here.
    Stop talking things you don't know about.
    tell me about it, I was in the cairo international when this biatch screamed Arabs Arabs every where to her boy friend or pimp or whatever his relation was to her and they laughed with utmost disdain..

    They cut through line, they have disgusting manners, they carve their initials to millennium old monuments, they litter, they expect special privileges, they go to resorts closed to the locals and can't show the slightest bit of gratitude to everyone practically waiting on them hand and foot.

    I have learned to ignore stupid comments, but how incredibly right you are!

    Tariq Ramadan hits out over sacking

    Text without context is pretext
    If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him 44845203 1 - Tariq Ramadan hits out over sacking



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