Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Judging Tariq Ramdan

Lu, ce matin, un article sur Tariq Ramadan dans le blog de notre compatriote Amine. J'ai laisse la reponse suivante sur le dit blog:


Dear Amine,

I think all of us here know how controversial a figure Tariq Ramadan is. This is someone who is equally disliked by our "religious right" (i.e. the salafis), by the "traditional right", i.e. people like the Muslim Brotherhood (despite the attempts of French media to induce us into believing the contrary), and by the leftists (i.e. the secularists). When I read articles on him written by his detractors (and you, to a large extent, did this in your piece too), people tend to focus on what they perceive as his "pitfalls" (according to their own, personal, often unorthodox or wishful interpretation of Islam), and do not care to mention also his more progressist positions in favor of democracy and secularism, nor do they care to note his fierce criticism of obscurantist and totalitarian dictatorships in the Arab world. I personally think that, in fairness, one should be very careful when trying to judge the action of as controversial a figure as TR, and not be subject to the usual "cliches" articulated in the French media. When you say: "Accusé, à juste raison parfois, de démagogie et de double discours (souvent modéré à l’écran et sur le papier, extrémiste lors de ses conférences et réunions associatives notamment en banlieue parisienne)", do you have any evidence to substantiate this alleged extremism? The way you phrased it means that you must _certainly_ have firsthand knowledge or have personally witnessed extremist views formulated by the Swiss intellectual. Could you please give your readers an idea of what these extremist views were? I have very often read this charge in French media (which everybody knows all too well how biased it is against any "non-republican" interpretation of Islam, whatever that means), and nobody has ever cared to give any piece of evidence to substantiate it. To me, the fact that TR has been invited to be a Visiting Professor at a prestigious american university is a clear indication that the faculty and administration of that institution did not give any credit to the ramblings of French journalists about the alleged extremism of TR in "private meetings" in the parisian suburbs. And please, please, don't cite the annulation of TR's visa: we all know who are the poeple behind this infamous episode. These are the same people who are planning for the perpetual US dominance of the world (I am sure you know about the PNAC - the Project for a New American Century), who are bent on silencing any voice that challenges this dominance, and who have waged a war in Congress to hijack freedom of expression and remove all anti-imperialist (e.g. Edward Said's) books from the curricula of american schools and universities.

I will be looking forward to hearing from you.

1 comment:

'Thought & Humor' said...

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'Thought & Humor'
Cyber-Humor & Cyber-Thought
Harvard Humor Club