Tariq Ramadan Revisited

Edf Jajko writes:I subscribe to the e-mail list "Islamic Institute" (islaminst@yahoogroups.com) which is a product, of all things, of  the "Istituto Culturale della Comunita' Islamica Italiana" <islam.inst@flashnet.it>.  Its most recent posting comes with the subject line [Islamic Institute] "May Allah save the Muslims from Tariq Ramadan".  It is an editorial by Fouad Ajami in the Wall Street Journal (8/7/04)(www.wsj.com). Here is the article, as supplied by the Islamic Institute list of the Istituto Culturale della Comunita Islamica Italiana.

Think of it as a storm that begins in Egypt and reaches South Bend, Indiana. An Islamist of Egyptian ancestry and Swiss nationality, Tariq Ramadan, an author and pamphleteer 42 years of age, was set to begin a new academic appointment at the University of Notre Dame, as the occupant of a chair at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Back in May, the highly controversial figure, who resides in Geneva and whose shadow falls across the French intellectual and political landscape, was granted a work/residency visa in the United States. But two months later, the Department of Homeland Security revoked his visa, and in South Bend and beyond the matter of Tariq Ramadan has become a test of the balance between liberty and national security in a country still in the throes of a long war against terror.

Tariq Ramadan was no ordinary academic, and the people who authorized this appointment at Notre Dame no doubt knew that. In the world of the new Islamism, Mr. Ramadan was pure nobility. He was the maternal grandson of Hassan al-Banna, the Supreme Guide and founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, who lit the fuse of this religious radicalism back in 1928. Banna had lived a short and violent life. He was struck down by an assassin--most likely form the ranks of his own Brotherhood--in 1949. A village boy and a chameleon, a plotter who preached the simple but deadly doctrine of the Koran on the one hand and that of the gun on the other, Banna made his appearance when a fragile modernism was struggling to take hold in Egypt.  His targets were the classic themes of nativism: the British presence in Egypt, the role and the place of the Copts--the country's Christians--in public life, the moral "pollution" of secular modernism. His favorite disciple and son-in-law, Said Ramadan, made it to the safety of Switzerland when the Nasser regime, in the mid-1950s, launched a brutal campaign of suppression against the Brotherhood. It was in Switzerland, with the help of Saudi money and patronage, that Said Ramadan picked up the pieces of his life, stayed true to the legacy of Banna, and raised his two sons, Hani and Tariq, who would stay with the family business--the intersection of religion and politics, Islamic activism, and the call to the faith.

Your comments are invited. Read te home page of the World Association of International Studies (WAIS) by simply double-clicking on:   http://wais.stanford.edu/ E-mail to hilton@stanford.edu. Mail to Ronald Hilton, Hoover Institution, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Please inform us of any change of e-mail address.

Ronald Hilton 2004


last updated: October 8, 2004