Tariq Ramadan...Tripped Up By His Double-Speak?
by IPT News • Apr 16, 2010 at 10:25 am
His first U.S. speaking tour in six years did little to settle the wildly conflicting image of Oxford University Professor Tariq Ramadan. A voice of moderation to many academics and other supporters, he remains a source of suspicion – "an Islamist in sheep's clothing" as CNN's Christiane Amanpour put it.
The debate rages in Canada, too, where Ramadan, the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna speaks tonight.
For six years, American officials refused to grant Ramadan a visa, saying he donated to a Hamas-linked charity. Ramadan denied knowing the charity was tied to Hamas and his supporters won an appeal in U.S. federal court which would have given him a chance to prove his claim.
That challenge was still in the appellate review process when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reversed course in January and opened the door to a visa. State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said that Hillary Clinton had "signed an exemption" based on her authority contained in the Immigration and Nationality Act. He cited the following as one of the key reasons:
"But in the Secretary's judgment, and consistent with President Obama's outreach to the – to Muslims around the world, we want to encourage a global debate. We want to have the opportunity potentially to have Islamic scholars come to the United States and have dialogue with other faith communities and people here in our country."
Curiously, the exemption cited by Crowley contains a specific provision that actually disallows such waivers in cases involving people who have "endorsed or espoused or persuaded others to endorse or espouse or support terrorist activity..." on behalf of designated FTOs.
Someone should explain why Ramadan still qualifies for the exemption. He has justified terrorist attacks on American military personnel in Iraq at least twice.
In an interview published by the Italian magazine Panorama in September 2004, Ramadan said "resistance to the army is just" because "Iraq was colonized by the Americans." He drew a line at "kidnappings and car bombings that don't differentiate between civilians and soldiers."
He made a similar distinction about violence against Israel and in Chechnya, saying it's okay to fight repression and dictatorship, "But the killings or the kidnapping of civilians are illegitimate tools of a legitimate resistance."
He drew similar lines last week during an interview on CNN:
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: There are people here who are very confused about how to judge what you believe and what you're talking about and what you're trying to preach about Islam and reform.
RAMADAN: So anyone who is telling you, I was not clear in suicide bombings, for example, or targeting innocent, he is wrong or she is wrong. This never happened. My position on this is, the Palestinian resistance or the Iraqi resistance is legitimate. The means should be ethical. You cannot target innocent people. You cannot target civilians. I was always clear.
His justification of attacking Americans in Iraq that has not received the attention it deserves. Ramadan clearly stated, "The resistance to the army is just." That "resistance" includes al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda in Iraq, both officially designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO).
For Ramadan, it's fine for Hamas and Hezbollah to kidnap and murder Israeli Defense Force soldiers and for al-Qaeda in Iraq to blow up American soldiers with IEDs. Such endorsements can have real world consequences. If he's as respected a figure as his supporters claim, his words may be viewed as sanction by violent Islamists who revere his grandfather and the ideology he espoused.
Read More: Tariq Ramadan
Reader comments on this item
Submitted by More-Informed-Than-You, Apr 18, 2010 21:55
First I'd like to say that I am a strong believer in America and what we're trying to accomplish in Iraq. I also do not wish for any more bloodshed than is necessary, as I'm sure most would agree, especially not the blood of fellow Americans in uniform.
As it appears to me, Ramadan has remained consistent with his views on both the actions against American soldiers in Iraq and common terrorism.
It is important to understand that these are NOT the same thing.
In the case of Iraq, violent / militaristic action against soldiers, and only soldiers, is NOT terrorism. We need to remember that WE invaded THEM. Regardless of what any official government says now, it is perfectly legitimate, if you are one who disapproves of the invasion and the current government, to target and execute attacks against a military target. We might not like it, but this is war. Imagine if an Islamic Extremist government invaded the US, defeated our military, and propped up it's own Islamic Extremist government here in America. Would you be content to let this happen, even though you were a loyal and patriotic citizen of the old United States? Wouldn't you believe it your duty to yourself, and your fellow citizens to force the invaders out? Now the way to go about this objective ethically and morally would be to what? Target military objectives of your enemy. This includes military convoys, soldiers, bases, etc. These are perfectly legitimate war-time targets. Even suicide-bombings of such targets are legitimate. We may feel they are morally wrong, but the outcome is the same: some of you die, some of the enemy die.
Only when you cross over to attacks on civillians and civillian targets, such as schools, markets, and stores, do you become a terrorist. These kinds of attacks are unacceptable, and morally wrong. However, any attack on a legitimate military target is just that, legitimate, whether we like it or not.
So, what else is new?
Apr 16, 2010 13:54
Thinking, informed people know what the aim of the islamic Brotherhood is. It is an organization designed to promote Islamic ideals through any means possible. Damn the consequences. Murder, Kidnappings, mayhem, are all part of their agenda. We should wise up.