A group of moderate Muslims on Thursday warned Canadians not to be fooled by Islamist Tariq Ramadan, telling reporters in Montreal that his charisma masks a dark vision of tyranny over Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Speakers including Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy; Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress; Salim Mansur, a professor at the University of Western Ontario and newspaper columnist; and Danish Parliament member Naser Khader. Rather than the moderate he professes to be, the group agreed Ramadan (who will speak Friday night in Montreal), represents the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood and its efforts to undermine the fabric of liberal democracy in the West.
At the press conference sponsored by Point de Bascule (an organization working to educate residents of Quebec about the danger posed by Islamism), speakers said Ramadan was behaving deceptively - talking about peace and interfaith dialogue on one hand, while acting like an apologist for terror and raising money for Islamist organizations on the other.
Jasser said that Western elites misconstrue critical issues in the current struggle with radical Islam. They erroneously believe that the most important aspect of the conflict is whether an Islamist organization is violent or nonviolent.
But truly moderate Muslims spend most of their time dealing with the factors that drive people toward radical Islam. And a major factor is "political Islam," which Jasser described as "the 800-pound elephant in the room."
A key component of this consists of making excuses for terrorism and objecting to U.S. defense actions against violent jihadists. Jasser cited an interview during which a reporter asked Ramadan about the recent announcement that the United States would target Anwar al-Awlaki –an Al Qaeda-linked imam who has endorsed terrorist attacks like the Fort Hood massacre and the attempted Christmas Day airliner bombing.
Ramadan voiced objections to U.S. efforts to kill Awlaki, saying the imam felt "estrangement" from mainstream American society and had been "pushed away."
Jasser and Mansur voiced particularly strong objections to this "root cause" argument, saying it was an attempt to make excuses for Awlaki's criminal behavior. Ramadan also accepted money from Iran as compensation for a television show on the regime controlled PRESS Television.
"I would not take remuneration from a government that engages in the oppression of Muslims," Jasser said.
Ramadan stands for "obfuscation and denial" and represents the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, he added.
Fatah, who also published this column on Ramadan in the Montreal Gazette, blasted the "cowardice of Western society" in refusing to confront efforts to "recreate the world of [Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, Tariq Ramadan's grandfather] in Canada."
Salim Mansur urged Canadians to read French author Caroline Fourest's book Brother Tariq, which illustrates Ramadan's "double speak." Ramadan is trying to tell Western audiences that it is possible to reconcile Islamism and Sharia with liberal democratic concepts of freedom. Mansur said that is impossible because "we cherish individual rights," while Islamism represents a form of "collectivism" where liberty is subordinated to clerical decree.