Monday, 4 February 2008

Tarik Ramadan: "Boycott Israel at the International Book Fair of Turin"

Hopefully, the organisers of the Turin International Book Fair will not cave in to Tarik Ramadan's demand. Posted by Bennauro at Israele senza se e senza ma (Israel without ifs or buts):

"The Union of Arab Writers has written a letter of protest at the designation of Israel as a guest of honour for the next edition of the Turin International Book Fair, Italian daily Corriere della Sera reports. The letter slams Israel's invitation to the event, timed to mark the 60th anniversary of the Jewish state.

Yesterday the imperious voice of the self-styled Swiss intellectual, Tariq Ramadan, Hassan al-Banna's grandson, has called for the boycott of the Book Fair. "Whoever has a clear conscience should boycott the Fair and with it whatever comes from Israel" said the islamic reformer, "one of the world’s top 100 intellectuals," as Prospect magazine calls him (ADNKronos).

I would rather agree with writer Paul Berman who, in a much-discussed article in the New Republic last year (June 4), entitled "Who’s afraid of Tariq Ramadan?" accuses Ramadan of being Janus-faced, of presenting himself as a reformer of Islam when he is in fact a die-hard "Islamist".

"A master of Taqqya" I might add.

Barred by the Homeland Security Department in 2004 from entering the United States, where he planned to teach at dhimmified Notre Dame, Mr. Ramadan struggled to look like a "moderate" muslim when, in a televised debate with now French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Ramadan refused to condemn the stoning of women for adultery as prescribed by Islamic law, offering only to institute a temporary moratorium on the practice. Here is the exchange (20 November 2003):

Sarkozy: A moratorium.... Mr. Ramadan, are you serious?

Ramadan: Wait, let me finish.Sarkozy: A moratorium, that is to say, we should, for a while, hold back from stoning women?

Ramadan: No, no, wait.... What does a moratorium mean? A moratorium would mean that we absolutely end the application of all of those penalties, in order to have a true debate. And my position is that if we arrive at a consensus among Muslims, it will necessarily end. But you cannot, you know, when you are in a community.... Today on television, I can please the French people who are watching by saying, "Me, my own position." But my own position doesn't count. What matters is to bring about an evolution in Muslim mentalities, Mr. Sarkozy. It's necessary that you understand....

Sarkozy: But, Mr. Ramadan....

Ramadan: Let me finish.

Sarkozy: Just one point. I understand you, but Muslims are human beings who live in 2003 in France, since we are speaking about the French community, and you have just said something particularly incredible, which is that the stoning of women, yes, the stoning is a bit shocking, but we should simply declare a moratorium, and then we are going to think about it in order to decide if it is good.... But that's monstrous--to stone a woman because she is an adulterer! It's necessary to condemn it!

Ramadan: Mr. Sarkozy, listen well to what I am saying. What I say, my own position, is that the law is not applicable--that's clear. But today, I speak to Muslims around the world and I take part, even in the United States, in the Muslim world.... You should have a pedagogical posture that makes people discuss things. You can decide all by yourself to be a progressive in the communities. That's too easy. Today my position is, that is to say, "We should stop."

Sarkozy: Mr. Ramadan, if it is regressive not to want to stone women, I avow that I am a regressive.

Ladies and gentlemen, this man has called for the boycott of Israel at the International Book Fair of Turin..."