Muslim Scholar's Criticism of Jewish Intellectuals' Support for Israel Causes Controversy

November 13, 2003

Source: The New York Times

On November 13, 2003 The New York Times ran an article on Tariq Ramadan, "a 41-year-old, Swiss-born philosophy professor, ...who promotes a moderate, tolerant version of Islam from his headquarters in Geneva and in his lectures around the world" and has come under suspicion in France as being "a dangerous demagogue whose words have multiple meanings and are laced with anger and anti-Semitism...Mr. Ramadan touched off a verbal firestorm last month after he posted an essay on a Muslim Internet site suggesting that a number of French intellectuals (whom he identified as Jewish) took political positions because of their Jewishness...In a country where one does not usually talk about one's religion and where the media thrive on intellectual debate, it was no surprise that the intellectuals struck back...[Bernard-Henri] Lévy, the author of the best-selling book 'Who Killed Daniel Pearl?' called Mr. Ramadan an 'intellectual champion of all kinds of double-talk' with a 'racist vision of the world.' If he is not an an anti-Semite, at the very least he has written an anti-Semitic text, Mr. Lévy added."