Tariq Ramadan, "Europe's Muslim of Choice"

February 15, 2006

Source: Deutsche Welle


On February 15, 2006 Deutsche Welle reported, "He's the man EU officials and journalists alike seek out when Islam and Western Europe don't see eye-to-eye. Muslim intellectual Tariq Ramadan has been in demand again recently. There may not be a Muslim intellectual more popular at the moment than Tariq Ramadan. If he's not holding lectures in French suburbs in front of excited young people, he's celebrated like a head of state during visits to Khartoum in Sudan. The British government uses him as a top-level consultant, and the EU has made him a regular on every commission dealing with intercultural or inter-religious dialogue. His message rarely wavers: 'It is possible to be both European and a Muslim'... The controversy surrounding Ramadan is perhaps explained by the fact that his proposals demand more than either side is willing to give. Western Europeans find it hard to imagine Islam finding a place in their modern, pluralistic society. Muslims, on the other hand, are unwilling to let their religious traditions submerge under the secularism widespread in many European societies. Ramadan is frequently asked on which side he stands, an answer he is often unwilling to give. 'Muslims simply cannot allow themselves to do the West a favor,' [he said.] 'I can sit here and tell you, "Yes I'm a liberal Muslim." Then I go to the Muslim world and nobody listens to me.'"