Tariq Ramadan Speaks of Muslims' Mistrust of the West

September 11, 2006

Source: Swiss Info


On September 11, 2006 Swiss Info reported an interview with Tariq Ramadan, "Five years after the September 11 attacks, a leading Swiss expert on Islam says trust between Muslims and the West is at rock bottom. In an interview with swissinfo, Tariq Ramadan says the solidarity shown by many Muslims in the wake of the terrorist atrocities has been undermined by events in Iraq and Lebanon, and by negative perceptions of Islam in the West. Ramadan, who is a professor of Islamic studies, is currently working as a senior research fellow at St Anthony's College, Oxford University, and at the Lokahi Foundation in London. He has published more than 20 books on Islam. In the wake of the London bombings, he was appointed to a British government task force set up to combat Islamic radicalisation and extremism. swissinfo: How do Muslims feel about September 11? Tariq Ramadan: I think the great majority of Muslim people around the world expressed their condemnation of what happened. The feeling is that it was not Islamic and was against our values. But there is a very deep lack of trust because of what happened afterwards at a global level. Plus there is the reality of Western security policy and the way Muslims feel they are treated or targeted. So the overall perception of the consequences of 9/11 is quite negative. swissinfo: So five years on, you would describe the relationship between Islam and the West as one of deep mistrust? T.R.: Yes. There is still this perception in the West that Islam is a potential threat, not only the extremists and radicals but Muslims in general. What showed us the reality of this was the whole business surrounding the [Mohammed] caricatures, with on one side the West saying Muslims are against its values and freedom of speech and on the other Muslims saying the West is against Islam. Some Muslim leaders are also playing a negative role in that sense."