Why Does Tariq Ramadan Cause Such a Stir?

April 29, 2010

Author: Eleanor Goldberg

Source: Religion News Service


With an open collared baby blue shirt and Dolce & Gabbana jacket hugging his slim frame, Tariq Ramadan appears the epitome of Western sophistication.

But from 2004 until just a few months ago, the Department of Homeland Security viewed him with suspicion.

Ramadan, a 46-year-old Oxford University professor and a golden child of American academia, was banned from the U.S. for six years because of alleged ties to a Muslim charity that supported the militant group Hamas.

“A silly decision from the Bush administration,” as Ramadan prefers to put it now.

Ramadan, the author of more than 20 books on Islam and the grandson of the founder of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, is widely considered a go-to scholar on all things Islam. He’s made enemies on both sides with his criticisms of both U.S. foreign policy and Islamic fundamentalism.