In "The Reformer," Laura Secor examines the life and work of Tariq Ramadan, Europe's leading advocate of moderate Islam. Does Ramadan's vision promote tolerance and coexistence? Will it enable Muslim immigrants to live in non-Muslim societies on the best terms?
Ramadan is simply another extremist-in-waiting. Make no mistake; we now live in a Christian vs Moslem world. It's sad, but true.
I would not say that I am an admirer, but I have heard a speech by Tariq Ramadan when he was here for a ISNA conference in 2001 and thought that he tried to present logical and moderate views. Islam does not condone violence to start with. The greeting muslims use when they meet each other is of 'peace be upon you' itself. Moreover, it seemed that he was simply trying to encourage muslims to not be emotional and instead think with a calm head and to be constructive and productive members of the societies they live in. I hope that the Globe will continue to produce balanced and unbiased news stories.
Ghulam , Cambridge
It is funny how these muslims say they are peaceful, but continue to kill every non-believer they can find. If they are tolerant, how come they have made islam the law every time they had the chance? Today, there are not one, not two, but 52 (repeat 52) islamic states. If they are tolerant, wouldn't atleast a few be secular? How come there is no instance where islam is at peace with its non-muslim neighbors? Kashmir, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Iraq and now the US, wherever there is islam, there is violence against non-believers. How come every muslim that dates a non-muslim demands that they convert to islam? One of my good friends was recently blackmailed into conversion. I have personally not found an exception yet. Let us face the facts - Islam is a violent religion with only one diabolical agenda, to establish an islamic world order, as demanded of every muslim by the quoran. A good example is India, where secular, peaceful hindus let muslims into the country, only to be massacred. Is US making the same mistake?
It seems like Ramadan is making an honest effort to demonstrate that one can be both a faithful Muslim and a good citizen of a democratic society. This is a laudable and necessary goal. Unfortunately too many people today are not willing to approach this issue with an open mind, and have already decided that we're in some kind of 'clash of civilizations'. It doesn't have to be that way, and in fact we MUST NOT allow it to be that way for that would be to hand the terrorists a victory on a silver platter, it's exactly what they're seeking. I think Ramadan is trying to show one way of avoiding a fundamentalist extremist attitude. I don't know enough about him to know whether his effort is successful or not, but it seems to me that people are allowing their biases and preconceptions to make their judgements on him, not what he's actually saying. And make no mistake, fundamentalist extremists come in all stripes, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim. All equally dangerous.
I have been living in the states for more than half of my life, around 23 years. As I was reading "The Reformer" by Laura Secor, I felt very intrigued and captivated by it. I had heard about Ramadan before but haven't really known what he stands for and what he realy preaches about. His ideas, while revolutionary to some, are indeed necessary to get out of the rut that Muslims have been living in for so long. Islam is all about tolerance and coexistence. God has mentioned clearly in the Koran that he purposely created us from different tribes so that we could meet and get to know each other. I found that some of Rmadan's views is all about enforcing this critical belief. Islam, while scary to many westerners, does bring an inner peace to all. People just have to open their heart and mind and learn about it without having any pre-perception about it.
The message from Mike from Foxboro is just sad. This post reaks of ignorance and hatred. Islam has the 2nd largest following in US and now more than ever, we need to spread awareness and educate America about what Islam is really about. Its a religion of peace and we shouldn't let the actions of a few terrorists taint our view of the entire group. Islam is not the only religion that terrorist claim their faith to. Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and every other religion has terrorist who falsely claim to follow it. There are now 8+ million muslims in North America and their growth rate is faster than any other group. Blind hate, bigotry or any modern version of KKK ism is not going to improve the future. Education, tolerance and awareness will.
Raja, Western suburbs
Yet another reason why both the Middle East and France should be turned into a parking lot.
Rick, Ashford, CT
this article, seemingly well researched for non-connoisseurs, actually gets its facts wrong. It is best, when quoting the names of people, to take the elementary, journalistic trouble, to get them right: bernard-henri Ly is in reality bernard-henri Levy. Alain Finkielkraut is in reality Alain Finkelkraut. It must be a coincidence that the "Jewish intellectual" name that was not mis-quoted in this article belongs to an intellectual who does not happen to be a Jew. Similarly, misspelling just about the only french language word of this article (banlieu spells banlieue) makes the informed reader suspicious of the professionalism of the research. Mr Ramadan was until a few weeks ago a relatively obscure figure in France, that is until he chose to publish his diatribe in Oumma.com, which was indeed seized upon by the French national press as a perfect example of the new type of anti-semitism (the old type was right-wing bordering on fascist) that has emerged in France in recent years among left-wing anti-globalisation supporters. There was good reason for this. First, his only judgment of "Jewish intellectuals" was in relation to Israel, ie. intellectuals unsupportive of Mr. Arafat had to be Jewish - in fact, one of those quoted is not Jewish as the article noted. Second, the strangest thing happened: these intellectuals, who have expressed for months and years deep reservations regarding the policies of Mr Sharon's government - some of them are today in Geneva to support the new peace initiative -, became unconditional supporters of Mr. Sharon in Ramadan's diatribe, presumably due to their "Jewish intellectual" racial characteristic. Liars reveal themselves by saying not one lie, but two lies. Or, to misquote your great American poet Bob Dylan, beware of the devil that comes wrapped in the clothes of a man of faith.
godement, paris france
Muslims hold all Jews responsible for anything that happens in Israel, just because they're Jewish. It's pure racism, through and through. Shouldn't Muslims practice what they preach? Why can't the Muslims clean up their own house first before trying to convert people? Anyway, the notion of tolerance and conversion are totally contradictory. If you are tolerant then you respect other people's beliefs and let them do what they want.
In reading through many of the comments written on this board, it is clear to see just how ignorant and hypocritical many Americans are about such ideas. Although I am not Muslim, nor religious at all for that matter, it is refreshing to see the views and teachings of a "moderate" Muslim making headlines. True, there are radicals and hypocrites in positions of authority in the Islamic world, but look closer to home at the leadership of the Catholic and Jewish faiths - you'll find just as many! Religions do not have a worthy track record of promoting tolerance and understanding - don't agree? Look back at world history!
Matthew, Boston, MA