Tariq Ramadan dévoilé
by Lionel Favrot
Lyon, France: Lyon Mag' Hors Serie, 2004. 297 pp. 10.
Reviewed by Isabelle Tahar Miller
Middle East Quarterly
Tariq Ramadan, a prominent Swiss Islamist and grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, has developed a strategy for spreading radical Islam among Muslims living in the West—most notably in Europe—that has been the focus of two recent journalistic investigations, Caroline Fourest's Frere Tariq (Brother Tariq) and Favrot's Tariq Ramadan dévoilé (Tariq Ramadan Unveiled).
In the latter, Favrot of Lyon Mag explains how, notwithstanding Ramadan's true agenda, the left-wing intelligentsia has accepted him as a leading Muslim intellectual. Ramadan accomplishes this through the audacious means of saying one thing to one public and the opposite when talking to another, and then getting away with it.
Favrot presents many examples of Ramadan's contradictory pronouncements to disparate audiences, describing how he adroitly expands his influence among the intellectual Left and the Islamist Right. In public literature, Ramadan writes, "A Muslim resident or citizen of a country must observe the laws of the country where he is established." However in audio tapes he distributes within the Muslim community, he declares that a Muslim can only observe the laws of the country if they are not in principal in opposition to Islam. And when asked whether the stoning of women shall be banned, Ramadan uses a subterfuge, calling for a moratorium.
Tracing Ramadan's ascension to prominence, Favrot observes how he manipulated his European cultural milieu to achieve Islamist goals—for example, his appropriation of the French ban on the wearing of hijabs (headscarves) by female students in public schools. He also notes how, to non-Muslims who criticize his Islamist goals, Ramadan responds with accusations of "Islamophobia," often successfully thwarting critics. And to moderate Muslims who criticize his agenda, Ramadan replies that they have sold their souls to the West.
Favrot's investigation confirms many of the suspicions of Ramadan's troubling personality and ulterior motives. By exploiting the rights of free expression that prevail in the West, he urges legions of young Muslims to reject the very model presented by European society.
 Paris: Editions Grasset, 2004.
Related Topics: Muslims in Europe, Muslims in the West | Summer 2005 MEQ
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