Tariq Ramadan -- a member of the world's most famous Islamist family, as the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan el-Banna -- spoke at Stanford University on April 12, 2011, in a lecture entitled, "The Quest for Meaning: Developing a Philosophy of Pluralism."
. . . Ramadan is a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at Oxford University and despite his extensive writings on that subject, he adhered closely to the title of his talk, rarely mentioning religion until the question and answer session.
In the first of what would become a series of open-ended, philosophical questions, Ramadan began by asking the audience how to find meaning in the relatively short time they are given on earth. "What is the meaning [of all this]?" he asked rhetorically. After pausing for a moment, he added an unexpectedly blunt and morbid caveat: "One day you will not be able to pose that question -- because you are all going to die." The audience responded with nervous laughter.
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