Rotterdam city council is launching an investigation of alleged anti-gay and anti-woman statements by Tariq Ramadan. This Islamic scientist advises the city on integration policy. Gay magazine Gay Krant yesterday published a translation of sound recordings of statements Ramadan is said to have made in a speech. He called homosexuality “a disturbance, a faulty functioning and an imbalance” and said on women that they must attract no attention by their appearance. “On the street, thus says the law, women must keep their eyes fixed on the pavement,” the magazine quotes him as saying. Rotterdam says it wants access to the recordings as quickly as possible. This will allow the municipality itself to assess the statements of Ramadan, according to a spokeswoman of Participation Alderman Rik Grashoff. “These statements raise questions about statements Ramadan has made as advisor to Rotterdam municipality and as guest professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam,” according to the Gay Krant. Ramadan, “who charges an hourly fee of 290 euros,” was recently re-appointed for two years as advisor to Grashof, according to the magazine.
Swiss Muslim scholar and Oxford professor Tariq Ramadan argued during a lecture at the American University of Beirut (AUB) that US relations with the Muslim world will only improve if the United States becomes more honest in its dealings with Muslim-majority nations, a university statement said on Thursday. The United States should not claim to be pushing for democracy when it bans all democratically elected groups who are critical of it, he noted. Ramadan, who was speaking before a large audience at AUB said that the United States deals with Muslim-majority nations with the attitude of, “You are bad if you are against me. You are good if you are with me.” He added that “this is a colonial mindset.”
Tariq Ramadan is perhaps best described as an independent power center within the global Brotherhood with sufficient stature as the son of Said Ramadan, and the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood to challenge positions taken by important Brotherhood leaders. His statements and writings have been extensively analyzed and he has been accused by critics of promoting anti-Semitism and fundamentalism, albeit by subtle means. On the other hand, his supporters promote him as as example of an Islamic reformer who is in the forefront of developing a “Euro Islam.”
Ramadan is currently professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford’s Faculty of Theology and senior research fellow at St. Antony’s College (Oxford), Dohisha University (Kyoto, Japan) and at the Lokahi Foundation (London). He is also visiting professor (holding the chair: Identity and Citizenship) at Erasmus University in The Netherlands.