Islamic theologian Tariq Ramadan, who was recently dismissed from his positions with the Rotterdam, Netherlands municipality and at a Netherlands university, has called his dismissal the result of Western “hypocrisy.” In a statement last week, the municipality of Rotterdam and the Erasmus University Rotterdam declared that the Swiss-born theologian’s hosting of a program on Press TV was “irreconcilable” with his position as a guest professor and relieved him from his duties (see Muslim Scholar Tariq Ramadan Fired From Netherlands City, University Posts For Weekly Show On Iran’s Press TV). Ramadan, who will chair an Islamic studies department at Oxford University in September, has strongly criticized the Dutch authorities over their decision. “The situation is completely different from what they portray, because I have been working with Press TV on a program mainly focusing on theology, Islamic issues, philosophy and contemporary issues,” Ramadan told Press TV. “Because of the political climate in the Netherlands and especially in Rotterdam, they use it as a pretext to target the visible Muslim intellectuals and as I am visible in the Netherlands, it is what they were going to do,” he added. “The Dutch government and the municipality of Rotterdam have direct contacts with Iran and they did not cut it even after the election, so this is all hypocrisy,” Ramadan concluded.
Previous posts have discussed the controversy over Ramadan’s hosting of the program on Press TV as well as his subsequent dismissals from his position as an integration advisor to the Rotterdam municipality and as a visiting professor at Erasmus University also in Rotterdam. In a previous statement on the issue, Ramadan blamed “the politics of Muslim-baiting and fear” for his problems.
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).
Source: Press TV, Iran, August 27, 2009