The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has announced that Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Tariq Ramadan will give the keynote address at its 16th annual banquet in October. According to the announcement:
Online registration is now available for CAIR’s 16th annual banquet on Saturday, October 9 in Arlington, Va., at which internationally-renowned Muslim scholar Dr. Tariq Ramadan will offer the keynote address. At the banquet, themed “Defining Our Faith, Defending Our Rights,” a lifetime achievement award will be presented to noted journalist Helen Thomas, and Mo Amer of the “Allah Made Me Funny” comedy group will provide entertainment. A day-long leadership skills training conference for community leaders and activists is scheduled to precede the banquet on Saturday. The leadership conference will offer workshops, taught by top trainers in their fields, such as “Methods for Successful on-Camera Interviews,” “Effective Engagement of Social Media,” “Successful Political Engagement,” “Becoming a Dynamic Public Speaker,” “Know Your Rights with Law Enforcement,” and “Challenging Islamophobia.” “We invite you to join other community leaders and activists in gaining the essential skills needed for effective civic engagement,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Please pass this invitation on to your friends and family members so that they can take advantage of this unique and empowering opportunity.” The dinner will also feature the awarding of this year’s “Rosa Parks Civil Liberties Scholarship,” which honors the life and work of the civil rights pioneer.
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). Previous posts discussed his dismissal from his positions as an adviser on integration for the city of Rotterdam and from a Dutch University over his role as a talk show host on Iranian TV. A ban on Ramadan traveling to the US was lifted in January and several posts have discussed his recent visits to the US where he appeared at various US Muslim Brotherhood venues including giving the keynote at the CAIR-Chicago annual banquet in April.
Documents released in the Holy Land Trial have revealed that the founders and current leaders of CAIR were part of the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as identifying the organization itself as being part of the US. Brotherhood. A recent post discussed an interview with the Deputy leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in which he confirms a relationship between his organization and CAIR. Investigative research posted on GMBDW had determined that CAIR had it origins in the U.S. Hamas infrastructure and CAIR and its leaders have a long history of defending almost all individuals accused of terrorism by the US. government, frequently calling such prosecutions a “war on Islam.”