The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office announced that last week it hosted the first meeting of a new Advisory Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief that includes Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Tariq Ramadan. According to the announcement:
March 25, 2014 The Foreign & Commonwealth Office today hosted the first meeting of a new Advisory Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief, chaired by Senior Minister of State, Baroness Warsi. The new group, which is a sub-group of the Foreign Secretary’s Human Rights Advisory Group, is made up of experts in the field and is intended to advise FCO Ministers and staff on how to build on the active approach they already take to promoting and protecting the right to freedom of religion or belief worldwide.
Commenting on the first meeting of the new group, Baroness Warsi said:
Freedom of religion or belief is a personal priority for me. Across the world, people are being singled out and hounded out simply for the faith they follow or the beliefs they hold. The persecution of people because of their faith or belief has, I believe, become a global crisis. I want to make sure we have the best advice available. This is why we have set up this new Advisory Group, made up of real experts in the field, and of those who are working every day in practical ways to defend the right to freedom of religion or belief. I look forward to working with them as we seek to move towards a world where no-one is persecuted for what they believe.
I am pleased to announce the following members of the Foreign and Commonwealth Advisory Group on freedom of religion:
Read the names following.
The GMBDW reported earlier today that UK Prime Minister David Cameron has ordered an inquiry into the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United Kingdom.
Tariq Ramadan is best described as an independent power center within the Global Muslim Brotherhood who has 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 Contemporary Islamic Studies at the Oxford University (Oriental Institute, St Antony’s College) and also teaches at the Oxford Faculty of Theology. He is Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, (Qatar) and the University of Malaysia Perlis; Senior Research Fellow at Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan) and Director of the Research Centre of Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE) (Doha, Qatar). In 2009, Ramadan was dismissed 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 2010 and since then he has appeared a number of times in the US to speak at events organized by various US Muslim Brotherhood organizations. The Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CLIE), headed by Ramadan, was launched in January 2012 and represented a significant coming together of Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders Tariq Ramadan and Youssef Qaradawi. A post from May 2013 reported that that two French ministers refused to attend a conference on the future of the EU due to the scheduled attendance of Tariq Ramadan.