Al Jazeera has reported on what can only be described as a highly equivocal condemnation of ISIS by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Tariq Ramadan. According to the report, Ramadan seems to be more concerned with criticizing what he calls “dictators” in the Islamic world than he is with ISIS itself:
Oct 12 2014 ‘They [ISIL] are distorting the whole message. So we have to respond to this by saying … what you are doing, killing innocent people, implementing so-called ‘Sharia’ or the so-called ‘Islamic State’, this is against everything that is coming from Islam,’ says Tariq Ramadan, a prominent Islamic scholar.
‘It is not a caliphate,’ Ramadan says about ISIL. ‘It is just people playing with politics referring to religious sources. And this is why [as]Muslim scholars, Muslim intellectuals, we have to be quite clear about this. We have to speak the truth and be quite clear about the fact that if they are not representing what are the Islamic principles, many of the dictators today are not representing Islam either.
‘They have nothing to do with [Islamic] principles because our principles are clear: that the one who is leading should be chosen by people who are followers or citizens. So many countries who are dealing with the West are not as bad as Daesh (ISIL) today, but they are bad,’ he adds.
Ramadan concedes that those who speak for the mainstream understanding of Islam face a challenge for the hearts and minds of Muslims.
‘The main problems of Muslims are coming from the Muslims; from Muslim-majority countries,’ he says. ‘And then when we start to be critical and say we are going to speak out against all the dictators, then some of the scholars who responded to Daesh today and are speaking about the so-called Islamic State, saying this is wrong in Islam, they are the same scholars that are supporting dictators.’
Read the entire article here.
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.”
For a profile of Tariq Ramadan, go here.