A biography of Tariq Ramadan just brought to the attention of the GMBDW represents what we consider to be the consummation of the growing relationship between Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders Tariq Ramadan and Youssef Qaradawi. According the bio posted on Ramadan’s official website, he has become a full-fledged member of Qaradawi’s International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS):
Tariq Ramadan is 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). He holds an MA in Philosophy and French literature and PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Geneva. In Cairo, Egypt he received one-on-one intensive training in classic Islamic scholarship from Al-Azhar University scholars (ijazat in seven disciplines). Through his writings and lectures Tariq has contributed to the debate on the issues of Muslims in the West and Islamic revival in the Muslim world. He is active at academic and grassroots levels lecturing extensively throughout the world on theology, ethics, social justice, ecology and interfaith as well intercultural dialogue. He is President of the European think tank: European Muslim Network (EMN) in Brussels. He is a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars.
Tariq Ramadan’s official listing of his IUMS membership occurred sometime between February and April 2014 as prior to that, there was no mention of the IUMS in his biography.
In January 2012, the GMBDW reported on the launch of new Islamic research center in Qatar to be headed by Ramadan. At that time, we described the development as:
…what appears to be a highly significant coming together of Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders Tariq Ramadan and Youssef Qaradawi
Around the same time, we also reported that the launch ceremony for the new Islamic center was co-organized by a group that included five US universities together with representatives of two organizations headed by Youssef Qaradawi and an organization tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas fundraising, and support for Al Qaeda. One of those organizations headed by Qaradawi was the IUMS. Most importantly, we also noted that Qaradawi himself was one of the speakers at the event. As we concluded:
What ever conflicts have transpired between them since that time, over Ramadan’s call for the suspension of “hudud” punishments prescribed in Sharia law for example, the establishment of a research center in Ramadans name by the QFIS, the role of a Qaradawi associate as deputy director, and Qaradawi’s speaking appearance at the inaugural event strongly suggest that all is well between them.
Given Ramadan’s widespread characterization as a moderate, it is worth noting the nature of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) which was launched on July 11, 2004 in conjunction with a visit by Qaradawi to London for a meeting of the European Council for Fatwa and Research. Qaradawi is the IUMS President while many prominent individuals tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and/or Hamas serve as IUMS Trustees according to the most current available lists including: (see note below)
- Rachid Ghannouchi (leader of the Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood)
- Safwat Hejazi (close to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and noted for extremist statements)
- Isam al-Bashir (Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood leader)
- Jamal Badawi (US Muslim Brotherhood leader)
- Basheer Nafi (Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader, formerly associated with the International Institute of Islamic Thought)
- Isaq Farhan (Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood)
- Salah Sultan (former US Muslim Brotherhood, notorious antisemite)
Past lists of IUMS members have included other prominent individuals such as
- Ismail Haniyeh (Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza)
- Mohammad Sawalha (UK. Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas)
The IUMS is known to have:
- Criticized French military intervention in Mali aimed at Al Qaeda.
- Helped Qatar draft a law aimed at banning attacks on or offenses to religion.
- Demanded that Pope Benedict apologize for his remarks “just as he apologized to the Jews”
- Called for punishment of U.S. soldiers who burned Korans
- Ruled that “resisting occupation troops in Iraq is a ‘duty’ on able Muslims in and outside Iraq
IUMS leader Qaradawi has his own history of virulently anti-Semitic and other extremist statements that will not be reviewed here.
Tariq Ramadan’s close relationship to Qaradawi was already noticed by US writer in 1997. As he then described:
As for Tariq Ramadan, he reveres Qaradawi above all other present-day Islamic scholars, and in one book after another he has left no room for doubt about his fealty. If anyone in the world offers a model of modern enlightened Islam, Ramadan plainly judges Qaradawi to be that person. Ramadan has contributed prefaces to two collections of Qaradawi’s fatwas in their French editions, not to mention other books written by people with one or another sort of connection to the terrorist vogue–these editions published by the Tawhid house in Lyon, which is Ramadan’s publisher as well. one of this alters the fact that Tariq Ramadan himself disapproves of terrorism. But there is a cost in having it both ways, in noisily affirming his place within the salafi reformist tradition while pretending that terrorist components of the movement belong only to a distant offshoot; or in affirming his own disapproval of violent action while exalting his grandfather’s memory; or in condemning the terrorist aspects of the Palestinian resistance while still revering Qaradawi and even, with his prefaces, bedecking himself with Qaradawi’s prestige, and bedecking Qaradawi with his own prestige.one of this alters the fact that Tariq Ramadan himself disapproves of terrorism. But there is a cost in having it both ways, in noisily affirming his place within the salafi reformist tradition while pretending that terrorist components of the movement belong only to a distant offshoot; or in affirming his own disapproval of violent action while exalting his grandfather’s memory; or in condemning the terrorist aspects of the Palestinian resistance while still revering Qaradawi and even, with his prefaces, bedecking himself with Qaradawi’s prestige, and bedecking Qaradawi with his own prestige.
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.
Recent examples of egregious behavior by Tariq Ramadan have included:
- Tweeting a highly dubious video alleging to show “impostor (IDF) demonstrators (dressed as Palestinians) instigate violence to lure Palestinians.”
- Urging that an attempt be made to “understand the grievances that might lead such people [ISIS} to commit such extreme acts of violence” and appearing to blame Western attitudes for the recent Paris attacks.
- Writing a long article in which he not so subtly implies that the overthrow of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was orchestrated by a conspiracy involving the US and Israel together with what he alleges to be their Salafist allies.