Version française ICI
On July 27, 2011, Tariq Ramadan gave a speech at a fundraiser organised by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) in Dallas (TX).
GMBDR describes ICNA as “a less well-known part of the Muslim Brotherhood network in the U.S., generally thought to be closely tied to the Jamaat-e-Islami organization of Southeast Asia, itself known to be allied with the Muslim Brotherhood. ICNA is particularly close to the Muslim American Society and the two organizations have been holding joint annual conventions for many years.”
The website voicesempower.com and other American websites have reported on the fact that several ticket holders, who had paid their way to listen to Ramadan in Dallas, were expelled from the conference room. In spite of that, some spectators managed to record Tariq Ramadan’s conference and made it available on YouTube.
Tariq Ramadan’s conference is available in three parts:
The highlight of the conference occurred at the beginning of the first part. Tariq Ramadan enjoins his listeners “not to be colonized” by the consumerist society then added that the Muslims should be the ones “positively” colonizing the United States of America “with our understanding of Islam, with our principles”.
Later, in his conference, Ramadan blamed his critics who refuse to be colonized by him and by those who share his “understanding of Islam”. “What does it mean colonizing?”, Ramadan asked the crowd.
Point de Bascule presents the transcript of the most important excerpts:
We should all be careful not to be colonized by something which is coming from this consumerist society…
It should be us, with our understanding of Islam, our principles, colonizing positively the United States of America.
But let me tell you something. On the long run, I’m quite optimistic. I think that Inshallah (inaudible word) our future in the West is going to be a bright future, to be positive.
By the way, we are not here by accident. We are not here by accident.
We are learning how to be a Muslim. It’s difficult, it’s a challenge, it’s a jihad…
On the long run, we also have to think about our contribution. We should be a gift to the United States of America. We should be a gift to the West.
We don’t want the West to be destructed. What we want is the West to be reformed.
You are living in the United States of America. All last year, we heard messages coming that are attacking Islam as an alien religion, a non-American religion. And, in Europe for the last fifteen years, everywhere, we can see this, it’s not only in France, because many people are talking about France because they heard about the headscarf…
In many countries, Switzerland for four minarets… Now they are banning the construction of minarets saying the Muslims are colonizing. What does it mean colonizing?
That even myself in a prime time TV program with (inaudible name), who is the leader, the spokesperson for Swiss People’s Party, he told me: “We made a mistake with you, we gave you the nationality”, meaning you are too much a Muslim to be a good Swiss citizen.
This is the narrative behind. This is the narrative behind. The rationale behind is to make it clear: Islam is not a Western religion. You are the other. And this is what we have been facing. And in fact, for years we had the populists and we had the far-right parties saying this. The problem and be careful is not only the rise of the populist parties. The problem that we are facing in Europe is the normalization of this discourse among all the other parties.
What yesterday was said by the far-right parties and the populists now is said by all the parties. That Islam is an alien religion. That, as Muslims, what you want is to colonize the country. You want to change the very essence of our culture as Westerners and Western countries. This is the rationale of all the discourses.
And it spreads around fears. People are full of mistrust with Muslims. 75% of the French when they hear Islam, they think about violence. Now, this is what we are facing.
Then Tariq Ramadan referred to the Norway massacre and implied that those who criticize Islam are paving the way for more killings.
If you carry on this discourse about Islam being an alien religion, that we are threatening the very essence of Europe, you are nurturing such an attitude. You should also get it right. Your responsibility is to be very cautious. The atmosphere is negative. So, anyone who is following the trend could do something which is extreme, extremist and he can kill.
In eighteen (U.S.) states, and now up to twenty-two, we have people who want bills against the sharia implementation. You might think that they are not going to win and in many states they are not going to win. But in fact, they don’t want to win. This is not the purpose. The purpose is to spread around the fact that Islam is a danger. There is a threat so the atmosphere is there.
The conservatives, the tea parties, what they want in this country (in the United States) is to make Islam a problem. You want the statistics? Just after September the 11th, ten years ago, 66% of the Americans told that this was done by a tiny minority that were not representing Islam. This was the first reaction and this is why we got such positive reactions by the Americans saying: “No, we are with you. We are even willing to protect your mosques.” And they did it. And they were there.
Ten years later, with all the work that we are doing and you should carry on doing this work, now 73% of the Americans, 73% of the Americans think that Muslim presence in this country is a problem. So it’s not a tiny minority, it’s Islam now which is the problem.
By the way, Canada is the same. Before in Canada, it was only in the French-speaking area because they were very much influenced by the French. Now it’s not only in Québec, it’s also in the English-speaking area. And immigration is becoming a problem.
We are not here to please the people, to change our religion, to make it acceptable. We are not here to become moderate Muslims meaning for some Islam without Islam. We are not here to feel victimized. We are here with our humility but our pride. We are here to remain Muslims and we are Americans and Muslims at the same time and that’s it.
What is important is to understand that we are not here to please the people but we are here to teach the people some of the principles and some of our values. So it’s a sense of I am not here by accident, I have to give much more than to please. And by giving, the people are going to be pleased.