Tariq Ramadan is not a mystery, nor is he enigmatic. Ramadan has made a point of saying that he does not reject anything from Hassan al-Banna’s writings, he has vowed to follow his father’s footsteps, he has written that Qaradawi has outlined the positions that Muslims living in the West should adopt. What else do we need to know in order to figure out where the man is going?
Version française ICI
In a recent speech in front of his partisans gathered in Dallas, Tariq Ramadan enjoined them to colonize the United States « with our understanding of Islam, (with) our principles. » Point de Bascule takes the opportunity of this upcoming visit of Tariq Ramadan in Montreal to examine some aspects his « understanding of Islam.
Tariq Ramadan and the colonization of the West
In the past, Tariq Ramadan said that he awaits the conclusions of Muslim scholars before taking a specific stance on a given question (video – PdeB). Youssef Qaradawi is one of these scholars to whom Tariq Ramadan looks up for direction.
In his book Radical Reform, Ramadan presents Qaradawi as a “prominent scholar” who has outlined the attitudes and the kind of behaviour that Muslims living in the West should adopt. In another book, Ramadan wrote of Qaradawi that he “deeply respect(s) the man and the scholar and that (he) would be the last one to deny it.”
As for Youssef Qaradawi, he publicly endorsed Ramadan’s understanding of Islam by asking him to preface a compendium of fatwas published in French in 2002.
In his book Priorities of the Islamic Movement, Youssef Qaradawi, the spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, advocates armed jihad for certain parts of the world and not for others. He evaluates that military jihad is a valid option in Thailand, Afghanistan, the Philippines and other countries, but not in the West at the moment:
To counter these limitations, Qaradawi advocates, for the West, an ideological jihad at this time rather than a military one. This kind of jihad involves taking part in interfaith dialogue, infiltrating the media, the political parties, the universities, the school administrations and so on.
Military jihad and ideological jihad do require different sets of abilities. They nonetheless have the same purpose. That is why Youssef Qaradawi draws a parallel between the current ideological offensive being waged by the Muslim Brotherhood in the West and the Islamic military invasions of the past in Europe:
The program of conquest alluded to by Qaradawi has been mentioned in various other Muslim Brotherhood documents, notably a 1991 memorandum:
This memorandum was produced for evidentiary purposes in a trial that led to the conviction in 2008 of many Muslim Brotherhood leaders for having collected funds on American soil for terrorist operations planned abroad. (GMBDR)
In his book Western Muslims and the Future of Islam, Tariq Ramadan identifies Syed Maududi (1903-1979), a Pakistani scholar founder of the organization Jamaat-e-Islami, as one of the main representatives of the so-called « reformist salafist » trend of Islam to which he belongs. In an homage to Said Ramadan posted on August 4, 2011, his son Tariq mentioned that Maududi credited his own father Said “for having awakened him from his unconsciousness”. (Archives PdeB)
Here is how Syed Maududi summarized Tariq Ramadan’s mission after having been “awakened”:
In his August 2011 homage to his father, Tariq Ramadan vowed “not to forget and keeping moving on the Path”. He means his father’s path, Maududi’s path, the Islamic revolution path.
Another Muslim Brotherhood leader active in interfaith dialogue, Ingrid Mattson, has described Syed Maududi’s Koranic commentary as being “probably the best work of Tafseer in English”.
Point 4.18 of the Muslim Brotherhood’s internal memorandum stresses the importance of “role distribution” among the organization’s activists in order to achieve success. This is why it’s rare that Tariq Ramadan will be as blunt as a Qaradawi for example. Generally, Qaradawi addresses his Muslim supporters while Ramadan mostly tries to penetrate Western institutions. Openly advocating suicide operations or wishing that Muslims continue where Hitler had left off with the Jews does certainly increase Qaradawi’s prestige among his supporters but it would hinder Ramadan’s mission with non-Muslim officials in Western universities, governments, religious organizations, etc. It would assuredly have hindered his chances to get an appointment with the Pope. (Why I’m going to meet the Pope, The Guardian [London], November 3, 2008)
On July 27, 2011, Tariq Ramadan was in Dallas (TX) to give a speech at an ICNA fundraiser. Staff at the Regency Hyatt Hotel was asked to enforce a Muslim-only policy. Non-Muslim spectators who had bought their tickets to listen to Ramadan were expelled before the meeting started. Once the undesirable spectators were out (or so they thought), Ramadan must have felt pretty confident because he proceeded to enjoin his partisans “to colonize”, “to colonize positively” in fact, the United States of America “with our understanding of Islam, (with) our principles.”
Later in his speech, Tariq Ramadan expressed his worries about the anti-sharia movement taking place in the United States.
Point de Bascule has reproduced the most important excerpts of Ramadan’s speech HERE.
Tariq Ramadan’s mentors
Besides Qaradawi and Maududi whom we have already introduced, we would like to present three other Muslim authorities endorsed by Tariq Ramadan. We will then examine their positions on three specific issues in order to better understand where Ramadan’s “understanding of Islam” leads: democracy, the treatment of non-Muslims and the right to leave Islam.
Hassan al-Banna (1906 – 1949)
Tariq Ramadan has pleaded an unconditional allegiance to the ideas of his grandfather Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood:
In the Egypt of the 1940’s, Hassan al-Banna endorsed suicide operations and other terrorist activities. He was also an avid promoter of offensive jihad (On Jihad). Youssef Qaradawi recalls al-Banna’s fondness for military jihad in those terms:
In his essay On Jihad, al-Banna explains that « it’s an obligation for us (Muslims) to fight against them (the infidels) after inviting them (to join Islam), even if they do not fight against us ».
Hassan Turabi (1932 – )
Tariq Ramadan endorses Sudanese leader Hassan Turabi. He quoted him positively in his book Islam, the West and the Challenges of Modernity. Aiming at a non-Muslim public in a 1995 interview, Tariq Ramadan presented Hassan Turabi as a “moderate” although he rejects the very notion of “moderate Muslim” as evidenced by his 2011 speech in Dallas (video 3 – 02:36) in front his partisans.
As for Hassan Turabi, he called Tariq Ramadan “the future of Islam”.
Hassan Turabi has been the primary force behind the introduction of sharia in Sudan during the eighties and the nineties. In an immigration case heard by a Canadian tribunal in 2000, Turabi’s Sudan has been described as a “country of horrors (where) people are whipped in the name of Shari’a, terrorist bases are harboured and the Christians in the South are exterminated.” (X [Re], 2000 CanLII 21343 [IRB])
In this 2000 Canadian case, Turabi was also described as “the ideologue of the military regime in Sudan” and the leader of an “Islamist International”.
In another case heard by the Canadian Federal Court, it is mentioned that “(Usama) Bin Laden and his entourage moved to Sudan in 1991 at the invitation of the Islamist leader, Hassan Turabi.” (section 274 – Almrei (Re), 2009 FC 1263 CanLII)
In a 2006 interview, Hassan Turabi denied that bin Laden was involved in 9/11:
In this interview, Bin Laden’s protector also confirmed knowing very well the Ramadan family: “I knew (Tariq’s) father well. I used to go to Geneva (Switzerland) and I would go to the mosque. (Tariq) came to Sudan on two or three occasions to attend conferences.”
In December 1993, four months after Sudan was added to the U.S. list of states supporting terrorism (August 12), Tariq Ramadan was in Khartoum (Sudan) to attend a meeting organized by Hassan Turabi. Turabi was then one of the most important leaders in the Sudanese government.
On his website, Jean-Charles Brisard, an international expert on terrorism, states that there are more links between Tariq Ramadan and various militants involved in violent jihad. In a face to face with Brisard on Swiss TV in 2003, Ramadan denied these contacts. Ramadan who has sued many of his critics in the past (Lyon Mag – Antoine Sfeir) has never deemed opportune to do so with Brisard in spite of the seriousness of his allegations. (Tariq Ramadan forced to retract defamatory statements)
Rachid Ghannouchi (1941 – )
In 1998, Canadian authorities refused a visa to Ghannouchi because his organization Ennahda was involved in terrorist activities in Tunisia.
At the time, Muslim Brotherhood activist Faisal Kutty quoted Ghannouchi who was trying to fool a Toronto Star journalist by claiming that “Using violence to achieve political goals is refused in our view of Islam.”
In a 2003 Canadian immigration case, Mohamed Zrig was denied political refugee status after Canadian authorities discovered that, as a member of Ghannouchi’s organization, he was “guilty of acts contrary to the principles of the United Nations”. (Section 175 – Zrig v. Canada, 2003 FCA 178,  3 FC 761)
In this decision, Ghannouchi is described as “a terrorist who is an integral part of the international Islamist movement. (He) is regarded by some sources as one of the masterminds of terrorism. Mr. Ghannouchi has called for violence against the U.S. and threatened to destroy its interests in the Arab world. He has also demanded the destruction of the state of Israel.” (section 20)
In another Immigration case, Canadian Refugee Board officials listed various criminal acts perpetrated by Ennahda to justify their denying of political refugee status to another Tunisian member of Ghannouchi’s organization: use of Molotov cocktails, tossing of acid in the faces of judges and academics, physical aggressions in schools and universities, setting cars on fire, sending threatening letters, attempted fire-settings in the faculties, bombings, including the one at Sousse and Monastir on August 2, 1987, arson at Bab Souika in February 1991 where a man died, bombing in France, arms trafficking in Europe, etc. (Section 5.3.15 – X (Re), 2000 CanLII 21343)
In a public prayer in front of his partisans, Tariq Ramadan specifically mentioned Tunisia among the countries where he asked Allah to “strike our enemies, Your enemies, the enemies of the religion of (Islam).”
Tariq Ramadan, a versatile man indeed: he can condone a proponent of acid tossing in the morning, then turn around and be the center of attention in an interfaith activity in the afternoon.
Tariq Ramadan’s democracy
Rachid Ghannouchi, Youssef Qaradawi and Tariq Ramadan have all publicly endorsed democracy. We should add “as long as they agree with the result of the vote”.
Youssef Qaradawi has clearly expressed what the Muslim Brotherhood understands by democracy in a section of his book Priorities entitled The Movement and Political Freedom and Democracy:
Tariq Ramadan is closely associated with a Malian organization that threatened to resort to violence in order to stop a reform of the Malian Family code to be implemented even though it was adopted (p. 8) by an overwhelming majority of parliamentarians on August 3, 2009 (117 yes – 5 no – 4 abstentions).
The new Family code replaced the notion of obedience of a wife to her husband by the notion of respect between spouses, it nullified a marriage to which both parties have not agreed, it substituted the notion of “parental authority” to that of “paternal authority”, it set the minimum legal age for girls to marry at 18, it granted women greater inheritance rights than those stipulated by sharia, etc.
Opponents called the new code “the work of the devil.” The Malian High Islamic Council (HIC) organised demonstrations, threatened to use violence and convened Malian religious leaders at the main mosque in Bamako in order to denounce the elected officials who had supported the new code. Face with these threats of violence by the HIC, the Malian president refused to sign the bill into law.
The HIC, the key organization behind the protests against the new Family code, is closely associated with Tariq Ramadan and his organisation Muslim Presence. Ramadan and the HIC general secretary Mamadou Diamouténé were amongst the main speakers at a 2010 CIMEF conference in Mali. CIMEF is identified as a component of the Muslim Presence network headed by Tariq Ramadan (click on Africa). The Malian Family code was discussed during the 2010 conference. It was simply an occasion for Ramadan and his partners to celebrate their victory of 2009. At the end of the conference, Ramadan and the Malian leader were chosen to plan the next CIMEF meeting scheduled for 2012 in Senegal.
Deception is an integral part of Tariq Ramadan’s ideological jihad. His pledges in favour of democracy should be judged by his actions and not by his words.
Totalitarian Democracy v. Liberal Democracy
Strictly speaking democracy is the rule of the majority. This has led defenders of individual freedoms to add a caveat when they defend the concept of democracy. They specify that, in a free society, a vote by a majority should be required to settle a very limited number of issues. The level of freedom of a society is determined by the proportion of issues that an individual may decide by himself, for himself, without having to wait for the authorization of a majority. In a free society, the vast majority of issues confronting the citizens should belong to the private sphere and therefore should not be submitted to the vote of a majority.
This is precisely where sharia conflicts with the classical liberal definition of democracy. Sharia has a specific rule on the smallest details of life. Hassan al-Banna’s 50-point manifesto clearly indicates where sharia leads. The manifesto is the product of a “totalitarian” ideology. It aims at regulating the citizen’s life “in its totality”. All aspects of the various fields of human activity are concerned: political, judicial, administrative, social, educational and economic.
Al-Banna’s manifesto promotes the abolition of political parties and the establishment of a single party system, the modification of the laws so that they conform to sharia, the multiplication of associations promoting the spirit of jihad in the youth, the closing of dance halls, the censorship of movies and plays, the imposition of a dress code on the population, etc.
“The democrat” Tariq Ramadan knows full well about the 50-point manifesto. He alluded to it in a biography of his grandfather (video 2:25 – in French). Ramadan has already warned us: “I have studied Hassan Al-Banna’s ideas with great care and there is nothing in this heritage that I reject.”
The 50-point manifesto was originally submitted by Hassan al-Banna to various Arab leaders in 1947. He was then trying to convince them to use their respective State, the power of their police to implement it.
When the theory of fascism was developed, the word “totalitarian” was used in a positive fashion by Italian fascists to describe their own ideology. They simply meant that their ideology, like sharia, aimed at controlling all aspects of life. Eventually the word acquired a negative connotation. It became mainly used by the opponents of fascism (and later of communism). The proponents of fascism eventually stopped using it to describe their ideology in a positive way.
This is why Tariq Ramadan does not use the term “totalitarian” to describe his ideology and his “understanding of Islam.” He rather uses the expression “all-encompassing” (englobant). It has the same meaning and the same connotation than the word “totalitarian” when it was used by fascists in the twenties and thirties.
In his book Les musulmans dans la laïcité (Muslims in a secular environment), Ramadan writes:
Point de Bascule has dedicated a three-part article to Ramadan’s all-encompassing “understanding of Islam”: Du totalitarisme de Hassan al-Banna à l’islam englobant de Tariq Ramadan (From Hassan al-Banna’s Totalitarianism to Tariq Ramadan’s All-Encompassing Islam)
A democracy respectful of individual rights cannot simply be defined by the rule of the majority or by the possibility of electing one’s political leaders. If it was so, then Hitler should be considered a democrat since he took power without a coup d’État by legally taking advantage of the parliamentary procedures.
Hassan al-Banna lauded Hitler’s leadership qualities. According to him, Hitler is a man who has proved that an inspired leader can reach “success and fortune” (sic) in spite of his modest beginnings. (To What Do We Invite Humanity?)
In his book Priorities, Youssef Qaradawi enjoins his Muslim Brotherhood supporters to infiltrate Western political parties. His goal is nothing less than the repetition of Hitler’s successes. (The Difficulty of Practice in Real Life)
Tariq Ramadan and Sharia
Tariq Ramadan’s “Understanding of Islam” is nothing else than sharia. This is why, in his July 2011 speech in Dallas, he expressed his worries about the anti-sharia movement developing in the United States. (Point de Bascule – video 2 @ 04:18)
In 2005, Québec parliamentarians were probably the first legislators in North America to openly object to sharia. They did so when they unanimously adopted a resolution against the establishment of sharia tribunals in Canada. (Daniel Pipes: Exclude Islamists from the West?)
At the time, Fatima Houda-Pépin, who sponsored the resolution, described the attempt to introduce sharia in Canada as “an attack against the very foundations of our democratic institutions.” (Débats de l’Assemblée Nationale [Québec National Assembly Hansard], May 26, 2005)
In 2005, various allies of Tariq Ramadan involved with the Muslim Brotherhood in Canada denounced Ms. Houda Pépin:
Sharia involves female genital mutilations (section e4.3), killing homosexuals (section p17.3), license to kill one’s own children (honour killings — section o1.1-2), an almost complete ban on musical instruments (section r 40.1-2) and various other barbaric measures.
The sections mentioned above refer to the manual of sharia Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller). It is endorsed by Tariq Ramadan in his book Radical Reform (New York, Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 302-303). The Umdat al-Salik is also endorsed by the International Institute of Islamic Thought, a Muslim Brotherhood organization based in Herndon (Virginia) founded in 1981 in order to provide the theoretical support necessary for the current campaign of Islamization.
This manual of sharia is available on the University of Waterloo (Ontario) website HERE.
For this article, we have gathered what we had on hand from Qaradawi, Turabi and Ghannouchi on two other aspects of sharia: the second-class status of non-Muslims under Islamic law (section o11.1-11) and the killing of apostates (section o8.1).
Persecution of non-Muslims
While listing numerous terrorist activities conducted by Rachid Ghannouchi’s organization in a 2000 decision, the Canadian Refugee Board also explored Ghannouchi’s ideas. It concluded that “Ghannouchi (…) justifies discrimination against non-Muslims.” (Section 5.3.16 – X (Re), 2000 CanLII 21343)
Non-Muslims have a status of second-class citizens in Muslim societies. Section o11 of the Umdat al-Salik (The Reliance of the Traveller) gives many examples of discriminatory practices that sharia imposes on non-Muslims. In his book Priorities, Youssef Qaradawi mentioned that interfaith dialogue should be used to discourage Christian leaders from supporting fellow Christians involved in conflict with Muslims. He specifically mentioned the case of Sudan. (The Religious Islamic-Christian Dialogue)
After years of persecution inflicted by the Muslim North, South Sudan became an independent country on July 9, 2011. Christian Solidarity International presents a dossier about Sudaneses who have been captured and enslaved. The BBC also offers pictures and short comments about Sudanese slaves who managed to escape their masters. (In pictures: Sudan’s slave voices)
The 2000 Canadian decision (section 5.3.16) reports that Maududi considered slavery to be legitimate under Islamic law.
Qaradawi will not try to convince Sudanese authorities to respect basic human rights of non-Muslims in spite of his prestige in Muslim circles . He would rather use interfaith dialogue to stop Christian leaders from supporting their coreligionists who are being persecuted. We do not need more proofs of the harmfulness of “dialoguing” with Muslim Brotherhood operatives like Tariq Ramadan.
Considering the reason advanced by Qaradawi for waging interfaith dialogue with Christians, it is logical to conclude that the Muslim Brotherhood targets the Dalai Lama in order to prevent him from supporting Buddhists who are being persecuted by Muslim fanatics in Thailand and other parts of Asia. (Muslims Behead a Young Buddhist Boy, Slaughter Others in Thailand)
As far as Jews are specifically concerned, Youssef Qaradawi claimed in January 2009 that Hitler had been sent by Allah to “punish them for their corruption”. He concluded his rant by saying that “Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.” (video)
Killing of apostates
Rachid Ghannouchi considers that leaving Islam is an offence that must be punished:
In a fatwa that was posted, and later removed by IslamOnLine, Youssef Qaradawi quoted a hadith by Ibn Mas’ud to justify that the Muslim who abandons his religion must be killed:
While Hassan Turabi was attorney general of Sudan, Mahmoud Mohamed Taha, a reformist Muslim theologian was executed for apostasy by the State because he had openly advocated the reform of certain Islamic principles. (BBC)
Analysts frequently exaggerate Tariq Ramadan’s ability to fool his listeners. The man is not a mystery, nor is he enigmatic. To decode him, the key is simple: we have to study the writings of scholars whom he endorses. Ramadan has made a point of saying that he does not reject anything from Hassan al-Banna’s writings, he has vowed to follow his father’s footsteps and he has written that Muslims living in the West should follow Qaradawi’s prescriptions. What else do we need to know in order to figure out where the man is going?
Resorting to coercion not to convert but to enforce sharia principles on a society is an integral part of Ramadan’s “understanding of Islam”. However, at this time, the Muslim Brotherhood evaluates that they do not have the material resources to be successful in Canada if they follow the violent path. That is why they resort to ideological jihad. Robert Spencer calls it stealth jihad.
Ideology means deception. Ramadan is resorting to it in order to impose sharia with the means at his disposal. Those who relish freedom must dissect his speeches and expose him.
His call for a Muslim colonization of the United States in Dallas should not have come as a revelation but simply as a confirmation of what his critics have been saying for years.