Version française ICI
From December 27 to December 29, 2013, the Reviving the Islamic Spirit (RIS) 2013 convention took place in Toronto. Tariq Ramadan gave a lecture on each day of the convention. His three lectures were uploaded on his own YouTube Channel.
Here are some highlights of Tariq Ramadan’s lectures.
Excerpt 1 – “We are not here to be accepted. We are here to change the society.”
Day 1 (Video TR 48:56 – Excerpt on PdeB) I am sorry to see that too many Muslims now, they want a peaceful life, to be acknowledged, to be accepted but they are not ready for the struggle and the struggle is… We are not here to be accepted. We are here to change the society. We have to be involved.
Excerpt 2 – Tariq Ramadan about Qatar and Saudi Arabia
Day 3 (Video TR 12:04) Now… And very critical as well… You know, for many years, I wasn’t able to go to Saudi Arabia… Critical of the Gulf States. I never bought this understanding that Saudi on one side and the Qatar on the other side are playing different games for different… you know… interests. I’m very, very cautious with this and I said this ten years ago. I have some question mark about al-Qatar, about al-Jazeera. Even…in Arab[ic]… I wrote this. This is all written. It’s all on my website or on the book… in the book. This is what I said. We have to be critical and to be free, independent. And to try to… If I have to criticize anybody… secularists, Islamists, whoever, in charge or in the opposition. This is where we have to be independent. And you, as Canadian citizens involved in this, the best thing that you can do is to come with constructive criticism. Not to be silent but to try to look at the whole picture and come with a better understanding.
Excerpt 3 – Tariq Ramadan criticizes Youssef Qaradawi and other Muslim scholars
Day 3 (Video TR 21:21) I think that we have to respect our scholars and I will be the first to respect the scholars. But, you know that the way you deal with your scholars… We have a problem of authority, by the way. We like charismatic leaders and, for us, charismatic leaders… Whatever you say… Masha’Allah! [Great! followed by an excerpt in Arabic] That’s not the way. If it comes to religion and you give me opinion… First, you are my sheik as long as you give me the evidence of what you are saying. When it comes to politics, I may disagree.
YOUSSEF QARADAWI (QATAR)
Day 3 (Video TR 21:50) And I said this… Sheik al-Qaradawi, from whom I took so much but I was critical on many things. My position on the Western identity was critical. My position on [Arabic passage] … I am at home. So, our discussion [Arabic passage]. We didn’t agree. I was not with him in the way he was dealing with the civilians in Israel. I thought and I said I don’t agree with this. Resisting the army, yes; killing innocent people, no. It’s not the way. So, we are critical with the scholars. I was critical with him when he was talking about the Shia in the way… asking the people to pray against the Shia. I said no. But I am not going to have a black and white position. Everything he gave… I take which is good and he gave a lot. But, for some today, to use this, to put him in the dark side of history, that’s not acceptable but we have to be critical. This is the way we are. But we should be also critical with other scholars. All the scholars.
MOHAMED SAID RAMADAN AL-BOUTI (SYRIA)
Day 3 (Video TR 22:52) Skeik al-Bouti, for example, in Syria. I have been clear. Lots of things that he wrote were great, great. But the way he supported Bashar al-Assad and his father, I said that’s not right. You can’t do that. Bashar al-Assad and his father were tyrants. They were killing people and these people should leave. I am not naïve about the opposition but principles are principles. A tyrant should leave. Period. That’s the way we are. That’s the way we have to be and this is what we have to say. Now, we have also to be critical. If we are not critical with religious authorities, we are not going to help, you know, the quality of the leadership. The quality of the scholars is measured at the quality, on the quality of the followers. So now we come here. Silence. Don’t talk about these things and I’m not accepting this because, as I said, silence is a political statement.
ALI GOMAA (EGYPT)
Day 3 (Video TR 23:57) And then you come to some of the… I was the student of Sheik Ali Gomaa and Sheik Ali Gomaa is a great scholar when it comes to Islamic sources. Sheik Ali Gomaa taking a stand, talking about the people in the streets, […], riff-raff, trash, rubbish. You, my sheik. You can say this about people. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. In the name of Islam, I’m standing up and telling you: you are wrong, your words are not acceptable and what you said in front of al-Sisi [Egyptian Minister of Defence and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces] sitting in front of you is unacceptable and I am not going to accept that. Because you are… [Spectators start applauding and Ramadan wants them to stop.] No, no, no. Think about it because you have to make duaa [invocation in Islam] for the people because he gave a silent, a clear fatwa to kill. [Passage in Arabic] What it means? Fire the crowd. Fire the crowd. You can say this and you can say to the people, if you support the constitution, God is with you [Arabic expression]. That’s not acceptable and anyone who is coming here to tell me: “You, Tariq, how can you talk like this about scholars?” Not only I’m going to talk like this about scholars but in the name of Islam and for the future of the Islamic communities around the world, I will keep on talking like this, with wisdom and I am not going to let it go. Because it’s not acceptable.[…]
Day 3 (Video TR 26:30) I was his student but I’m sorry I’m not going to accept that. I am not going to accept a scholar saying to the army: “You have to purify our streets.” What? When [former French President] Sarkozy used the same word, riff-raff, racaille, people in France were saying: “Look at this racist.” Sheik Ali Gomaa, you treat your own citizens like this. I’m sorry. There are two situations: one, they may have something against you in their records and the only thing that I am asking you is: Be silent. But if you say these …freely, I’m not going even to accept this because this is even more dangerous for us.[…]
Day 3 (Video TR 28:20) And if you don’t like a scholar… Balance what I said with Sheik Ali Gomaa. Lots of things that I learned from him. A great mind. But on political issues now, I cannot accept.
SCHOLARS TAKING PART IN THE RIS CONVENTION HAVE AN EGO PROBLEM
Day 3 (Video 25:32) You know, there is a lot of ego here, on that side. You know, people telling you “Be modest,” and “Be humble”… But we have lots of ego. Scholars have a great jihad with ego. I can tell you this. The great jihad of scholars is ego.
Excerpt 4 – Tariq Ramadan claims that he advised the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Hamas not to try to win elections
Day 3 (Video TR 08:51) We can see that there is a problem and, from the very beginning, and many people were very critical when I came to some of the trends. In Tunisia or in Yemen or in Africa or with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and I say: you are making mistakes. This is not the right way. You are so obsessed with power because you were in the opposition for sixty years that now… You are focused on power. And my position was: don’t go for it. Don’t go for the elections. This is a trap. You are going to be trapped and something which is not… Serve the people. Be the counter-power. Let it be [known] that you are here to serve, not to takeover. “You don’t understand. You are a Swiss citizen. Stay there.” I got that. I got that. “Stay in…” You know, sometimes, they have this perception at the periphery that you don’t understand nothing about the centre. Which I think… By the way, I said the same to Hamas years before. It’s a trap. You are going to have authority without power. It’s a trap. They want you to win in order to end with you.
Confusion about the uploading of Tariq Ramadan’s lectures
On December 31, 2013, shortly after one of Tariq Ramadan’s RIS 2013 lectures was uploaded on YouTube, RIS organizers contacted Ramadan via Twitter and asked him to delete his Twitter message linking to this video. RIS organizers justified their request by saying that the videos were “low quality videos … recorded from our live stream broadcast” and that they would be removed. They promised to upload good quality videos soon.
Point de Bascule: File Tariq Ramadan
Tariq Ramadan (Speech in Dallas – July 27, 2011): VIDEO “It should be us, with our understanding of Islam, our principles, colonizing positively the United States of America.”