The Saudi Gazette, a newspaper that generally reflects the positions of the Saudi authorities, quoted Tariq Ramadan with approval in its June 7, 2016 paper edition. The quote of the Islamist leader, identified as a ‘Swiss writer,’ on the meaning of fasting is above its Opinion section on page 10. It was published on the second day of the month of Ramadan.
There must be hundreds of Muslim personalities who praised the importance of fasting during Ramadan. What is noteworthy is the choice of a person who frequently makes a point of criticizing Saudi Arabia in front of non-Muslims audiences.
In December 2015, Ramadan told the French magazine L’Express that he was persona non grata in Saudi Arabia because “I am a very straightforward critic [of the kingdom] from its head of State to its ideology of literalist Salafism.” L’Express / WebArchive – Archive.Today
A positive mention of Tariq Ramadan in a major Saudi publication indicates that the Muslim Brotherhood still has a lot of support in high places in spite of the official statements by the regime.
Another fairly recent example confirms the level of support enjoyed by the Muslim Brotherhood in Saudi Arabia. In a column entitled A lack of courage published on December 7, 2015, Saudi Gazette collaborator, Saeed Al-Soraihi, wrote that books by Hassan Al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb and other Brotherhood ideologues can still be found in schools throughout Saudi Arabia in spite of clear instructions to school authorities to get rid of them. A lack of courage (Saudi Gazette) / WebArchive – Archive.Today
In his book Western Muslims and the Future of Islam (p.26), Tariq Ramadan lists Hassan Al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb among the main representatives of the so-called “Salafi reformist” trend of Islam to which he belongs.
It must be stressed that the apparent reservation expressed by Tariq Ramadan towards Saudi Arabia in the West has not prevented him from collaborating with many Muslim organizations benefiting from Saudi funding.
His collaborations with the following organizations or leaders of these organizations come to mind: the Geneva Mosque (aka Petit-Saconnex Mosque) led by the Muslim World League under Saudi influence, the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
GENEVA MOSQUE (PETIT-SACONNEX)
Links of the mosque with Saudi Arabia
Journal de Genève (June 2, 1978): Saudi King Khaled inaugurates the new mosque in Geneva / Point de Bascule
Nicole Roselli (Tribune de Genève – June 4, 2016): ”The Saudis came to put things in order” at the Geneva mosque / WebArchive – Archive.Toda
Tariq Ramadan collaborates with the Geneva mosque spokesperson
Lionel Favreau (Tariq Ramadan dévoilé / Tariq Ramadan Unveiled – 2004): [page 174] In 1995, it’s Hafid Ouardiri, who was then the spokesperson of the Geneva mosque (established to counter the influence of Tariq Ramadan’s father) who led the Swiss committee supporting Tariq Ramadan against the French authorities who had banned him from entering France.
MUSLIM ASSOCIATION OF CANADA (MAC)
Links of MAC with Saudi Arabia
Canada Revenue Agency (2002): Transfer of $9,815 from the Saudi World Assembly of Muslim Youth to MAC
Wael Haddara (December 29, 2011): MAC president defends Saudi Arabia
Justin Ling and Ben Makuch (Vice – June 23, 2015): MAC confirmed receiving $133,000 from Saudi Arabia / WebArchive – Archive.Today
Colin Freeze and Affan Chowdhry (The Globe and Mail – 1 juillet 2015): Saudi government funding private Islamic schools in Canada, documents show / WebArchive – Archive.Today Add to …
Examples of collaboration of Tariq Ramadan with the MAC
2011 – Conference – The lessons of the Arab spring / Montreal
2011 – 2nd Conference on world’s religions / Montreal (The MAC was a partner of the event.)
2012 – Conference – Democracy can survive the crisis: from the Arab spring to the maple spring / Montreal
COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS (CAIR)
Links of CAIR with Saudi Arabia
US State Department (May 23, 2013): Internal note mentioning CAIR’s request to Saudi Arabia for $50 million / WebArchive – Archive.Today
Examples of collaboration of Tariq Ramadan with CAIR
October 9, 2010 – Keynote speaker at CAIR banquet in Arlington (Virginia) / WebArchive – Archive.Today
Point de Bascule: FILE Tariq Ramadan
Point de Bascule (August 12, 2011): Tariq Ramadan’s “Understanding of Islam”
Point de Bascule (January 9, 2015): In 2012, Tariq Ramadan’s organization, Muslim Presence, published an article justifying those who would resort to violence against Charlie Hebdo
Point de Bascule (January 26, 2016): The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs withdraws the praises for Tariq Ramadan from its website after a TVA report