Archive for Tariq Ramadan

‘Instead of dividing France, you should unite it’, Tariq Ramadan tells Sarkozy

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2012 by loonwatch

Sarkozy is more interested in dividing France especially if that will win him votes:

‘Instead of dividing France, you should unite it’, Tariq Ramadan tells Sarkozy

Swiss Islamic intellectual Tariq Ramadan laid into French President Nicolas Sarkozy in a speech to the annual meeting of a major Muslim organisation Saturday. His call to “unite France” and not “divide it” came after government ministers criticised the Union of Islamic Organisations of France’s (UOIF) invitation to him to speak.

Before the UOIF meeting at Le Bourget near Paris this weekend Interior Minister Claude Guéant said he regretted the fact that Ramadan was on the speakers’ list.

He may regret it even more after Ramadan’s speech, which did not name him or the president but clearly targeted their rhetoric during the presidential election campaign and their reaction to the killing spree of “lone-wolf” Islamist Mohamed Merah.

“Instead of talking about halal meat, the burka, national identity and dividing France, you should unite it,” Ramadan told a packed hall at the conference, which was attended by 41,000 people on Saturday alone.

“Of course [Merah’s] murders in Montauban and Toulouse should be condemned without hesitation,” he said. “But … we don’t expect a government to fan the flames.”

Ramadan, who is the grandson of the founder of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al Banna, thanked the event’s organisers for inviting him “despite the difficulties, the pressure, the accusations” and facetiously told France’s intelligence services “if you could remind the government what we really stand for, you would be performing a useful service”.

RFI, 7 April 2012

Tariq Ramadan and John Rees Discuss French Left and Islamophobia

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2012 by loonwatch

Tariq Ramadan

I am not generally a fan of Press TV, as it is generally heavily biased or lenient towards the Iranian regime, just as Fox News is to the Republican party, as Russia Today is biased towards Putin and AlJazeera to Qatar, etc. However this program below with Muslim scholar Dr. Tariq Ramadan and journalist John Rees is a good one. It discusses how Islamophobia is a cover for war and racism, as well as the peculiarities of the French left and why it is unique in its parlay with Islamophobia.

Europeans Against Islamophobia: Taking a Stand Against Bigotry

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2011 by loonwatch

via. Islamophobia-Today

Europeans Against Islamophobia: Taking a Stand Against Bigotry

by Guest

Europe today is the scene of extremely xenophobic anti-Muslim and populist forces bent on confrontation with the continent’s Muslim citizens. The main reason for the continuing rise and growth of this hateful force is the position Europe finds itself in today, a crossroads in which it is grappling with its identity as well as how to deal with its growing minorities.

Javier Solana, formerly the EU’s High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy wrote that in the next forty years Europe’s workforce will decrease by 70 million and migration is the solution tomaintaining its economy,

A major challenge that Europe must still face is migration, which will only become a bigger problem over time. Between now and 2050, Europe’s workforce will decrease by 70 million. Maintaining our economy requires migration and open EU borders – and facing down the populist movements in Europe that would shun “outsiders”.

One can assume that a significant percentage of the migrants will be Muslims, this will be especially true if Turkey eventually accedes to the EU. This will have dramatic effects on politics in Europe, one can foresee the rise of many more Geert Wilders and Le Pen’s, as well as organizations such as the EDL, BPE, SIOE, etc.

One of things needed to insure that Europe successfully maintains its economy, strengthens its cohesion while maintaining the universal values it proclaims is for it to overcome the hateful forces pushing nativist tendencies and Islamophobic rhetoric.

As Tariq Ramadan has mentioned this requires a commitment from all citizens and the realization of a new “WE.” One way in which to “face down” the haters is to actively be informed, as well as to participate in combating Islamophobia, racism and bigotry much in the way that thousands of anti-fascist protesters did when they rallied against Robert Spencer and the BPE in Stuttgart, Germany.

In this regard there is a relatively new Facebook page, Europeans Against Islamophobia, which collects up to date and breaking news in regards to anti-Muslim hate, Islamophobia, racism, violence and activities to combat these forces. I suggest everyone like the page, suggest to friends (especially Europeans) and join the discussion there.

Europeans Against Islamophobia is also joined by other Facebook pages that are worth joining:

We are European non-Muslims and Mosques don’t bother us

Americans Against Islamophobia

Christians United Against Islamophobia

United Shades of Britain

Brigitte Gabriel Review

Bruce B. Lawrence: The Polite Islamophobia of the Intellectual

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2010 by loonwatch
Worn Proudly by SomeWorn Proudly by Some

Just yesterday there was an excellent book review in ReligionDispatches by Bruce B. Lawrence, a Humanities professor and director of the Islamic studies program at Duke University. In it he reviews two books, one is Paul Berman’s, Flight of the Intellectual and the other is Andrew Shyrocks,Islamophobia/Islamophilia: Beyond the Politics of Enemy and Friend.

His review is thoughtful, insightful and a must read for those truly interested in the topic of contemporary Islam and Muslims. It obliterates the shallow discourse that many pseudo-Intellectuals and their patrons engage in while at the same time giving a much a needed nuanced perspective sorely missing from the discussion.

The Polite Islamophobia of the Intellectual

by Bruce B. Lawrence

  • The Flight of the Intellectuals
    by Paul Berman
    (Melville House, May 2010)

    Islamophobia/Islamophilia: Beyond the Politics of Enemy and Friend
    Andrew Shryock, ed.
    (Indiana University Press, June 2010)

    Lauded by Foreign Affairs as “one of America’s leading public intellectuals,” Paul Berman was recently identified in a flattering New York Times review as “a man who identifies ‘with the liberal left.’” If Berman inhabits and projects the liberal left, then the conservative right has lost its claim to being at the forefront of Islamophobia.

    The huge mistake of the Times (and almost every outlet of mainstream media reporting) is to assume that Berman is a public intellectual who can speak about Islam, that his is an authoritative voice to be heeded, his insights accepted and thus, perhaps most importantly, his warnings followed. In fact, the message in Flight of the Intellectuals, Berman’s latest polemic which hit the bookstores last month, is so insidious, his knowledge of Islam so shallow, that it must be addressed through the one major category of public discourse into which it fits: Islamophobia/Islamophilia.

    Since 9/11, the American and European publics have been assaulted by Islamophobic writing from those who know little or nothing about their subject yet claim to speak with authority. In August, for example, I wrote a review of Christopher Caldwell’s neoconservative lament for Europe’s growing Muslim population, in which he warns that the “innocent, naive, unsuspecting” West will find that the new wave of Muslims has “ended a way of life, Western civilization as we know—and were once taught to love—it.”

    Caldwell’s work, in both its tone and message, is helpful to recall in addressing this latest siren on ‘the Islamic danger.’ Like Caldwell, Berman is a journalist whose fast-paced, breathless prose is meant to locate him as an omniscient authority; his innocence of Islam or knowledge about Muslims is worn as a badge of honor. Writing in a stream of consciousness, without footnotes or source citations, he speaks as an ‘enlightened’ and ‘outraged’ partisan, not of civilization (as did Caldwell), but of liberalism.

    Islamophobia has already been arrayed in some of the more lucid analyses that followed the Danish cartoon crisis of 2005–2006. In Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy (Rowan & Littlefield, 2008), Peter Gottschalk and Gabriel Greenberg used political cartoons to show how Muslim difference was always portrayed as exceptional; Islam was not American, and Muslims could not fit into the American or Western way of life. That trajectory of irreducible difference has now been challenged in Andrew Shryock’s even more ambitious volume,Islamophobia/Islamophilia: Beyond the Politics of Enemy and Friend.

    Berman’s book, with its hidden genealogy and flawed logic, fits rather neatly into the Islamophobia/Islamophilia construction. A veritable American strobe light of Islamophobic utterances, it stands forth as a notable specimen of Islam hatred, though that classification would be admitted neither by the author nor by most in the mainstream media. The single most salient point here is the pervasiveness of Islam hatred or Islamophobia. It is an ideological project and is not limited to cartoons. It is not the purview of the political right, nor is it a Zionist conspiracy, nor an evangelical polemic. It draws on, even as it enlarges, the specter of uncertainty about Islam and Muslims that continues to pervade the American public square and afflict many stakeholders in the American project since 9/11 (and, in no small part, because of 9/11).

    Had Berman Read a Bit More Widely in al-Ghazali…

    Berman’s book begins with an epigraph from the 11th century Iraqi doyen of religious sciences, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, arguably the most prominent premodern Muslim intellectual. Evoking the human search for the divine as “the quest for man’s chiefest bliss,” the quote sets the stage for his blistering, unrelenting excoriation of Tariq Ramadan which, as an earlier Times review put it, is “essentially a booklong polemic against one magazine article.” Here’s Berman on Ramadan from an interview with Guernica:

    Despite the many different opinions in the Muslim world and a virtual civil war in the Muslim world, there’s a fantasy among a good many people in the West to think of the Muslim world as a single place, where it has a single problem and that some messianic figure is going to rise and straighten it out. And if you’re looking for that great messianic figure, the Great Muslim Hope, then Ramadan seems kind of plausible if you don’t listen to him too carefully. He has this royal lineage. He has a very marvelous and impressive demeanor. He claims to speak in the name of the religion itself. And so you can place this sort of fantastical hope on him.

    Why does al-Ghazali loom so large in this effort to unmask Ramadan as the wannabe “Great Muslim Hope”? Because, in Berman’s eyes, al-Ghazali was the William James of his age, etching the importance of religious experience on two levels: the empirical domain called ‘this world’ and the mystical domain broaching the world beyond senses and time.

    Berman does to al-Ghazali what he does to Ramadan: invokes him, quotes him, examines him, and then skewers him. There is no such thing as a convincing argument or a satisfying insight from either Muslim luminary. Berman assumes that his readers will trust his judgment as an amateur intellectual, one who can read in any field without expertise or experience, whether the figure is the premodern al-Ghazali, or his latter day successor, Ramadan.

    What is not disclosed in the torrent of Berman’s ramblings, however, is his own genealogy. It is disguised because he offers no index of themes, topics, or places—just names. He cites two Muslim scholars whom he deems to be genuine liberals (Abdullahi an-Na’im and Bassam Tibi), yet they garner only a handful of references.

    Al-Ghazali himself does enjoy several pages of exposition, though they’re exceeded by those accorded harsh critic of Islam, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and early Islamist Yusuf al-Qaradawi; the former is lauded, the latter berated in Berman’s needling sarcasm. Christopher Caldwell is the one name that we would expect to appear in the roll call, yet he never surfaces. Since there is no bibliography, the reader is left to imagine who or what Berman read in arriving at his fulminations.

    Berman does note the several French journals and books extolling Ramadan. He even mentions the controversial critic of Islam, Daniel Pipes, but chiefly to scold him for having first praised one of Ramadan’s books before retracting those plaudits and replacing them with broadsides. None of the French authors, however, nor Pipes, hone in on the three figures central to Caldwell’s—and later Berman’s—diatribe against Islam: Sarkozy (the catalyst), Ramadan (the villain) and Hirsi Ali (the heroine).

    It is Caldwell too who asks the question central to Berman’s entire exposé:

    Since Ramadan is the most broadly listened to contemporary explainer—to both Muslims and non-Muslims—of Islam’s most troubling doctrines, it is important to figure out whether his reflections on Muslims’ role in the West are workable and sincere. Does he believe Muslims can be real European citizens or does he believe they will always remain somehow foreign?

    Caldwell answers the question emphatically: the otherness of Islam, the foreignness of Muslims, is irreducible, which is precisely why the ex-Muslim, now anti-Muslim Hirsi Ali is so attractive to both Caldwell and to Berman. When an interviewer dares to challenge some of Ali’s bona fides Berman hectors him:

    Surely she (Hirsi Ali) is making people think. People with backgrounds like her own. Meanwhile we have a bunch of Western journalists running around saying, ‘Oh, don’t listen to her. She is the one responsible for bringing the violence.’ She’s not. She’s the one making people think for themselves, sometimes more skillfully, sometimes less skillfully. Ramadan is telling people, ‘Don’t think. I’ll say all the nice-sounding blather that you want to hear against bigotry, against violence, and on the other side of my mouth I’ll tell you to revere these terrible sheiks and look to them for guidance, and finally I’ll say we can’t even discuss these issues like stoning women in public.’

    It is on the issue of stoning women in public that Berman feels confident he has ‘caught’ Ramadan in his own verbal trap, though Berman, of course, is not the agent responsible for the snare. “Sarkozy caught Ramadan off guard [on the question of stoning women in public],” gloats Berman, “and he had no time to drape a discrete and modern curtain across his salafi convictions, and his thoughts came tumbling out undisguised and naked, for all to see.”

    Yet Ramadan’s actual statement conceals an element of Muslim juridical logic that eluded Berman as surely as the vision of al-Ghazali had eluded him earlier. After saying that he personally did not think the law that allowed stoning should be applicable, Ramadan argued that the law could not be delegitimated for most or, preferably, all Muslims unless and until “we arrive at a consensus among Muslims.”

    In effect, Ramadan wanted to have a debate that would show the inadequacy of this practice from an Islamic perspective in order to reach a consensus among Muslims to ban it. What outraged first Sarkozy and then Berman is that Ramadan refused to agree with Western liberal thought and to disavow any connection to his own, or his contemporaries’, Muslim past.

    Had Berman read a bit more widely in al-Ghazali, he might have discovered that the major Ghazalian tome, On the Boundaries of Theological Tolerance in Islam, addresses the same topic as Ramadan; namely, the diffuse nature of authority in Islam. Al-Ghazali argues that there is no such thing as orthodoxy or a single right view, only authority derived from consensus, which may be formal or informal. One informal way to reach consensus is to encourage debate about critical topics, though one cannot preempt that debate by declaring its outcome in advance. One must first invite others, no matter how divergent their outlook, to express their view on the debate topic—e.g., stoning of women for adultery.

    And so Berman, in emulation of Sarkozy, has laid his own trap and insists on making him the Muslim Anti-Hero who stands in for all contemporary Muslims. It is a game that Muslims can never win. Berman’s agenda is not about ascertaining right and wrong or defending a liberal or conservative norm, but about preserving his own privileged podium as a critic who can hector other liberals, like Timothy Garton Ash or Ian Buruma, who wrote the article to which the book is a response. Berman uses Ramadan as a surrogate to denounce all Islamic discourse and to disavow any semblance of Muslim compatibility with Western ‘liberal’ norms and values. The real debate, never declared, is between Islamophobia and Islamophilia.

    The Singular Islam that Must Be Evoked and then Defeated

    Andrew Shryock, a cultural anthropologist specializing in religious ethnography, engages the debate about what Islam is and what it is not. His collection of essays attempts to move beyond the dichotomization of Islam into bashers (Islamophobes) and admirers (Islamophiles). The goal of Islamophobia/Islamophilia, in his own words, is:

    to expose the tactical ignorance, malign and benign, that suffuses educated opinion on all things Muslim. Neither Islamophobia nor Islamophilia has cornered the market on mis/representation. [What is needed is] a deeper, more critical understanding of how patterns of anxiety and attraction are continually reinvented… and how they relate to prevailing ideas—of race, gender, citizenship, secularism, human rights, tolerance, and pluralism—that are important to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

    The essays range from North America to Lebanon to France to Germany; their authors are as intent about urban renewal as they are about ethnic comedy. It is a collection at once serious and sensible in its scope, ambitions and outcome.

    Few readers will move from Berman’s diatribes to Shryock’s distilled insights without a jolt. Can there really be this many ways of thinking about Islam and Muslims? There are if you’re willing to shelve binaries and prejudgments long enough to consider the actual diversity within the Muslim community worldwide, as within the United States. Two essays in particular throw into sharp relief how flimsy and distortive Berman’s views of a singular Islam are, making him a bad faith Muslim spokesman.

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is as much a product of her environment as Berman. Brooklyn College English professor, Moustafa Bayoumi’s “The God that Failed: The Neo-Orientalism of Today’s Muslim Commentators” situates Hirsi Ali within a cohort that more nearly matches our own experience and outlook than the arch proponent of Muslim difference, Tariq Ramadan. Bayoumi compares her to two figures like her: Irshad Manji and Reza Aslan. All are immigrant Muslims to the United States. All attempt to explain Islam to others from their own experience of its excesses. Each draws “a singular narrative account of Islam, where the faith is both a singular system and a singular force in the world.”

    That Grand Narrative not only frames their life stories but more importantly, it is used to explain history. Hirsi Ali’s story, as recounted in her bestseller Infidel, and in the recently released Nomad[see Spencer Dew’s review, An Atheist’s Idealized Christianity—ed.], invokes the trope of the slave narrative, and “like the slave narrative, hers is also one about achieving consciousness under a system of oppression.” To achieve freedom she must escape slavery, not only her own but the slavery of all people ‘captivated’ by Islam. Bayoumi’s principal paragraph on Hirsi Ali reveals more about her motivation and quest than the 35-40 pages of uncritical adulation from Berman. Bayoumi writes:

    Just as the Bible has the power to move the spirit in the slave narrative, so theAtheist Manifesto loaned to her by her boyfriend becomes Hirsi Ali’s path to emancipation. But the emancipation she details is not hers alone, for what would it matter if one Muslim gives up her faith? Hers is instead a broad prescription for all her co-religionists, and by the end of her narrative it is clear that she is lecturing to all the Muslims of the world. If they are to enter modernity, they must give up God within their creed, not just individually but theologically. According to Hirsi Ali, Islam’s salvation is atheism.

    Is that sound of Christopher Hitchens clapping somewhere, or are we just seeing the shadow, once again, of Paul Berman?

    The notion of a singular Islam that must be invoked, and then defeated, permeates almost all the narratives and strategies of Islamophobia. The opposite stance informs Qasim Zaman’s contribution in which the Princeton Islamicist sees a diffuse Islam, one that both requires and enjoys a complex intellectual engagement with the modern world.

    Among Zaman’s foremost subjects is no less a figure than Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a dark figure in Berman’s account. In the book by Ramadan (the one that Daniel Pipes had initially praised), Berman claims that Ramadan links his intellectual project to Qaradawi’s and that the connection runs far deeper: “Ramadan reveres Qaradawi. The veneration is unmistakable. Ramadan appears to hold Qaradawi in higher regard than any other present-day Islamic scholar.”

    So one might be surprised to find that Zaman imputes subtlety and ambiguity to Qaradawi’s thought. Indeed Zaman reviews Qaradawi’s endeavors with sympathetic nuance. Why the sympathy? Because of Qaradawi’s expansive effort to find a consensus (yes, that is the same term used by Ramadan) among Muslims, not just scholars trained in madrasas, but also journalists, lawyers, and even Islamist leaders.

    The effort to find such an unprecedented consensus in modern Islam has been channeled through the International Union for Muslim Scholars that Qaradawi helped found in 2004; it operates out of both London and (since 2008) Cairo. The real divide among this huge array of voices and perspectives is not between those calling for reform and those opposing it, but “rather between different kinds of reform—one genuine, because it is anchored in Islam, the other insidious, for serving anti-Islamic interests.”

    Though Qaradawi does strive for an Islamic religio-political order, he also projects “a global Muslim consciousness as an alternate globalization, one charted in the face of the Western neo-imperialist threat.” Should we then fear Qaradawi, as Berman implies we must? Not really, since many of those in the Muslim Scholars Union do not agree with Qaradawi about where and how the line between genuine and insidious reform is to be drawn. After examining all available evidence, Zaman concludes that:

    there clearly is a broad and growing agreement within the ranks of the ulama[Muslim legal scholars] as well as between the ulama and other religious intellectuals that bridging the gulf between different intellectual traditions is desirable and, indeed, a matter of great urgency. Yet there is no unanimity on what precisely is the gulf that most needs to be bridged and why the effort to do so is worth making.

    What does remain clear is “the evolving arena of debate and contestation which… extends well beyond any dichotomous constructions.”

    It is this messiness at the heart of contemporary Islam that needs to be highlighted even if it is less rhetorically gripping than a slavery-freedom narrative or has a less visceral appeal than an account of fatwas for or against public stoning for adultery. All of us—not just academics and Islam watchers—need to recognize the real face (or faces, more accurately) of the 21st-century Muslim world, which is no less diverse and complex, nor less baffling, bemusing, and ennobling than its Abrahamic counterparts who happen to be, or choose to be, Christian, Jewish, or even secular.

    One can opt for Islamophobia or Islamophilia, but either option misses the actual drama of today’s Muslim world, its enduring search for consensus and its multiple contestants for authority—both at home and abroad.


Tariq Ramadan, “stealth jihadist,” exposed!

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2010 by loonwatch
Tariq RamadanTariq Ramadan

As you know, Dr. Tariq Ramadan – Muslim scholar, writer, and thinker – has had his visa to enter the country reinstated, and he used this to his advantage: speaking at various engagements across the United States. We here at LoonWatch alerted our fellow citizens of the arrival of the “stealth jihadist,” coining the terminology of Robert Spencer. Yet, we didn’t want to stop just there. We wanted to report on what this man was saying.

So, we were able to secure a confidential LW operative to infiltrate the CAIR-Chicago Annual Banquet, his first public speaking engagement since being allowed to come to the U.S., to report on his speech. This operative approached us initially, telling us that he would be attending Dr. Ramadan’s speech.  He posed as a regular member of the Muslim community and took clandestine notes and reported them back to us. This was a unique opportunity as Dr. Ramadan was speaking to an audience largely composed of Muslims, and so he can “let loose” and not show his “taqqiya,” as he would if he were speaking to non-Muslims. We could not pass this up.

In the beginning of his speech, he thanked those who helped him come back to the United States, such as the ACLU and others, and he said that he was blocked from coming to the United States because he spoke his mind, especially about the war in Iraq (on which, it turns out, he was correct). He said that people cannot confuse a government with its people.

He mentioned that there was one Islam: unified in its principles and beliefs, but many different cultures, interpretations, and schools of thought. It is an accepted diversity in Islam’s application. At the same time, however, he noted that there was a crisis in the understanding of Islam among Muslims, and that there were many challenges within the Muslim community that needed to be addressed. The main problem with Muslims is psychological in his opinion: he affirmed the need of Muslims to examine what is wrong with themselves, but they should also acknowledge the enormous strides Muslims – especially those in the West – have made in the last 30-50 years.

He urged Muslims to become more involved in their communities and differentitate between victimhood and having a “victim mentality.” He urged his listeners to struggle (aka “jihad”…dah dah daaaaaaah!!!!) against the victim mentality. He reminded the audience that whenever you work for justice, you will be opposed. Whenever you talk about love, he said, people will respond with hate.

Dr. Ramadan also touched upon spirituality, which is more than just praying. It is being strong from within. He quoted the verse about the parable of a good word:

Are you not aware how God sets forth the parable of a good word? [It is] like a good tree, firmly rooted, [reaching out] with its branches towards the sky, yielding its fruit at all times by its Lord’s permission. And [thus it is that] God propounds parables unto men so that they might bethink themselves [of the truth]. (14:24-25)

The roots of the tree are your heart, and the fruits of the tree are your actions, he said. An activist without spirituality is an agitated man, he said. He then gave advice about how to speak to fellow Americans: speak to them softly, and he advised the audience to behave like the “The Servants of the Most Merciful”:

And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk on the earth with humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, “Peace!” (25:63)

God is Beautiful, and He loves beauty, Dr. Ramadan said. Muslims’ mantra must be this: By serving the people, I serve Him. He also said that he does not like defining Islam as “submission.” In his understanding, Islam is entering into God’s peace, as the verse proclaims:

O you who believe! Enter into Islam [“peace”] whole-heartedly, and follow not the footsteps of Satan, for he is to you an avowed enemy. (2:208)

One of the first things the Prophet Muhammad said, he reminded the audience, when he entered Medinah is, “Spread peace.” That is what Muslims should do. No Muslim should say that you can’t love your neighbor if he is not Muslim. This is your home, he told the American Muslim audience. Americans are your people; you cannot call fellow Americans as “them.” When American Muslims say “we,” it must be an inclusive “we,” including all Americans. Spreading peace, justice, and ethics is the purpose of Muslims in America, not to convert non-Muslim Americans to Islam. Muslims are here to make society better; the hearts of the people are not their concern. That is the realm of God.

Now comes the “smoking gun” (pun intended): Dr. Ramadan spoke of Jihad! (dah dah daaaaaaah!!!)
Jihad, he said, did not start with fighting, or qital. The first act of Jihad in the Qur’an was knowing how to use the Qur’an against those who opposed the message:

Hence, do not defer to [the likes and dislikes of] those who deny the truth, but strive hard against them, by means of this [divine writ], with utmost striving. (25:52)

He then ended his speech by turning a critical eye toward the Muslim community itself, which, he said, is very important. He bemoaned the many divisions in the Muslim community: divisions along ethnic lines, cultural lines, class lines, and economic lines. He said that there should be “Americans” in the mosques: people from all cultures. Muslims from different cultures should mix together, he said. He pointed out that many African-American Muslims feel like they are second class Muslims, and many converts feel they have to Arabize, and he criticized both phenomena. Muslims must also improve in their treatment of women, as well. If you want America to be better, he said, then Muslims must start in their own communities.

His final words were this: Never forget that you Muslims are American. He urged them to speak about Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine, and do so as Americans, not Muslims. Moreover, Muslims need to institutionalize their presence in America: Muslims need institutions, and they must work with all people. The key is confidence and humility: be confident about your position, but be humble at the same time.

There you have it, folks. Those were the words (paraphrased by our operative) of Dr. Ramadan at his speech to the CAIR-Chicago banquet. As you can see, it was full of intolerance, hatred, Islamism, and Jihadism. What was the American government thinking when it let him in?


Tariq Ramadan: Call Homeland Security, he’s heeere!!

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2010 by loonwatch

Tariq Ramadan, aka the “grandson of Hasan El-Banna”, aka “cold blooded Jihadist,” aka “stealth Jihadist,” aka “terrorist,” aka “taqiyya master,” aka “more dangerous than Osama Bin Laden,” aka “probably related to Barack Obama” is heeere!! Grab your babies, run for the border, hide under your covers, sleep with your guns because we are dooomed!!

Look at the evil:



Chicago Tribune Fail: Quotes Robert Spencer on Tariq Ramadan

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2010 by loonwatch
Manya BrachearManya Brachear

The Seeker, Manya Brachear’s blog about religion on the Chicago Tribune website has a post,Chicago welcomes once-banned Muslim Scholar, about the upcoming trip of Islamic scholar/reformer and Oxford professor Tariq Ramadan to the United States (hat tip: iSherif).

You may remember that Tariq Ramadan had his visa revoked by the Bush administration, ostensibly because he donated money to a charity organization that it was later charged had links to Hamas. The charge was clearly fallacious as the organization was not listed as a banned charity in America at the time that Tariq Ramadan made his contribution.

The real reason seems to be that Tariq Ramadan was banned by Bush due to a policy of ideological exclusion and Ramadan’s fierce opposition to the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This was further confirmed when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered Ramadan’s visa to be reinstated.

Unfortunately the blog post quoted Robert Spencer, one of the leading Islamophobes in the West today.

But author Robert Spencer says that popularity is dangerous. In interviews, he has criticized Clinton for making an exception to U.S. law that prohibits supports of terrorist groups from entering the country. Spencer said Ramadan should still be barred for donating money to a group that funds Hamas.

Spencer contends that the scholar has the same goals as Osama bin Laden–to impose Shariah law in the West. While Ramadan paints himself as a moderate intellectual, Spencer said, he is actually a “stealth jihadist.”

It is a severe lapse in judgement for Brachear to quote Spencer’s claims since they are false on their head. It is an attempt on Spencer’s part to “poison the wells.” The fact is Ramadan has never supported Hamas or terrorism, in fact he has been one of the most outspoken critics of both. “Stealth Jihad” is just paranoid new speak that serves bigots who wish to cast normal, law abiding Muslims as evil villains who are secretly working behind the scenes to take over the West. It is in fact the new “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Our website has copiously dissected many of Robert Spencer’s blog posts exposing his unsavory associations, pseudo-scholarship and blatant bigotry against Muslims and Islam. One of our premiere contributors, Danios has gone through whole chapters in Spencer’s books and revealed how shoddy and inaccurate a lot of his work has been. To quote Robert Spencer on Muslims and Islam is equivalent to quoting David Duke on Judaism or Jews.

One instructive point in regards to all of this is that one of Spencer’s closest friends and a co-founder with Spencer of The Freedom Defense Initiative, Pamela Geller has gone to the extreme (and insane) level of calling Tariq Ramadan, “a cold blooded Jihadists.” An exercise in hyperbole that the worst enemies and strongest critics of Ramadan won’t even engage in. However, one must ask Spencer if he agrees with that characterization by his friend Geller who he cross-posts from regularly? It also seriously puts into doubt the objectiveness of Spencer and whether he should ever be quoted by mainstream media.

I urge our readers to contact Manya and to politely express their disappointment at the inclusion of a bigot such as Spencer on a professional blog such as hers.


Here is some information that may be helpful to share with Manya (remember to be polite and topical):

The fact is Spencer is not taken seriously by academia especially in the field of Islam: He has been repudiated over and over. Take a glance at our archives:

Academics and members of the American Library Association condemn Spencer and his work: Robert Spencer Rejected by Academics, still Supports Geert Wilders

DePaul Law Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni condemns Spencer

His former friend and ally Charles Johnson has also condemned Robert Spencer as an “Anti-Islamic Bigot:”

Robert Spencer goes postal on Charles Johnson

Spencer’s association and fervent support for anti-Muslim European neo-Fascists and supremacists also disqualifies him from being mentioned as a true neutral observer and commenter on Islam or radical Islam:

Robert Spencer Teams up with Euro-Supremacists Again

Spencer has also joined a genocidal Facebook group which called for the extermination of Turks:

Robert Spencer: Wanna be Conquistador

Robert Spencer’s arguments have been shown to be filled with errors and excessive prejudice:

The Church’s Doctrine of Perpetual Servitude worse than Dhimmitude

Robert Spencer Misrepresents Facts — Again

Robert Spencer Worried about ticking ‘Muslim Demographic Time Bomb’

There is more information exposing the bigotry and anti-Muslim motive that mars the work of Robert Spencer in our archives, if Manya Brachear truly cares about the information she wishes to present to readers then she should take a serious look at who she chooses to quote as an expert.


Daniel Pipes Equates Keith Ellison to Hitler

Posted in Feature, Loon Sites with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2009 by loonwatch
The Moral ContortionistThe Moral Contortionist

On November 25th, we wrote about a wacky article that the failed academic and full time Likud apologist, Daniel Pipes wrote for the Jerusalem Post, in which he argued that US CongressmanKeith Ellison, intellectual Tariq Ramadan and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan were a greater threat to Western Civilization than Al-Qaeda.

We wrote at the time,

According to the illogic of Pipes the greatest threat doesn’t come from Al-Qaeda, Ayatollah Khomeini or Nidal Hasan but rather from people like Dr. Tariq Ramadanand Congressman Keith Ellison. He accuses the two of being part of something he terms “Islamism 2.0.” This ridiculous term translates essentially into what Islamophobe Robert Spencer calls “Stealth Jihad,” or the subtle takeover of the West by peaceful, law-abiding Muslims who have a secret, sinister (stealth) goal to takeover the West and replace Democracy with Shariah law: in other words it’s aconspiracy theory.

Ayatollah Khomeini, Osama bin Laden, and Nidal Hasan represent Islamism 1.0, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (the prime minister of Turkey), Tariq Ramadan (a Swiss intellectual), and Keith Ellison (a US congressman) represent Islamism 2.0. The former kill more people but the latter pose a greater threat to Western civilization. (emphasis mine)

That Erdogan, Ramadan and Ellison can even be mentioned in the same sentence as equivalent to, or even more dangerous and threatening to the West than Bin Laden speaks volumes about Pipes’ preposterous agenda. Would Bin Laden have Turkey make peace with Armenia as Erdogan did? Would Bin Laden affirm Democracy as the way forward to better governance and equal rights as all three do? Would Bin Laden pledge to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America on Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an as Keith Ellison did?

We never imagined Daniel Pipes would offer a response, as he usually isn’t too keen to get into a debate with anyone who challenges his weak and biased arguments. However, it seems this time Pipes couldn’t hold himself back. Prompted by a reader of his website, Aliya, who alerted Pipes to our rebuttal of his article, he responded by bringing the all too familiar response of those who have no arguments: comparing your subject to Hitler.

Submitted by Aliya (United Kingdom), Nov 27, 2009 at 06:49

Dr Pipes

Loon Watch, the Islamist Jewish/Eurabian (apparently George Soros and Saudi funded) website which wrote about your report

Daniel Pipes says Keith Ellison is a threat to Western Civilization

They’re asking, because Ellison is a Westerner, and Turkey will join the EU soon, Turks are European, Westerners already, so how can you say theTurkish President and Congressman Ellison are enemies of the West when they are westerners?

What would be your response to this?

Kind Regards


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened for relevance, substance, and tone, and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome, but comments are rejected if scurrilous, off-topic, vulgar, ad hominem, or otherwise viewed as inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the Guidelines for Comments. For informational purposes, we identify countries from which comments are sent.

Daniel Pipes replies:

Hiitler was a Westerner too, and he arguably did more to destroy Western civilization than anyone else in history.

The questioner sounds like another loon that we know, Pamela Geller who surmised that Loonwatch was a George Soros funded website, but she takes it a step further and includes all the possible conspiracy theories she can think of, not only are we George Soros funded but we are an, “Islamist Jewish/Eurabian (apparently George Soros and Saudi funded) website.” I love these loons, if half of what they said were true (Alas, my meager pockets) we would be rolling in the dough!!  Soros and company we are still waiting on our checks!

Notice that Daniel Pipes really didn’t answer any of the arguments or questions in our article, my guess is he probably didn’t even read it. He looked at the way Aliya framed the question and answered it by equating Keith Ellison, Tariq Ramadan and Recep Erodogan, all fierce proponents of Democracy to the greatest mass-murderer of the 20th century. Quite despicable, and it seems to have become Daniel Pipes’ forte to side on the side of the despicable.

The real question however is, if Pipes is truly interested in “protecting Western Civilization,” why is he as silent as a mouse on the real threat: the new little Hitler’s springing up all over Europe? Why does Pipes ignore neo-fascist Geert Wilders who calls for the deportation of Mooslims, banning of the Quran, taxing the hijab, etc? Why does he not speak out against the fascist Northern League, why does he give his tacit approval of the minaret ban in Switzerland which he charachterizes as a vote against “Islamization?”

The new amendment also validates and potentially encourages resistance to Islamization throughout the continent.

The reality is ever clearer, Mr.Pipes doesn’t give two hoots about Democracy, for him Democracy is convenient when it fits his agenda but should be discarded the moment it is no longer of use.


Daniel Pipes says Keith Ellison is a threat to Western Civilization

Posted in Feature, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2009 by loonwatch
Daniel PipesDaniel Pipes

Daniel Pipes, the academic who dropped academia long ago to pursue anti-Islam polemics and apologia for Israeli policy is at it again. In a Nov, 24, 2009 article in the Jerusalem Post, Pipes writes about his favorite topic, “the Muslim threat to Western Civilization.”

According to the illogic of Pipes the greatest threat doesn’t come from Al-Qaeda, Ayatollah Khomeini or Nidal Hasan but rather from people like Dr. Tariq Ramadan and Congressman Keith Ellison. He accuses the two of being part of something he terms “Islamism 2.0.” This ridiculous term translates essentially into what Islamophobe Robert Spencer calls “Stealth Jihad,” or the subtle takeover of the West by peaceful, law-abiding Muslims who have a secret, sinister (stealth) goal to takeover the West and replace Democracy with Shariah law: in other words it’s a conspiracy theory.

Ayatollah Khomeini, Osama bin Laden, and Nidal Hasan represent Islamism 1.0, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (the prime minister of Turkey), Tariq Ramadan (a Swiss intellectual), and Keith Ellison (a US congressman) represent Islamism 2.0. The former kill more people but the latter pose a greater threat to Western civilization. (emphasis mine)

That Erdogan, Ramadan and Ellison can even be mentioned in the same sentence as equivalent to, or even more dangerous and threatening to the West than Bin Laden speaks volumes about Pipes’ preposterous agenda. Would Bin Laden have Turkey make peace with Armenia as Erdogan did? Would Bin Laden affirm Democracy as the way forward to better governance and equal rights as all three do? Would Bin Laden pledge to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America on Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an as Keith Ellison did?

All of the above are of course rhetorical questions because there is an obvious wide gulf that separates the likes of a Bin Laden and a Keith Ellison. Keith Ellison, is an American whose family history in the Americas goes back centuries, longer even than Pipes’ family history. He is a liberal Democrat who believes in Democracy, the rule of law, universal suffrage and equal rights for all. That is why his district in Minnesota overwhelmingly voted for him.

The most condescending aspect to the vile piece from Pipes and what he ignores or fails to mention is that Erdogan, Ramadan and Ellison are Westerners. In fact, they represent all that is good about the West, they are consistent on their values, are educated, active and participatory citizens: one doesn’t have to agree with their beliefs or ideas to see the common values in that. They call on their fellow citizens to be active and educated and they foster understanding between different communities while also being self-critical; that is more than we can say for Daniel Pipes.

Pipes goes on to state that “lawful Islamism” is growing in the West and may be worse than “violent Islamism” which is retreating,

Other once-violent Islamist organizations in Algeria, Egypt, and Syria have recognized the potential of lawful Islamism and largely renounced violence. One also sees a parallel shift in Western countries; Ramadan and Ellison represent a burgeoning trend.

In conclusion, only Islamists, not fascists or communists, have gone well beyond crude force to win public support and develop a 2.0 version. Because this aspect of Islamism undermines traditional values and destroys freedoms, it may threaten civilized life even more than does 1.0′s brutality.(emphasis added)

Instead of bizzarely bemoaning the fact that these once violent organizations have renounced violence, Pipes should see it as most sensible people do, a positive development which brings these groups into the system and opens them up to the scrutiny of checks and balances and eventually the electorate. Also notice the highly disingenuous way in which Pipes again lumps these once violent organizations onto the same wavelength as Ramadan and Ellison who, yes, are proud Muslims (not a crime by the way) but at the same time are staunch Democrats who are the fiercest and most affective opponents of the violent ideology that motivates groups such as Al-Qaeda.

Ellison and Ramadan stand as a strong counter example against Bin Laden and his cohorts for Muslims, especially young Muslims. They see two Muslims, strongly grounded in their faith, belonging to their society and giving back on various levels from the social to the political; instead of deriding them Pipes should be encouraging them. As more examples such as theirs increase in the West it will enable Muslims to better fight those minority elements within their faith that seek to cause chaos and violence and that is what really threatens Daniel Pipes who seems to be motivated by the paranoid fear that the “enfranchisement of American Muslims…will present true dangers to American Jews.”

So what does Daniel Pipes propose? How do we stop this “stealth Islamism 2.0?” Do we restrict the free speech of Tariq Ramadan and deny him entry into the US? ( Pipes does support that) Do we disallow Muslims such as Keith Ellison from holding public office? Do we not allow Muslims to enter into the military? Do we watch Muslim peoples’ every move? What practical solutions is Pipes proposing from this highly opinionated and doomsday scenario article?

We can only assume that he is in league with other believers in these conspiracy theories who do put forward pratical solutions to the “stealth Muslim problem.” Believers like Geert Wilders whose solutions include: no religious freedom for Muslims, banning the Quran, taxing Muslim women who wear the Hijab, deporting Muslim citizens etc.

One must ask Daniel Pipes, does he agree with such a program? Some of his colleagues and friends such as Robert Spencer have already given their backing to Wilders, where does Pipes stand? Does he stand for Democracy, equal rights, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion or is he a hypocrite cloaking himself as a champion of Western civilization when in reality with every word he undermines it?