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He's not coming to South Bend (I don't mean Jon Gruden). From the U. of Notre Dame website:

Tariq Ramadan, whose failure to obtain a U.S. visa prevented his teaching at the University of Notre Dame this fall, has resigned his faculty appointment, citing the stress on him and his family from the uncertainty of their situation, R. Scott Appleby, director of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, announced today.

Nothing on The Observer yet. The students are probably too busy reading about the new coach, Charlie Weis.

And from the Associated Press:

"I'm abandoning the idea of moving to the United States," Tariq Ramadan told The Associated Press from Geneva. "I want to maintain my dignity." . . . "This is an obstacle to academic freedom of expression," [Ramadan] said.

Oh, Professor Ramadan, academic censorship is so terrible - unless it is censoring Voltaire's Mahomet, non? (see below)

Daniel Pipes has voiced his opinion on the resignation:

I was surprised to learn today that Tariq Ramadan has abandoned his attempt to teach at Notre Dame University [sic]. Given that the State Department was openly rooting for him to try again, given that the Department of Homeland Security questions were excluded from his immigration interview in Basel, given that the higher education and related lobbies were pulling for him to be allowed in, it seemed only a matter of time until he would be permitted entry to the United States to take up the university position. 

That he has formally resigned from Notre Dame suggests just how solid the DHS evidence against him is. And this, by the way, does not surprise me. A senior DHS official looked me hard in the eyes a few weeks ago and assured me, "The evidence we have is damning."

I'll put a link to this article, featuring Olivier Clement, but a summary will have to wait.

This blog doesn't really have a purpose anymore - now that its sine qua non is [temporarily] realized - but I'm going to keep it up and, possibly, will eventually post all of the other material that never made it up.

December 15, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (4)

David Hale or Tariq Ramadan?

David Hale, chairman of Prince Street Capital Management, had an article in the Nov 29 issue of Barron's titled An Economic Opening: Promoting free markets would help spread democracy in the Muslim world. I will quote it at length because the article isn't on the public area of the Barron's website:
The Bush administration launched an initiative a year ago to promote both democracy and free trade in the [Middle East] through bilateral trade agreements. . . . If the Bush administration can follow up with several more countries, it could set the stage for the most far-reaching economic reforms in the Middle East since the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.

The administration's proposals are ambitious, but based on the experience of East Asia and Latin America, they make sense. . . . The Arab countries became isolated during the modern era because they had authoritarian political regimes that restricted trade and investment. If the Bush administration can move them to liberalize their economic policies, it wouldn't be hard to imagine pressure developing for political reform as well.

The Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa are reminiscent of the state-dominated economies of Eastern Europe before the end of the Cold War. They have large public sectors and weak private sectors. . . . The entire Arab world translates only 330 books annually, compared with 1,500 for Greece alone. Despite great oil wealth, the 300 million people in the Middle East and North Africa have a gross domestic product less than Spain's 39 million people. Economic isolation has been one of the primary factors inhibiting the region's economic development.
. . .
A few Muslim countries, such as Malaysia, are highly integrated into the global economy, but the great majority has long pursued policies restricting foreign trade and investment. . . . The result is a very large imbalance between Muslims' share of world population and of global trade and investment.
. . .
Governments have restrained trade. Half of the 22 members of the Arab league [] do not yet belong to the World Trade Organization. As a result of a decline in oil prices and lack of other export industries, the Middle East's share of world trade fell from 13.5% in 1980 to less than 3.4% in 2000. . . That countries representing about 18% of the world's people account for such a modest share of global trade and foreign direct investment isn't an accident. Many Muslim countries have been suspicious of global economic integration and have pursued policies to isolate themselves. Except for Turkey, Malaysia, Senegal, Mali and Indonesia, there are no democracies in the Muslim world. Anti-globalization economic policies have been associated with regimes hostile to political competition and open elections.
. . .
If the trend toward economic opening continues, it should encourage more tolerance of political freedom and democracy in the Muslim world. Anti-globalization activists refuse to accept the link between trade and democracy. But the history of Latin America and East Asia since the 1970s demonstrates the strong link between political and economic liberalization. The Bush administration should broaden the war against terrorism by pushing ahead with its proposals to end the Muslim world's economic isolation.
(Granted, Hale is not the first person to promote the idea that economic liberalization leads to political liberalization, and of course a person can point to the PRC as a seeming exception to this theory.)

Contrast to Hale's opinion to Tariq Ramadan, a staunch ally of the anti-globalization crowd and a critic of what this group calls neo-liberalism. Of course neo-liberalism has its own flaws (Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises would probably flip out at the idea that a market economy can be imposed "top-down" instead of "bottom-up"), but one can likely infer that free market capitalism is still a target of the anti-globalization crowd.

Tariq's rants re: globalization take up a big chunk of a 24 page chapter in the 226 pages of Western Muslims and the Future of Islam. His analysis is essentially a hysteric version of Immanuel Wallerstein. Tariq's analysis looks even less original considering that Wallerstein included the Muslims of North Africa in The Capitalist World Economy.

If one accepts Hale's argument as true - that integrating Muslim nations into the world economy will promote freedom and reduce extremism - one may conclude that failing to integrate Muslim nations into the world economy may continue to foster the growth of radicalism and Islamism. Tariq Ramadan's anti-globalisation efforts are the path opposite that of Hale. If Hale is correct, then this "moderate" isn't doing much to promote the economic - and hence political - freedom of Muslim nations, which may lead to a further rise in Islamist radicalism.

December 8, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Frere Tariq to appear at MPAC Convention

JihadWatch.org's Hugh Fitzgerald reports here that the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has invited Tariq Ramadan to speak at their convention, billed as Countering Religious and Political Extremism, in mid-December. According to Mr. Fitzgerald (whose source is Daniel Pipes), Tariq will speak via a videoconference system, so he will not be allowed to enter the USA. Scott Appleby and A. Peter Walshe must be excited by this development - there are facilities at the University which would allow videoconferences, so it is possible that Frere Tariq could still teach there.

Stephen Schwartz had a recent article detailing how this MPAC convention will attack Steve Emerson, author of American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us. Mr. Emerson also produced a PBS documentary called Jihad in America - back in 1994. Kalid Duran, a moderate Muslim and founder of the Ibn Khaldun Society, states that his participation with Emerson on the production of this documentary helped him earn the ire of organizations like CAIR.

Mr. Fitzgerald also had an earlier article detailing some of Tariq Ramadan's comments at a "dialogue of civilisation" meeting in Prague. Mr. Fitzgerald was kind enough to post the source he used for his article in the comments section of the webpage. Mr. Fitzgerald writes:

Tariq Ramadan has just been at one of those phoney "dialogue of civilisation" meetings in Prague, where he self-assuredly declared that there is no "clash of civilizations" because -- well, because Islam is part of Europe, Muslims are already in Europe, Europe owes so much, historically, to Islam. In other words, we are here, and here to stay, and there is nothing you can do about it.

I doubt that Samuel Huntington would be convinced by Tariq's response to his Clash of Civilizations thesis. On that note, I really have to get up the review of Tariq's Western Muslims and the Future of Islam (in one word: overrated). After reading it, and comparing his writing to that of moderates like Tarek Heggy, I am convinced that Tariq Ramadan is beloved by the leftist academy not for his supposed intellect but because he rails about many of the same issues: capitalism, globalism, entitlements masquerading as rights, etc.

December 5, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Coach Ty Willingham is fired

Coach Ty Willingham was fired this week. It appears that Jon "Chucky" Gruden, formerly of the Oakland Raiders, will not take the ND job.

No matter what one thinks of Ty's record as a head coach, one cannot deny that he is a decent man, ran a clean college program, and cared about his players. Ty's remarks after he was fired show that he is a class act and a man of integrity. I hope that he lands another head coaching job soon!

Personally, I would rather have a University with a .500 football team and NO Islamonazi sympathizers at the Kroc Institute than a University with the second coming of Knute Rockne and a faculty tainted by the likes of Tariq Ramadan.

December 2, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0)

David Pryce-Jones in Commentary

David Pryce-Jones, author of The Closed Circle: An Interpretation of the Arabs, mentioned Tariq Ramadan in an article in Commentary called The Islamization of Europe? Here is the relevant excerpt:

The lengths to which apologists for Islamism are prepared to go is nicely illustrated by the case of Tariq Ramadan, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland and a popular writer and speaker. As is well known, the American university Notre Dame recently offered Ramadan a professorship, but U.S. immigration authorities have so far rejected his application for a visa. This has elicited some classic examples of fellow-traveling obfuscation from both Americans and Europeans outraged on his behalf. A letter to the Washington Post protesting Ramadan’s treatment undertook to explicate his supposed message to Western Muslims: they “must find common values and build with fellow citizens a society based on diversity and equality.”

Not quite. What Tariq Ramadan has really proposed in his writings and teachings is that Muslims in the West should conduct themselves not as hyphenated citizens seeking to live by “common values” but as though they were already in a Muslim-majority society and exempt on that account from having to make concessions to the faith of others. What Ramadan advocates is a kind of reverse imperialism. In his conception, Muslims in non-Muslim countries should feel themselves entitled to live on their own terms—while, under the terms of Western liberal tolerance, society as a whole should feel obliged to respect that choice. (emphasis added)

So much for the claims that Ramadan is a moderate, for assimilation, or finding a way for Muslims to accomodate themselves to Western societies. The success of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is the furthest thing from his mind.

Of course, considering that Commentary was founded by Norman Podheretz (gasp!) , I suppose A. Peter Walshe will dismiss Mr. Pryce-Jones as a "Likudnik." Never mind that The Closed Circle is brilliant - obviously, since Mr. Pryce-Jones has written in Commentary, anything he says must be suspect to those willing to ignore the fact that Notre Dhimmi has been duped by Mr. Ramadan.

December 1, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Alliance for Workers' Liberty on Tariq Ramadan

The Alliance for Workers' Liberty (AWL) - a socialist organization in Great Britain - had two articles against Tariq Ramadan's scheduled appearances at the European Social Forum (ESF) in October, 2004. The themes of the ESF were "war and peace; democracy and fundamental rights; social justice and solidarity – against privatisation and deregulation, for workers, social and women’s rights; corporate globalisation and global justice; against racism, discrimination and the far right – for equality and diversity; environmental crisis, against neo-liberalism and for sustainable society" - in other words, the ESF is a project of the political left.

In Tariq Ramadan is not our ally, the AWL publishes a translation of a pamphlet distributed by the "Feminist Collective for a Secular Alternative Globalisation" at the 2003 ESF. I couldn't locate an official website for this "Collective," so I will include excerpts from the AWL's translation:
Tariq Ramadan is dangerous not because he is the grandson of Hassan al-Banna . . . but because he has never distanced himself from the ideological heritage of his grandfather, whom he continues to present as the "most influential of the Muslim reformists of the century" [1] when that reformism consisted of wanting to go back to the baseline of Sharia law.
. . .
Equally he does not dispute the right of a man to use conjugal violence, even if he emphasises that the Koran envisages it only as a “last resort” [3].
. . .
Tariq Ramadan is a fundamentalist leader who wants to go back to the baseline of the Koran. His positions are certainly preferable to the obviously fanatical recommendations of some other Islamists. But he locates himself in a reactionary perspective, incompatible with a progressive alternative globalisation, because it is about making men and women live in the terms of a book which is sanctified and decreed timeless although it was written more than 14 centuries ago.
. . .
Tariq Ramadan does not conceal his distaste for rationalism and modernity, even though he is careful to disguise it as an anti-capitalist discourse. "Because they give priority to rationality, efficiency and productivity for progress, our societies are on the brink of the abyss" [5], he explains in his book on The Meeting Point of Civilisations: Which Progress for Which Modernity? It must be understood that his hate of modernity is not only to do with commercialisation but also changing attitudes on the family, on which he explains: "If modernity comes at this price, it will be understood that both the Koran and the Sunna say no to the realisation of this modernisation." (notes on sources are listed at the end of the article)
In ESF rogues' gallery - Tariq Ramadan: not our ally, the AWL cites to an article from the French Marxist quarterly Critique Communiste, which published the following:
A subtle, sophisticated, not to say slippery, speaker and writer, [Ramadan] has constructed a version of Islamic fundamentalism smooth enough to reach out to young, educated, and socially integrated Muslims in Europe. He constructs an ideology which stays loyal to the mainstream Islamic fundamentalism of his grandfather — Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood — never disavowing or contradicting it, while at the same time never sharply disavowing basic secular and democratic values.

In the mainly-Muslim world, [Ramadan] claims, “‘secular’ means ‘dictatorship’, when you look at the historical balance-sheet of political regimes like Turkey, Syria, Tunisia, and others” (Alain Gresh and Tariq Ramadan, L’Islam en question, p181). His alternative? Iran. “The country which has advanced most towards democratic institutionalisation is Iran, out of the orbit of the big powers… In twenty years, Iran has transformed itself more — not only on the political level but also on that of ideas and modes of relating to scriptural references — than any other apparently progressive Muslim country” (p119, 129).
So the AWL, a socialist organization, concludes that Tariq Ramadan is an Islamist. Add the AWL, EuroFeminists, and French Marxists to the list of A. Peter Walshe's "Likudniks" who oppose Tariq Ramadan. Grow up, Professor Walshe. This is a fight between 7th century fundamentalists and the modern world, not some Jewish cabal trying to "oppress" some poor fellow.

December 1, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0)