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Tariq Ramadan: Why I Was Banned in the U.S.A.


Why I Was Banned in the U.S.A.

By Tariq Ramadan | NEWSWEEK

From the magazine issue dated Mar 29, 2010

When the American embassy called in August 2004, I was just nine days away from starting a job at Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. I had already shipped my possessions from Geneva, Switzerland, where I was living, to Indiana, and enrolled my kids in a school near our new home. Suddenly, however, an embassy official was telling me my visa had been revoked. I was “welcome to reapply,” the official said, but no reason was offered for my rejection. Sitting in a barren apartment, I decided the process had become too unpredictable; I didn’t want to keep my family in limbo, so I resigned my professorship before it began. I launched a legal battle instead.

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It was hardly a fight I had expected. Less than a year earlier, the State Department had invited me to speak in Washington, D.C., and introduced me as a “moderate” Muslim intellectual who denounced terrorism and attacks against civilians. Now it was banning me from U.S. soil under a provision of the Patriot Act that allows for “ideological exclusions.” My offense, it seemed, had been to forcefully criticize America’s support for Israel and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. accused me of endorsing terrorism through my words and funding it through donations to a Swiss charity with alleged ties to Gaza. Civil-liberties groups challenged my case in court for almost six years until, in late January, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dropped the allegations against me, effectively ending my ban.

In early April I will make my first public appearance in the U.S., at New York City’s Cooper Union, participating in a panel discussion about Muslims. While it’s a victory of sorts, the fight is not over. Numerous foreign scholars remain banned from U.S. soil. Until the section of the Patriot Act that kept me out of the country is lifted, more people will suffer the same fate. Although the exclusions are carried out in the name of security and stability, they actually threaten both by closing off the open, critical, and constructive dialogue that once defined this country.

In my case, criticizing America’s Middle East policies cast doubt on my loyalty to Western values and cost me a job. But prejudice may ultimately cost the U.S. more. By creating divisions and disregarding its values, even in the name of security, America tells the world that it is frightened and unstable—above all, vulnerable. In the long term, it also reinforces the religious, cultural, and social isolation of minority groups, encouraging the very kind of disloyalty that these ideological exclusions are meant to prevent.

It’s not the first time America has tried to shield itself from dissenting opinions. During the Cold War, dozens of overseas artists, activists, and intellectuals—including British novelist Doris Lessing, Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, and Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez—were denied visas because of their left-leaning ideas. Today, though, the American concept of the “other” has taken on a relatively new and specific form: the Muslim. America must face the reality that, in the West, many adherents to Islam demonstrate loyalty to democratic values through criticism. While violence must always be condemned, such debate must be encouraged if those values are to last.

Ramadan is a professor of Islamic studies at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and author of What I Believe.

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The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Ify Okoye is a Muslim woman, a convert, born and raised in the U.S. She is from New York and her parents are from Nigeria. Despite the petty hassles of work and school, Ify finds time to travel usually for AlMaghrib Institute seminars and to visit beautiful places. Pronunciation primer for her name, say it like this: E-fee O-coy-yeah!



  1. Hajera

    March 24, 2010 at 12:40 AM


    • Ibn Masood

      March 24, 2010 at 7:03 AM

      lol Epic comment

  2. Kaminari Ninjah

    March 24, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    I really would like to see yasir qadhi and tariq ramadan , suhaib webb talking aboutt muslimeen and mumineen in the west – that topic need to be dealt much more – even if a lot of ppl have dealt with it

    I would even like to see Tariq Ramadan with Kamal El Mekki talking about that topic I think a lot of ppl would like to listen to them – it could be very very interesting –

    We should write Eddie from the deeeen show to bring these ppl together

  3. Abd- Allah

    March 24, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    This man seems to have some weird ideas to “update” Islam and its beliefs. May Allah protect us.

    • someone

      March 24, 2010 at 1:38 PM

      such as….

      • QasYm

        March 24, 2010 at 3:33 PM

        He’s not sure…but since he likes to make claims on individuals simply because he knows nothing about them…there must be something wrong with them.

        Mufti Abd-Allah to the rescue.

        • Abû Mûsâ Al-Ḥabashî

          March 26, 2010 at 7:17 AM

          since he likes to make claims on individuals simply because he knows nothing about them

          Do you know Abd-Allah to be able to comment on how much he knows about Tariq Ramadan? If not, then your comment is ridiculously hypocritical.

          • Wael -

            March 29, 2010 at 12:37 PM

            If Abd-Allah had something real to say then he should have said it, instead of making a vague accusation and not backing it up with any specifics or proof. Dr. Ramadan has done a lot for Islam and the Muslims over the years. He deserves better than some vague, unfounded condemnation.

      • another white brother

        March 26, 2010 at 9:23 AM

        There was his call a few years ago for muslims to halt and re-examine the hudood. Very strange indeed, especially considering sharia isn’t fully implemented on a state level anywhere. He goes to extreme levels to hide the fact that he is related to Hasan al-Banna (ra) as well.

        He is on the modernist tip.

        • Stinger

          March 27, 2010 at 9:27 PM

          He said this because laws are being enforced in the name of Hudood when they don’t reflect the Hudood. As you said Shariah isn’t being correctly applied anywhere, so shouldn’t we first spread understanding about what Shariah truly is and what its true objectives are before we try applying it?

          This goes back to the classic discussion on when and how the Shariah should be applied especially in the current era of ignorance. Br. Ramadan only wanted to prevent abuse in the name of Islam no matter where it happens. I would like for him to explain his stance on the death penalty though because I believe he opposed that as well.

          • suhail

            March 27, 2010 at 11:46 PM

            Let me ask you first thing since you are supporting Ramadan’s call “Which scholar do u have which support this kind of call”?

            Secondly Hudud laws come with its own prerequisite and it is applied only is cases with total certainity but are not applied when there is any doubt regarding the crime. So there are prerequisite that needs to be fulfilled before the laws can be applied.

            Now lets say that those prerequisites are not being fulfilled than is the course is to remove those laws or to work with the authorities to resolve this issue.

            Are you saying to me that there are no misuse of secular laws. So what do secular society do? Do they throw away those laws? No they don’t.

            Then why do muslims whom Allah have commanded to apply his laws run away from shariah.

            Where in the Quran and Sunnah did Allah and his Messanger(SAW) told us that you can replace Laws of Allah with laws of Man even temporarily?

            Where in Quran and Sunnah does Allah and his Messanger(SAW) told us that you cannot apply Shariah untl there is good understanding among the masses of muslims?

            Where is the Quran and Sunnah did Allah and his Messanger told us that we can abandon Shariah because it will give muslims bad name?

            Allah has commanded muslims to apply the law that he has sent down and Allah(SWT) told us in Quran that those people who replace Islamic laws with Man Made laws are Tahgoot and there destination is in hell. Should be become one of those who wants to replace Allah’s law with man made laws even if those laws are not applied with justice.

            Please ponder on these things before you support Ramadan next time in his call for moratorium. I do know that Tariq Ramadan has some good works for muslims living in the west but it does not mean that we support him when he is doing that is against Islam.

            You guys are so happy to condemn Imam Anwar when he has also done a lot for dawah than why not condemn Dr Tariq Ramadan when he goes on the wrong path.

        • freshouttatime

          April 29, 2010 at 8:06 AM

          hmm i dont think he goes to any length to deny his heritage. if you remember ‘islam, the west and the challenges of modernity’ the prologue is all about his father Said Ramadan (who was key in starting the MB in Palestine) and the profound impact that Hassan al-Banna had on him. If i remember correctly he mentions al-Banna in ‘what i believe’ too.
          As an academic, its one thing to respect and acknowledge others (which i feel he does, ive never known him to shy away from his heritage), but if you expect him to sell himself as ‘the grandson of hassan al-banna’ everywhere he goes; then its as if he has no new perspectives to offer on ‘islam, modernity, and the west’ and instead is echoing the ideas of the past. and as a pretty legit muslim intellectual TR is much more than ideas from a certain place and time.

  4. ASAWB

    March 24, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    Reading that last part reminds of Linus Pauling (won two Nobel prizes without sharing).

  5. ma

    March 24, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    assalamu alaykum what is he preaching? this is an innocent question not to stir any debates. someone told me about his progressive islam teaching. i dont quite understand. can some explain to me in a nutshell jazakallah khair

  6. Nahyan

    March 24, 2010 at 11:22 PM

    thanks for the post

  7. Amad

    March 25, 2010 at 7:04 AM

    Tariq Ramadan is DA-MAN.

    His books on Muslims in the West are a must-read… absolutely essential readings.

    And please, manhaj police, leave him alone :) Take benefit from him in the areas he offers in it. He is a true Muslim intellectual and is an asset for the Ummah. I know that Shaykh Yasir also looks up to him in many areas.

    In the Footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad

    Western Muslims and the Future of Islam

    Islam, the West and the Challenges of Modernity

    • UmA

      March 25, 2010 at 7:15 AM

      Short of me having to actually read an entire book, could you please share what are his areas of specialty and what sort of proposals does he make? I’ve only heard rumours, nothing more.
      jazakumullahu khayra

      • Amad

        March 25, 2010 at 7:20 AM

        I hope to do a book review one day, but I found his books inspirational, courageous and relevant to Muslims in the West. Basic ideas that help Muslims understand their situations and encourage them to be productive, integrated citizens. In the “footsteps” book, he tracks the Prophet’s (S) seerah and derives lessons and relevance for Muslims in the West again.

        Don’t sell yourself short, read the books. They are worth it. Start with the Western Muslims one.

    • Abd- Allah

      March 25, 2010 at 6:02 PM

      My dear brother Amad, you seem to have created your own boogy man and called it “manhaj police” just so you can easily dismiss any issue that comes up without having to really address it. This issue has nothing to do with the manhaj as you call it, and even if this man has some good to offer, you need to at least point out the things where he is wrong and address these issues. When you promote him, you are implying that most of what he says is correct and you are encouraging everyone to take knowledge from him in all aspects, especially since nothing else was noted to the readers.

      Tariq Ramadan’s reformist approach to suggest new understandings of Islam and of the Quran and sunnah lead to nothing but to deforming Islam in its pure form and original message. While there might be a difference between Tariq Ramadan and Asra Nomani, Irshad Manji, and their likes, but I am sure that they look up to him as well, especially the principles which he is calling for of reinterpreting Islam.

      I’m not saying that you can’t benefit from the good that he has to offer, but we can’t ignore everything else that he is calling for. The main issue that is problematic, at least in my opinion, is his call to reinterpret the texts of the Quran and sunnah in light of our modern context. Sure there are many ways for us to benefit and learn from applying the Quran and sunnah to our daily lives and the situations that we live in, but it is something different when the Quran and sunnah are “reinterpreted” to mean something new, and that causes the pure message of Islam to be changed to other than what the Prophet peace be upon him came with, and this opens the door to “modify” the things which some people might not like about Islam.

      I am also interested in the issue which brother suhail has brought up. Is this true, and how do you address this issue if he is really calling for that?

      • Talkum

        March 25, 2010 at 6:08 PM

        The thing with boogey-men is that they don’t exist. So, calling the manhaj police “boogey men” is problematic.

        • Abd- Allah

          March 25, 2010 at 7:33 PM

          Thank you for addressing the issues at hand brother Talkum.

          • Talkum

            March 25, 2010 at 8:51 PM

            I love you too bro for the sake of Allah. No kidding.

    • Hassan

      March 25, 2010 at 10:36 PM

      There is nothing wrong with people viocing their opinion in disagreement. Specially if they believe they are doing amar-bil-maroof wa nahi anil-munkir (promoting good and forbidding of evil). I do not know him (Tariq Ramadan), so I can not comment against him (good till proven bad).

      Manhaj police.., I like the idea. There should be people like that, I can definitely benefit from them.

    • Abû Mûsâ Al-Ḥabashî

      March 26, 2010 at 7:28 AM

      And please, manhaj police, leave him alone

      I believe this is precisely the attitude that allowed Anwar to become so popular. Anyone and everyone is open to refutation. You can’t just dismiss, out of hand, criticisms just because you like some of his stuff.

  8. Kaminari Ninjah

    March 25, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    There are many ppl who can’t follow him by intellect , so they get confused some of them start talking about him and banning him and some try to understand him – and by the way this man is not a stupid one – for everything he says he has good evidences ! So if you hear something from him that sounds strange know that he has the answer for you if you just try to ask him – why do you see the things like that – but a lot of muslims are not on this level – like nouman ali khan said – intellectual humility – anyway

    here I have some clips for those who dont understand him or dont know what he is preaching !

    This here is very amazing – try to understand him =

    I really would love to see Yasir Qadhi discussing with him together about many topics – two men having an good background of knowledge and manners – the muslims would definitely benefit from it !

    He is much more stronger when he speaks in French

  9. suhail

    March 25, 2010 at 9:35 AM

    Well for once he has advocated moratorium on the hudud laws. So basically according to him Allah(SWT) did not knew what is good for human being and may be the Prophet(SAW) and Sahabah did not knew how cruel hudud laws are. So he is for the moratorium against the hudud laws.

    I think Amad and others are such fan of him is because he calls for integration with the western society. Which is fine to an extent unless you lose the identity of muslims and forget the al-wala-al-bara is one of the core concept in Islam.

  10. Ify Okoye

    March 25, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    Dr. Tariq Ramadan offers a pragmatic and intellectually stimulating paradigm through which to view our situation as Muslims living in the West and in the modern world as a whole within an Islamic framework. Read his books, they are peerless.

  11. suhail

    March 25, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    He may have beneficial stuff and i am not arguing against that. But his Call for moratorium on hudud punishment is indefensible.

    • Ify Okoye

      March 25, 2010 at 10:14 PM


      Have you read his argument for a moratorium? I, myself last read it about six or seven years ago. It sounds sensationalized here as though Ramadan is opposing Islamic law rather than as I remember questioning and looking for solutions to the way we often see it unjustly implemented around the world.

      Let’s take for example the situation in northern Nigeria where we have seen calls in the last decade for the implementation of shariah and so often in practice it is only the weak and the poor, the women and disenfranchised in society that are punished and the wealthy elites, the politicians, businessmen, and military officials that go free.

      A call for a moratorium could simply be a way to recognize the misapplication of shariah to cause injustice, a call for reevaluating the way certain laws are applied so that the principles of the shariah are preserved as Allah (subhanahu wa ta ala) and his Messenger (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) intended and not abused and to prevent even a single person from suffering under the misapplication or misinterpretation of shariah.

      • Hassan

        March 25, 2010 at 10:39 PM

        Wow, that is weird indeed.

      • Abd- Allah

        March 25, 2010 at 11:29 PM

        Sister Ify, it is something good if he is calling for the laws to be properly applied and for justice to be done, but to call for not applying the laws with the excuse that they are misapplied is not a very strong argument. If something is not done right, it should be corrected and performed properly rather than abandoned altogether. If a person is praying wrong, we don’t tell him not to pray, but rather we teach him the correct way of praying. I know this analogy isn’t perfect, but I hope you see my point. So it might have been better for him (and us) to call for a proper application of the laws and that justice is done rather than him calling for them not to be applied at all. So if he is calling for the laws to be applied justly and properly, then great and I agree with him on that issue, but if he is calling that the laws be not implemented so that justice is achieved, then I would advise him to reconsider this way about which he is trying to achieve that goal of justice, keeping in mind that Allah is the most Just, and so His laws serve justice to everyone, and where there is a problem with justice being done it is because of a misapplication (or lack thereof) of these laws rather than the problem being with the actual laws themselves. I don’t know exactly which of these two views Tariq Ramadan is calling for, so if anyone has more accurate and precise information on what he is exactly calling for regarding this issue specifically, then please do let us know. However, the main issue that really should be addressed here is his reformist approach which he is calling for that suggests new understandings of Islam and its texts.

        • Ify Okoye

          March 26, 2010 at 6:24 AM

          Br. Abd-Allah,

          Your point is taken and indeed, Ramadan is calling for the sharia to be implemented properly with justice. I began re-reading one of his books today and was going to begin typing some of his words but found a few online articles from his own website where he defends the call he issued in 2005:

          Tariq Ramadan: Response to the official statement of the Al-Azhar Legal Research Commission On the Call for a Moratorium published on March 30th, 2005.

          Tariq Ramadan: A response to Shaykh Dr. Ali Jum’a, Mufti of Egypt

          • Mostapha Å .

            March 26, 2010 at 7:54 AM

            Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmarullah wa barakatuhu,

            Of all the things that are wrong in the Islamic world, of Ramadan took his issue up with the conditions for hudud. Please.
            Muslims have been, due to non-Muslim influence, become so estranged to hudud and sharia in general that I cannot see anything else happening if his call were to be taken seriously other than that estrangement being deepened, and aversion to sharia strengthened.
            We should keep in mind that every secularist from now on will be able to use this “excuse” of the supposed lack of necessary conditions to argue against sharia, thus buying their time in hope that the longer it takes for the “conditions to be met”, the more estranged to it the people will become.
            Tariq Ramadan is without doubt a man with a sharp intellect; this is why it baffles me that he and modernizers like as him, rarely fail to get their priorities wrong (since fiqh of priorities is one of the topic they discuss the most). Tawheed and sunnah first, then everything else. Then, you may even not have a need for the application for hudud. Then, you may have the right conditions for their application, or at least an audience truly interested in the existance of such conditions due to their taqwa and willing to follow the sunnah in regards to this as well.



          • Ify Okoye

            March 26, 2010 at 9:32 AM

            Wa salaam alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh Mostapha,

            It seems you agree with Ramadan more than you disagree as that was exactly the point he made i.e. that when we hear calls to implement the hudud today, they reduce the sharia to simply a set of exemplar punishments but that the shariah is so much more encompassing and deals with our belief in God, human interactions, economics, the political sphere, and social justice.

            Why rush to chop off someone’s hand or stone a person when they are starving, may not know the essence of tawhid, there is no access to education or clean drinking water, and when corruption is prevalent on a wide-scale where public officials steal from the government coffers?

          • Ibn Mikdad

            March 26, 2010 at 10:03 AM

            “It seems you agree with Ramadan more than you disagree as that was exactly the point he made i.e. that when we hear calls to implement the hudud today, they reduce the sharia to simply a set of exemplar punishments but that the shariah is so much more encompassing and deals with our belief in God, human interactions, economics, the political sphere, and social justice.

            Why rush to chop off someone’s hand or stone a person when they are starving, may not know the essence of tawhid, there is no access to education or clean drinking water, and when corruption is prevalent on a wide-scale where public officials steal from the government coffers?”

            Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu,

            First, I’d like to urge everyone not to fall into the trap of even nominally denigrating hudud by referring to one form of it as “chopping off of the hand”; when implemented correctly, application of hudud is ibadah, not an act of a savage as we are trained to think by our non-Muslim environment.

            Secondly, I agree that there need to exist conditions for the implementation of hudud, and not because Ramadan say so, but because (as he rightly points out) it is a part of sharia as much as hudud itself.
            But what Ramadan doesn’t understand or doesn’t want to tell us (since I cannot see how he wouldn’t know that) is that the existance of these conditions is supposed to be checked in every individual case, i.e. in case of every person who has done something that may require such punishment, and if they are not met in that specific case, then the hudud cannot be implemented in that case only. So the analysis of the conditions is to be done an a case-by-case basis, and not using hudud can be valid for those individual cases which don’t meet the right conditions.
            I do not see how would it be possible to reach the state in which it would be neccessary to stop the application of all hudud, and stop it everywhere. That would require a very high level of ignorance among Muslims and unwillingness to pay attention to what sharia dictates, which would again be a paradox since why would those who do not pay attention to what sharia dictates pay attention to hudud, which are a part of sharia? Calling for a general moratorium is meaningless; it seems to presuppose that no authority in the entire Ummah today is able to understand that these conditions need to be met; if there is a such an authority, a generalized call like this is pointless; he can only call for the authorities of a certain country (or countries) who are not paying attention to these conditions to start doing so, not to stop applying hudud.



      • suhail

        March 26, 2010 at 9:41 AM

        First of all none of the Muslim countries are applying hudud correctly or lets say they are not fulfilling the application of hudud punishment.

        The question is this ” Is anybody allowed to call for moratorium of the hudud punishment?” I am sorry to say but even Prophet(SAW) was not allowed to stop hudud punishment. It is obligatory on a ruler to apply hudud law or else he is rebelling against Allah and his deen. Prophet(SAW) would do his best not to apply hudud on a person by admonishing them or talking to the family of the people whose member has been killed etc but when all these things did not bring results he did apply hudud.

        Some people take the issue of Umar(RA) when he did not apply the hudud for a man who stole during the time of famine and say that he stopped hudud punishment. Rather it is the application of hudud that he did. He first told to cut the hand of thief but when he came to know his condition he stopped it because the prerequisite for applying hudud was not fulfilled.

        So nobody can call for moratorium of Hudud laws. There is ijma of scholars who have said that if a ruler does not apply hudud he has rebelled against Allah and his deen. Read Muhmmad Ibn Ibrahim Rahimullah’s fatawa regarding this. He is very clear about this.

        Now my question is he issued this call just after Amina Wadud first time led Salah. What is the point on calling a Moratorium when hudud is not applied anyways in most of the muslim world. Why a professor whose subject is Western Society and Islam would make a global call to stop hudud punishment when majority of muslim countries do not apply hudud laws anyways.

        I am sorry but even if hudud is misapplied than it is better to work on correcting it rather than stopping it because once you have stopped it applying it again is almost impossible.

        By the way he does not believe that stoning the adulterer is from Islam. I was reading one of the reviews of his book Islam and the west (something like that) where the reviewer said that he does not believe stoning the adulterer is from Islam So it would be better if we remove tinted glasses and see things as they are.

        He may have some good works just like Sir Syed Ahmed, Muhammad Abduh and many others had but he has that mordernist element in him which needs to be told to people.

      • suhail

        March 26, 2010 at 9:57 AM

        By the way i am not the only one who is telling this about Tariq Ramadan. Many mainstream muslim organisations like, ISNA, Islamic organisation in Europe and many others have said that this call is indefensible.

        They are correct in there opposition of Tariq Ramadan call. Why ? Because today he thinks that Hudud laws in Shariah is not to be applied , tomorrow he may call for moratorium on Family laws of the Shariah.

        The question is do muslims have the authority to call for moratorium of any part of Shariah be it hudud, family or economic laws. Where did Allah (SWT) and his Prophet(SAW) allowed muslims to get rid or shariah in a temporary manner or permanently.

        Rather in Quran you will find explicit verses where Allah says that who do not allow laws that he has sent down and replaces them with man made laws as being expelled from Islam.

        There is a Ijma of the scholar about a ruler who removes Allah’s law with man made laws as being a kafir.

  12. Hassan

    March 25, 2010 at 10:49 PM

    I am reading bits and pieces of his work, and I have a question if any sheikh can answer..

    Ahlul-Rai vs Ahlul-Hadith = Reformist vs Literalist ?

    What level of Ahlul-Rai is acceptable if at all?

    • Abd- Allah

      March 25, 2010 at 11:11 PM

      Brother Hassan, I won’t answer your question because you asked for an answer from one of the shuyukh and hopefully one of them answers you, but Ahlul-Hadith are not literalists in that sense, but they stick to the texts and derive their beliefs and rulings from the texts such as the Quran and sunnah and stick to what is mentioned there, where as Ahlul-Rai do not stick to the texts specifically, and use their opinions, views, and a lot of philosophy to arrive at conclusions rather than stick to the texts and what they say. Most of the great scholars of the past were from Ahlul-Hadith.

      As for Reformist vs Literalist, then I don’t see those two as opposite really, although there is some sort of a relation between the two terms. Reformist vs traditional/orthodox would be a better way to put things, and Literalist vs Metaphorical?

  13. Mena

    March 26, 2010 at 12:12 AM

    I absolutely love Tariq Ramadan! His writing and tv talk show has helped the Muslim ummah sooooo much, may Allah (swt) protect this amazing person.

  14. Umm Bilqis

    March 28, 2010 at 2:38 AM

    Dear MM authors, I enjoy reading many articles on this site however I see a trend. Some of the articles and commentary being posted by some of your writers are clearly involved in the promoting of a modernist stance.
    Did they study and understand the concepts of al walaa wal baraa?
    This particular article really is unbelievable.
    It hurts to see the balancing act this guy is doing, his attempts at bridging the gap has actually let him fall into the gap.
    Aside from his views on huduud which are heinous. A particular disturbing statement that he made is that hijab should be taken off for the sake of education. Education does not only happen in schools, sir, indoctrination with a semblance of education does. Even the non muslim Christian and religious groups realize you do not give in to securalist bureaucrats and have started the homeschool movement as a result.
    Modernism is not sunnah but is abject weakness in the face of challenges.
    Here is an article in Salon showing our Modern Man at work.
    How lamentable and what times of fitan we live in.

    • Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

      March 28, 2010 at 8:14 PM

      Umm Bilqis,

      May Allah reward you for your concern and for the link. I have read a good amount of Tariq Ramadan’s writing but I was surprised and a little saddened by some of his answers in that interview. A lot of times one can mention general principles which can be understood in different ways and which contain benefit as a broad perspective (which is what Ramadan does in most of his writings) but when you answer specific cases the way you are leaning comes out more clearly.

      I sensed, and Allah knows best, a lot of influence of his continental European background in some of those answers. I also find this in some other of his writings. Truly, there are differences between the reality of European Muslims and Muslims in the U.S. I will leave the issue of understanding the European context to those who are more familiar with it, but I feel his answers for the U.S. context did not strike the right tone.

      The whole question of the rhetoric of religious obligation versus personal choice is also tricky and is a key methodological understanding. It is one thing to say that we do not force people physically to pray or wear hijab. In the west, this is not even a question. So, factually yes, it is a personal choice. But if we become uncomfortable with the notion that these are requirements or obligations then we have departed far away from any orthodox understanding of Islam. Of course, it is also true that we don’t judge individuals, we leave that to Allah. Is that any different from what Ramadan said in the interview? I can’t really tell…the rhetoric of the issue in the abstract is slippery.

      As you can tell if you’ve been reading, “MM Authors” have a variety of opinions on these issues and our scholars who post here are actively thinking about these issues and I think it would be wrong to assume there is any one set MM position.

      So keep participating in the discussions, raise your questions and concerns, share your knowledge, experiences, and understandings, and inshAllah together we can reach an understanding acceptable to Allah. May He (swt) purify our intentions and keep our hearts united.

      • Umm Bilqis

        March 29, 2010 at 12:26 AM

        Jazak’Allah Khairan brother Noor, Ameen to your dua.
        Your response has helped much may Allah reward you Insha’Allah.

  15. hamayoun

    April 6, 2010 at 10:50 PM


    Sounds like a lot of the posters here want to ban Tariq Ramadan the same the way the USA banned him, on “idealogical exclusions”.

  16. European

    April 12, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    Dear Umm Bilqis,

    we must remember that Tariq Ramadan has been and is a strong advocate of the hijab, and he might be the person who has voiced the support of hijab in the strongest manner in Europe, being very active fighting anti-hijab laws in parts of Europe. Tariq Ramadan also continously emphasizes that the hijab is fard, that is an Islamic duty – but no one should be forced to wear it.

    We should not condemn people on the wrong basis.

    Jazak Illah

    • suhail

      April 12, 2010 at 4:39 PM

      Wrong basis. I mean come on. Nobody is saying that Tariq Ramadan does not have something good in him. Be just with people.

      If he is wrong in certain areas than point that out. Is he masoom that he cannot make mistakes. Call a spade a spade.

      He has mordernist leanings when it comes to issue of hudood and other matters. Read that interview that is posted on this very thread and you will know what is being said about him is not wrong. That is a big problem that he has. Other than that he may have something good.

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