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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Brother Tariq

If he is being singled out then he must be worth it. Otherwise the likes of Christopher Hitchens, Theodore Dalrymple and the wily prince of Rajkot Ibn Warraq would not be singling Tariq Ramadaan out for their diatribes.

Cover of 'Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan'

Brother Tariq

The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan

The name of Tariq Ramadan is well known in the West. Thanks to his urbane manner and articulate way of expressing himself – in a number of languages – this Swiss-born academic is a regular contributor to television and radio features dealing with Islam (and Islamism) and the West. In England, his reputation as a “moderate” has won him praise – and even an invitation from the Prime Minister to serve on the government’s task force on preventing extremism. Meanwhile, as the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ramadan enjoys a certain status in Islamic circles – a kind of ambassador for his grandfather’s brand of political Islam.

So who is the real Tariq Ramadan and what does he stand for?

In this incisive and insightful study of the man, well-known French writer and journalist Caroline Fourest dissects the public pronouncements of Tariq Ramadan. Drawing on his numerous books, articles and speeches as sources, she demonstrates with chilling clarity that the West has been beguiled by Ramadan’s doublespeak.

Tariq Ramadan is slippery. He says one thing to his faithful Islamist followers and something else entirely to his Western audience. His choice of words, the formulations he uses – even his tone of voice – vary, chameleon-like, according to his audience. In most people, this would be merely funny or irritating, but Tariq Ramadan is too influential a figure to be dismissed so lightly.

Caroline Fourest does an incalculable service. In this long-overdue English translation of Brother Tariq she proves, once and for all, that Tariq Ramadan is not to be trusted. Ramadan has been portrayed as the Martin Luther King of Islam. This study reveals that he is a far more sinister character at the forefront of a militant and reactionary Islam.


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