Dr. Tariq Ramadan, on the day of his keynote at CAIR-Chicago’s Annual Banquet, sat down for a Q & A session with the Chicago Tribune. During the interview, Ramadan discusses his U.S. visit and asks American Muslims to be more involved in American society.
Ramadan spoke during the sixth annual banquet, organized by CAIR in Chicago. At this year’s event gathered more than fifteen hundred people. Ramadan called on Muslims to adopt a new understanding of themselves, to learn the concept of “new us” – we, as citizens of America, we, as Muslims, who are part of the collective American “we.”
Why do Westerners succumb to anti-Muslim fear? It’s a natural reflex — certainly what terrorists expect when they claim their acts are in the name of Islam. They want to drive a wedge between the cultures, lest a harmonious blending undercut their extremism and deprive them of the enemy they crave. It’s a partnership, the terrorists and the fear-mongers, working in harmony and tacit agreement.
The controversy surrounding Tariq Ramadan is based on hype spurned by the usual detractors for whom every significant Muslim voice is a foreign fifth column, feigning moderation, and secretly plotting to destroy Western civilization.
For anyone who has actually read any of his books or heard his speeches, Ramadan’s thoughts and positions are unmistakably pro-peace.
CAIR-Chicago would like to thank its community of supporters for joining us at our 6th Annual Banquet this past weekend. The hugely successful event was a milestone for our organization and the Chicago Muslim community.
Six years after being barred from coming to the U.S. to teach at the University of Notre Dame, the Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan spoke Saturday in suburban Oakbrook Terrace, attributing his presence to new “channels for dialogue” between the U.S. and Islamic scholars and telling American Muslims to treat the U.S. as their home.
Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss-born professor at Oxford University, is “one of the most important and relevant voices for Western Muslims,” said Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Chicago.
Ramadan is the keynote speaker for CAIR-Chicago’s annual banquet. About 1,500 people are expected to attend the event at the Drury Lane Banquet Hall. This year’s theme is “Unapologetic Activism: Our Legacy, Our Promise.”
A prominent Muslim scholar who was once denied a U.S. visa is scheduled to give one of his first major speeches since the 2004 ban this weekend in suburban Chicago. Tariq Ramadan is scheduled to speak Saturday in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., at an event sponsored by the Council of American-Islamic Relations.
“We are all about reconciling Islam and the West,” Rehab said. “We challenge those who attempt to drive a wedge between Muslim and being American. That’s really the life cause of Tariq Ramadan as an academic and philosopher and media personality. He often says that he’s culturally Western, nationally Swiss, ethnically Egyptian and religiously Muslim. For him and for us as well, there is no inherent schism between being Muslim and being American.”
Six years after the U.S. government barred Tariq Ramadan from entering the U.S., the controversial Muslim scholar will speak in Chicago on Saturday — one of his first American appearances since U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised he would no longer be denied a visa for having alleged ties to terrorism. His opponents warn of danger ahead.
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