Tariq Ramadan’s American Islamist Victory Tour- 2010


(check back here frequently for updates of his touring schedule)

American Muslims are not monolithic. Many American Muslims demand the recognition that we are a diverse population with diverse ideologies. We refuse the tacit anointment of Mr. Ramadan’s views as representative of all or even most American Muslims. His ideas deserve public engagement and debate between Muslims.

AIFD’s core mission is to build the future of Islam through the separation of mosque and state.

This idea runs counter to the global movement of political Islam whose central nervous system is the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikwan al-Muslimeen). AIFD has consistently sought opportunities to engage the domestic and foreign advocates of political Islam in a real war of ideas and expose the supremacism of the ideology of political Islam. AIFD believes that when engaged publicly, most Muslims will choose secular liberal democracies like our Constitutional republic over the “Islamic state.”

After years of controversy, Tariq Ramadan’s visa ban was lifted by Secretary Hilary Clinton. See this recent report in the Guardian.

Mr. Ramadan has wasted no time and in just a matter of a few months has scheduled a victory tour from New York to Los Angeles in April 2010. He starts with a “thank you” panel with the ACLU, PEN, and Slate Magazine in New York City on April 8, 2010. While Ramadan has repeatedly denied being a dissimulator, in his corpus of prolific writings he has yet to mount any significant intellectual critique of political Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood or any of its off shoots. Better yet, he has yet to offer any positive support of the concept of the separation of mosque and state-especially in Muslim majority situations.

Secretary Hillary Clinton absurdly asked that he come and “teach us about Islam”. Instead, AIFD asks Americans to teach Mr. Ramadan about liberty.

There are many references available discussing the reality of Tariq Ramadan’s messaging. The most comprehensive reviews available include:

The Islamist, the journalist, and the defense of liberalism. Who’s Afraid of Tariq Ramadan? by Paul Berman The New Republic Online. 05.29.07

Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan. By Caroline Fourest.

AIFD invites Tariq Ramadan to a Public dialogue- will he accept?- the frontline in the war of ideas against Islamism


I. Who Is Tariq Ramadan ?

A. A self proclaimed salafi-reformist whose version of reform appears to simply basically be Islamism 3.0 a modernization of the political system prevalent at the time of the Prophet Mohammed rather than advocacy for individual liberty and the separation of mosque and state.

B. A ‘rock star’ among the many European Muslims, namely Islamists, Ramadan is considered the most cited individual on Islam in Europe. Ramadan eloquently uses language that supports the precepts of non-violence and involvement in western society, yet he does not distance himself in any way or nearly adequately from the supremacy of Political Islam and the concept of the Islamic State. His excuse is that he is speaking “from within Muslims”. But this prevents a real understanding of his ideas on political Islam, the Islamic state and sharia versus constitutional republics and the Establishment Clause. It prevents a real understanding of his position on the Brotherhood and thus becomes actual tacit support of the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood.

C. Ramadan is now carrying this message to Muslims in the United States, coupled with a distracting strong-armed critique of American foreign policy and the Patriot Act which he falsely claims was the reason for his visa revocation after he accepted a position at Notre Dame University in 2004.

D. While the sins of the father should not be imposed on the son, Tariq Ramadan’s silence on any substantive critique of his grandfather, Hasan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and his father Said Ramadan, who spread the Muslim Brotherhood to Germany where it gained momentum and then spread throughout Europe speaks volumes. The fact that Ramadan has been beyond cordial with Yusuf Qaradawi, the terror supporting, longtime global spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) speaks volumes to his position on political Islam and the Brotherhood. In fact Ramadan provided a preface to a collection on fatwas (religious legal opinions) authored by Qaradawi and his ECFR in 2003.

II. Why Should American Muslims be particularly concerned about Ramadan?

A. His commentary anesthetizes western media, government, and many Muslim audiences to where they falsely believe that all Muslims agree with his vague mantras. Yet, interestingly, Ramadan has yet to engage in any consistent dialogue or debate with anti-Islamist Muslims in Europe. AIFD is hoping to change that avoidance behavior in the United States.

B. Homegrown terrorism is growing in the United States precipitously if 2009 is any sign. Mr. Ramadan does not combat the real cause of radical Islamism-political Islam but rather fuels the victimology propaganda that “this is a war against Muslims and Islam” while avoiding the core war of ideas within Islam. His own promotion is vis-à-vis fostering the idea that he is combating the conflict between the west and Islam while he blindly neglects the real conflict, the intellectual civil war long overdue within the House of Islam.

C. More than ever before, the American Muslim community must talk openly and plainly and accept the challenge to counter the ideology of Islamism within with the American ideas of liberty and freedom. We must hold Muslim leaders accountable.

D. Ramadan has been unacceptably deceptive on issues related to shariah such as laws against apostasy, proscribed punishments under Islamic law, the continued viability of the Islamic state and the ummah, one law versus shar’iah law, and real equality for women in all settings to name a few.

D. His positions remain essentially in line with the Muslim Brotherhood-which remains against the best interests of Muslims.

E. His access to media portrays a homogeneity to Muslim opinions which is outright false and denies the real diversity in Muslim communities and ideologies.

III. What Should Muslims and non-Muslims alike do as Americans?

A. Engagement. Ramadan must be asked to appear in front of cameras and people with dissenting Muslims who can challenge him on his views. As he usually seeks only platforms against non-Muslims it allows him unfettered access to increasing his Muslim base vis-à-vis the victimology mindset of the Islamist narrative of “Muslims vs the rest of the world.”

B. Protest. We need a presence at Ramadan appearances calling for him to engage in real discussion and calling out his avoidance of the more pertinent issues related to political Islam, shariah, and the war of ideas. We need to protest the media’s unchallenged postioning of Mr. Ramadan as a ‘representative’ of Muslims in the west.

C. Muslim Outreach. We need to be speaking to Muslim communities about Ramadan’s positions and layout why we feel he is wrong for American Muslims.

D. Non-Muslim Outreach. We need to reach out to academia and the American left especially to clarify Ramadan’s positions on the issues so that they see beyond the obvious common ground with his victimology mindset and beliefs in social justice through governmental empowerment and instead develop more sophisticated critiques of his positions on shariah, political Islam, and individual rights.

E. Sponsor Accountability Question the organizations which are sponsoring Ramadan and hold them accountable for their views on Islamism.

E. Governmental Accountability Question governmental agencies on their engagement with Ramadan and quiz them on their understanding of Islamist ideology.

G. Media Accountability. Demand that media give alternative anti-Islamist viewpoints when covering Tariq Ramadan to demonstrate the real diversity which exists in the Muslim community and the fact that he does not speak for all Muslims or most Muslims and that he was never selected to do so.

IV. Where is Ramadan Appearing? (This will be updated as we confirm changes or new venues)





March 20, 2010


College of the Humanities and the Carleton Centre for the Study of Islam, talk entitled “Identity and Engagement: Western Muslims and the Public Sphere.”

26th annual Davidson Lecture at Carleton University’s Minto Centre

April 8, 2010

“Secularism, Islam, and Democracy: Muslims in the West” (NYT)

New York City

ACLU, American Assoc. of Univ. Professors, PEN American Center and Slate Magazine

The Cooper Union, 30 Cooper Square, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10003-7120

April 10, 2010

Unapologetic Activism- our legacy, our promise


CAIR-Chicago Fundraiser

Drury Lane Banquet Hall, Oak Brook Terrace, IL

April 11, 2010

“Jihad within Young Hearts: Toward Positive Engagement”


Soundvision Benefit

Burton Manor 27777 Schoolcraft Rd., Livonia, MI

April 12, 2010

“Muslims Today- a Radical Reform”

Washington, D.C.

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for
Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University

Gaston Hall, ACMCU, Georgetown Univ., Washington, D.C.

April 14, 2010

“Ian Buruma and Tariq Ramadan on the Politics of Us and Them

Groningen, Netherlands

University of Groningen

University of Groningen, Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Groningen, 3:30 PM

April 17, 2010

“Islamic Theory of Salvation”

Champaign, Illinois

University of Illinois- Champaign-Urbana

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April 28, 2010

“Prospects for Improved Relations and Understanding Between the U.S. and the Muslim World”

Washington D.C.

Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy

Co-Sponsors: The Muslim World Initiative, United States Institute of Peace, The Ali Vural Ak Center for Islamic Studies, George Mason University

Ronald Reagan Building Amphitheater, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC, 20004

May 15, 2010

Islam in the 21st Century: Opportunities and Challenges”

Garden Grove, CA,

Islamic Shura Council of Southern California

Crowne Plaza Anaheim Resort, 12021 Harbor Blvd. Crown Plaza, Anaheim Resort, 12021 Harbor Blvd. Garden Grove, CA. 92840

PLEASE CONTACT US AT info@aifdemocracy.org for any updates or information regarding Mr. Ramadan’s visits to the United States so that we can keep our readership updated.

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