May 3, 2004
Danger: Tariq Ramadan is coming to the USBy Olivier Guitta
The University of Notre Dame, the elite university founded by the Holy Cross Order, (thanks to numerous readers for the correction of the founding order) in South Bend, Indiana, has offered a three—year professorship to the 'moderate' Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan, a resident and citizen of Switzerland. In light of what has been happening in our colleges, hiring an anti—US professor should come as no surprise. But does Notre Dame really know who Ramadan is?
Going to Saudi Arabia first, Said Ramadan was one of the founders of the World Islamic League, a Saudi charity organization, whose goal is to spread worldwide the Islamic faith. He then decided to move to Geneva, Switzerland in 1961, where he created the Islamic Center of Geneva. His philosophy helped build the minds of a lot of rich Muslim kids; one of them happened to be Osama Bin Laden.
Ramadan wants to lift up the Muslim community by telling them that they are superior beings, because Islam is beyond and above everything. He is a charming magician, who offers the ultimate solution to all the problems of Muslim youth: Islam. That is also the slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood: 'Islam is the solution.' The first visible sign of his fundamentalist view appeared when, in 1993, he lobbied actively to outlaw a play called Mahomet, which represented the Muslim Prophet in a light that did not fit with Ramadan's views. In 1994, Alaedine Nazmi, an Egyptian Secret Service agent, who was in charge of watching the Ramadan family, was murdered in Geneva. No culprit has ever been identified.
Ramadan is a pragmatist. When he realized that his Swiss venture was not leading him anywhere, he decided to turn to France. There he got the support of the main Muslim organization, the UOIF (Union Des Organisations Islamiques de France), along with the main young Muslim organization UJM (Union des Jeunes Musulmans). His 'concept' of Islam as the solution just worked out extremely well among French Muslims youths.
In 1995, in the midst of a series of terrorist attacks in Paris orchestrated by the GIA —— the Algerian Islamist terrorist movement —— Charles Pasqua, French Interior Minister, forbade Ramadan entrance to France because of his links to the Algerian terrorist group. Allowed to return to France a few years later, his popularity took—off when he tied his fate to the anti—globalization crowd. Ramadan is an opportunist, and saw the appeal of this growing movement, which allowed him to reach a media star status, appearing constantly on French prime time television shows.
He has become the de—facto spokesman of the French Muslim community, spending most of his time in Lyons, France's second city, preaching to the young Arab population. He sells 50,000 books and tapes of his speeches each year. He also took up a fatherly image; His charisma and speaking skills have made him a hit in the French suburbs, where high—rise public housing blocks have become de facto Islamic ghettos.
Yes. He has been spreading the usual clich� that Jews control the media. But with his October article on the site oumma.com, his true face came to light. In this piece, which was turned—down by the two major left—leaning French newspapers Liberation and Le Monde —— five times for Le Monde alone —— because of its sulfurous stance, Ramadan blames Jewish intellectuals for their support to the war in Iraq, and also supposedly for Sharon's policies. He accuses them of placing their allegiance to Israel above their conscience. This comes as no surprise, since in his book, The Islam in Question, Ramadan clearly writes that he strongly favors the death of Israel, or rather of the 'Zionist entity' —— the term used by Islamists who do not want utter the word Israel. Even a French DST (equivalent to our FBI) agent stated that Ramadan's long—term goal is to bring about Israel's death through a major Muslim lobbying campaign, first in Europe then in the US.
He is very vague and evasive on the law banning the hijab in French schools. Nevertheless, his wife, a French Catholic converted to Islam, wears it constantly.
A few days ago, in an interview with French Magazine Le Point, Ramadan very subtly revealed his real beliefs. Hiding behind what the Muslims throughout the world think, Ramadan evoked what he called the 'interventions of New York, Bali or Madrid'. So, September 11 was not a terrorist attack, it was rather just an 'intervention.' Of course, nowhere in this interview did Ramadan condemn terrorism.
His elder brother, Hani, is the director of Geneva's Islamic Center. The Swiss Secret Service thinks that this Center is used to receive terrorists from the Algerian GIA or some 'Afghan Arabs.' Supposedly, Tariq claims he is not involved with the Center. But that would not explain why he is still sitting on the Board of Directors. Also, he does not agree, at least publicly, with his brother, but Hani affirms that they are exactly the same 'like two sides of the same coin.'
Most European Secret Service agencies and others, including Antoine Sfeir, the very knowledgeable editor of the French magazine specializing in the Middle East, Les Cahiers de L'Orient, are also convinced that, at the end of the 1980's, the Muslim Brotherhood picked Tariq to be their European representative.
Thus, Tariq might finally realize his father's dream: to put Islam in the center of modern Europe and then the US. Of course, Ramadan totally denies his involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood.
According to Roland Jacquard, President of the International Observatory of Terrorism, Ramadan is not directly involved in terrorist activities but most of his supporters are. His links to shady individuals or networks are numerous.
According to the French daily newspaper, Le Monde, he is suspected of having links with al Qaeda. In fact, Ramadan is said to have organized a meeting back in 1991 between Ayman al Zawahiri, Al Qaeda's number two, and Omar Abdel Rahman, plotter of the first World Trade Center bombing. Other troubling allegations can be found in a lawsuit filed by the victims of the September 11 attacks: Ramadan greatly influenced Djamel Beghal, a French citizen arrested for plotting to bomb the US Embassy in Paris and Ahmed Brahim, an al Qaeda member arrested in Spain. Additionally, Abdessatar Dahmane, who spent most of his time listening to Ramadan's conferences and tapes, is a Tunisian involved in the killing of Massoud, the Chief of the Afghan Northern Alliance, whose mortal enemies are Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden, on September 9, 2001. While there is no proof of any links to Ramadan, Lyons, where he is wildly popular, is the place where the Tunisian bomber of the Djerba synagogue and also one of the French—Al Qaeda linked detainees in Guantanamo Bay, came from.
Also the Islamic Center of Geneva, headed by Ramadan's brother, is linked to al Taqwa Bank which is one of the financial institutions that was used by Al Qaeda. Al Taqwa Bank's assets were frozen after September 11, and it is being sued by the families of the victims.
Of course, Ramadan strongly denies these allegations of association with terrorists, but Ahmed Hubert, a Holocaust—denying Swiss citizen, converted to Islam by the Center, and also a board member of the Bank, acknowledges that al Taqwa was donating money to the Center. Furthermore, and even more troublesome, is that Said Ramadan was the founder of this bank, and the current president is none other than Youssef Nada, the Muslim Brotherhood's treasurer.
Even though Ramadan cannot be charged with terrorism, it is clear that his speeches and tapes broadcasted in a lot of European mosques constitute an incitement to terrorism against the West. He supplies moral support for terrorism, and therefore should be viewed as a very dangerous man, because of the numerous terrorists his views foster.
He is always well received here. The State Department and Clinton's various foundations love to invite him. At Notre Dame, he will spend three years teaching in a program called 'Religion, Conflict and Promotion of Peace'.
Elisabeth Schemla from the newsmagazine website proche—orient.info reported that during her recent visit to Notre Dame, she tried, to no avail, to warn the University administrators about the dangers of having Ramadan teach. Either they know or they do not want to know. Schemla also remarked that Indiana is the headquarters location of one of the biggest Islamist organizations in the US: the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Steven Emerson, renowned terrorism expert, has been very vocal in establishing the links between ISNA, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and (surprise!) the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Notre Dame appointment might not be a coincidence after all.
The American version of the Ramadan saga has only just begun.