Tariq Ramadan in Vancouver tonight
Tariq Ramadan in Vancouver tonight
Tuesday, February 24,2009 08:00
By rjjago.wordpress.com

Tariq Ramadan will be speaking at SFU’s downtown campus on Granville Street tonight (Monday) at 7pm.  I think I have a reservation for this. I booked on-line, but never got a confirmation.   Here’s how SFU presents Ramadan:

Swiss Muslim intellectual and renowned Islamic reformer, Tariq Ramadan, will outline his views Feb. 23 during a lecture at SFU’s Vancouver campus entitled The Scope and Limits of Reforming Islam.  Ramadan, who teaches Islamic studies at Oxford, is a leading advocate for a revitalized Islam in the West. His recent book, Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation, proposes an approach that integrates both spiritual and ethical objectives for contemporary Muslims, enabling them to more fully participate in the civic life of secular western countries.

SFU goes on to mention that he’s a little controversial.  And here’s why:

The grandson of Hassan al Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ramadan is a senior research fellow at St Anthony’s College, Oxford, and president of the think tank European Muslim Network.

As such, he is often spoken of as a leading Muslim intellectual, a reformist who is able to move between the academic circuit, the clerical establishment (he’s been an ardent defender of the reactionary Sunni scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi) and the wider Muslim population with equal felicity.

But so far the size of his reputation comfortably outstrips the strength of his ideas. There are plenty of people who know who Ramadan is, but far fewer who know what he actually stands for.

And of those that do think they know, some believe that Ramadan tailors his message to different audiences - secular and Muslim - to such an extent that it amounts to deception.

n one case he argues for a modernised Islam, in the other for an Islamised modernity.

So, if my reservation is sorted, then I’ll be going and putting up a post later tonight.  If my reservation is not sorted, I’ll be whining about SFU later tonight as well.  If you’re in the city, try and crash it - it’ll be entertaining.