Tariq Ramadan has never rejected, and will never reject, a single passage in the Qur’an, or a single one of the most “authentic” Hadith. He accepts Muhammad’s words and deeds as those of a man who was the Perfect Man, uswa hasana, al-insan al-kamil. He rejects nothing of Islam at its most permanently menacing. He has never taken the slightest issue with, much less denounced, the Muslim worldview that divides the universe uncompromisingly between Believer and Infidel.
Like Edward Said, he has a certain oleagineous charm that works, apparently, on a few of the unwary (such as Timothy Garton Ash, whose knowledge of Islam is insufficient to allow him to remain uncharmed by his St Antony’s colleague, Tariq Ramadan). His words are sly, but his goal is clear. He wishes to ensure that Infidels in Europe are not unduly alarmed, for now, by the growing Muslim presence here. He counsels Muslims that, for now, in the most trivial but obvious of ways, they should “fit in” but not change Islam. He prates on about a “European Islam,” but never suggests that this “European Islam” will be any different in its essential doctrine or practice from the Islam that is to be found everywhere else — for how could he? How could he suggest a different Qur’an, or a different version of the Hadith, or a new life of Muhammad? He can’t. He reads the same Qur’an and the same Hadith as his grandfather Al-Banna, or Sheik al-Qaradawi, or Al-Zawahiri, or Nasrallah, or any Muslim Believer anywhere.
There are differences among Muslims — of dress and food, of rituals (how the Shi’a hold their hands at prayer differs from what the Sunnis do), of jurisprudence (four Muslim schools), and so on. But none of those differences are different over what concerns us, the Infidels — that is, there are no differences when it comes to the Muslim view of Infidels, and how they are to be regarded, and how they are to be treated.
Tariq Ramadan’s goal is to see Islam dominate in Western Europe. That is what his advice to Muslims in Europe is all about. That is what his entire effort is directed towards. It is not directed at all towards actually changing Islam. He is a permanent menace to Infidels, to their freedoms, their art, their skeptical inquiry, their ability even to challenge or question Islam. He is a menace, and the French, including Caroline Fourest, Alain Finkielkraut, and even Nicolas Sarkozy, have found him out. That is why he is now, most temporarily, called “a scholar now at Oxford” — i.e., at St. Antony’s Middle Eastern wing, which is not exactly the same thing as being “an Oxford scholar” as most people understand it. His books are not scholarship as that is understood in the Western world, but rather propagandistic vaporings, whose equivalent in Christian vulgarisation (not “haute vulgarisation” but merely “vulgarisation”) would be Norman Vincent Peale or, still more aptly, the Little Flower of Detroit, the late Father Coughlin of infamous memory. That’s Tariq Ramadan, not with the goal “an Islam fit for the modern world” but with the goal of a modern world made “fit for Islam” — which will require, for now and for a decade or so, a certain amount, as he sees it, of obfuscation, taqiyya, and lying-low, while the numbers of Muslims steadily increases and their presence in the Western world becomes impossible, as he sees it — and even as some Infidels apparently and quite unnecessarily see it — to dislodge.
Ramadan is a smooth and plausible practitioner of takiyya (or kitman), the religiously-sanctioned deception to protect or promote Islam. He is simply among the smoothest and most mediagenic of the operatives, but his means are standard, and the naivete of those who fail to understand his message about “Muslim Minority Jurisprudence” do not realize that his goal remains that of his grandfather, Hassan al-Banna, when he wrote: “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.” Ramadan simply recognizes that the conquest will have to take place not through qital, combat, where the non-Muslim world remains superior, but through migration to the Lands of the Infidels, the deliberate breeding of Muslims within those lands, and nonstop attempts at conversion — da’wa — beginning with the economically and psychically marginal.
“Interfaith dialogue” is of course by now a racket for Muslims, whereby they can obtain reflected legitimacy from the innocent Christian and Jewish clergymen who lend themselves to this kind of thing without having studied, seriously, either Qur’an and hadith, or Muslim history, or for that matter the by-now extensive record of duplicity and meretriciousness. What sort of dialogue is possible if one side believes it must inevitably dominate the world and conquer the lands everywhere so as to impose Islam, except for those ahl al-kitab who will enter the prescribed state of dhimmitude, a state of permanent humiliation with legal, social, and political disabilities and with the constant threat (despite that status so misleadingly translated as that of “protected people”) of Muslim massacres and forced conversions? Those forced conversions happened everywhere, including Andalucia so often held up, so inaccurately, as a model of some kind of interfaith harmony.
To collaborate in this effort at deception (“war is deception,” Muhammad says in one of the hadith) is monstrous. Why should it be so hard to do a little research before bowing before these utterly phony and thrusting young “reformers” who are not reformers at all, just far more cunning and calculating handmaidens of Jihad?