Tariq Ramadan's Looming OC Speech Draws Warning From Muslim Group

Tariq_Ramadan_profile.jpg
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Tariq Ramadan
What the American Islamic Forum for Democracy derides as the "Tariq Ramadan American Islamist Victory Tour 2010" includes a May stop near Disneyland, where American Muslims are being warned by the self-described liberty lovers to "be on guard" as the Swiss academic continues his first U.S. visit since the Obama Administration lifted a six-year ban on his entry.

Ramadan, a professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University, is scheduled to give the keynote address on "Islam in the 21st Century: Opportunities & Challenges" at the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California's annual benefit banquet May 15 at the Crowne Plaza Anaheim Resort, which is actually in Garden Grove. (Go here if you want tickets.)

It is the final scheduled appearance in a series of six speeches Ramadan is giving in the U.S. His first is Friday at Cooper Union in New York, where the academic is guest of the ACLU, the American Association of University Professors, the PEN American Center and Slate magazine.

Ramadan moves from there to give speeches in Chicago, Detroit and two in Washington, D.C. (the latter preceded by a jump over to the Netherlands) before coming to Orange County.

"Tariq Ramadan's entry into America needs to be met with open dialogue from the Muslim Community, non-Muslim organizations and the media on the real threat of Political Islam," writes M. Zuhdi Jasser, the president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), in an email. "It is incumbent on all Americans, especially American Muslims, to engage Ramadan at any opportunity to demonstrate that the US Constitution trumps the construct of the Islamic State."

Jasser founded his nonprofit organization in 2003, convincing other Muslim professionals in Phoenix, Arizona, to join him in advocating "for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state," according to the mission statement on the AIFD website.

His group has consistently been critical of Ramadan, calling the respected scholar "a threat to American Muslims because he puts a passive face on the ideology of political Islam and the concepts of Islamic supremacy that for many Muslims remains a dangerous slope to radicalization."

They acknowledge Ramadan is considered "a rock star to many European intellectual elites," but AIFD is quick to note he is the grandson of Hassan al Banna, who in 1928 founded the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest Islamic political group in the world that has been unjustly oppressed or dangerously violent depending on who is doing the spinning.

Ramadan's father, Said Ramadan, is credited/discredited with bringing the Brotherhood to Germany. It eventually spread throughout Europe.

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