Ramadan refutes allegations
Tariq Ramadan responds point by point to the allegations of critic Daniel Pipes.
Pipes: Of course, Mr. Ramadan dismisses the revocation as "unjustified" and due to "political pressure." He even blames me for the DHS decision.
Ramadan: I never said nor suggested that Mr. Pipes is behind the decision to revoke my visa. My unambiguous response was "I don't know who is behind it." Reporters who quoted his opinion on what might have led to the decision mentioned his name first and not I. As for the link he included as evidence for my accusation, the reporter in this piece references the Chicago Tribune for having talked to Mr. Pipes. I am merely referenced for confirming that "Daniel Pipes had expressed his opposition to my move to the United States." A fact that Mr. Pipes had made very clear months before as cited by his own website Campus Watch where he comments on my appointment by Notre Dame saying: "Once again we see that the leftward leaning academy and in particular the Kroc Institute has a soft spot for militant Islamic figures. Given what we are now learning about him, it would appear like others, he is playing a double game of hiding an Islamist agenda."
Pipes: He has praised the brutal Islamist policies of the Sudanese politician Hassan Al-Turabi. Mr. Turabi in turn called Mr. Ramadan the "future of Islam."
Ramadan: Nothing in what I said about these policies is remotely complimentary let alone praising. After visiting Sudan, in 1994, I wrote in Islam, The West and the Challenges of Modernity (translation of the French version published in 1995): "Nonetheless, one must clearly say that the present regime does not offer minimal guarantees for political pluralism, that opposition parties are muzzled and that cronyism is the rule. Muslims are called to remain vigilant, for the opposition of the United States and Israel is not enough to support the 'Islamic' character of a project. Criticism of excess and injustice imposes itself; just as bringing to the fore original ideas is part of an equitable analysis" (p. 139). Christophe Ayad, Liberation, the French journalist who first attributed the quote "The future of Islam is Tariq Ramadan" to Turabi, admitted he was unable to mention the source. Even if these were Turabi's words, where is my responsibility in this?
Pipes: Mr. Ramadan was banned from entering France in 1996 on suspicion of having links with an Algerian Islamist who had recently initiated a terrorist campaign in Paris.
Ramadan: Yes, I was banned from entering France between November 1995 and April 1996 but that is only half of the story. A reason was never given for this ban, but we were later told it was a case of mistaken identity due to name resemblance with someone named "Tarek" (note the different spelling). Some said that the ban was possibly due to pressure from the Egyptian government whom I have been criticizing for lack of democracy and political freedom. I challenged the ban and won the case, before the Administrative Court, on April 1996 precisely because the reason for the ban had not been explicitly stated. As for Mr. Pipes' assertion that this ban was for having "links with an Algerian Islamist," it is not only baseless, but it was neither part of the case, nor ever mentioned by the French administration.