Professor of Theology Writes about Islamic Scholar
Can Tariq Ramadan succeed in his quest for a moderate Islam?
Dr. Robert Carle, associate professor of theology, wrote “Tariq Ramadan and the Quest for a Moderate Islam” in the current issue of Society, a journal of social science and public policy. The article explores the theology and actions of Tariq Ramadan, an Islamic scholar who pushes for building bridges between Muslim and European culture.
In the abstract of the article, Carle writes that Ramadan wants to call himself a bridge builder, “but contradictions in his theology prevent him from fulfilling this role.” The article itself explores the context of Ramadan’s biography and career while illuminating these contradictions. Through various successes and missteps, Carle shows why Ramadan’s quest for a moderate Islam is a shaky one.
Carle writes in the abstract: “He is an Islamic intellectual who espouses democracy and pluralism, yet he believes that shari‘a law is universal. He exhorts his European followers to refrain from anti-Semitic violence, yet he cites as an authority Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who is an apologist for Palestinian suicide bombers. He calls for Muslims to be full participants in Western civic societies, yet he calls on Muslims to “resist” the neo-liberal economic order that forms the basis of Western society. Ramadan has made alliances with left wing politicians and academics in France, Britain, the Netherlands, and the United States, but he has a pattern of disappointing and frustrating his leftist allies. In the wake of terrorist attacks in Britain and the Netherlands, the British and Dutch governments called upon Ramadan to support peaceable brands of Islam in these traumatized countries. These efforts failed because Ramadan’s most important constituency has always been ‘the Muslim street,’ and this makes it difficult for him to embrace liberal principles.”
The article may be found through the website of Springlink, the publisher of Society.
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