Tariq Ramadan: We need more dialog, respect and understanding

VANCOUVER – Almost year ago American president Barack Obama gives his historical speech at Al-Azhar University in Cairo when he called Muslim and the Western World on cooperation, dialog and more then ever understanding to each other. Since then president Obama worked hardly on accomplishment of closing Guantanamo Bay, removing restriction on travel to United States for several Islamic scholar issued by Bush administration and on ending war in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was also devoted to peace agreement on the Middle East, but last dispute with Israeli PM Natanyahu minored all those efforts, peace process it’s on start positions again.

One the the most controversial and highly anticipated Islamic scholars in the World is Tariq Ramadan, born in Switzerland, he is grandson of Hassan Al-Banna leader of Muslim Brotherhood and one of the most influential Islamic scholars in 20th century. Ramadan was among Islamic scholar who gets banned from entering to USA in time after 9/11 and Bush administration, just recently Obama administration lifted this order and he is again in USA preparing several lectures and interviews for US media. In his first interview for CNN’s Amanpour program Tariq Ramadan said that Islam and Muslim are Western religion and Western population devoted to their communities and that both sides need more dialog, respect and understanding to each other. He also stated that Obama’s administration makes several highly anticipated decisions on controversial issues like Guantanamo Bay, wars and Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations but that still is not enough for much needed change.

On Christian Amanpour question about ban of niqab and burka in Europe specially in France Ramadan said that he is against that and the reason is simple. In his opinion burka and niqab are human rights questions and they are not problem for Western society. It seems that Ramadans opinion is not accepted in Canada specially in Quebec province which will present Bill 94 which will ban burka or niqab from all governmental institutions do to ID and security reasons. This bill is supported by both sides, Christian and Muslim, in reasonably high percents for Canada.

On the same program James Zogby, Arab American Institute, said that burka, niqab or minarets are only European problem because  Europeans don’t know how to deal with multiply identity in their societies which is not case with US.

So where is a problem? If we listen Ramadan and Zogby problem is in European and Canadian society who are not accepting nothing different then their own identity and way of living, that they need to learn more about their own identity and maybe to give little bit more space to things like burka and niqab. Everything is perfect in USA, everybody else are wrong. I don’t think so, but we will see what future will bring to all sides in this story.


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