Several things have happened to Tariq Ramadan that have made him extremely eager to move to the United States. Essentially, in Europe, for him, the jig is up. Too many people have been studying his connections, his speeches, the contents of his books, described by NPR as "scholarship" but, in reality, he is no Muslim scholar (Bassam Tibi is a Muslim scholar), but a full-time propagandist for Da'wa.
1) the appearance of Ramadan on a television show with Nicolas Sarkozy, who demolished every one of Ramadan's well-worn attempts to practice taqiyya/kitman, to turn aside any discussion of his support for "my grandfather" Hassan al-Banna (who used to whip up Cairene crowds, which crowds would then express their enthusiasm, as they did on November 2, 1945, by attacking Coptic and Jewish shops, and murdering Copts and Jews -- something about his grandfather that Ramadan has never condemned or mentioned, just as he has never uttered a syllable against the persecution of the Copts in Egypt, nor of the persecution of any non-Muslims anywhere in the Muslim world).
Sarkozy's steely performance destroyed Ramadan, who has never before had to face any real interviewer -- the same way, on NPR the other day, he had only the gush and mush of Jack ("McCarran Act! McCarran Act!) Beatty and the sympathetic Gail Harris, both of whom were worrying about what this "great Islamic scholar" would do now, and what is family would do, since he had been denied admittance to the United States -- as well as Jay Tolson, apparently a recent recruit to the ranks of Ramadan groupies, who would not tolerate anyone invoking such words as "taqiyya" and "kitman," and who stood, stoutly and ignorantly, by his man -- and his main man is Ramadan.
2) the careful study of Caroline Fourest, "Frere Tariq," which is the main book on offer even in provincial towns in Brittany, according to an informant, and which sets out all sorts of Ramadan's prevarications, omissions, and outright lies -- one by one by one. It is a book from which, like the encounter with Sarkozy, Ramadan will not recover, and has no reply. He will simply hope the book is not translated into English, and that the clear-headed at Notre Dame -- that leaves out Scott Appleby in particular, who "knows" all about Tariq Ramadan, and does not wish to be confused with fact after fact after dismal fact -- never read it. Ditto with Esposito at Georgetown, who doesn't want to have James V. Schall (terrifying thought: Esposito has to mix it up with James V. Schall before the Georgetown University trustees, who may be getting calls to sever their now most-embarrassing institutional connection with the Arab-financed Center of Muslim Apologetics that provides Esposito with his handsome returns of the day).
3) the emission by the Franco-Arab journalist Mohamed Sarfaoui (whom Google), which the Union of Muslim Associations tried to prevent from being broadcast on France-2 on December 2 (the broadcast went on anyway) by threatening Sarfaoui himself. They were not subtle: they said that such a broadcast against "Frere Tariq" would be tantamount to apostasy -- and while we are not saying more, you know what can happen to apostates.
The broadcast needs to be seen in this country as well, with subtitles, so that the Notre Dame administration, trustees, and interested faculty can read the book ("Frere Tariq") and see the movie, or movielet, about this sinister figure.
4) the connections with assorted terrorists -- a meeting with Al-Zawahiri, and similar sinister socializing that has been documented by Daniel Pipes -- whom Ramadan kept referring to on NPR, as if the only thing he had to worry about was the charge that he had met with known terrorists, and not his whole propaganda operation. For obvious reasons, the French and American governments cannot go into in any detail about that operation (nor explain how they know what they know, in order to satisfy Mesa Nostra or the Scott Applebys of this world). But these connections also have not gone away, nor been forgotten.
5) Ramadan has a few select rhetorical tricks, but behind those tricks is this reality:
He wants to see the islamization of Europe. He thinks that Europeans suffer from a "spiritual emptiness" and that they are ripe for wonderful Islam. He has said that "the West is in decline, and the Arab-Islamic world is on the road to renewal" -- yet that "renewal," he believes, will take place when Islam conqueres, through his kind of Da'wa. His Da'wa, of course, is far more cunning, with far more roses than guns, than the Da'wa of Qaradawi, or of Sheikh Tantawi, and of course than the threats of Bin Laden, Zarqawi, et al.
But the goal of Ramadan is the goal of Bin Laden and indeed of all Believers: the victory of dar al-Islam over dar al-Harb, the removal of all obstacles in the dar al-Harb to the spread of Islam, and the subjugation of all non-Muslims -- who will be subjugated, as they have always been subjugated over 1350 years of Muslim conquest (with not a single exception anywhere) and, as dhimmis (where not killed or converted outright), subject to a permanent status of humiliation, degradation, and physical insecurity.
Keep that in mind. But until you have read -- as Beatty and Gail Harris clearly had not -- at least a few of Ramadan's books (worthless in any literary or historical sense, but instructive as lines of propoaganda), even if you have to brush up your parley-voo, and Fourest's "Frere Tariq," and seen Sarkozy's debate, and Sarfaoui's program, you simply cannot defend Ramadan out of ignorance or some dreamy interfaith idea (the Scott Appleby approach to life, where all religions "want the same thing" and they are "all the same" and everything is the same of a sameness).
Ramadan is kaput as a propagandist among the Infidels. No one takes him seriously. His job in Geneva had come to an end. He was desperate to find innocent Infidels elsewhere -- and to start over where they would not, he felt, know him as well as the French and Swiss had come to know him.
But guess what? Some of us know French, and can read, and can even watch French television. Tariq, you should have thought of that before angling for the Joan Kroc Center. And Scott Appleby, you should have asked yourself whether or not a good many other people might not take lying-down your feelgood approach to matters that, in the end, involve our own security, and the survival of a relatively tolerant, bemused, curious, and interesting civilization, which Tariq Ramadan's belief-system undercuts and threatens at every turn. One hopes, but does not expect, that you will learn some lesson.
And why not offer instituional care and feeding, at this point, to some refugee Copt or Maronite scholars, who can from their perch at Notre Dame inform the American public about how non-Muslims are treated? Habib Malik? Walid Phares? Or perhaps offer a platform for those who were born into Islam, but are viewed as "defectors" from it and in danger of their lives? How about inviting Azam Kamguian to teach about Islam and Women? Reza Afshari, to set up a Center on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Shari'a? What about Ali Sina? Ibn Warraq?
Cat got your tongue?