Submitted to Tolerance.ca by Marc Lebuis, Point de Bascule Editor
On September 7, 2011, the Dalai Lama, Tariq Ramadan and other personalities are scheduled to speak at the Second Global Conference on World's Religions after 9/11. The conference is organized in Montreal with the active cooperation of McGill University and the Université de Montréal. Interfaith dialogue is one of the most effective methods known to the Muslim Brotherhood for waging ideological jihad in the West.
In a section of his book Priorities of the Islamic Movement, Youssef Qaradawi, the spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, mentioned various reasons for resorting to interfaith dialogue. Amongst them:
Improving the image of Islam.
Discouraging Christian leaders from supporting fellow Christians involved in conflict with Muslims. Qaradawi specifically mentioned the case of South Sudan where Christians have been persecuted for years. Instances of slavery have even been reported in this part of the world. South Sudan became an independent country on July 9, 2011.
Tariq Ramadan endorses Qaradawi in two of his books in spite of Qaradawi’s justifications for the killing of apostates and homosexuals, his description of Hitler as an envoy of Allah who came to punish the Jews for their corruption, etc. As for Youssef Qaradawi, he publicly endorsed Ramadan's understanding of Islam by asking him to preface a compendium of fatwas published in French in 2002.
There is another reason why Muslim Brotherhood leaders engage in interfaith dialogue. They strive to make non-Muslim leaders repeat Muslim Brotherhood mantras to non-Muslim audiences. In an era where Muslim Brotherhood leaders such as Tariq Ramadan are viewed with an increasing suspicion in the West, it is much more effective to resort to non-Muslim religious leaders to communicate a deceitful message to non-Muslims who trust them.
We present you two examples of deceitful statements made by the Dalai Lama and Gregory Baum, two non-Muslim speakers who have accepted to join Tariq Ramadan next September in Montreal.
“Jihad Is Not a Medium of Attack but a Struggle to Do Good”
– The Dalai Lama
After having received a doctorate honoris causa from an Indian university in 2010, the Dalai Lama asserted that the meaning of jihad had been distorted: “Jihad is not a medium of attack,” he said. It is not a "holy war" against the West contrary to what al-Qaeda and the counter-terrorism specialists are suggesting. “There is a need to break this false notion.” According to the Dalai Lama, jihad means struggle to do good.
Immediately after the Dalai Lama made his comment, it was reproduced by OnIslam and many other websites controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood as an argument to use against its critics who claim that it is engaged in a jihad, military and ideological, to impose its views and principles on societies where it operates.
Various leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood have been in contact with the Dalai Lama over the years. On his own website, Tariq Ramadan mentions that he met the Buddhist leader for the first time in 1990. In 2009, both men were involved in an Interfaith Charter with other religious leaders.
We present two definitions of jihad endorsed by Muslim Brotherhood leaders. We are not trying to demonstrate that Islam says this or that about jihad. We are simply attempting to demonstrate that the Muslim Brotherhood and more specifically Tariq Ramadan and the scholars to whom he looks up for direction do not define jihad as a peaceful venture like the Dalai Lama does. It is specifically Tariq Ramadan to whom the Dalai Lama will be giving credibility by joining him in Montreal.
In his text Priorities, Youssef Qaradawi clearly stresses that it is legitimate for Muslims to resort to coercion and violence in order to enforce sharia principles. Whether or not they actually resort to violence is based on the Muslims’ level of preparedness, the resources at their disposal and other material factors. In Qaradawi’s own words “changing wrong by force whenever possible (is one of the principles) brought to this earth by Islam”.
Changing wrong”, of course, means getting rid of what is rejected by Islam. Jihad, military jihad, is nothing else than the application of this principle.
Syed Maududi (1903-1979)
Syed Maududi has come up with a definition of jihad that contradicts what the Dalai Lama would like us to believe:
The objective of the Islamic Jihad is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system and establish in its stead an Islamic system of state rule. Islam does not intend to confine this revolution to a single state or a few countries; the aim of Islam is to bring about a universal revolution....Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam....The purpose of Islam is to set up a state on the basis of its own ideology and programme.
Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, Jihad in Islam, Beirut, The Holy Koran Publishing House, pp. 6 and 22
In his book Western Muslims and the Future of Islam, Tariq Ramadan identifies Syed Maududi, a Pakistani scholar founder of the organization Jamaat-e-Islami, as one of the main representatives of the so-called "reformist salafist" trend of Islam to which he belongs. In an homage to Said Ramadan posted on August 4, 2011, his son Tariq mentioned that Maududi credited his own father Said “for having awakened him from his unconsciousness”.
After having been “awakened” by Ramadan’s father, Maududi pleaded in 1953 that the Ahmadiyya movement within Islam was an apostasy. Apostasy being punishable by death, his decree was followed by riots, murders and looting in Lahore (Pakistan) that year. Maududi was sentenced to death on the charge of writing a seditious pamphlet about the Ahmadiyya issue but his sentence was later annulled.
To this day, Ahmadis are being persecuted all over the world by those who follow Maududi’s ideas. After another wave of attacks in 2010, the Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC) urged the Canadian government to add Jamaat-e-Islami and the Muslim Brotherhood to its list of terrorist organizations.
If Tariq Ramadan was really serious about “interfaith dialogue”, he would go to Lahore (Pakistan) and give a strong signal favorable to the Ahmadi community instead of trying to infiltrate Canadian institutions by invoking the Dalai Lama’s name in order to help him open doors in high places.
The second definition of jihad contradicting the Dalai Lama comes from an Arabic-English Koran known as the Hilali-Khan Koran, from the names of its two translators. It is distributed worldwide by Saudi Arabia and it has been endorsed by Youssef Qaradwi in his book Auspices of the Ultimate Victory.
In his book, Qaradawi explains the success of Islam in the West by a combination of groundwork done by organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood and the contributions in petrodollars made by Gulf States billionaires.
He specifically credited the King Fahd Printing Center in Medina (Saudi Arabia) for having distributed for free “many millions of copies of the Qur’an....in model English and French translations” all over the world. (section Yesterday versus Today)
In a footnote added to clarify the meaning of verse 2:190, the translators explain the meaning of jihad:
Jihad (holy fighting) in Allah's Cause (with full force of numbers and weaponry) is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of its pillars (on which it stands). By Jihad Islam is established, Allah's Word is made superior [...] and Islam is propagated. By abandoning Jihad (may Allah protect us from that) Islam is destroyed and Muslims fall into an inferior position; their honour is lost, their lands are stolen, their rule and authority vanish. Jihad is an obligatory duty in Islam on every Muslim and he who tries to escape from this duty, or does not in his innermost heart wish to fulfill this duty, dies with one of the qualities of a hypocrite.
On the occasion of a previous visit of Tariq Ramadan in Montreal in 2010, Point de Bascule has produced an article entitled Tariq Ramadan, His Scholars, and His Jihad. It reviews the conception of jihad promoted by Maududi and five other scholars endorsed by Tariq Ramadan. All six concur with the military nature of jihad and with the fact that it has to be waged against non-Muslims who refuse to submit.
Gregory Baum, will join the Dalai Lama and Tariq Ramadan, as speaker during the Montreal conference. He is a McGill University professor. Over the years, he has gone out of his way to defend Ramadan and the Muslim Brotherhood. When Point de Bascule published a full page in Le Devoir to greet Tariq Ramadan in Montreal in 2009, he sent the newspaper a comment claiming that our article was a “scandalous attack”.
In our article, we mentioned that Ramadan had endorsed Youssef Qaradawi by prefacing one of his books, we reminded the readers that the city of Rotterdam (Netherlands) had dismissed him from his position as “integration advisor” after they found out that he was working for Press TV, a network managed by the government of Iran that violates human rights on a regular basis, etc.
At the time, Baum claimed that we were peddling unfounded accusations but didn’t bother discussing the specifics policies of Iran or various stances taken by Qaradawi such as the killing of apostates, the glorifying of Hitler as an envoy of Allah who came to punish the Jews, etc.
In 2009, Baum published The Theology of Tariq Ramadan – a Catholic Perspective (Montreal, Novalis, 2009). Gabriel Said Reynolds, an associate professor at University of Notre Dame, wrote a review in which he lists many factual errors found in Baum’s book, as well as a list of topics that Baum did not tackle. Baum’s silence on many sensitive issues betrays his complacency toward Tariq Ramadan and radical Islam. Here is an excerpt of Reynolds’ review.
The whole article is available on First Things:
(Gregory Baum) might have spared a sentence or two for Ram¬adan’s view of Christianity in a book on a Catholic perspective of a Muslim scholar’s theology. It is Baum’s silence on this point that is peculiar. But, then again, Baum is equally silent on Ramadan’s view of the rights of Christians under Islam. While showing concern for the rights of Muslims in the West, Baum never bothers to challenge Ramadan, for example, on the rights of Christians to proselytize in the Islamic world, a right that Ramadan, whose wife is a convert from Christianity, enjoys and exercises in Europe. Is Baum aware that preaching the gospel to Muslims can be deadly in much of the Islamic world?
“Tariq Ramadan has no association whatever with the Muslim Brotherhood”
– Gregory Baum
In his book (p. 51), Gregory Baum claims that “while Ramadan’s brother (Hani) has a certain connection with the Muslim Brotherhood, Tariq Ramadan has no association whatever with that organization”.
This is pure deception. Lorenzo Vidino has explained in his Five Myths about the Muslim Brotherhood that “the Brotherhood is more a school of thought than an official organization of card-carrying members.... What binds them is a deep belief in Islam as a way of life that, in the long term, they hope to turn into a political system, using different methods in different places”.
In an ideological jihad such as the one being waged by the Muslim Brotherhood in the West, we can identify those who belong to this network by determining which Islamic authorities they endorse. As exposed in our article Tariq Ramadan’s Understanding of Islam and elsewhere, Ramadan has endorsed, without the slightest reserve, all the major references of the Brotherhood: Hassan al-Banna, Youssef Qaradawi, Syed Maududi, Hassan Turabi, etc., in spite of the numerous statements hostile to individual freedoms made by these leaders.
Recently, in a French show, Ramadan got impatient when a TV interviewer introduced him as “the grandson of Hassan al-Banna”. He claimed that they had a deal to keep silent about that.
People bring up the relationship between Ramadan and al-Banna because he has publicly declared that “there is nothing in (al-Banna’s) heritage that I reject.” These are Ramadan’s very words.
Considering the importance and the ambitions of the Muslim Brotherhood in today’s world, why should anybody refrain from recalling the allegiance of Ramadan to the organization’s founder? Would Ramadan prefer that the media focus more on his endorsement of Qaradawi? Ramadan has all the forums that he needs to tell us on which specific points he disagrees with al-Banna if it is now the case. We will gladly relay his message if it ever happens. Until then, we should take him at his word: there is nothing in the Muslim Brotherhood founder’s legacy that Tariq Ramadan rejects.
While Ramadan objects when his critics mentions his family connections, he, on the other hand, does not mind invoking them in Muslim circles to ascertain his leadership. That is precisely why he mentioned not rejecting anything from al-Banna’s heritage in the first place. In a text where he credited his father for having awakened Maududi, he also promised to “continue on (his father’s) path”. This was also a signal sent to his supporters that he does not intend to deviate from the path set by those who preceded him in the Brotherhood.
When Gregory Baum obscures the issue of the relationship between Ramadan and the Brotherhood, he simply contributes to give credibility to this fiction that Ramadan would be some kind of “moderate Muslim reformist intellectual” rather than a militant actively involved in ideological jihad who is trying to gain influence for his cause in Western governments’ offices, in universities, in non-Muslim religious groups and elsewhere.
Although he claims that Ramadan has nothing to do with the Brotherhood, Gregory Baum nevertheless deemed opportune to defend the organization in his book. Baum stated that experts are still divided on whether or not the Muslim Brotherhood resorted to violence before al-Banna’s death in February 1949 or after, when the Nasser regime jailed some Brotherhood leaders. (p. 51)
Baum simply shows his complacency once more. On one hand, al-Banna has given all the doctrinal justifications to resort to violence to impose his ideas in texts such as On Jihad. Al-Banna spent pages justifying the concept of offensive jihad. On the other hand, newspapers published while al-Banna was still alive have frequently reported on his organization’s violent activities.
Point de Bascule has reproduced seven articles published by the New York Times in 1948-1949. On February 4, 1949, the paper reported on a 200-militant Muslim Brotherhood squadron ready to launch suicide operations for the organization, other issues reported on the assassination of the Egyptian prime minister by an al-Banna’s disciple in 1948, on various bombings led by the organization, on the discoveries of arms caches, etc.
August 16, 2011