The troubling silence of the “Sheikhs” about the fate of Tariq Ramadan

I stopped going to the Revival of Islamic Spirit (RIS) years ago. I found the event super commercialized, and less and less intellectually challenging for me.

It became a big fair of many self-proclaimed sheikhs who are carefully chosen and who lined up according to certain criteria that is more linked to their gender, celebrity and popularity status.

Those same scholars were more interested in the pursuit of their “religious careers” and the building of their “fans club”. The topics were ascepticized, superficial and the speakers were very careful in the choice of their talks so as not to ruffle any political feathers.

Aside from few speakers, the majority would come there and maintain a very shallow and fluffy talk about good manners, good behaviour, and most of all would avoid criticizing or denouncing unjust policies in a North American context or in the Middle East where a large part of the audience is originally from.

Not a single word about Guantanamo, not a single word about the dictatorship of the Gulf countries. No fiery political speeches, no thought provoking conversations. Just a preacher and good listeners who would come back home feeling good that they spent few hundred dollars on a hotel package and entrance fees. This is of course not to mention the shopping discounts of boxing day (the event usually takes place during Christmas period).

One of the rare speakers at RIS who defied these almost implicit rules was Tariq Ramadan. He challenged the audience with his opinions. He stopped them when they were trying to clap when he said something appealing, encouraging the crowd to be rather rational instead of emotional.

In 2014, he rightly decided to stop participating in this big fair of “halal entertainment”. My understanding of the rational behind his decision is the problematic positions of some invited “sheikhs” who kept silent, or even worse, sided with the counter-revolutions of the Arab Spring.

Indeed, in 2011, when the Arab Spring traveled from Tunisia to Egypt, to Libya, to Yemen, to Bahrain and to Syria, a new era was about to open in that region. An era of fearless populations who were ready to put an end to dictatorship and arbitrary rules, the start of an era towards building a new life full of dignity.

No wonder that one of the slogans branded at the numerous demonstrations that went through the streets of Sidi-Bouzid in Tunisia or Dara’a in Syria were “The people want the system to fall”. The “system” (or the regime) means the government running these countries and the corrupt regime suffocating the lives of all the citizens.

This new era wasn’t accepted with wide arms by all. It was actually stopped with arms and blood. Among the countries that were so frightened of the changes were Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Both of them, with a long history of oppression and flagrant absence of civil society, had a lot to fear from this change that not only threatened their thrones but “the system”.

The whole world watched these political and social changes unfold. Youth were especially excited and optimistic. Many of the societies of these countries were composed of young population with no serious opportunities like jobs or even mariage prospects.

During this period of turmoil, very few “sheikhs” sided with the change. To the opposite, many of them sided with the statu-quo, reminding the youth of the importance of obedience of the parents and of “those who are in charge of their lives”, aka the “system”.

At the RIS, the year after the start of the Arab Spring, nobody spoke about the events in those countries. Only Tariq Ramadan did. He even wrote a book about it. Even though, I disagreed with some of his opinions about few matters, I still thought that his voice was needed and relevant. The whole world was anxiously watching the change, so why shouldn’t he be speaking and discussing it.

But the RIS organizers invited the “Sheikhs” who are officially close to the United Arab Emirates or other similar monarchies. These “Sheikhs” kept silent about the tragedies happening in the Middle East and the dawn of change that was stopped with a fierce military intervention in Bahrein and Egypt and with literally bloody wars in Yemen, Libya and Syria.

This was a shameful and problematic position. The history wouldn’t forgive whoever sided with the oppressors. The “sheikhs” who are supposed to have a duty to support the oppressed and speak out for their rights, sheepishly took the side of the oppressors, the one who has the money and power, basically they sided with the “system”. I am so glad that Tariq Ramadan was not like the “Sheikhs” and that he decided to stop attending what became like a “circus”.

Today, Tariq Ramadan has been accused by three French women of violent rape. In France, he was interrogated by the police and subsequently preventively arrested. For the first days of his incarceration, he was in Fleury-Mérogis, an infamous French prison where many French Muslim suspects of terrorism have been held.

This is a highly symbolic gesture by the French legal system. It is intended to humiliate one of the most known public Muslim figures. But his treatment went beyond this mere symbolism. He was denied family visits for 45 days. His medical treatment was not proper and adequate. On the other hand, his accusers were given a platform to go to all popular TV shows and tell their stories. He was kept in prison in total commnunicado.

This case came in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement where the women are supposedly liberated so they can confront their harasser and raper. In the case of Tariq Ramadan. There was no confrontation. There was one side talking about their stories and the other side was silenced. The whole principle of the rule of law was denied to him. Worse, today, we are hearing from the lawyer of Tariq Ramadan, that even the versions of some of these women have been questionable and very problematic, to say the least.

Meanwhile, faced with this complex case, the “sheikhs” who are usually very quick in condemning every thing from terrorism to bad muslim manners, have been utterly silent. An uncomfortable silence. Usually they are very prompt to have an opinion on every thing including what you wear, who you marry and what you eat. But when one of the prominent and intellectual voices from the Muslim community, whether we agree with him or not, is silenced, is denied due process, is humiliated by being transferred from one prison to another, they have nothing to say.

Actually, for me, their silence means a lot. It means that they have no intellectual courage to defend the “Right”. And we aren’t here defending Tariq Ramadan the person, as it is not our purpose. The courts can do better jobs, at least we still hope so. But we are defending every one to be treated with dignity. From terrorist suspects to any other accusations, be it allegations of rape after the #Metoo movement. Anyone has the right to defend himself. And those who are looking for the spotlight in the RIS or any other “halal entertainment” event, and would keep silent about Tariq Ramadan have miserably failed the test of the integrity.

But here’s what they don’t get: Today is Tariq Ramadan, tomorrow, it will be them.

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37 thoughts on “The troubling silence of the “Sheikhs” about the fate of Tariq Ramadan

  1. s junaid

    Thank you Monia for this post. I agree with you 100%
    These sheikhs are only looking for their own aggrandizement OR scared as they might be exposed too.

    Sent from my iPad

  2. You are so very right, 100%. I stopped going to IRS. Wait till they finish Tariq Ramadan, who will be next, this is just the start. It will get uglier and more persistent by the western power.

  3. Said

    Salaam alaikum. Well said. In addition to what you suggested, I believe these so called Sheikhs live in a different era; one of blind obedience to the ruler. The youth of the Arab world, and the Muslims in general, are moving to a new era one of freedom, enlightenment and leadership. People like you are the model for this new leadership.

  4. Karim_B., Montreal

    I agree with sister Mazigh’s take on the lack of sheikhs defending the legal rights or Pr Ramadan. I disagree however with her position on the sheikhs stance on the so called Arab spring. It has been a matter of Aqida for more 1200 years that revolution in islam is haram. Tunisia is as bad as before. Egypt is worst. Lybia and Syria have been destroyed by Takfiris acting as mercenaries. Muslims have their heart set on fire by Western romantic slogans of revolution. It’s all wrong and contrary to sharia. The proof is in the pudding: all revolutions bring worst than what they fought. Allah swt doesn’t change the state of a people until it changes what is within them. Tunisia had a revolution but the people are the same therefore the system is the same. Egypt threw away the tyrant and unleashed a worst potentate. The people of the Black flag took over Lybia and Syria. Millions dead because of revolutions that brought nothing but pain, death and misery. And “it’s the West’s fault” is not an excuse. We know their leaders are evil. We expect them to be evil. So there’s no blaming them for the failure of the Arab spring. The failure comes from the Muslims fault in not following islamic values aND principles and thinking that Allah will bring khayr and Barak by shouting in the streets or branding an Ak47. May Allah help our Oumma and guide it’s steps in those of Rassoul Allah saws.

  5. Sideed

    Assalamu alaikum

    The case that Muslims should be more vocal in calling for fair treatment of Dr Ramadan and indeed all Muslims/people can be made without insulting and assuming the motives of others.

    My friend used to complain that the sheikhs in the local mosque wouldn’t talk about things like Palestine/oppression/ human rights/politics. The reality however was that they did talk about these issues but it was just not as often as he liked. To him he could see no reason as to why these things weren’t front and center but of course that wasn’t the priority of the sheikh who had to deal with a thousand other people. In truth it was the anger my friend had to his own inability to do something about the situation that caused him to lash out. By assuming the motives of fellow Muslims and not coming up with excuses( as is prescribed by the religion) you are creating the very discord all Muslims wish to eliminate.

    I hesitate to say any of this too you but I do so with respect.

    We don’t need to put down to build up.

    1. Karim B., Montréal

      Great post mashAllah. Aside for a marginal minority, the crushing majority of Ulama and Muslim layperson disagree with Western foreign policy and Muslim countries’ leaders. Any more denouncing their actions won’t change the situation of the Muslims. It is a given that their policy and actions are evil. Our situation will change only when our hearts will have changed. Nothing will change until then, This is the foundamental difference in perspective between Western materialism and Islamic spirituality. For the West nothing supercedes action because matter is everything and spirit is at best an interesting question. In Islam, nothing is more important than the spirit. That is why Rasul Allah SAWS said that Dua is the believer’s best weapon. To say that RIS and the cheikhs at RIS are some kind of useless “halal entertainment” is, with all due respect to Sister Mazigh, backbiting based on a non-islamic western materialist perspective.

      Are we to expect our ulama to become Leftist social justice activists? To emulate Noam Chomsky instead of Imam Malik or Imam Shafi (radiuAllah anhoum)?

      And Allah swt knows best. May He guide us and protect and maintain our ulama and may Sister Mazigh forgive me if I have upset her.

      1. Naima1217

        To your question:
        “Are we to expect our ulama to become Leftist social justice activists? To emulate Noam Chomsky instead of Imam Malik or Imam Shafi (radiuAllah anhoum)? “
        My answer is yes. It is our duty to be social justice activists as this is what Islam teaches us. Since you cite Imam Malik I will remind you that he was a social justice activist, vocal in criticizing even the ruler if needed, to the detriment of his own well-being.
        A conspiracy by one his students was fomented against him and as a result, he was beaten up so bad that he was unable to go to the mosque the last few years of his life.

        Noam Chmosky is a well respected scholar and one of the most cited scholars in history:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noam_Chomsky

        As for backbiting I don’t see how Monia Mazigh is backbiting. If it is then we will never grow as a community if every constructive criticism is labelled as backbiting. Islam encourages us to call others on their actions when they make a mistake or when there is an injustice.

        We have recently had here in Canada the case of Hassan Diab, a university professor who spent 9 years in a French jail university falsely accused of a crime he has never committed and he had proof he was not in a different country when the event took place.
        http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/extradition-act-review-diab-1.4493187
        https://nowtoronto.com/news/hassan-diab-canadian-casualty-war-on-terror/

        So according to you then if Muslim Scholars stood up and united to defend Hassan Diab’s cause that would have been wrong. I don’t know what is your conception of islam or moral values.

        Regardless of islam, I will always speak against injustice anywhere and against anyone, regardless of their race, ethnie, religion or sexe.

        I will finish with this quote:
        ” The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. ”
        Martin Luther King, Jr.

        Having said that I am happy we are able to discuss this matter in a respectful manner.

        Regards,

        Naima
        Edmonton, Alberta,
        Canada

    2. Naima1217

      Salaam: I disagree with your stance on this. I am very happy that Monia Mazigh has had the courage to raise this issue and call them on it.
      I do not believe that Monia Mazigh is trying to put anyone down. If this is the case and we label this way anyone who differs with the opinion of others, then they will be no opportunity for discussion or dialogue. This will not help us grow as a community.
      Monia Mazigh didn’t insult anyone, but expressed her opinion and her experience.
      You are the only one so far from the comments I have seen who understood it this way.

      By reading your statements:
      “The case that Muslims should be more vocal in calling for fair treatment of Dr Ramadan … can be made without insulting and assuming the motives of others.“
      then this one below:
      “it was the anger my friend had to his own inability to do something about the situation that caused him to lash out”
      It seems to me you are the one who is assuming the motives of others.

      I appreciate though the way you stated your opinion with respect.
      May Allah help and guide us all.

      Salaam,

      Naima
      Edmonton, Alberta,
      Canada

      1. Karim B., Montréal

        Salam aleykoum

        first of all, let’s try to never forget greeting each other with salam aleykoum that is better for all of us.

        2nd, as a Muslim I will take Chafi or Malik or any other great Muslim scholar over Chomsky because their positions are based on the perfect example of our beloved Prophet SAWS and are taken in God consciousness.

        Chomsky has a lot of insight on the functionning of the modern economical and political world system but I am not modeling my behaviour on him nor will I never favor him over any of the blessed shoyoukhs and saints who have illuminated our oumma for over a thousand years.

        The understanding of these oulama is holistic and has the Merciful and the Eternal hereafter in mind. They have wisdom whereas modern SJW are confuse agitation with wisdom.

        Oulama teach and activists activate. Action not based on the wisdom imparted by the ulama is just a lot of air being moved around. Chomsky can teach me about how the media self-censors and does the empire’s bidding, he can’t teach me how to be a better person. Denouncing things does not make one a better human, does not lead to Jennah, does not bring closer to God and does not even make for a better society. Have you witnessed any improvement in the last 50 years?

        Action not based on wisdom is meaningless that is why islamic political theory is conservative and against revolution. Anger at injustice is not sufficient to base one’s actions. That was my point. You obviously missed it otherwise you would not have written the following comment:

        “So according to you then if Muslim Scholars stood up and united to defend Hassan Diab’s cause that would have been wrong. I don’t know what is your conception of islam or moral values. “.

        Our ulama in their wisdom took their time in making a statement on Tariq Ramadan. Taking one’s time is following sunna. Rushing in action without thinking is following Ibliss. Doesn’t the hadith say that Allah takes his time and Ibliss likes to speed? Accusing our ulama like Dr Mazigh did is fitna and ghiba.

        Trashing RIS as just halal entertainment is more fitna. All it does is invite lovers of fitna to pour more self-righteous scorn on people they should be taken advice and wisdom from.

        Spiritual ants trying to look down on great men and women who are many time their worth.

        And Allah SWT Knows more, knows best and knows all. May He guide us on the straight path.

        Salam wa aleykoum

    3. Naima1217

      Salaam Sideed: I disagree with your stance on this. I am very happy that Monia Mazigh has had the courage to raise this issue and call them on it.
      I do not believe that Monia Mazigh is trying to put anyone down. If this is the case and we label this way anyone who differs with the opinion of others, then they will be no opportunity for discussion or dialogue. This will not help us grow as a community.
      Monia Mazigh didn’t insult anyone, but expressed her opinion and her experience.
      You are the only one so far from the comments I have seen who understood it this way.
      By reading your statements:
      “The case that Muslims should be more vocal in calling for fair treatment of Dr Ramadan … can be made without insulting and assuming the motives of others.“
      then this one below:
      “it was the anger my friend had to his own inability to do something about the situation that caused him to lash out”
      It seems to me you are the one who is assuming the motives of others.
      I appreciate though the way you stated your opinion with respect.
      May Allah help and guide us all.
      Salaam,
      Naima
      Edmonton, Alberta,
      Canada

  6. Mustapha

    Very interesting…..
    They are also silent in front of crimes against humanity in Yemen. In the small heads of Sheikhs, if the crimes are committed by the custodians of the Islamic holy sites, these crimes become halal too.

    1. Naima1217

      Salaam Mustapha:
      Well said! Exactly.
      These Scholars will have to answer to Allah.
      Tariq Ramadan was one of the few who had the courage to criticize Saudi Arabia and defend the oppressed such as Palestinians.

  7. Sabi Ahsan

    Troubling indeed. Given what you went through with Maher Arar, I am sure you learnt that there is a lot of politics in “justice” and that Trumped up charges have been around for a long time. Whenever we encounter silence and a lack of transparency it is appropriate to suspect the State. Unfortunately I am disconnected from media of all kinds, and just happened to see this item; but the question is what can be done to secure Tariq Ramadan’s release while he awaits a full and transparent trial

  8. I do not agree with the “shaykhs” referred to in the article, nor do I agree with the stance of the publisher and those who think like her when it comes to ” the Arab spring”. The ignorant Muslims who do not follow the scholars of Islam and they call them with the worst of names ( which they will answer for when they stand in front of Allah! ), instead they followed the example of the enemies of Islam in Iraq ( US) when they removed Sadam ( who may have been an oppresor, but oppresion is of various levels! Much more after his death) . Only if they learned a lesson from that crime! Only if they cared that the Muslims were being slaughtered in Iraq and their honor violated! Perhaps they would have thought twice about supporting the “Arab spring” which no doubt did not bring any good changes in any of those countries. It only slaughtered the Muslims and violated their honor in thousabds if not millions! Wake up Muslims! Be sincere to Allah and ask Him sincerely for guidance! Seek beneficial knowledge, act upon it, teach it, and be patient upon the harm that come your way. Eloquency will not benefit you with Allah unless you are sincere and follow the example of our Noble Prophet -may Allah praise and send Him peace- . May Allah help all the Muslims who are being oppresed and non Muslims. May Allah guide all the Muslims to that which He loves and give them understanding of His religion. Ameen.

  9. Kima Mok

    Well said Ms Mazigh. Our society needs women and men like you. I’ve been in Canada for 12years and never been to IRIS because of the all causes that you shared: entertaining Muslims and talking about individual spirituality with no small effort to positively criticise sheikhs/ ruler’s positions about the fiqh/their understanding of Islam that is too far from what the prophet Mohammed and all the other prophets peace be upon them came to revive in us: spiritually and justice/participation in our societies. Unfortunately, despite trying to ‘do’ things to silence our inner guilty voices ( I Lead is heading to the same direction) we need to communicate/trust. We need to be the change we ask our youth/young adult to be.
    Thanks again and good luck.

  10. Masha Allah ,JAK for writing this thought provoking article.It needed to be said,and we needed to hear it.May Allah swa bless,protect and reward you.

  11. Husain Bhayat.

    Thank you, sister for writing this thought provoking article. Our Sheikhs need to speak out against
    the system that has not followed the due legal process. It is only you and Sheikh Yasir Qadhi. Thank you both.

  12. Karim B., Montréal

    She couldn’t describe it nor even locate it.

    Also, this man has been followed and spied upon his every move for the last 20 years. You think they couldn’t know that he has some kind of scar?

    Furthermore, the fact that she knows he has some kind of scar does not make him guilty of anything.

    More importantly, we know that some of most renowned enemies met the plaintiffs and the current Judge many years ago and that Henda Hayari was stalking him and that he never answered any of his msgs.

    This case stinks. It’s so obvious that they want to destroy him and every thing that he stands for. Namely, the normalization and mainstreaming of Islam, of a critique of the North by the South, of the defense of Palestine and of the symbolic, intellectual and ideological refuting and debunking of the myth of the Superiority of the “White Man” and of Liberal Secularism.

    Finally, when you look at how other men accused of rape have been treated by the media and the Judicial system in France you have to be a fool and to be deceiving yourself not to conclude that there’s at a minimum a clear case of double standard going on.

    You think something like this does not happen in Western “democracies”? These scenarios don’t just happen in Hollywood movies sister and it’s not a case of conspiracy theory, it’s real life.

  13. Abubakar Kasim

    Jazaakallahu khairan sister Monia. You spoke my heart and stole my words! I agree with u 200%. I stopped going to these events long time ago. They don’t produce any fruit. You get the same feeling when u attend a movie or a comedy program. You go home broke. I’m glad you said it right. I hope the organizers will pay attention to what you have to say. Jazaakallahu khairan.

  14. Abubakar Kasim

    Assalaam Alaykum.
    With your permission I want to post my article which is relevant to your thesis.

    WHY WE NO LONGER TRUST EACH OTHER?

    Trust is a very important ingredient for having a healthy and harmonious relationship. Without it we don’t enjoy peace in our dealings with one another.
    “Trust is the foundation of all human connections,” wrote Peg Streep, “from chance encounters to friendships and intimate relationships.”
    “It governs all the interactions we have with each other. No one would drive a car or walk down a sidewalk, or board a train or an airplane, if we didn’t “trust” that other people took their responsibilities seriously, and would obey whatever rules applied to the endeavor at hand” the author continued in an article published by the Psychology Today.
    “We trust that other drivers will stay in their lanes, that conductors and pilots will be sober and alert. And that people will generally do their best to discharge their obligations toward us. Culture, civilization, and community all depend on such trust.”
    Unfortunately we live in an era where trust is no longer there. Even the closest ones to you at work or at your community gatherings who always express their deep affection to you. When things turn bad for you they will be the first one to distance themselves from you. If they hear you have been accused of something they will be contemplating if issuing statements of condemnation to show how good they are and how awful you have become. They will go further in making things up that they already had bad thoughts about you. They knew there was something with you. While forgetting things could turn around the next day where you might end up in a wrong place and at a wrong time. How in the world would you expect someone to offer you a hand then?
    I had many acquaintances at my former workplace where I was active and helpful with my peers. Whenever there was an issue affecting us I was the first one to contact our employer to have it resolved. I received many complements as a result for contributing to the improvement of the workplace.
    I was going through some personal issues at home. It had affected my performance. I had to take a sick leave. The company did not like me for speaking up against racial profiling at the airport. I even wrote an essay which was published by the CBC describing my experiences.
    When I was terminated even though I was on sick leave, almost all my colleagues had abandoned me. I could not believe when I saw a dear friend on the bus the other day. After smiling to her, she looked the other way.
    All our interactions with one another are artificial. As soon as we hear such and such is in hot water, we simply abandon him or her.
    I will never forget when one of our colleagues disappeared without a trace. We heard that he was held in France over allegations of sex assaults. This friend was nice with almost everyone at the workplace. We never had any issues with him. He had no enemy at all. We all had good things to say about him.
    I felt bad to hear about the allegations. I approached a colleague and told him that we should try to help him out by writing letters of support. While we cannot interfere in the criminal case against him we can just mention our personal interactions with him during the time we worked together at the airport. Not a single employee came forward to offer his or her statement. Everyone gave me a look as to tell me I was naïve or stupid.
    We live in a world where we interact with each other as actors in a play. Everything we do; every exchange we have toward one another – is all fake.
    The mistrust has also affected the Muslim community. Dr. Tareq Ramadan, a prominent thinker, an Oxford University professor was very well known within the community especially in the western world. His name used to attract a large gathering at conferences.
    He was a fierce fighter when it comes to engaging in public debates with those who make a career out in defaming Islam and Muslims. He knew how to deal with them. When he was arrested in France over sex assault allegations, not a single community organization in Canada and the United States offered him a word of support. Dr. Yassir Qadhi was the only Muslim leader who stood firmly for his support in speaking up against the ill treatment and the denial of justice he has received. The rest pretended not to see or hear anything.
    In his article The Incarceration of Tariq Ramadan, a Travesty of Justice, Dr. Chandra Muzaffar stated, “Tariq has been detained in a solitary cell in the high security wing of Paris’s Fleury-Merogis prison since the 2nd of February 2018.”
    “It is alleged that he raped two women in Lyon and Paris in 2009 and 2012 respectively. A criminal investigation is being carried out in order to build a case against him. He has no access to his family and is not even allowed to communicate with them through the phone,” continued the author who is the President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST).
    “It should be emphasized that it was Tariq who voluntarily went to the police in Paris on the 31st of January to answer the allegations against him. He has cooperated fully with the investigating authorities. And yet he has been treated harshly,” he said.
    In spite of all the outrageous treatment he has received from the French authorities, the leading organizations that used to invite him in North America have all pretended to act deaf and looked the other way.
    Trust is precious. It is priceless. We need it in order to have a healthy relationship with our fellow humans. It is sad to see that we have lost it in today’s world where we hold on to each other solely on personal interest.
    Once we lose that interest we pretend we don’t know one another. This has to change. It deprives us from our human touch. We interact with one another only when we have some personal gains, some kind of material interest. It is as if our conditional trust has an expiry date. When it runs out of time, we no longer know one other.

  15. Abubakar Kasim

    The me too movement wants to take away due process. With regards to those accusing the professor. One question: why have they waited for years to file a complaint? Why and why. If they were indeed violently attacked why no one had noticed from the hotel staff, their close families and so on? The right wing media were looking for a chance to get to Dr. Ramadhan. He was a thorn in the eyes of every Islamophobe, an extreme white extremist and everyone who dispised Arabs and Muslims. I can’t believe France would disregard due process. Can’t believe they would behave like a third world country with disregard to human rights. I will never set a foot to this country, never teach its language to my kids. I lost respect to France altogether

  16. Karim B., Montréal

    If you listened to his lawyer, if you listened to all the accounts from his Muslim and Non-muslims friends, if you had read his books and articles and if you had followed all the slander and lies that he’s been subjucated to by the mainstream press and by fake intellectuals caught lying and perjuring themselves you would realize this is a set up.

    If you think that the most followed and hated Muslim in Europe is stupid enough to take such risks, if you think that if he had done any of those awful things he would not have been jailed a decade ago, if you think that anti-muslim sentiment is not profound at the highest level of the French State, if you think that a man dedicated to Allah and His Messenger and who has received praise from Non-Muslims and Muslims alike on all continents for the quality of his caracter is capable of doing such vile acts than that tells a lot about you and the way you CHOOSE to see your muslim brother.

    I don’t even agree with a 100% of his positions but I know a good man when I see one and I know a set-up when it’s right in front of me.

    You oughta clean your heart in it is filth stopping you from seeing the obvious.

    May Allah forgive you for being convinced by the lies of the liars and thinking such ill of a brother whose been vilified and accused of all kinds of lies for the past 20 years yet has persevered in serving Allah, His Oumma and humanity.

    May Allah forgive you.

    1. Naima1217

      @ Karim B., Montréal:
      I agree with you. It is very sad that the French authorities would resort to dirty tricks when they couldn’t beat him through intellectual ideas/debates.
      What I find even more shocking is the way some fellow Muslims, such as Salim Laibi and Farida Belghoul, are attacking him now that he is down, jailed, unable to respond and retaliate to their attacks.
      How cowardly of them to attack Tariq Ramadan who has not been proven guilty but stay silent on the real rapists such as the two current French Cabinet Ministers Darmanin and Hulot as well as others such as Besson, or the pedophiles such as Frederic Mitterand (who said in the book he wrote that he paid to have sex with teenage boys in Morroco), former cabinet Minister Jack Lang, and Polanski.
      So hypocrite and opportunistic of them

  17. Abubakar Kasim

    Brother Omar. Where is your Islamic etiquette
    Don’t you know everyone is innocent until proven otherwise
    Don’t you know we ought to give each other benefit of the doubt?
    Shame on you brother
    You are carrying a noble name of Omar
    Please act like him

  18. Naima1217

    Thank you for this wonderful piece. I have been to the Knowledge Retreat of IRS only once in 2016. But what I saw and experienced there was sufficient for me to decide to never attend again:
    1. Sheikhs having too big of an ego
    2. Scholars who instead of calling on their fellow scholars when they make mistakes, rush to their defense and instead talk ill of those who had the courage to call them on it. Sheikh Hamza Yusuf made an honest mistake when responding about Black Lives matter, and apologized for it. Imam Suhaib Webb had the courage to call him on it publicly, which was done in a professional manner.
    However Dr. Umar Abdullah Farooq, was quick to defend Hamza Ysusf and criticize Imam Suhaib Webb, saying what he did was Ghiba. But yet during his talk the following day he spoke ill of one of his relatives by characterizing some of her physical features. That was worse than Ghiba.
    My Allah forgive me for relaying this. But that too me was the ultimate example of hypocrisy.
    3. Some people pushing each other to get to the first rows, ignoring others who may be older or have limited mobility. What’s the point of attending an Islamic conference aimed at teaching us to better ourselves when we end up behaving like uncivilized people? Some of them were even cutting the queue than pretending they were there first.
    4. People leaving the restrooms so dirty and not cleaning up after themselves. The counters were always left wet. I kept reminding the ladies to wipe the counter after using it and even asked the organizers to put a note. Some ladies were using towels on the floor to put their feet on after wudu and others would step on them with their shoes. I was so embarrassed when I saw the hotel staff go there often to tidy up.
    Those who can afford to attend IRS are all upper middle class. What happens to the average Muslims? Or do we ignore them?
    I was so disappointed by the entire experience.
    The only positive things that came out of it is that I met some wonderful people, who were genuine about wanting to learn and better themselves.

  19. Naima1217

    The only ones who spoke in the defense of Tariq ramadan from the beginning was Dr. Yasir Quadi and yourself.
    Today is Tariq Ramadan, tomorrow it could be anyone of them.
    Like the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller said it so well:

    ” First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Communist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. “

  20. Naima1217

    @ Karim B. Montreal: Response to your comment of July 9, 2018:
    You stated:
    “first of all, let’s try to never forget greeting each other with salam aleykoum that is better for all of us.”

    My Response to you:
    1. I did greet you with Salaam greeting. So please take the time to read instead of rushing into lecturing or criticizing.
    I don’t see the big deal about Saying “Salaam” instead of “Salaam Alaykoum”. They are both greetings of Peace. Let us focus on the substance and not the form.

    2. You stated: ” 2nd, as a Muslim I will take Chafi or Malik or any other great Muslim scholar over Chomsky because their positions are based on the perfect example of our beloved Prophet SAWS and are taken in God consciousness.”

    My response to you:
    I gave you the Maliki example of how he stood against injustice, with words and actions.

    I admire Chomsky very much, and I do not compare him to the early Scholars of islam. One is an intellectual and the other a religious scholar. Both have a lot to teach us.
    Unfortunately seeing how the Muslim community is nowadays around the world starting with our so-called Oulema says a lot.

    3. You state: “The understanding of these oulama is holistic and has the Merciful and the Eternal hereafter in mind. They have wisdom whereas modern SJW are confuse agitation with wisdom.”

    My response to you:
    I disagree with that. I don’t see where Chomsky confuses agitation with wisdom. His work and/or writings do not reflect this.
    You have your opinion and I have mine.

    3. To your statement: ” Oulama teach and activists activate. Action not based on the wisdom imparted by the ulama is just a lot of air being moved around. Chomsky can teach me about how the media self-censors and does the empire’s bidding, he can’t teach me how to be a better person. Denouncing things does not make one a better human, does not lead to Jennah, does not bring closer to God and does not even make for a better society. Have you witnessed any improvement in the last 50 years? ”

    My response to you:
    The major changes in the world didn’t happen by teaching and no action. This can be said the same with teaching and no action “a lot of air being moved around”
    We are called in islam to denounce injustice and do whatever we can to remedy it. It does make for a better society. If we didn’t have activists denouncing injustice and working hard to fight against it then Maher Arar (Monia Mazigh’s husband), Hassan Diab and countless of others will be still rotting in jail.
    If we are taught how to be better persons, then logically this would lead us to be just and good, which in turn would to a better world.
    Unfortunately what I see is talk and no action. I see preaching that doesn’t reflect actions.
    I agree that we have to start by bettering ourselves, but we cannot focus on our immediate family, and ignore the rest of the community. This is not what islam teaches us.

    4. You stated:
    “Action not based on wisdom is meaningless that is why islamic political theory is conservative and against revolution. Anger at injustice is not sufficient to base one’s actions. That was my point. You obviously missed it otherwise you would not have written the following comment:
    “So according to you then if Muslim Scholars stood up and united to defend Hassan Diab’s cause that would have been wrong. I don’t know what is your conception of islam or moral values. “. ”

    My response:
    I didn’t miss your point, nor did I miss Monia Mazigh’s point, nor did the majority of those who commented on the article.
    It seems to me that you are the one who missed the point of Monia Mazigh in the article by accusing her of doing Ghiba and instigating Fitna, which can’t be further from the truth. She has nothing to gain, if anything she had the courage to do what she believes in her conscious.

    5. You stated:
    “Our ulama in their wisdom took their time in making a statement on Tariq Ramadan. Taking one’s time is following sunna. Rushing in action without thinking is following Ibliss. Doesn’t the hadith say that Allah takes his time and Ibliss likes to speed? Accusing our ulama like Dr Mazigh did is fitna and ghiba. ”

    My response:
    Our Oulemas didn’t make a statement period. They are still silent on the fate of Dr. Tariq Ramadan. Only a few did. I can provide you the link to the Open letter that 100 personalities signed, only few Muslim scholars have.
    In addition I never said that taking time to make a statement is wrong, or that one should rush into action without thinking. I don’t know where you got that.

    6. You stated:
    ” Trashing RIS as just halal entertainment is more fitna. All it does is invite lovers of fitna to pour more self-righteous scorn on people they should be taken advice and wisdom from.
    Spiritual ants trying to look down on great men and women who are many time their worth.”

    My response:
    Follow what you preach first before lecturing and speaking ill of Monia Mazigh who has bee tried a great deal through the ordeal of her husband.
    IRIS is halal entertainment. Have you attended? Have you seen around you when you went how young men and young women try to scout each other, exchanging Telephone numbers? How businesses promote their products. It has changed from what it used to be the first few years.
    If its is a fair then they should call it that. They shouldn’t call it “Islamic Revival Spirit.”

    We have great scholars and many who are not part of the IRS, as well as ordinary citizens who may not be famous but whose actions are worth better than scholars. It is not what we say and preach but how we conduct ourselves in challenging times: do we stand with the powerful, the oppressed or with corrupt rulers.

    I will end by saying that we should be able to discuss opinions without accusing people like you did with Monia Mazigh.
    I have great respect for her. She doesn’t have time for this. She is above this, plus this is not a popularity contest for her. She is truly genuine and I admire her courage to denounce and speak her mind about the silence of our Sheikhs on the fate of Tariq Ramadan.

    It is only by engaging with each other and denouncing the wrong that we can grow as a community and not by staying put and silent to not ruffle feathers.

    This will be my last comment to you. I am not criticizing you or trying to impose my own opinion on you.
    I have stated my own opinion, and tried to engage in constructive dialogue.

    As Evelyn Beatrice Hall said:
    ” I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend your right to say it”

    Salaam.

    Naima Chertouk-Hanafi
    Edmonton, Alberta

    1. Karim B., Montréal

      Sister Naima,

      this is a direct quote from your first adress to me:

      “To your question:
      “Are we to expect our ulama to become Leftist social justice activists? To emulate Noam Chomsky instead of Imam Malik or Imam Shafi (radiuAllah anhoum)? “
      My answer is yes.”

      That does not start with a salam… and you ended with a “regards”.

      I couldn’t find any salam here… No matter. I am not mad or upset about it.

      Next and more important point:

      I wrote that should we emulate Imam Malik or Shafi instead of Chomsky. You replied: “yes”. As in: yes Chomsky instead of Malik and Shafi (ra).

      THEN, you quoted Malik”s trial against unjust men of his times… after declaring that we should follow Chomsky before Malik…

      Question: Is Malik relevant only insofar as he acted like a modern liberal activist?

      Please note that nowhere did I say that I am against action and that islam is against action. It is in the sunna to act and talk against injustices.

      My point is threefold:

      1- no talking unncesseraly against our fellow Muslims and especially against our ulama. Mazigh’s piece clearly constitutes backbiting no matter what good she has done in the past and no matter her good intentions in doing so. There is no courage in criticizing our fellow Muslims in the media when backbiting is the most popular form of discourse in these post-modern times and when that is exactly what antimuslims want. Please tell me what good do you realistically expect to come from her piece? Nothing good will come from criticizing them and nothing good will come from trashing RIS.

      Also, I did not call Mrs Mazigh an ant. I was refering to all the nasty comments against our ulama by people who have the audacity to criticize them when their cumulative knowledge amounts to practically nothing. You will find a lot of it in these posts. They bring nothing but bad feelings and fitna. Very disapointing how quickly we are to judge our betters. Not surprising in a world where declaring that some people are morally superior to others is anathema, Reflecting on the issue, I shouldn’t even have posted anything as I have contributed to this ugly state of affairs even while defending them… my bad, clearly.

      2- action without wisdom is vain which is all what modern leftist liberal activism is. (No need to mention rightwingers as their activism is about maintaining the unjust status quo and extreme right-wingers is about reinforcing or reinstating privilege through bullying and violence).

      The last 50 years of secular liberal activism has brought no social or political progress. None. On all fronts, the world is more unequal and unjust that it was 50 years ago. The reason is not that denouncing bad and advocating good is wrong. No, not at all. The reason is that activism by people who don’t live virtuous lives themselves will get us nowhere. Activism whether radical as in Lenin’s vanguard theory or of the liberal gradualism variety is spiritually sterile because it’s all based on the satisfaction of the ego and materialism. Only the Sunna can save us.

      Calling out ou ulama in public and disparaging the Western world’ largest gathering of Islamic leaders does not follow the Sunna. All it does is more fitna. Western ideologies love fitna and unfortunately we have been emulating their example for quite a while now.

      3- dua is better than words. This position is 100% against liberal materalist ideology and 100% in line with our prophetic model and I am not ashamed to state it and defend it.

      and Allah knows best.

      Salam aleykoum wa rahmatoullah wa barakatou.

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