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Tariq Ramadan: Quebec is colonized by France and thus cannot resist the ideas of Paris intellectuals

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  • Tarek Fatah
    Tariq Ramadan claims Quebec is colonized by France and thus cannot resist the ideas of Paris intellectuals The problem with Quebec is that you are colonized
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 9, 2010
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      Tariq Ramadan claims Quebec is colonized by France 

      and thus cannot resist the ideas of Paris intellectuals


      "The problem with Quebec is that you are colonized by France and that you don't resist enough the ideas of the Paris intellectuals"

      - Tariq Ramadan

      November 10 2009 

      Tariq le terrible 

      Natalie Petrowski
      La Presse, 

      "Before we do anything in life, says Tariq Ramadan, we must open our ears, close our mouths and put our judgment on pause". Knowing this, Tariq would probably be very pleased to hear that I followed his guidelines perfectly last Friday: yes, perfectly. 

      I opened my ears, shut my mouth and temporarily suspended my judgment in l'Universite de Montreal's amphitheater which contained over 500 loyal followers. Young and not so young, women with their heads covered (and some not), they were all here to see and hear what this rock star of the Muslim cause had to say.

      That same morning in Le Devoir, two organizations who are fiercely oppposed to him - The Muslim Canadian Congress and the website Pointe de Bascule - bought a full page of pubicity to expose his coming to l'Universite de Montreal.

      Judging by the crowd amassed in the amphitheater and by the hundreds or so people held back at the entrance, I would say this publicity stunt seemed to have given the opposite effect of what was intended.

      After listening for a while about Tariq the Terrible - the most popular Islamist of the media in modern history; the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood; this Swiss intellectual - teacher at Oxford, author of 27 books; a fundamentalist and a madman, who salivates at the thought and has no objection to the stoning of impure women - I decided to go and check it out for myself and see if this man lives up to his reputation.

      Sprirtual Quest

      I had no clue what the conference was to be about but when I heard that he was to speak of a spiritual quest, I sighed with despair. Like most Quebecers, I grew up in the Roman Catholic religion and like most of them today, I gladly sent religion for a hike with her holy water, catechism and indoctrination. Coming back to all this on a Friday night in 2009 wasn't my idea of intellectual enrichment!

      Since it was time to listen, I shut my mouth and opened my ears and to my surprise, discovered the man to be intelligent. He is also cultivated, has a good sense of humour and expresses himself in a lively and elegant manner. To put things simply: he's the kind of sensitive and modern intellectual that we love to hear.

      During the first 30 minutes of his speech - where he quoted Baudelaire, Rimbaud and even Leo Ferre - I agreed 100% with what he said. He talked about the fact that there is no liberty without an engagement to stay free; on the necessity to develop critical thought to stop others to think in our place; on the delicate balance between the heart and the mind, between our needs, our gregarious instincts and our imperfections. Yes!

      Fundamentalism

      A little while after a phrase on a MacDonald's restaurant that serves hallal meat near Mecca, my approval to his remarks started to fade away and I began to ask myself questions to try and understand that Tariq Ramadan was now leaving the highway of modernity and taking us on the rocky road of religious fundamentalism.

      My pivotal point came along with a question on the Muslim fast during Ramadan, the period where food is only permitted after dawn. According to statistics, Muslims consume twice as much food during this period. Tariq was offended by this. What is this idea to stuff ourselves right away after the sun goes down? Insinuation: bunch of pigs!

      Slowly but surely the tone started heating up. Why should we pray five times a day he asks before he threw out the answer: because it is a ritual and a spiritual training. Insinuation: you're all lazy!

      Then he raised his voice while adopting a frantic tone and in my eyes Tariq Ramadan had now transformed himself into a preacher. He then bragged about the virtues of modesty in clothing, followed up with a denunciation of western vulgarity with their over-consumption and their open sexuality.

      He then hammered home the point that we must reform the society in which we live. He urged his audience to never, ever become invisible Muslims but on the contrary to assume fully that their wives wear the hijab and assume their prayer breaks which they must constantly demand.

      The Quebecers

      During his speech, Tariq Ramadan often referred to Canadians, but never to Quebecers. Someone asked him if he knew about the quest for an identity in Quebec and about the fact that this quest includes equality and the separation of Church and State and that this is not really compatible with the fundamentalism he preaches. Of course he knew this but he chose his position, which isn't ours. 

      "The problem with Quebec is that you are colonized by France and that you don't resist enough the ideas of the Paris intellectuals"


      Tariq Ramadam had already lost me at that point, but when he took out that old cliché about colonization, he lost me forever.

      I don't know if Tariq Ramadan is dangerous, but one thing is certain. By judging superficially a secular society that believes more in equality than in the oppression of women, he is doing the exact opposite of what he is preaching.
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