The State Dept. Was Right
To deny Tariq Ramadan a visa.
Oct 16, 2006, Vol. 12, No. 05 • By OLIVIER GUITTA
In response to her book, Ramadan calls Fourest an agent of Israel but doesn't refute her findings. Predictably, as soon as her book was published, an Islamist website threatened Fourest and posted her address and the pass code to get into her building.
Fourest is not the only one who has seen through Ramadan's game. Prominent moderate Muslims also accuse Ramadan of double talk. For instance, the head of the largest French antiracism association, SOS Racisme, Malek Boutih (an Arab Muslim), told Ramadan after talking with him at length: "Mr. Ramadan, you are a fascist."
But while the French have come to see Ramadan as one more Islamist, the British have honored him with a fellowship at Oxford University and, more important, a seat on the Blair government's committee tackling extremism. As one stunned European diplomat told Radio France Internationale, "It's like putting a diabetic in the middle of a pastry shop."
But Ramadan has learned from his mistakes and is taking ever greater pains to conceal his true identity. In fact, his writings over the past year have been almost above reproach: He has even gone so far as to criticize some of the excesses in the Muslim world after the pope's recent remarks about Islam.
Ramadan's stint in England has refurbished his credibility and given him a new start. This is handy, from his point of view, as the United Kingdom is the ideal launching pad from which to reach the main objective: For the Muslim Brotherhood, the big prize has always been the United States.
Olivier Guitta is a foreign affairs and counterterrorism consultant in Washington.