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Tariq Ramadan Gave the George Orwell Lecture

Alan-Johnson

Alan Johnson

The only “liberals who have lost touch with what the ideas they positively stand for” as Alan Johnson put it are the so-called “9/11 liberals,” including individuals he cited, such as Paul Berman.

Johnson’s article dredges up the usual slanders against Ramadan. I agree with Bob Pitt of IslamophobiaWatch that it is likely due to Prof. Ramadan’s strong support for the Palestinian struggle. Alan Johnson is after all a “senior research fellow” for the Zionist organization, Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre.

Tariq Ramadan plots the conquest of the West

We’ve remarked in the past that depicting Tariq Ramadan (Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University) as some sort of dangerous extremist is a sure sign that Islamophobia has descended into complete dementia.

Judging by his article in the Telegraph denouncing the invitation to Professor Ramadan to deliver the annual George Orwell Lecture in London this week, Alan Johnson (pictured) would appear to be among those who have waved goodbye to rational thought on this subject.

Johnson asserts that, despite his reputation as a liberal reformist, Professor Ramadan is in fact engaged in a cunning Islamist plot to subvert western civilisation, planning a “Koranic revolution” on such a scale that:

…. the modern world will be swallowed whole as it is “reformed” in the light of Koranic revelation. “Reformism” then means the Islamification or Salafication of modernity. That’s the scale of Ramadan’s ambition in the West.

Ramadan’s project proceeds in the west strategically. It appropriates the language of modern democratic politics, occupying it, infusing it with Koranic meaning. This is why salafi reformists can sound like contemporary western politicians to wilfully naive people like those who invited Ramadan….

Ramadan’s project is organised, pro-active and entrepreneurial in advancing its ideas and influence. By contrast the modern Left has mostly lost touch with what the ideas it should positively stand for, knowing only what it is against (Israel and, most of all, America). For Ramadan, one imagines, the encounter resembles the act of taking sweets from a child.

As Telegraph helpfully informs us, Alan Johnson is senior research fellow at the Zionist advocacy group, the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre, and edits the BICOM publication Fathom (“for a deeper understanding of Israel and the region”).

The reason Johnson feels obliged to pour out his hatred against Professor Ramadan, therefore, has less to do with dementia than with the fact that Ramadan is a supporter of the Palestinian struggle. Johnson hasn’t really lost his mind, he’s just a malicious Zionist propagandist.

Mind you, there must be some rather more thoughtful supporters of the state of Israel who wonder whether this sort of vituperative attack on a respected academic figure like Ramadan actually assists their cause.

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  • Ameer

    Ive retracted my views on HP after seeing all the divergent views being promoted there; I guess this is how it considers sticking true to its motto that freedom of speech means having the right to offend you (something along those lines)…and not simply posting views that cater to one’s worldview.
    I’d also like to make it clear im not a racist and I don’t give a shite about racial differences; my opponent who I labelled whitey was expressing comments motivated by racial hatred, so I reciprocated using irony.

  • Colin

    There’s nothing reasonable about refusing to condemn stoning a sinner to death, full stop.

  • Colin

    There’s nothing reasonable about defending a sinner being stoned to to death.

  • SarahAB

    Thank you Ilisha. Yes, same here. We don’t always agree, that is true, and I don’t always agree with the other writers either. But I think we (and other commenters) are at least pleased to find things we can agree on, or to discover that perhaps an apparent disagreement can be lessened, if not resolved, following further discussion. There’s quite a gulf, I would say, between some commenters on HP and the majority of those who write above the line. This is perhaps one factor behind HP’s reputation as less liberal than (I think) it is. I don’t think there’s quite that kind of divergence between ATL and BTL on Loonwatch – but it was probably my experience of having HP misjudged which made me unwilling just to go along with what I read others say about you. There’s quite a gap between HP and LW – but it’s not as stark and absolute as you would think if you just read our respective enemies’ accounts of us.

  • Tanveer Khan

    Emir BB…… I think that would be a great public (dis)information film.

  • Colin

    First time for me to read this blog and comments. I have no interests in disputing the existence of Allah, Jehovah the sugar plum fairy or whatever, but I am interested in how to stop people killing someone who who cracks his egg at the ‘wrong’ end. I’m sure from the forgoing comments if the questions raised here will elicit reasonable responses.

  • The greenmantle

    Where and when gave you the right to define for Islam what is modern ?
    Sir David

  • Bob

    That article puts Nawaz to the right of the UK Independence Party on the issue of the veil:

    http://www.islamophobiawatch.co.uk/lib-dem-parliamentary-candidate-calls-for-niqab-ban/

  • AM24

    An apologist for zionist extremism and settler terrorism in the Palestinian West Bank calling the kettle bank.

    I expect nothing less from a professional hasbarat.

  • Unrepentant Jacobin

    Fair do’s, JSB.

  • Unrepentant Jacobin

    “The fact you will not admit any wrongdoing on the part of the West demonstrates my point perfectly.”

    I’m perfectly prepared to do so, particularly in the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq. But that is not what is at issue here – a dearth of self-criticism in the Muslim world is, to which commenters here keep saying “But what about Iraq? America? Zionism?” and so on, all of which merely underlines my point. It’s enough to make any reasonably fair-minded person despair.
    Where in the Muslim world is there an Edward Said or a Noam Chomsky? Someone, in other words, who has not only managed to avoid being locked up or killed for their scathing critiques of their own governments, but who has built a successful and feted career on it?

    Instead, Muslim dissidents must flee their own countries to write about them (as Makiya did) only to be described by hypocrites like Said as ‘native informants’ – as if principled criticism should be denigrated as tantamount to betrayal of one’s tribe.

    You say Arabs and Muslims have the right to self-determination. I agree, and more passionately than you realise. But you seem to think it’s the West primarily preventing this. You’re dreaming. Self-determination in the Muslim world is inhibited by religious reaction, systemic corruption, a belief that modernity is somehow “Western” and thus to be shunned, religiously and culturally mandated repression of women and minorities, loopy conspiracism, racism, appalling governance, and a denial of individual rights and liberties.

    As and when the West leaves the ME to refocus their energy concerns on fracking etc (as they will) all these problems will remain. At which point the ME will drift into what Bernard Lewis describes as “complete geopolitical insignificance”. Then what are they going to do and who will be blamed for the parlous state of societies there? The legacy of neoliberalism and ‘neo-colonialism’ no doubt. And of course, the Jews.

    As I said upthread, I believe the people living there deserve better. As a self-confessed religious conservative, you have declared yourself opposed to the progress and change necessary to achieve true self-determination, even as you luxuriate in the liberties and protections afforded by the Western society in which you live. For shame, Ilisha.

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  • Just_Stopping_By

    “It is not possible to have genuine peace …”

    Fair enough, now that you have recast your argument in terms of “genuine peace” versus repression, as opposed to “domestic peace.” For example, even slaves can be live in peace or in a peaceful situation, what I took your prior usage to be referencing. In contrast, slaves are typically if not universally repressed and do not enjoy “genuine peace” as I imagine you define that term.

    I still don’t see how secularism is “a necessary precondition” for progress or prosperity, however. Surely there can be some forms of progress and prosperity in a non-secular system. (And, again, I am in favor of secularism, but I just don’t see it as the only possible path toward any form of progress or prosperity.)

    “This is my first venture BTL, but I check this site a lot, and frequently see ahistorical rubbish go unchallenged, including in this thread.”

    Well, I did say, “For many of us,…” 🙂

    I do agree with you here as a general matter, though I haven’t looked carefully through this thread. I have in fact challenged various examples of ahistorical rubbish, but other times just left it unchallenged because it was not worth my while to enter into a particular debate. That said, this would not be the only site where ahistorical rubbish sometimes goes unchallenged, particularly when said rubbish fits in with the site’s agenda.

    Still, I think people would welcome corrections to specific factual errors or omissions. In all seriousness, I encourage that. If by historical rubbish you mean views on historical events or causal relationships, however, then we should remember that one person’s rubbish is another’s considered opinion — you certainly can debate those, and I encourage that as well, but don’t expect anyone to just roll over.

  • Razainc_aka_BigBoss

    Why does that sound an awesome movie title,

    The Ramadan Trilogy of the the great Tariqiyya master

  • Razainc_aka_BigBoss

    Plus Prof.Tariq Ramadan has stated he wants to end the practice but first he wants a temporary moratorium to open a discussion and he says we have these text but is their application consistent with the principles of justice? He is saying no, but also that their are texts on this issue and you need to address them.

    But see that type of nuance is too much for people like him who think they have a monopoly on morals and Muslims must do every thing their way even advance human rights they way “they” want them to not as Muslims

  • Unrepentant Jacobin

    It is not possible to have genuine peace if part of the population, no matter how small, are forced to bend to the authority of scriptures they do not recognise and which generally ascribe to them inferior status on account of their own beliefs. This is repression.

    Secularism is essential to ensure all people have freedom of conscience/belief and to ensure that laws are drafted and enacted by a neutral State on the basis of rational argument, not the revealed wisdom of religious dogma.

    As for “For many of us, it is a huge turn-off to read an argument that we can see is historically inaccurate”.

    That’s principled indeed, but I must confess, not something I have especially noticed here. This is my first venture BTL, but I check this site a lot, and frequently see ahistorical rubbish go unchallenged, including in this thread. Challenges seem to depend, not on historicty, but on whether an assertion fits in with the Loonwatch received wisdom or not.

  • Just_Stopping_By

    “Secularism is a necessary precondition for domestic peace, progress and prosperity.”

    A very interesting point. Of course, if secularism is a necessary condition for those, then by logic, there has never been any non-secular society that had domestic peace, progress, or prosperity (assuming that I am interpreting your use of “and” as you intended), or at a minimum one that had all three (with a different interpretation of “and”). Do you really believe either?

    And, I say this as someone who generally believes in secularism. I just believe that while secularism presents many advantages, one cannot call it “a necessary precondition” for domestic peace, progress and prosperity.

    Another point you make is that “[c]omplaints about colonialism and Islamophobia have nothing to do with achieving concrete progress and making tangible improvements …”

    Again, I think that you go too far when you say “have nothing to do with …” I agree that if such complaints are used as an excuse to avoid taking the steps to achieve progress, for those who prefer to wallow in victimhood, then such complaints are a detriment. In contrast, if the complaints cause a society to push forward, to “show them they can’t hold us down” so to speak, they may serve as a benefit. And to the extent that there are ongoing or residual obstacles from the factors being complained about, then using the complaints as a means of encouraging the removal of those obstacles, or of working around them, would also be a benefit.

    I do think you bring up some interesting points. But, I find that your insistence that certain things are “necessary” or “have nothing to do with” progress reflects an overly narrow view of society and economics.

    I think you would be more persuasive if you acknowledged the different facets of the topics you bring up and then argue why you believe that one facet is stronger than others.

    For example, if you want to discuss specific policies or situations involving victimhood, I believe that you will find many willing interlocutors here. But, if you insist that your positions are so all-encompassing that that you can use words like “necessary” or “never,” then you are probably wasting your time. For many of us, it is a huge turn-off to read an argument that we can see is historically inaccurate, such as that there was never a non-secular society that experienced domestic peace, progress, and (or) prosperity.

  • The greenmantle

    As someone who is quite left wing ( and in terms of the USA thats very very and then a bit more left wing ) I find your notion of pregressive amusing .
    Its like saying a lurch to the right is always correct .
    Who decides what is progress ? You ?
    Sir David

  • The greenmantle

    Cliff
    after looking so silly last time why are you back ?
    Shouldn’t you just tell your bosses to allow you to troll somewhere where they might take your arguments seriously
    Sir David

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