Tariq Ramadan and Western Muslim Discourse – Elevating Politics Above Faith

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is getting its fair share of criticism these days. Some within the Muslim community accuse its leaders of being “spineless”  for not objecting to remarks made by the governor of Michigan at ISNA’s 51st annual convention held this year in Detroit. ISNA eventually issued a press release calling on Americans to object to Rick Synder’s blatant exclusion of Palestinian rights while he affirmed the right of Israel to exist. 

Some are citing ISNA’s faux pas in relation to Synder’s comment as a validation of Dr. Tariq Ramadan’s reasons for not attending the ISNA convention. Dr. Ramadan’s statement “Why I will not attend the ISNA and RIS conferences”, issued two weeks before ISNA’s gathering and months before the Revival of the Islamic Spirit (RIS) conference in Toronto, reveals his Islamist weltanschauung – politics trumps faith.  

We see this in the reasons he presents for severing ties with ISNA and RIS, his vision of Islamic conventions/conferences, the kind of sufism and sufis he prefers and in his master plan of what a new generation of Muslim leaders ought to look like. Continue reading