RealNews

Controversy starts even before professor

Tariq Ramadan, a world-renowned philosopher and cleric whose ideas on Islam’s place in modern life took shape in the academies and salons of Paris and Cairo, has been called everything from a religious ideologue with Al Qaeda ties to a liberal who wants to Westernize his faith. The University of Notre Dame views him as a professor of peace. Beginning this fall, Ramadan will teach Islamic philosophy and ethics in South Bend through the Joan Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. The tenured appointment already has drawn the attention of Jewish leaders who say his ideas encourage Islamic radicalism. But for Notre Dame, his reputation as a provocateur is not a deterrent; it is the reason he was chosen. The school believes Ramadan could inspire new thinking about Islam within intellectual circles in the United States, just as he has already done in Europe. His prolific writings touch on one of the most vexing issues facing the East and West: How can Muslims remain true to their religion and culture in the modern world? Full Story

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