Gee, why would Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna, echo the same sentiment as Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Muslim Brotherhood front groups when it comes to ISIS? Yes, Ramadan is the latest to insist that the Islamic State – founded by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Baghdad – is not Islamic.
An ‘Islamic Caliphate’, a ‘Caliph’ – terms that now in headlines across the globe, mostly thanks to one extremist group, The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
As ISIL captures territory declaring their caliphate, minorities have fled and journalists have been beheaded.
Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIL, has called on Muslims to take up arms, and thousands of fighters from around the world have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight for the self-declared caliphate.
The group’s actions are causing a backlash among Muslims who see ISIL – also known as Daesh – in contrast to their religion and past caliphates famed for tolerance.
More than 120 Muslim scholars have released a letter where they call ISIL un-Islamic and argue that the group is incorrectly using scripture to support its cause.
“They [ISIL] are distorting the whole message. So we have to respond to this by saying … what you are doing, killing innocent people, implementing so-called ‘Sharia’ or the so-called ‘Islamic State’, this is against everything that is coming from Islam,” says Tariq Ramadan, a prominent Islamic scholar.
“It is not a caliphate,” Ramadan says about ISIL. “It is just people playing with politics referring to religious sources. And this is why [as] Muslim scholars, Muslim intellectuals, we have to be quite clear about this. We have to speak the truth and be quite clear about the fact that if they are not representing what are the Islamic principles, many of the dictators today are not representing Islam either.
Of course, what Ramadan will not say is that his grandfather founded the Brotherhood to re-establish… the Islamic Caliphate; it was the very same empire that did to Armenian Christians exactly what al-Baghdadi’s ISIS is doing in Iraq and Syria.
Ramadan wears his Muslim Brotherhood heritage as a badge of honor; he does not reject it. That Muslim Brotherhood history includes an alliance with Nazi Germany. Today, the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi is denouncing al-Baghdadi’s Caliphate as well. Unlike Ramadan, however, al-Qaradawi doesn’t have to convey Islamic moderation of Ijtihad. Al-Qaradawi denounced al-Baghdadi for a different reason.
He wants the Caliphate in Turkey, exactly where Ramadan’s grandfather wanted it. Little more than two years ago, Ramadan and al-Qaradawi were on-hand in Qatar to launch an Islamic research center led by Ramadan. This would seem to suggest that both men are on the same page when it comes to the issue of a Caliphate.
The only thing more amazing than the unmitigated gall of people like Ramadan who say these things is how little push-back there is from the West when people like him and Obama say them: