The city of Rotterdam is extending its contract with Tariq Ramadan for another two years, dismissing claims that the Swiss philosopher made homophobic and mysogenistic statements.
Last month, the Gay Krant, a newspaper for the homosexual community in the Netherlands, accused Tariq Ramadan of making homophobic and mysogenistic statements on tapes in Arabic destined for the immigrant communities in Europe. Ramadan, who is working at Erasmus University Rotterdam and an important consultant for the city’s multicultural dialogue, dismissed the Gay Krant’s allegations as slander and nonsense.
Ramadan was accused of having conservative, anti-integration views behind a mask of moderateness and tolerance, making him unsuited for his position as a consultant. After a debate in the city council an investigation was announced. The city had 54 Arabic-language cassette tapes translated and examined. According to council executive Rik Grasshof of the Green party GroenLinks, the Gay Krant’s reporting was incomplete en inaccurate and therefore, the contract with Ramadan will not only remain in tact but in fact extended for another two years.
Ramadan has received support as well in the current debate and a website Steuntariq.nl (Support Tariq) has been set up. This website is part of another website Wijsteunen.nl (We Support) that also features a second support website Steunali.nl (Support Ali) for the proposed new Moroccan-Dutch chaplain (the Dutch army already has Catholic, Protestant, Hindu and Humanist chaplains and counselors) for the Dutch army: Ali Eddaoudi. The support websites are registered by Brahim Bourzik and Mohammed Jabri. Bourzik is an independent member of the city council of Rotterdam (and former member of the left wing environmentalist Green Left party). Mohammed Jabri is writer at the Mirsab website and former co-founder of (at that time controversial) El Qalem website.
In 2006, Eddaoudi defended the right of Muslim neighbourhood stewards to refuse to shake hands with members of the opposite sex. In 2008 article, he called prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende “a Christian and a hypocrite” and said that “Christians are still at war with Islam”. Eddaoudi criticised the Dutch mission in Afghanistan in an article for the website Maroc.nl. According to Eddaoudi “The Dutch, Americans and British have no business being in the Islamic world”, calling the Taliban “a proud people” that will never give up, and that more and more Dutch soldiers would come home in body bags as long as western soldiers perpetrate “violence and humiliation” against the people of Afghanistan. The conservative liberal party VVD and the populist anti-Islam Party for Freedom (PVV) of Wilders both demanded Eddaoudi ‘s resignation but this is a problem since Eddaoudi has already been appointed by the army.
Eddaoudi was nominated for the job by the CMO, a national umbrella organisations that functions a mediator between the government and the Muslim community in the Netherlands. The CMO also nominated Suad Ayd?n, a Turkish imam, belong to the Milli Gorus movement. The Dutch army already employs Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Hindhu and humanist chaplains.
If you want to, you can support Eddaoudi by signing HERE and support Ramadan by signing HERE. The list with signatures can be found HERE and HERE. For Ramadan there is also a support site at the Hyves social network site.