Tariq Ramadan answers his Dutch detractors

tariq_ramadan“Once again I have come under attack in the Netherlands. Last May and June, I was accused of ‘doublespeak’, of ‘homophobia’ and of demeaning women. Upon investigation, the Rotterdam municipality declared the accusations unfounded.

“Today, the argument goes that I am linked to the Iranian regime; I support the repression that followed the recent elections. Should we be surprised that this latest accusation has surfaced only in the Netherlands? It is as if I in particular, and Islam in general, are being used to promote certain political agendas in the upcoming Dutch elections.

“Geert Wilders, who wins votes by comparing the Koran to Hitler’sMein Kampf, casts a long shadow. I am cast as the cause of an outburst of political passions that is far from healthy. But the present controversy says far more about the alarming state of politics in the Netherlands than about my person.”

Tariq Ramadan in NRC International, 18 August 2009