Who’s Afraid of Tariq Ramadan?

“Ramadan, it is true, is neither a Hirsi Ali nor a Salman Rushdie, who are both self-declared apostates. They have left the community and call to those trapped within. In contrast, Ramadan is an internal critic, to use Michael Walzer’s term. Internal critics push their community to change, but they do so from within it, out of love. To follow Berman is to say that Muslims in their mainstream intellectual and religious traditions do not deserve internal critics. They deserve only apostates. As communism in another era had its Arthur Koestlers and Leszek Kolakowskis, so Islamic orthodoxy must have its Rushdies and Hirsi Alis.”

Andrew March responds to Paul Berman’s book The Flight of the Intellectuals.

American Prospect, 3 May 2010