Scholar banned by US to speak here
by Richard Kerbaj
CONTROVERSIAL Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan, who was refused entry into the US over alleged links to terror networks, is due to deliver a lecture on Islam at a conference sponsored by the Queensland Government on Monday.
Professor Ramadan - whose grandfather Hassan al-Banna founded one of the world's most radical Islamist movements, the Muslim Brotherhood, in 1928 - will be introduced by federal Labor Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs Laurie Ferguson at the Griffith University event, which has drawn $50,000 worth of sponsorship from the Bligh Government.
Muslim and Jewish leaders yesterday expressed concern about Professor Ramadan's second visit to Australia from Europe since 2004, with a former Howard government adviser on Islam, Ameer Ali, urging national security authorities to keep him under close surveillance.
Dr Ali said it was a common problem among Arabic scholars such as Professor Ramadan to alter their messages for different audiences.
"It appears that these people speak in different languages to different audiences and they don't convey the same message," he said.
"If he's allowed to go and mix with the local community, then they (authorities) have to monitor what he is saying."
Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council executive director Colin Rubenstein also attacked the Swiss-born Professor Ramadan, who lives in Europe, for pandering to Islamic extremists.
"Tariq Ramadan is a problematic figure skilled at projecting moderation to Western audiences, while engaging in apologetics for various forms of Islamist extremism, including terrorist attacks and conspiracy theories about 9/11," he said.
1) Scholar banned by US to speak here