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Sunday, January 11, 2004

Accused Antisemite to teach peace at Notre Dame
(i.e Indiana, U.S.A.)

JPost: Swiss academic Tariq Ramadan, accused recently by French Jews of fomenting anti-Semitism, has been hired to teach peace studies at Indiana's University of Notre Dame.

Ramadan, a grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna and linked in the past by French authorities to al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, wrote recently on the Islamic Web site Oumma.com that French Jewish intellectuals who supported the Iraq war placed their religion above their obligations as scholars, The New York Sun reported.

A Notre Dame spokesman defended the hiring, calling Ramadan someone who "takes the risk of talking to both worlds."
Under the heading of Catholic Identity, Notre Dame's Dean's Report on the State of the College of Arts and Letters explains (p. 19):
As one of the leading universities in the world for the study of religion across disciplines, if not the leading university, we have a unique opportunity to develop in dialogue with scholars of other religious traditions. Thus, the Erasmus Institute, which supports visiting scholars and offers seminars and workshops around the world, focuses on the ways in which scholars address contemporary problems by drawing on the resources of the Abrahamic faiths. In order to advance in our study of Islam, we added a third T&R line in Arabic language, literature, and culture and reallocated two faculty lines, one in Arab history and another in comparative theology, with a focus on Islam. In addition, we hired into the Luce Chair for Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding a leading European Islamic scholar, Tariq Ramadan.
Apparently, the Dean sees no conflict between this and the statement on p. 17 of the same report, that "One dimension of our Catholic identity is our focus on the most significant moral issues of this century" (the Dean's emphasis, not mine).

I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you"
-Bereshis/Genesis 12:3 + 27:29

According to the Cleveland Jewish News (JTA), Ramadan wrote an article in October accusing French Jewish intellectuals of placing their religion ahead of their duties as scholars by supporting the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

More here on Ramadan, and the suit filed against him by the French Union of Jewish Students . . . for racial incitement.

As a result of this controversy, you may be inspired to do something new with your life: Notre Dame does offer a Master of Arts in Peace Studies:) -- but beware, I looked, and saw not a Jewish name nor even a Jewish topic, among the offerings at Notre Dame. . . . Maybe they don't consider Judaism one of the "Abrahamic" faiths?