In this year’s Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers, Tariq Ramadan came in at number 49 for “dedicating his life to proving that Europe and Islam are not incompatible”–no small task in the world today. Ramadan is considered by many to be a very controversial intellectual. For some, he is too liberal and westernized while for others he is too radical and aims to Islamicize Europe. In his latest book What I Believe, Ramadan lays out his worldview and why it is often misunderstood.
From early on, Ramadan has had to contend with what some see as a problematic family lineage. He is the grandson of Hassan Al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Ramadan notes that this connection only began to be emphasized when he started to engage the question of Islam’s role in the West. Continue reading