Muslim speaker takes a swing at Salafis, Theocracies and dicttatorship

Source: Campus Watch

Speaking to an overflow crowd at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, noted Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan criticized extreme Islamists known as Salafis, saying that the Arab world needs to develop political systems that reject both theocracies and dictatorships.

But he added that Arab countries should develop their societies in ways that are unique to their own cultures.

“Every single country should find its own way,” Ramadan said to a crowd inside a classroom at the university’s law school. “We can’t impose models” on the Arab world from the West and elsewhere.

Ramadan, who teaches at Oxford University in England, is the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group that took power in Egypt this year after the Arab Spring and democratic elections. Ramadan was born in Europe because his father, a Brotherhood leader, was forced to flee Egypt at a time when it was cracking down on the Islamist group. Ramadan believes that Islam and democracy are compatible.

In his talk, Ramadan slammed politicians — whether Salafis in Egypt or the Tea Party in the U.S – that he said played to emotions instead of reason.

“Democracy is about critical thinking,” not fear and emotions, Ramadan said. “Populism is a danger, a universal danger,” including religious populism.

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