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Tariq Ramadan: From a Mere Co-Existence to an Authentic Contribution of Europe's Muslims

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Tariq Ramadan, one of the most famous European Muslim thinkers, seeks to re-interpret Qur'an and Sunna and to create a European Islam, which can be harmonised with the principles of secular states. He is not an undisputed figure; to some he is an outstanding reformer whereas to others he is devious in favour of Islamist currents. His most innovative contribution is his concept of dār ashshahāda which leaves behind the confrontational notion of dār al-islām and dār al-harb. Thus, he judges European societies as legitimate places of living for Muslims. He emphasises the peaceful aspects of jihād, although he does not deny that jihād can become militant in cases of defence.

Ramadan appeals to European Muslims for agitating for a firm stand in their societies. I argue in this article that this cannot be simply judged as “Islamist engagement,” but emphasis on religious morality, which should play a major role in society, is also placed by representatives of other religions—and the right to lead public debates or to demonstrate one's faith is an inherent trait of secularism as long as all religions are treated equally.


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