The known and controversial islamogist Tariq Ramadan has been appointed by Rotterdam to lead the integration debate. Ramadan will serve for the next two years as part time professor for "Identity and Citizenship" at Erasmus University, holding a chair paid by the municipality.
The intention is that Ramadan will work not only at the university but also bring up the debate at schools, mosques and community centers.
Alderman Orhan Haya was quite happy yesterday with the appointment of Ramadan. "We know him from the Islam debates. It is a great success that we knew to bring in somebody of his caliber. He knows how to stimulate and reach people, Muslims and non-Muslims." Ramanda will be teaching in Rotterdam two days every two weeks.
Ramadan, born in Switzerland, researches how especially immigrants can be full citizens in a modern Western society and and preserve their identity.
According to him the Rotterdam society suffers, just like other big European cities, from a "lack of trust and lack of mutual knowledge."
He calls on immigrants to take an active part in citizenship, he said at a press conference.
The new chair will cost Rotterdam two hundred thousand euro.
Source: AD.nl (Dutch)