Netherlands: Professor Ramadan on Iranian TV
Dutch site ScienceGuide reveals that Tariq Ramadan has his own show "Islam & Life" on Iranian broadcaster PressTV. On his show Ramadan discusses various social and political issues from an Islamic point of view.
According to PressTV this is "A weekly show presented by Tariq Ramadan on the world's fastest growing religion and the daily challenges faced by its followers especially in the West." The most recent show, for example, was about Islam and art. Recent shows discussed Islam and student involvement, Changing Europe and Islam, Obama and the Muslim world, Islam and science, and the concept of freedom in Islam.
All shows are available online.
ScienceGuide reports that Ramadan is joined on his show by British parliament member George Galloway, who was kicked out of the Labour Party for his support of Saddam Hussein, as political commentator.
Dr. Nicholas Kollerstrom, a former astronomer at University College London, who was fired for Holocaust denial, is also on the show. Kollerstrom wrote: “Let us hope the schoolchildren visitors are properly taught about the elegant swimming-pool at Auschwitz, built by the inmates, who would sunbathe there on Saturday and Sunday afternoons while watching the water-polo matches; and shown the paintings from its art class, which still exist; and told about the camp library which had some 45,000 volumes for inmates to choose from, plus a range of periodicals; and the six camp orchestras at Auschwitz/Birkenau, its theatrical performances, including a children’s opera, the weekly camp cinema, and even the special brothel established there.”
PressTV says: “In his essay, Dr Nicholas Kollerstrom argues that the alleged massacre of Jewish people by gassing during World War II was scientifically impossible. The distinguished academic was dismissed on April 22, 2008 without any explanation and a Holocaust conference held on 16-18 May in Berlin refused his article and warned that he would be arrested if he attended the conference and presented his essay. The West punishes people for their scientific research on Holocaust but the same western countries allow insults to prophets and religious beliefs…”
PressTV is fully paid for by the Iranian government. After the recent presidential elections that station became so militant that a British presenter resigned. Nick Ferrari said at the beginning of July: “I imagine they’ve been told what to do, and I can’t reconcile that with working there.”
Professor Ramadan continued with his program in the weeks after the election, without any objection or protest against the course of events. ScienceGuide says this is remarkable given that the Iranian government made arrests on university campuses and among colleagues of Ramadan. Ramadan works for the city of Rotterdam as a 'bridge-builder' in the framework of the 'Islam-debates' that the city organizes.
Following this report, CDA (Christian-Democratic Appeal) parliament members Jan Jacob van Dijk and Mirjam Sterk turned with questions to the Dutch government, saying Ramdan should not continue as integration advisor to the Rotterdam municipality. Van Dijk says that this is not just a local Rotterdam issue since professor Ramadan is considered a very influential opinion leader in international media and at important universities such as Oxford. The parliament and government have a responsibility towards the content and credibility of the integration debate.
Source: ScienceGuide 1, 2 (Dutch)
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