Rotterdam: Municipality to investigate Ramadan tapes

Rotterdam: Municipality to investigate Ramadan tapes

News agency ANP reports that the Rotterdam municipality will thoroughly study the tapes where Tariq Ramadan speaks negatively of gays and women.

Among Ramadan's statements: "A man is meant for a woman", "The message of Islam is very clear on this point. Homosexuality is not allowed, it is not something which is included in the general notion of man. Homosexuality is not something which we in Islam can allow" and "this problem appears to be a malfunction, bad functioning and an imbalance."

About women Ramadan says that "they may not draw attention with their appearance. On the street, such is the law, women must rigidly fix their eyes on the pavement."

Gay Krant has 54 tapes in its possession, and it is unclear when they're from. The municipality intends to get its hands on the tapes as quickly as possible so they could listen to them as well.

Erasmus University had no comment Wednesday and will wait for the municipality's investigation.

According to Binnenlands Bestuur, all together Ramadan had cost Rotterdam till now 1.79 million euro: 420,000 euro a year in 2007 and 2008 for his advising, and 150,000 euro in 2009. Out of this, 55,000 goes to Ramadan, the rest are for organizing debates and meetings in the framework of the 'citizenship, identity and feeling at home' project'. Additionally the municipality pays 200,000 a year for his professorship, which includes travel and accommodations for him and his three research assistants.

On Feb. 14th Tariq Ramadan was interviewed by Binnenlands Bestuur and said that "personally I think that homosexuality falls outside the norms of Islam. I think it's not nice what they're doing, but I respect them as a person."

The VVD party in Rotterdam (People's Party for Freedom and Democracy) demands to end the contract with Ramadan. Bas van Tijn of the VVD says that statements of this sort are permissible in the Netherlands, but that Ramadan gets government money for his position in order to promote dialogue between groups in society. As such his statements are not allowed.

Sources: Gay Krant 1, 2; Binnenlands Bestuur (Dutch)

See also: Netherlands: Ramadan unmasked

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