Monday, February 11, 2008

"... trickled his rhetoric vitriol into the debate..."

From Sign and Sight:

Franz Haas reports on campaign by left-wing and Arab splinter groups to boycott the Book Fair in Turin, where Israel is this year's the guest country. "The initiative has the backing of Tariq Ramadan, the ever-present and controversial Islamic preacher who, in an interview with the news agency Adn-Kronos, trickled his rhetoric vitriol into the debate. The Turin newspaper La Stampa ran a front page story on 'Ramadan's Fatwa' against Israel and the book fair. The Italian media and left-wing parties have overwhelmingly sided with common sense and rejected the boycott, but the seeds of discord have been sown and the fair's organisers are concerned about the consequences.

Here some relevant links: An Italian blog which quotes from the interview with Ramadan. On his own website Tariq Ramadan responds to his critics accusing them of quoting him false and tendentiously. "To refuse to 'commemorate' Israel and its repressive policies has nothing to do with anti-Semitism or with denial of freedom of speech." Ramadan responds to a blog commentary by Pierre Assouline on the website of Le Monde. Unlike Ramadan, Tahar Ben Jelloun has spoken out against the boycott.

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