New professor is Muslim scholar

Author: Notre Dame Magazine staff

A Muslim scholar rated by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world joins the Notre Dame faculty this fall.

Tariq Ramadan is expected to teach Islamic philosophy and ethics in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. He’ll hold the Luce Chair in Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding, a full-time, tenured position.

Ramadan’s appointment has drawn plenty attention. In its April 26 edition, Time said that in the past five years Ramadan had become highly influential among Muslims throughout Europe. He often writes and lectures about how Muslims can remain true to their religion and culture in the modern world.

His views are both liked and disliked by many, according to an article by Chicago Tribune religion reporter Geneive Abdo. His grandfather, Hassan al-Banna, founded an influential conservative religious and political organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, in 1928. The grandson’s views, Abdo writes, are considered too conservative by some Muslim modernists and too modern by Muslim traditionalists, including his grandfather’s followers.

Some Jewish leaders accuse him of being anti-Semitic for criticizing the Israeli occupation of land claimed by Palestinians. But Scott Appleby, Regan Director of the Kroc Institute, said that accusation is unfounded. Appleby also said the Kroc Institute is committed to “engaging a variety of influential voices and perspectives” in seeking alternatives to violent conflict and that Ramadan is “but one of many such voices.”