Professor Tariq Ramadan holds MA in Philosophy and French literature and PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Geneva. In Cairo, Egypt he received one-on-one intensive training in classic Islamic scholarship from Al-Azhar University scholars. 
Tariq Ramadan is Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University (Oriental Institute, St Antony’s College ). He is also teaching at the Faculty of Theology at Oxford. He is at the same time a Visiting Professor in Qatar (Faculty of Islamic Studies) and in Morocco (Mundiapolis) and a Senior Research Fellow at Doshisha University(Kyoto, Japan). http://www.tariqramadan.com/spip.php?lang=en

I was surprised to see that, in the day following the conference, more mention was made of Professor Ramadan than of the Dalaï-Lama. Apparently he is a quite controversial speaker of the Muslim faith. He was indeed a fascinating speaker, but I did not identify anything remarkably shocking or controversial in his speech, other than being passionate about Islam, which may be sufficient in today’s world to be viewed as controversial. He was an absolutely fascinating speaker and here are a few of the things he shared with us.
Our lives and our faith have to be grounded in a positive discipline. To speak of peace, we have to be able to speak of violence. We have to go back to our traditions and scriptures to see what they say about violence. Conferences on world peace have been going on for decades. The truth is that those who attend are all rather privileged and already sold to the idea of world peace. So the questions we have to ask ourselves is How do we deal with violence? How do we deal with poverty? How do we deal with injustice? Only then do we know how to work for peace.
There are four things we need to pass on to our children to achieve peace:

1)      History. We need to know where we came from, what mistakes we made and what great things we accomplished.

2)      Philosophy: Children need to know how to answer the great questions of our existence.

3)      Religion: To continue a practice that connects us to a greater source

4)      Art: To continue to develop imagination, esthetics and to take time to create

There are some fundamental rights that are common to all religions. Each person should have the right to set up a sacred site from where to practice their religion, no matter where they live in the world.
As a religious person, each one of us has the duty to take position against the injustice and corruption within their own religion. Islamic scriptures do not support the degradation of women. If, as a Muslim, you hear someone use Islam to support the oppression of women, it is your duty to take a stand against it. Same thing goes for all other religions. If as a Jew killing your neighbor is against the Law, then you have to speak up against the conflict in Palestine. Or as a Christian, you must denounce hatred towards minorities and those who are marginalized. This is a sacred duty.

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