By Aziz Junejo
Special to The Seattle Times
Two weeks ago, theologian, philosopher and renowned academic Tariq Ramadan visited Seattle, and I was honored to be granted a rare interview with him. Ramadan was here for a speaking engagement at Seattle University’s School of Theology during its Spiritualty Book Festival.
Born in Switzerland, Ramadan is the grandson of the founder of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, a nonviolent organization that operates largely in Arab states and advocates that all aspects of life, including government, be ordered according to the Quran. His encouragement of reforms and democracy, particularly in the Middle East and the Muslim countries of North Africa, has made him an inspiration to Muslims worldwide.
However his fame as a Muslim academic has caused him some difficulties. In 2004, citing the “ideological exclusion provision” of the U.S. Patriot Act, the United States banned him from entering the country.