Wednesday, August 26, 2009

freedom of expression, you say...

August 19, 2009 swissinfo
Tariq Ramadan sacked over Iran TV connections
Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan has been fired from his position at a Netherlands university over connections to an Iranian-funded television channel.
In a statement, the municipality of Rotterdam and the Erasmus University Rotterdam said that the Swiss-born theologian's hosting of a programme on Iran's Press TV was "irreconcilable" with his position as a guest professor.
"Although there is no doubt at all concerning Dr Ramadan's personal dedication, both boards found this indirect relationship with a repressive regime, or even the impression of being associated with it, not acceptable," the university wrote.
It said Ramadan should have "immediately and unambiguously" ended its relationship with the channel but noted it was happy with his work.
Ramadan, who will chair an Islamic studies department at Oxford University at the beginning of September, also lost his position as an advisor on integration with the city of Rotterdam.

21 August 2009 RNW
Oxford won't fire Rotterdam's rejected advisor
Oxford University says it sees no reason to break off ties with Islamologist Tariq Ramadan, who was fired earlier this week as a community advisor by the city of Rotterdam.

The city government said his work as a presenter of a state-sponsored programme on Iranian television was incompatible with his duties in Rotterdam.

Mr Ramadan is a professor of Contemporary Islam Studies at Oxford, a post which he has held for the past four years. The British university said in a statement that freedom of expression is a fundamental right. Yet the university adds that it disagrees with Mr Ramadan's views.

The Swiss-Egyptian islamologist also lost his job as a visiting professor at Rotterdam's Erasmus University. Mr Ramadan is furious about his dismissal from his jobs in Rotterdam and is taking the city to court. In his view, the decisions were politically motivated and inspired by the current wave of anti-Islamic sentiments in the Netherlands.

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