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In the Footsteps of the Prophet
by Tariq Ramadan

- Abstract

A Kinder, Gentler Islam?
In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad
by Tariq Ramadan
Oxford. 256 pp. $23.00

Tariq Ramadan, who was born in 1962, is from any perspective one of the most important voices in Islam today. His views are disseminated in pamphlets and tapes throughout the Muslim diaspora, not only in his native Europe but across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. In France and elsewhere, he is revered by Muslim youth, and often lauded by the secular Left, for his facility in combining “Islamic” and “progressive” points of view in ways that at least sound plausible.

Ramadan is the grandson of Hasan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928 (the group that later spawned Ayman al-Zawahiri, co-founder of al Qaeda). His father, Said Ramadan, was another leading figure in the Brotherhood and was banished from Egypt. Tariq thus came to be born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland. He completed two doctoral dissertations, one on Nietzsche and the other on his famous grandfather. He also studied Arabic and Islam at Cairo’s Al-Azhar university, but returned to Europe because he felt more comfortable there.

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