Tariq Ramadan to Take Position at Oxford

In the wake of his dismissal from positions at Rotterdam’s Erasmus University and with the city council, Tariq Ramadan has accepted a teaching post at Oxford. The Islamic scholar will take up the position of professor of contemporary Islam studies from September 1 2009.

Ramadan was dismissed from his position advising the city on integration due to controversy surrounding his presentation of a television programme on Iranian station Press TV. He has refused to stop work for the station and announced that he will take legal action against the city for his dismissal.

Ramadan, who has been attached to Oxford as a researcher and lecturer for the past four years, takes up a professorship funded by the Qatar foundation for education. ‘Freedom of expression is a fundamental right which will be respected,’ a spokesman for the British university told Telegraaf.

Rotterdam Dismisses Tariq Ramadan Amidst Controversy

Following controversy regarding his participation in a television program on Iranian station Press TV, Rotterdam has fired Tariq Ramadan from his position as Integration Advisor for the city council. NRC reports that officials feel Ramadan can no longer lead dialogue in the city as he has become the central focus of debate. Ramadan has also lost his position as professor of identity and citizenship at Rotterdam’s Erasmus University.

Ramadan refuses to accept the dismissal and is taking legal action against Rotterdam council as he feels he has been treated disrespectfully. According to NRC Ramadan maintains that he “does not support the current Iranian government, and says he has full editorial freedom. He believes change in Iran should come from within, for example through television. He also says he has been completely open about his television sideline. It is even mentioned on the homepage of his personal website.” Rather, he suggests that the controversy is due to the current political climate in the Netherlands and the increasing popularity of Geert Wilders.

Ramadan, 46, has been attached to the city council for two years and is a visiting professor at Erasmus University, a post paid for by Rotterdam. The dismissal comes after it emerged that Ramadan presents a weekly programme on Iran’s Press TV which is paid for by the Iranian authorities. Ramadan was asked to present the Iranian show Islam & Life two years ago because of his position on a list of worldwide intellectuals, according to Press TV’s Matthew Richardson, reports the AD.