19 Apr 2007
The point surely is not that the obviously sinister Sheik Hamza above cannot be transformed into the unobviously sinister Tariq Ramadan below. It is, rather, that though Sheikh Hamza and Tariq Ramadan are in outward aspect, and in manner of presentation, quite different, but that in essence the message they give is the same.
There is plenty of besmitten gush that issues from some girl journalists, such as Deborah Orr, when they meet soft-spoken, "wry and deprecating" Tariq Ramadan, behaving for all the world like a shopgirl or grisette who has just come to the last page of her favorite true romance in the "Second Chance For Love" series, the one about the Arab sheikh, untamed on his wild desert stallion, who finally on the last page of the book picks up into his arms the American or English heroine (a damsel he has previously rescued from distress,), and having swept her off her feet, sweeps her off her feet.
But not all girls, just like not all boys, are quite so silly, or quite so determined to have sex do all the talking. There are physically alluring propagandists for white supremacy, for Nazis, for Fascists Fascists (though how cheap Alessandra Mussolini looks on the RAI). Not all Nazis looked like Himmler, or Hitler, or Goebbels. Not all fascists looked like Mussolini. Not all Muslims look like Sheikh Hamza.
As for me, I don't like Tariq Ramadan's looks. For he looks like the snake he is, slithering about, offering this or that naive Eve the apple of false knowledge. And even then not all of them bite. Compare that smiling facade of a face with the upright and noble and guileless face of -- oh, of Liviu Librescu.