The path to French citizenship should have been much easier: his wife is French, his four children are French and it is in France that the Swiss preacher Tariq Ramadan emerged in the early Nineties. He took the decision to apply for French citizenship after President François Hollande suggested that France should act to deprive ISIS fighters of their citizenship.
Ramadan launched his challenge to the government. “I want to send a message: Islam is part of France”. Prime Minister Manuel Valls just replied to Tariq Ramadan, explaining that “there is no reason” to give French nationality to Mr. Ramadan.
Jean Baubérot, scholar of secularism, has established a parallel between Ramadan and Communism. Both share the idea of a cultural hegemony. In fact, Ramadan, who will be in Italy in the next few days for a conference, has set up a formidable propaganda machine. His office is in the Parisian banlieue of Saint Denis, from where he coordinates four branches (London, Doha, Geneva, Washington). With two million Facebook fans, 30 books and thousands of audio tapes that the Tawhid editions distributed to the Muslim youth of the suburbs, Ramadan is the star of Europe’s Islam.