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Article: Hope for Old Europe?

June 23, 2007

Fred Siegel / City Journal:

Sarkozy’s road to the Elysee Palace was paved not only by the mini-Intifada in the Paris banlieues, but also by a memorable public exchange about Islam. An intellectually confident Sarkozy, then the interior minister, debated suave, articulate Tariq Ramadan, the grandson and heir of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. With 6 million viewers watching, Sarkozy asked Ramadan, famed as an Islamic version of a Euro-Communist, if he agreed with his brother Hani Ramadan—who had argued, in line with Muslim law, that adulterous women should be stoned to death. Pressed to agree or disagree without obfuscation, Ramadan, his Western facade crumbling, said he favored a “moratorium” on such stoning. Sarkozy responded with anger, “A moratorium?” He went on to mock the Islamists’ leftist apologists. “If it is regressive not to want to stone women, I avow that I am a regressive.”

Full article here.


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