Yesterday, the same day news leaked that the Obama administration intends to abandon references to Islamist ideology in its review of U.S. national security strategy, the other team received a major boost. Tariq Ramadan, European Islamist superstar, arrived in New Jersey for a tour of the United States.

Heritage Foundation friend and inspiration for the title of this post, the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, has tracked Ramadan’s career and upcoming visit in vigorous detail. The following press release and links concerning his trip are well worth a read for anyone concerned about where the U.S. is headed in the battle of ideas:

AIFD urges critical engagement of Tariq Ramadan
April 7, 2010
Controversial European Islamist scholar coming to New York as he begins his American “Victory Tour”

Leading Muslim organization warns Americans Muslims to be on guard as Tariq Ramadan enters US
PHOENIX (April 5, 2010) –The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) is warning Americans Muslims, to be on guard as Tariq Ramadan makes his first visit into the United States since the Obama Administration lifted a six-year ban on his entry. Ramadan will be speaking on April 8, 2010 at the Cooper Union in New York City as the guest of the ACLU, the American Association of University professors, the PEN American Center and Slate magazine. He will continue on to speeches in Chicago, Detroit, Washington, D.C. and Garden Grove, CA. that will benefit Islamist organizations within the United States.

>AIFD considers Ramadan a threat to American Muslims because he puts a passive face on the ideology of political Islam and the concepts of Islamic supremacy that for many Muslims remains a dangerous slope to radicalization. Ramadan is considered a rock star to many European intellectual elites, but if he were engaged in genuine debate with dissenting Muslims people would see that the emperor has no clothes.

“Tariq Ramadan’s entry into America needs to be met with open dialogue from the Muslim Community, non-Muslim organizations and the media on the real threat of Political Islam,” said Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, President and Founder of AIFD. “It is incumbent on all Americans, especially American Muslims, to engage Ramadan at any opportunity to demonstrate that the US Constitution trumps the construct of the Islamic State.”

Ramadan’s lineage is well known. He is the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood Founder Hassan al Banna and the son of Said Ramadan who spread the Brotherhood to Germany where it eventually spread throughout Europe. While the words Muslim Brotherhood rarely leave his lips, Tariq Ramadan’s ideology is indistinguishable from the Brotherhood which is counter to the principles of liberty and freedom found here in America.

“To give Ramadan an unfettered platform for his dissimulation while also perpetuating his message of victimization is to give him and his clerical colleagues a status which will forever retard real reform within Muslim thought,” said Jasser. “Real reform comes from those Muslim leaders with the personal strength of character to call for an end to the Islamic state and the separation of mosque and state. Ramadan has not. Rather he is a soft tongued global instrument of political Islam against the bulwark of real freedom and liberty as we know it in the United States.”
We also bring your attention to a briefer AIFD prepared on Mr. Ramadan and his April visits at this link.

It is not clear that the Obama Administration understands that the war against terror is also a battle of ideas. Islamist terror is driven by an extremist political ideology. And even when extremist ideology stops short of endorsing violence, it serves as a conveyor belt for ugly ideas that threaten Americans of all faiths, including Muslims, and our friends around the world. This is not a religious debate; it is a political one. Ignoring it will not make it go away.