Thursday, 09 October 2014
On Wednesday the Muslim bookstore Gedis and the League of Muslims in Belgium (LMB) revealed the temporary program of speeches and debates for the third Muslim fair in Brussels, whose theme is “Let’s Talk Islam”. The fair will take place from November 7th to the 10th at Tour & Taxis. Similar to previous years, more than 20,000 visitors are expected. Two roundtable discussions will address current issues: “Forty Years of Belgian Islam, reports and future prospects” and “Europe facing radicalism: the impact in relations between Muslims and non-Muslims?” Tariq Ramadan, Chair of Contemporary Islamic Studies at the Oriental Faculty of the University of Oxford, Raphael Liogier, a professor at the Institute of Political Studies in Aix-en-Provence and Brigitte Marshall, professor at UCL and Director of CISMOC (Interdisciplinary Centre for the Study of Islam in the world). Marshall will confirm her presence at the fair by Friday.
Kuwaiti speaker Tareq Al-Suwaidan, who stirred up controversy when the newspaper La Capitale, published his statements regarding the eradication of the Jewish state, will be one of the speakers. However, organizers will make sure that he does not speak about Israel. The topic of his presentation is “The prophets of Islam.”
Brigitte Marshall believes that the arrival of a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood is a continuation of the previous fair. Last year she did notice the lack of diversity among the stakeholders. “This event is the fair of all Muslims, but the sensitivities of the organizers are closer to those of the Brotherhood. Historically, the Muslim Brotherhood was the first to oppose the creation of a Jewish state,” she stated.
The challenge lies in the relevance of bringing Tareq Al-Suwaidan to debate on European Islam, “What could he possibly have to teach us about Islam in Europe? Isn’t that the greatest challenge in Muslim thinking today: integrating reflections on Islam while taking into account the specifics of the European context? “