French ministers refuse to attend conference with Islamic scholar who teaches at Oxford University
He is an Islamic scholar who teaches at Oxford University and a former member of a working group on extremism set up by Tony Blair. Time magazine once described him as the “leading thinker” among Europe’s second and third-generation Muslim immigrants.
Yet two French ministers have suddenly announced that they will not attend a conference in Florence tomorrow on the future of the European Union because of the presence of the scholar, Tariq Ramadan. He is due to be a panellist at the conference, entitled The State of the Union, speaking about “migration, identity and integration”.
The French Interior Minister Manuel Valls and Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the Women’s Rights Minister who is also a government spokeswoman, informed organisers on Monday evening that they were pulling out, saying they had “not been informed” of Professor Ramadan’s attendance.
The philosopher is a controversial figure who has been accused of advocating violence and for some years was banned from entering France. A French right-wing MP attending the conference, Bruno Le Maire, told Le Monde: “I’m not in the habit of yielding to people whose views I don’t share – I fight them.”
A spokesperson for the European University Institute, which is organising the forum along with Le Monde and the Financial Times, said the French ministers’ decision was “regrettable”. Others attending the conference include European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, and Labour Party leader Ed Miliband.
- 1 Reyhaneh Jabbari: Iran due to execute woman for murder of her alleged attempted rapist
- 2 Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
- 3 Expert urges cat lovers to own just one animal each
- 4 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 5 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
Expert urges cat lovers to own just one animal each
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE NQ to MID LEVEL - An e...
Highly Attractive Pakage: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - A highly attractive oppor...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...
£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...