Straight talk about Tariq Ramadan

Re Tariq Ramadan’s appointment to a government taskforce on tackling extremism (Blair backs banned Muslim scholar, August 31): we feel it is important to make clear there are a multiplicity of views in the UK Jewish community. More importantly, a multiplicity of views are what is required on a task force.

Professor Ramadan’s views appear to concentrate on the complexity of issues, rather than alleged extremism. In his book Western Muslims and the Future of Islam, he argues for a new understanding of Islamic principles within a western context, calling for dialogue with non-Muslims. Following the London bombings, Professor Ramadan published an opinion piece in the Guardian entitled “Living together takes effort” (July 9).

We agree. In particular, we urge leaders of all communities to avoid hearsay and to renew efforts to seek common ground, thereby opening avenues for honest dialogue. The effort is worth it.

Jonathan Colman
Dr Edie Friedman
Reva Klein
Dr Brian Klug
Francesca Klug
Tony Lerman
Jewish Council for Racial Equality

Letter in Guardian, 2 September 2005