The Dutch city of Rotterdam and its university have fired Swiss Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan as an adviser to the city after he hosted a program on an Iranian television channel. Ramadan has been an advisor to the mayor on issues of multi-culturalism since 2007, and has been a visiting professor of theology in Erasmus University.
Ramadan was hosting a weekly television show on broadcaster Press TV. The city of Rotterdam published a statement on its website on 18 August 2009 and said that the channel is financed by the Iran government. The statement continued: “Although there is no doubt about the personal effort of Tariq Ramadan, both boards (of the city and the university) find this indirect relation with this repressive regime or even to be associated with it, not acceptable.”
The scholar said he would take the municipality to court for its politically motivated dismissal. He also published an open letter and said “When I accepted the offer to host a television show about Islam and current life, I choose the path of critical debate. I challenge my critics to study these programmes and to find the slightest support to the Iranian government.”