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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 05, 1953

ISLAMIC ACTIVITIES IN LEBANON: LECTURE BY PROFESSOR SAID RAMADAN [SA’īD RAMAḍāN], DELIVERED ON 5 MARCH 1953 IN THE HALL OF THE ISLAMIC ORPHANS’ INSTITUTION IN BEIRUT

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    Said Ramadan describes his travels to Morocco, Turkey, and Indonesia and his observations of Muslim civilizations.
    "Islamic Activities in Lebanon: Lecture by Professor Said Ramadan [Sa’īd Ramaḍān], Delivered on 5 March 1953 in the Hall of the Islamic Orphans’ Institution in Beirut," March 05, 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Emir Farid Chehab Collection, GB165-0384, Box 13, File 71/13, Middle East Centre Archive, St Antony’s College, Oxford. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/176101
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Islamic activities in Lebanon

Lecture by Professor Said Ramadan, delivered on 5 March 1953 in the hall of the Islamic Orphans’ Institution in Beirut.

Said Ramadan is of Egyptian origin and nationality, a law graduate, and a member of the Higher Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood Organisation in Egypt during al-Banna’s time is also al-Banna's brother-in-law, i.e. the husband of his sister. He is also an international lecturer and a very prominent Islamic scholar. He is currently the General Secretary of the Islamic Alliance in Pakistan and responsible for the propaganda promoting the unification of all the Islamic countries. He travels to Arab and Islamic countries lecturing and urging his audiences to support this idea.

He started his lecture by describing his travels, and the things he saw; he said that he went to Morocco during the events, but the French did not allow him to enter. He was, however, able to enter the Moroccan areas under Spanish control on the condition that he neither interfere in policies nor give lectures. He, however, managed to give lectures and hold meetings, through various ruses, though their thrust was limited to calling for the creation of an Islamic state. He attracted the attention of the French who considered his plan a threat to them, and French newspapers described his activities as posing a threat to France's influence.

He then went to Turkey and found that its people, unlike their government, were greatly influenced by religion. He described how the faithful broke out in demonstrations after each of the speeches he delivered after prayer at various mosques, and how the faithful in Ankara and Istanbul mobbed him in their effort to kiss him and receive his blessing. He also described how the Turkish masses went out into the streets, and up on the rooftops, to listen avidly and passionately to the call to prayer after the Turkish Government allowed it to be sung in Arabic.

He then described his trip to Indonesia and the various Islamic groups there, such as the Masumi, or the Peace Party, that has four ministers in the Government; the Scholars’ Party; and the Muslim Women's Society whose members, in addition to dealing with all aspects of politics, had graduated from the Islamic Teachers' University and were learning Arabic. He then spoke about the extremist Home of Islam Party, which is a group of armed rebels who left their lives in the city, sought refuge in the mountains, and have multiplied in number to reach the thousands. The latter's aim is to overthrow Indonesia’s republican system and establish an Islamic State based on the Islamic tenets; they attack villages and force the imams of their mosques' to pray in the name of the Islamic State.

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