Professor Tariq Ramadan has made his first public comments about the rape case that was filed against him in France recently.
In comments on his Facebook page, he confirmed that he has filed a lawsuit for slander against his accuser, the liberal feminist Henda Ayari.
Ayari filed a complaint against Ramadan a week ago at the Rouen public prosecutor’s office. The complaint concerned “rape, sexual assault and wilful violence.”
But Ramadan, who is a professor at Oxford University and a prominent Muslim theologian with a large following in the anglophone and francophone world, wrote last night: “For the last several days, I have been the target of a campaign of slander clearly orchestrated by my longtime adversaries.
“As announced, on Monday, October 23, my legal counsel filed a suit for slander with the Paris Public Prosecutor’s office. A second suit will soon follow, within a few days, in response to the campaign of lies launched by my adversaries.
“I extend my gratitude to those who have expressed their support and affection, either publicly or in private. Thanks, as well, to my family and my closest friends for standing with me in love and solidarity against these baseless accusations. Unfortunately, it appears as though this will be a long and arduous battle for us.
“Slander is always reprehensible. Unfounded allegations can never take the place of concrete truth. These accusations are simply false, and betray all the ideals I have long strived for and believed in.
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What a shame it is to see our adversaries clothe their fraud and deception in the garb of virtue. Their underhanded methods tell us all we need to know about them.
“Justice must now speak. My legal counsel is handling these accusations with utmost diligence and seriousness. We anticipate a long and bitter struggle. I am calm and determined.”