The American Muslim theologian Yasir Qadhi has condemned the French authorities and media for their treatment of Professor Tariq Ramadan who has been incarcerated in France without formal charge in an unknown location.
In a Facebook post today Dr Qadhi said French authorities, media and politicians are treating him with clear hatred and bigotry.
The Swiss Muslim academic has been accused of rape and sexual assault by two women, allegations he strongly denies.
Dr Qadhi also chided those who are not supporting Professor Ramadan due to the cases of others who have had sexual assault claims made against them.
Here is his statement in full:
Tariq Ramadan is someone whom I have had the opportunity to benefit from, meet with many times, and consider as a friend.
While I am greatly saddened by the allegations that have been made against him, and I sincerely pray that those allegations are completely false (and of late there have been many disturbing inconsistencies in those allegations, and blatant disregard for police protocol that needs to be answered), the purpose of this post has absolutely nothing to do with those allegations, and everything to do with the clear hatred and bigotry that the French authorities, politicians, justice system and media are treating him with.
Regardless of whether those allegations are true or not (and I pray that the truth comes to light and that justice is served), here are the issues that I and many others see as clear violations of protocol:
– he was arrested by the police after he VOLUNTARILY went to the police station for questioning. Typically arrests are not done in similar cases.
– he has been held in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, in a MAXIMUM SECURITY lockdown, when that is never done for such cases. He does not present a threat to anyone else, and certainly doesn’t warrant such harsh measures as a prisoner.
– he has been DENIED FAMILY VISITATION RIGHTS, and his wife and children have still not seen him after more than two weeks. Again, this is simply unheard of in any other similar situation.
– two days ago, a French judge DENIED him medical release from prison despite the fact that it was deemed medically unsuitable as the prison could not cater to his deteriorating medical situation.
– yesterday, his medical condition (he suffers from multiple sclerosis) became so severe that he needed to be taken to the hospital, where, again, he was denied even basic visitation rights. Still, the judge refused to release him on humanitarian grounds.
It is truly sad that some of our brothers and sisters, in their having been caught up with so many scandals and harassment claims around the world (many or most of which are true) are blinded by their hurt and anger to not see these double standards for which so many of us are complaining.
Once again, THIS IS NOT ABOUT WHETHER DR RAMADAN IS GUILTY OR NOT. (Still, I know in the comments below so many people will bring in that issue). This is about the clear animosity that is being shown to him by the entire French judicial system, and the inhumane treatment that is being meted out to him, merely because of who he is and what he represents. If he is guilty, he should be treated like any other French person charged with the same types of insinuations, not the current way that he is being treated.
Here are the action items for those who want to do something:
1. Please SIGN the online petition,
2. Tweet at various politicians and the French Embassies and Consuls with the hashtag #FreeTariqRamadan
3. Raise awareness of these issues on your social media.
4. Write a note to his family that he, and they, are in your duas. https://www.freetariqramadan.com/contact
May Allah help all those who are unjustly targeted and protect them and their families!