Imams, politicians and academics express outrage at Tariq Ramadan’s treatment

Nearly 100 imams, academics and journalists have written an open letter expressing outrage at Professor Tariq Ramadan’s treatment by the French judiciary.

Ramadan has been held in preventative detention in a French prison and denied bail following allegations of rape to which he vehemently denies.

Incarcerated for over four months, Ramadan’s supporters say he has been denied appropriate treatment for a serious pre-existing medical condition and denied access to his full legal file.

They say French magistrates appeared to ignore the diagnoses of nine physicians that Professor Ramadan suffers from Multiple Sclerosis.

Signatories to the letter include Sheikh Yasir Qadhi, Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, author Karen Armstrong, filmmaker Ken Loach, journalist Peter Oborne, among many others.

Here is the letter in full:


A Worldwide Appeal for Due Process for Tariq Ramadan. After four months of pre-trial detention, Tariq Ramadan’s last appeal for bail has again been denied.

As scholars and politicians from around the world, we write to demand due process for Professor Tariq Ramadan, incarcerated since February 2nd in a French prison.

It is not for us to judge Tariq Ramadan’s guilt or innocence. We fully recognize the rights of the plaintiffs to have their case heard without prejudice and without injury to their honour. But we wish to remind the country that has affirmed the inalienability of human rights and equality of the importance of respect for the principles that ensure the integrity of French justice.

We ask: Why has Mr. Ramadan been denied bail at the preliminary investigative stage although he willingly came for questioning and has given all required guarantees?

Has Mr. Ramadan been granted the equal treatment so prized by France when high-ranking political figures accused of similar offenses continue to enjoy full freedom of movement?

Is there one form of justice for Muslims in France and another for everyone else?

What justifies solitary confinement, limited family visitation rights, the denial of access to his case file and thus to the necessary means of preparing his defense?

Can prosecutors selectively leak information with impunity? Is it standard procedure in France for high-ranking political figures to publicly denigrate someone awaiting a trial?

In short, we respectfully ask, has Mr. Ramadan benefitted from a fair and equitable legal process, one in which he is presumed innocent until proven guilty?

Shaykh Yasir Qadhi was one of the signatories

These are straightforward questions of equal justice. To them we add deep concern for the dignity and humane treatment of all prisoners.

French magistrates have appeared to ignore the diagnoses of nine physicians that Mr. Ramadan suffers from multiple sclerosis, including the chief prison medical authority, who confirmed that his state of health is not compatible with continued incarceration.

Even though Mr. Ramadan suffers from multiple sclerosis and further neurological complications, proper medical treatment has not been provided.

We understand that the defense has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights against undue suffering he has undergone at the hands of the French justice.

We ask our French friends: should it truly come to this?

We, the signatories of this letter, endorse France’s commitment to uphold the values of liberté, égalité et fraternité threatened today around the world.

We trust that your response to our appeal will prove these sentiments to be well placed.


Prof Farid Hafez , Salzburg, Austria

Dr Malika Hamidi, Brussels, Belgium

Dr Yacob Mahi, Brussels, Belgium

Dr Ahmet Alibasic, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Dr Francirosy Campos Barbosa, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Dr Nadia Abu-Zahra, Ottawa, Canada

Charles Taylor, Montreal, Canada

Thomas Woodley, Montreal Canada

Houria Bouteldja, Paris, France

Ismahane Chouder, Paris, France

Dr Sonya Dayan- Herzbrun, Paris, France

Catherine Samary, Paris, France

Dr Hans-Christian Günther, Freiburg, Germany

Professor Dr Anwar Alam, New Delhi, India

Dr Javad Kashani, Tehran, Iran

Professor Mohammad Marandi, Tehran, Iran

Professor Abdulkarim Soroush, Iran

Dr Mohammed Hashas, Rome, Italy

Hamza Piccardo, Italy

Dr Mohammad Abdur Rahman Siddiqi, Tokyo, Japan

Dr Ahmad Sukkar, Beirut, Lebanon

Tengku Ahmad Hazri, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia

Wan Azizah binti Wan Ismail, Malaysia

Professor Dr Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Dr Chandra Muzaffar, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Dr Paul Aarts, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Alexander Fluegel, The Hague, The Netherlands

Dr Ellen van de Bovenkamp, Leiden, The Netherlands

Dr Hamid Aminoddin Barra, Marawi City, The Philippines

Dr Mutaz Al Khatib, Doha, Qatar

Dr Mawahib Bakr, Doha, Qatar

Dr Mohammed Ghaly, Doha, Qatar

Professor Ray Jureidini, Doha, Qatar

Professor Emad El-Din Shahin, Doha, Qatar

Professor Farid Esack, Johannesburg, South Africa

Dr Quraysha Ismail Sooliman, Pretoria, South Africa

Jacques Neirynck, Switzerland

Dr Sami Al- Arian, Istanbul, Turkey

Professor Dr Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, London, UK

Dr Shabbir Akhtar, Oxford, UK

Dr Nadje Al-Ali, London, UK

Dr Arif Anis, London, UK

Dr Walter Armbrust, Oxford, UK

Karen Armstrong, London, UK

Professor Masooda Bano, Oxford, UK

Dr Fanny Bauer-Motti, London, UK

Professor Stephen Chan, London, UK

Dr Stephanie Cronin, Oxford, UK

Professor Robert Gombrich, Oxford, UK

Dr Bilal Hassam, Leeds, UK

Ken Loach, UK

Professor Kalypso Nicolaidis, Oxford, UK

Professor Jørgen S. Nielsen, Birmingham, UK

Dr Homa Katouzian, Oxford, UK

Tanya Cariina Newbury-Smith, Exeter, UK

Dr Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Cambridge, UK

Professor Tariq Modood, Bristol, UK

Professor Ian Neary, Oxford, UK

Peter Oborne, London, UK

Professor Eugene Rogan, Oxford, UK

Dr Behar Sadriu, London, UK

Omar Salha, London, UK

Professor Salman Sayyid, Leeds, UK

Dr Mustapha Sheikh, Leeds, UK

Professor Avi Shlaim, Oxford, UK

Professor Jan Zielonka, Oxford, UK

Dr Khaled Abu-El Fadl, Los Angeles, California, USA

Professor Asma Afsaruddin, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

Dr Ilham AlMahamid, Albany, New York, USA

Ijaz Arif, Roseville, California, USA

Abbas Barzegar, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Dr Hatem Bazian, Berkeley, California, USA

Dr Jonathan Brown, Washington DC, USA

Dr Zahid Bukhari, Frederick, Maryland, USA

Dr Charles Butterworth, Maryland, USA

Salah Eddin Elbakri, Oakland, USA

Professor John Esposito, Washington DC, USA

Dr James H. Faghmous, Stanford, USA

Professor Marianne Farina, Berkeley, California, USA

Dr Alain Gabon, Virginia, USA

Professor Todd Green, Iowa, USA

Dr Ramon Grosfoguel, Berkeley, California, USA

Dr Abdullah bin Hamid Ali, California, USA

Dr Nader Hashemi, Denver, USA

Dr Altaf Husain, Washington, USA

Hussein Khatib, Minnesota, USA

Dalia Mogahed, Washington, USA

Dr Aasim Padela, Chicago, USA

Muslema Purmul, California, USA

Dr Yasir Qadhi, Memphis, TN, USA

Professor Robert Shedinger, Iowa, USA

Dr Ahmad Sheikh, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, USA

Dr Amina Wadud, Berkeley, California, USA

Hamza Yusuf, Berkeley, California, USA

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