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:


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    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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