Tariq Ramadan: The court cases against me are there to “muzzle me”

Tariq Ramadan, who is currently banned from leaving France while court cases against him for sexual assault are still ongoing, has said he believes the proceedings are only there to “muzzle” him.

The Swiss theologian was indicted on February 13 for the rape of two new women having already been pursued in four other sexual assault cases. No criminal charges against him have been proven.

In an interview with the Le Parisien newspaper, Ramadan said he was the victim of “a fierce judicial process.”

“There are five complaints against me, a sixth in Switzerland,” he said. “The complainants lied. Most of these women know each other and are in league with my worst ideological enemies… The first two complainants, who claimed not to know each other, exchanged more than 350 texts with journalist Caroline Fourest (who fiercely opposes Ramadan) six months before and after the complaint.

“Paparazzi Jean-Claude Elfassi (who also opposes Ramadan) is in contact with at least five complainants, which proves the existence of a plot. But the judges do not consider this. Is it normal that after 28 months of investigation no investigation has been carried out on this point?”

Ramadan was released from prison in November 2018 but still has to report to the French police once a week while investigations are ongoing.

He has long been demonised by French mainstream media and politicians as an “Islamic extremist” due to his strident criticism of French Islamophobia and foreign policy.

“These two women come out of the woods in September 2019,” he said. “Until my interrogation last February, no investigation was carried out. And I was indicted on February 13 without any investigation being carried out. One of them said that the relationship was consensual, the other refused to be heard. In addition, we no longer speak of the fourth complainant, and the authorities have already proven that she had invented everything.”

When asked if he was the subject of harassment by the courts because he is Muslim, Ramadan replied: “If I had the same skin colour as you, my case would have been closed without follow-up”

Ramadan was also asked about his extra-marital affairs and if they contradicted his Islamic preachings.

He said: “I accept my contradictions. This behavior should not have happened. And I apologise to those I have disappointed. I have never presented myself as a paragon of virtue, I have always said that I was a human being with weaknesses, vulnerabilities and injuries. Morality is my business, that of my conscience. Like my relationship with Muslims, it is my business; not yours.”

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