Thursday November 23, 2017
For nearly a decade, the militant-secularist French ruling caste has demonized a prominent Islamic academic, Dr. Tariq Ramadan for his principled Islamic position on socio-political matters concerning the Muslims of Europe.
Thus, the socio-political angle of accusations made in French courts against Dr. Ramadan cannot be ignored. For years, Dr. Ramadan has actively struggled against the normalization of Islamophobia in France and Europe in general.
In 2012, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe and Interior Minister Claude Gueant said in a joint statement that Dr. Ramadan’s views “are contrary to the republican spirit and do no service to French Muslims.”
Dr. Ramadan also had several public disagreements with the former French President, Nicholas Sarkozy, who is known for his Islamophobic and xenophobic views.
Dr. Ramadan is no stranger to political pressure. In 2009, Erasmus University dismissed him from his academic position saying that his program “Islam & Life” aired on Iran’s Press TV is “irreconcilable” with his duties in Rotterdam.
What is curious about the accusations against Dr. Ramadan is that the first two women who accused him of rape filed their legal cases in French courts. While it is up to proper legal process to announce a clear verdict, the fact that Dr. Ramadan has been publically denounced as a ‘dangerous radical’ by France’s political and media establishment does raise serious concerns regarding the French court’s impartiality in his case.
It would be naïve to expect courts that are made up of state bureaucrats to not have their prejudices against a socially and politically active Muslim public figure. Islamophobia is widespread in France and the aggressive secularist French ruling elite actively contribute to its spread.
Who can guarantee that the judicial bureaucracy in France will disassociate its views about Dr. Ramadan’s Islamic take on critical socio-political issues that are in opposition to the ruling regime?
Dr. Ramadan does not only have powerful political adversaries in France but also within the Muslim Ummah as he is a strong advocate of the “deadly sin”, namely, Sunni-Shia Muslim unity. This factor stacks up many wealthy despotic regimes in the Muslim world with a French connection against him. On numerous occasions, Dr. Ramadan has also called out palace scholars in the Muslim world that provide Islamic cover for despotic regimes.
Apart from the socio-political flaws in regards to Dr. Ramadan’s legal battle in France, there are also some rational inconsistencies in the allegations made against him. Dr. Ramadan is not a politically powerful persona; he is an influential academic who has powerful state adversaries in a country where the crime supposedly took place. Why would a victim be afraid to report him right away? These are matters for the court to consider but for people to reflect on.
When reading rumors in the media regarding accusations made against any person, especially if the accuser is an ideological and social opponent of the accused and declares open hostility to divine legislative sovereignty, it is crucial that Muslims employ Qur’anic media literacy skills. The Qur’an emphatically states:
“O You, Who have made a firm commitment to Allah! If a degenerate person comes to you with some news, verify it lest you unwittingly cause harm to a people and later become remorseful over what you have done.” (Al-Qur’an: Surah 49, Ayat 6).