'Muslim Martin Luther' Tariq Ramadan Says His Rape Charges Are 'Political Set-Up to Neutralize the Muslims'

The old playbook again: when caught in wrongdoing, play the victim.

Ever the victim, no matter what. The West’s great hope for Islamic reform, Tariq Ramadan, has been accused by several women now of violent rapes. In a video he recently uploaded, he acknowledges some nebulous wrongdoing, but then claims that the accusations against him are all an attempt to discredit him, and thereby to “neutralize the Muslims.” It’s the same old victimhood paranoia we see from Islamic supremacists whenever they’re accused of any wrongdoing at all.

“We have to be clear,” Ramadan said, “that there is discrimination, stigmatization, racism that is at stake in the whole issue.” Of course! What else could multiple rape charges against him possibly be? He goes on: “And I was a symbol. To destroy me meant, let the people understand: If you want to be vocal you have to face the reality. It happened to Tariq Ramadan now, it could happen to anyone in the future.”

Anyone who is allegedly a violent rapist, sure. RFI reported Thursday that “the prominent Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan has been formally charged with raping two more women, adding to two existing charges of rape. The charges were pronounced on Thursday at the end of a court hearing in Paris….Supporters of Ramadan, who is a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at Oxford’s St. Anthony’s College, have called the accusations against him part of a ‘international Zionist plot’ to blacken his name.”

Ah yes, the Jews. Of course! It couldn’t be that a cosseted Muslim academic, hailed and feted all over Europe and the United States despite the abject vacuity and sinister disingenuousness of his thought, began to indulge his worst impulses, now, could it? He couldn’t have been tempted to do so when it became clear that, in light of his value to Western authorities as a “moderate Muslim” who seemed to prop up their fantasies about the jihad threat, he would be allowed to get away with virtually anything – could he?

“Virtually anything” is actually an understatement. The allegations against Ramadan are particularly revolting; if they are true, he is a monstrous sadist. One of his accusers said he subjected her to “blows to the face and body, forced sodomy, rape with an object and various humiliations, including being dragged by the hair to the bathtub and urinated on.”

His sadism, however, appears to be, if the allegations are true, closely intertwined with his celebrated Islamic piety: another one of his accusers said he told her he was raping her because she didn’t wear a hijab.

He would have gotten away with it all, being just too valuable for the Western political and media elites, if it hadn’t been for the #MeToo movement. The problems arose for Ramadan only in 2017, when that movement began to gather steam and his accusers started to come forward, at which point the great reformer’s statements in response were decidedly unsatisfactory. “His last hearing,” RFI notes, “dates back to 2018 when he stunned the public by admitting to ‘consensual’ sex with his accusers, months after denying he had had no sexual contact with them.”

Since then, Ramadan has claimed to be suffering from multiple sclerosis, and has been freed on bail. He claims he will not flee France to escape justice, but we shall see. He has to hand over his passport, but that is not an insurmountable obstacle. The accusations are extremely serious, and the case is being investigated in an atmosphere of Muslim Brotherhood thuggery (Ramadan is the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hasan al-Banna): one of his accusers has already been beaten and threatened.

Indeed, it wouldn’t be at all surprising, given his connections to all varieties of powerful people, if Ramadan were cleared of all the charges. If this happens, it would be in keeping with the duplicity that has characterized his entire career. French journalist Caroline Fourest’s illuminating book Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan concludes that this much-lionized putative “Muslim Martin Luther” is actually anything but a reformer: in reality, Ramadan is “remaining scrupulously faithful to the strategy mapped out by his grandfather, a strategy of advance stage by stage” toward the imposition of Islamic law in the West.

Ramadan, she explains, in his public lectures and writings invests words like “law” and “democracy” with subtle and carefully crafted new definitions, permitting him to engage in “an apparently inoffensive discourse while remaining faithful to an eminently Islamist message and without having to lie overtly — at least not in his eyes.” Ramadan, she said, “may have an influence on young Islamists and constitute a factor of incitement that could lead them to join the partisans of violence.”

Fourest was also the first to reveal, back in 2017, long before these new charges were levied, that Ramadan had at least four other victims besides the first woman who came forward, Henda Ayari. “A request for religious advice turned into a compulsive sexual relationship, sometimes consented to, often violent and very humiliating, before ending in threats.”

Fourest had evidence. “I presented it to a judge. But Tariq Ramadan scared him too much…. I am well-placed to know the violence of the networks of the Muslim Brotherhood when one stands up to ‘brother Tariq.’”

Those violent networks may yet prevail. “It was a plot,” Ramadan insists. “It was a political set up. And this could happen to anyone.” The worst part of this duplicitous whining is that there are hordes of deluded Leftists who will fall for it.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 19 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

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Photo by Romina Santarelli / Ministerio de Cultura de la Nación.


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