Tariq Ramadan, Long the Civilized Face of European Islamism, Now Faces Multiple Allegations of Sexual Abuse

Feb. 13 2018

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein affair in the U.S., a French journalist encouraged her countrywomen to denounce the men who had mistreated them. Soon thereafter, several women, most of them Muslim, accused the Swiss political philosopher Tariq Ramadan of rape and battery. He has since been charged with two counts of rape by a French court. Dominic Green comments:

Tariq Ramadan is . . . not just an Oxford professor and sought-after lecturer and talking head. He is . . . the most visible proselytizer for radical European Islam. Since the early 1990s, he has positioned himself as a one-man peacekeeping force in the clash of civilizations, performing a kind of shuttle diplomacy between Western liberalism and Islamism.

As the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ramadan possesses hereditary legitimacy. He is a prince of Islamism. But, born and educated in multilingual Geneva, he is also a European. He trims his beard short and wears Armani suits. He fluently discusses the crisis of Christianity in Dostoyevsky and Nietzsche. He speaks the language of natural rights and citizenship and insists that Europe’s secular universalism is compatible with the theological universalism of Islamic tradition.

The tensions and contradictions in Ramadan’s public persona are more than philosophical. He has counseled Tony Blair and the European Union on the harmony of Islamic and Western values. But he aligns Islam with “resistance”—with anti-capitalism, anti-Americanism, and anti-Zionism, a message that has long endeared him to the French left. . . .

Ramadan also denies that he is a conduit for terrorist recruitment, but his romantic patter to “Christelle”—[a physically disabled woman who has credibly claimed he raped and beat her, and won’t use her real name for fear of retaliation]—included sweet nothings like “Are you ready to fight for Allah, and for your brothers and sisters in Palestine?” . . .

Ramadan’s defense against the charges of being a fork-tongued fundamentalist—speaking one language in public and another in private—has always been that his character is as ethically consistent as his philosophical statements. He made himself into a test case. Now his character is on trial and, along with it, the characters of his Islamist associates and his left-wing European supporters.

Welcome to Mosaic

Register now to get two more stories free

Register Now

Already a subscriber? Sign in now

Read more at Weekly Standard

More about: European Islam, France, Islamism, Muslim Brotherhood, Politics & Current Affairs, Sexual ethics, Tariq Ramadan

 

To Today’s Cosmopolitan and “Oikophobic” Left, Israel Can Never Be Acceptable

Aug. 23 2019

On the day the Knesset passed its nation-state law last year, Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed, “This is our state—the Jewish state. . . . This is our nation, language, and flag.” This declaration, argues Wiliam Voegeli, points precisely to what the American left finds so unpalatable about Israel:

Sign up to read more

You've read all your free articles for this month

Register

Sign up now for unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Already have an account? Log in now

Read more at Claremont Review of Books

More about: Anti-Zionism, Leftism, Nation-State Law, Nationalism