by Hugh Fitzgerald
This just in — extry, extry, read all about it — from Al Arabiya, no less, on Tariq Ramadan’s well-deserved calvary:
Organizers of a 2009 conference in Lyon, which has become an important sticking point in the rape charges against Swiss Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, have published evidence [his flight itinerary] that could be damaging to his defense.
The organizer of the Lyon conference was the Union des Jeunes Musulmans, whose members, in publishing that itinerary, have clearly abandoned Ramadan and decided to reveal the truth. And the two women who originally stepped forward to accuse Ramadan of rape are also Muslims. Have these people no loyalty to a fellow Muslim, especially this “great,” “prominent,” “eminent” and “profound” scholar, Tariq Ramadan? Apparently not enough. This must come as a terrific shock to him.
A woman using the pseudonym Christelle has claimed that Ramadan had sexually assaulted her in a French hotel room while Ramadan was in Lyon to speak at the conference.
Christelle reportedly told investigators that the attack happened “in the afternoon” of October 9, 2009, adding that “it was still daylight.”
Attempting to punch holes in her statement, Ramadan’s defense team claimed that he did not land at the Lyon-Saint Exupéry airport on October 9 until 6:35 pm, reaching the Hilton hotel at around 7:30 pm.
Organizers of the conference, which was titled “Living together, Islamophobia and Palestine,” have published Ramadan’s itinerary, which showed that the rape-accused scholar actually arrived at 11:15 am.
The itinerary was sent to Ramadan by the conference organizers – Union Des Jeunes Musulmans (Union of Young Muslims) – after he was invited on September 15, 2009. Initially, Ramadan’s office had requested that the scholar be on the London to Lyon flight that did in fact land at 6:35pm. But his office then sent a second email, according to Le Muslim Post, which requested that Ramadan be on the Madrid to Lyon flight that arrived at 11.15 am.
Ramadan’s itinerary shows that the rape-accused scholar arrived in Lyon at 11.15 am, despite his defense team saying he arrived at 6:35 pm, reaching the Hilton hotel at around 7:30 pm. (Le Muslim Post)
According to the schedule, published by Le Muslim Post, Ramadan was then due to speak at the conference at 5 pm, but he was reported as arriving late – at around 9 pm.
If the published itinerary is accurate, it theoretically allows for several unaccounted hours in his defense’s timeline.
Ramadan has denied raping or having sexual intercourse with Christelle, who is reported to have disability in her legs.
Vanity Fair magazine, which met the woman, said her lawsuit against Ramadan described “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.”
She also revealed that Ramadan had a small scar on his groin that would not have been noticed except in the case of close contact.
Christelle said that she received many SMS messages from Ramadan’s number, including a crucial one on October 10 at 19:29 – the day after the alleged assault – reportedly saying “sorry” for the violence, and also asking: “Do you want more? Not disappointed?”
Ramadan is currently being held in a French prison since February 2 on charges that he raped Christelle and another woman in Paris.
He has been imprisoned at the Fleury-Mérogis prison, south of Paris, as authorities investigate the charges. He could be held in long-term custody while the probe continues.
The Swiss academic, who is a grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna, found fame after writing numerous books on Islam and the integration of Muslims in Europe.”
As a great many people know by now, Tariq Ramadan, “Europe’s foremost Muslim intellectual,” “the great Muslim thinker,” “this prominent theologian,” “this eminent Oxford professor,” “one of the world’s leading Islamic thinkers,” this “profound scholar,” this “great reformer of Islam” (a small sample of the preposterous praise lavished on Ramadan), has been accused publicly by two Muslim women in France of violent sexual assault, including rape, sodomy, beatings, threatening sexual blackmail (making public pornographic emails), and even threatening harm to the children of one of her victims unless she kept quiet. Two other Muslim women in France have accused him of similar violent sexual assaults, but not yet made themselves publicly known.
In Switzerland, four women have accused Ramadan of attempted sexual seduction and assault when he was their high school teacher and they his underage pupils. Finally, still another accuser, this one a Muslim woman in the United States, has just surfaced with her own charges, the details of which have not yet been made public. The hesitancy of some of his victims to come forward is understandable: Ramadan has a large and fanatical following, with two million Facebook friends and 200,000 followers on Twitter. His first accuser, Henda Ayari, having received thousands of death threats from Ramadan’s supporters, now must live under round-the-clock guard. You have to be very angry, and very brave, to accuse someone as powerful and sinister as Tariq Ramadan.
Ramadan was known for decades to the French authorities as a sex addict with a steady stream of women, both admiring girl-groupies and paid ladies, arriving at his various hotel rooms. Bernard Godard, the French government’s “Mr. Islam” at the Ministry of the Interior from 1997 to 2014, described his dissolute existence: “That he had many mistresses, that he consulted sites [presumably, pornographic sites, and sites where call girls could advertise online] that girls were brought to the hotel at the end of his lectures, that he invited them to undress, that some resisted and that he could become violent and aggressive, yes, but I have never heard of rapes, I am stunned.” It is we, of course, who should be “stunned” by the cynicism of the French authorities, who knew all this about Ramadan and did nothing either to warn or stop him, presumably because he was deemed useful as a voice for “Islamic moderation.”
Depraved beyond belief, Tariq Ramadan, this hypocrite lecteur, this monstrous Tartuffe, this trafficker in taqiyya, this peripatetic preacher of a diseased convivencia, padded about Europe, giving lectures on such subjects as “Islamic morality and ethics,” pocketing his fat honoraria, and having his unspeakable way with a succession of girls and women. He remained untouched, seemingly above the law, until accusations were finally made public by Muslim women who, last fall, emboldened by the #MeToo movement, were determined to make Ramadan pay for what he had forced them to endure. They described his assaults in such harrowing detail, that the French judiciary could not ignore them.
Ramadan’s lawyers have tried to discredit the two French Muslim accusers who have so far come forward publicly. Henda Ayari, the first of them, has been carefully depicted by them as a publicity hound, hoping only to increase sales of her book I Chose To Be Free (J’ai choisi d’être libre), in which the salacious details of what she claims was Ramadan’s behavior toward her are set out. They further claim that after her “rape,” she tried to contact Ramadan many times. That’s hardly what a victim would do, they insist, but why not? For if that victim were trying to contact Ramadan in order to confront him, to express her anger, and, quite possibly, to get him to discuss what he had done, so that she might surreptitiously record any such admission, it would make perfect sense.
The lawyers have focussed most of their efforts on the second victim, known as “Christelle,” and her claim that she was attacked in the Hotel Hilton in Lyon on October 9, 2009 during the “afternoon,” when “it was still light out.”
Ramadan’s lawyers pounced on this. They claimed that Ramadan had taken a flight from London, landing in Lyon at 6:35, and he could not have arrived at the hotel until 7:30 at the earliest. And they further claim he was supposed to give his talk at 8:30 p.m. How would it have been possible, they ask, for Ramadan to have found the time to check in at the hotel, then meet with Christelle in the lobby at, say, 7:40, and then to engage her in conversation, persuade her to go to his room, do all the unsavory things to her of which she accuses him, and still be all fresh and ready for his talk at the Union des Jeunes Musulmans at 8:30 p.m?
The answer is: with that London-Lyon flight, landing at 6:35, it would not have been possible. But now we know: that was not the flight Ramadan took.
Ramadan, and his lawyers, have all along been lying (it is possible, though unlikely, that Ramadan lied even to his lawyers) about his flight to Lyon on October 9, 2009. The Muslim group he was to address that night provided French investigators with a copy of Ramadan’s itinerary. It turns out that while he had originally planned to fly to Lyon from London, arriving at 6:35, he changed his travel plans, and he instead flew not from London but from Madrid, on an early flight, and arrived in Lyon at 11:15 a.m., arriving at the Hilton at about 12:20, not 7:30 p.m., as he and his lawyers have been claiming.
And Ramadan also lied, apparently, about the time when he was supposed to give his talk. One of his defense lawyers said he showed up to give his talk, right on time, at 8:30 p.m. But that assertion was misleading. First, Ramadan — according to a member of the Union of Young Muslims — arrived not at 8:30 but around “9 p.m.” to speak. And as we now know, from the latest revelations from the Union of Young Muslims, Ramadan had been scheduled to give his talk at 5 p.m. He thus showed up not a half-hour late, but four hours late to his own talk. And neither Ramadan, nor his lawyers, has given an explanation for this.
It has now been firmly established, despite the steady stillicide of lies from Tariq Ramadan and his lawyers (unless, I repeat, he has lied even to them), and his Facebook friends, that he arrived in Lyon at 11:15, and showed up to give his scheduled 5 p.m. talk at 9 p.m., which gave him almost eight hours of free time, much of it was when, as Christelle testified, “it was still light out,” to engage in his afternoon’s chosen entertainment of rape, sodomy, insertion of various objects in various orifices, and dragging his helpless victim by her hair to the bathtub in order, as a special tariqian treat, to urinate on her.
And that is how Tariq Ramadan raised his serotonin level and put himself in just the right mood to address his adoring young Muslim fans at 9 p.m. They even chanted: “Even when he’s a bit late, Ramadan is worth the wait.” (No, they didn’t — but they might have). The theme of the conference was “Living together, Islamophobia and Palestine.” I’m guessing he declared himself appalled at Islamophobia, shed a ready tear for the poor “Palestinians,” and proclaimed his endorsement of “living together,” that is, a generous willingness of moderates like himself to share Europe with Europeans. The mediagenic Ramadan does not disappoint, and whatever he speaks on, he always delivers something uplifting, inspiring, even ennobling. But you’d expect nothing less, from the man whom TIME magazine once declared to be one of the “50 most influential people on the planet,” and who has rightly been called — in case you’ve forgotten — “Europe’s foremost Muslim intellectual,” “a profound scholar,” “a great Muslim thinker,” “a prominent theologian,” “an eminent Oxford professor,” and “one of the world’s leading Islamic thinkers.”
First published in Jihad Watch.
But did he offend against Islamic ethics?