In a significant turn of events, a prominent Muslim scholar has been exonerated of false accusations of rape and sexual assault by a Swiss court on Wednesday. Tariq Ramadan, a renowned former professor of contemporary Islamic studies at St. Antony’s College and the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford, has expressed his satisfaction with the judgment.
Professor Ramadan took to social media to release a statement yesterday, where he remarked, “Today, Swiss justice has not only acknowledged my innocence but also affirmed that I had been truthful (as there was no relationship with the complainant), that no aggression took place, and that it was actually the complainant who attempted to initiate contact and seduce me (as evidenced by the messages discovered).”
He further clarified, “The President of the Court acknowledged that there was no ‘psychological grip’ since I had no knowledge of this woman, and I always maintained a considerable distance.”
In his statement, Professor Ramadan, a 60-year-old individual of Egyptian heritage and the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hasan al-Banna, also shed light on the connection between the Swiss criminal allegations against him and the French cases.
In a damning revelation, he stated, “The Geneva case exposed the fact that the Swiss complainant had been in contact with the individuals involved in the French case. The names of the three French complainants appeared in the proceedings, along with that of a witness who presented a forgery.”
“The President of the Court recognised that the Swiss plaintiff had been in touch with individuals who had sought to tarnish my reputation for over fifteen years. He cited Caroline Fourest and Jean-Claude Elfassi as examples of people who had been in contact with the complainants for an extended period. This was a deliberate attempt to defame me and gain financial benefits,” Professor Ramadan added.
With the Wednesday acquittal, this marks the conclusion of a distressing period filled with baseless accusations and personal anguish for the Islamic scholar. During the trial, he revealed that he is living with multiple sclerosis (MS).
While expressing his gratitude to his family and the legal teams in both Switzerland and France, Professor Ramadan criticised media organisations for their role in misrepresenting him as a “predator” and an “aggressor.”
Born in Switzerland in 1962 to parents Said Ramadan and Wafa al-Banna, who were both Islamic activists, he comes from a family with a rich background. Professor Ramadan, who is fluent in English, Arabic, French, and Spanish, has dedicated his life to promoting interfaith dialogue. He possesses impressive academic qualifications, including a Masters in French literature and a PhD in Arabic and Islamic studies.
Currently serving as a visiting professor at Morocco’s Université Mundiapolis and previously holding the same position at Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar, Ramadan also contributes as a senior research fellow at Japan’s prestigious Doshisha University.
The acquittal has brought relief and vindication to Tariq Ramadan, allowing him to move forward from this challenging chapter in his life.