Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Khaled Abou El Fadl's Defense of Tariq Ramadan

Khaled Abou el Fadl is a professor of Islamic law and Islamic studies at UCLA and Muslim activist. His op-eds appear often in the LA Times, usually crying about discrimination against Muslims. So it is hardly surprising that this week, he has an op-ed in Al Jazeera decrying the treatment that Muslim philosopher Tariq Ramadan is getting at the hands of French justice. Ramadan, who is Swiss-born and the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder, Hassan al Banna, sits in a French prison awaiting charges of rape brought upon by two women. (A third case has been dismissed.)

In the below op-ed, Fadl argues that Ramadan's rights are being deprived because he is in pre-trial detention.

Looking at most of Fadl's arguments, he seems to forget that Ramadan is subject to French law here, not American law. If Fadl is truly a law professor worth his salt, then he surely knows that one cannot insist upon defendant's rights in one country being applied in another country. Without attempting to convict Ramadan here, he is accused of serious crimes, and the French court is concerned that the Swiss citizen, who was working as a professor at Oxford and travels the world, might attempt to flee French justice. Perhaps, they recall that none other than Roman Polanski fled US justice on statutory rape charges (and conviction) decades ago and found refuge in France, where he is a citizen. In addition, the French court also  cited its belief that Ramadan posed a risk of re-offending, which is conveniently overlooked by Fadl.

Here is the reportage on the issue from L'Express dated February 7, 2018. (Translation by Fousesquawk.)

"Au coeur de cette décision: la nécessité de protéger les victimes d'éventuelles pressions et la garantie que le théologien de 55 ans, qui dispose d'un double passeport suisse et égyptien, reste à la disposition de la justice." 

At the heart of this decision: The necessity to protect the victims from possible pressures and the guarantee that the 55-year-old theologian, who has access to dual Swiss- Egyptian passports, remains at the disposition of justice.

Ramadan has been accused by multiple women, and at least one claims she has been assaulted and threatened as a result of her complaint. Witness intimidation may also be a factor in holding Ramadan in pre-trial confinement. As for his multiple sclerosis, there is no reason why he cannot be treated for his condition in prison, which he is.

As to Fadl's charges that European Muslims are the victims of the legal system in European countries, That is laughable. The plain fact is that Muslims are getting ridiculously lenient treatment by the police and courts for serious crimes such as rape and deadly assaults. It is the Europeans who are intimidated by its restive Muslim population.

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