Tariq Ramadan was asking his female admirers to contact him after writing his phone number in his books at signing events
In 2010, the blog Bruxellois, non peut-être maintained by Khalil Bernoussi in Brussels was shut down after his web service provider was pressured by Tariq Ramadan. At the time, Bernoussi was criticizing Ramadan’s ideas and he had been relaying anonymous testimonies by several women who claimed to have been sexually assaulted by him.
For many years, Marie-Cécile Royen has been covering the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Belgium for Le Vif / L’Express, the main French-language weekly magazine in the country. Recently, she interviewed Bernoussi. She asked him to describe the technique used by Ramadan to meet all these women in Belgium.
Le Vif / L’Express: “[Translation] Tariq Ramadan was very often in Brussels, particularly at Saint-Louis [University] where the Muslim Presence’s conferences were taking place. There were lots of people. [Tariq Ramadan’s] technique at book signing sessions was to write ‘contact me’ beside his phone number in the book. Nadia had the book… That’s how she contacted him. At first, the girls did not know each other. To each of them, he would say that he was not married anymore, that he was looking for a real woman, a Muslim woman for life, and that he had found that in them… When they met him, they were hypnotized.”
While awaiting his trial for rape in France, Tariq Ramadan has been detained at the Fleury-Mérogis jail since February 2, 2018. French authorities have refused him a bail for fear that he could leave the country. Other women have also accused him of rape in Belgium, in Switzerland and in the U.S.
In Switzerland, Tariq Ramadan has been accused of raping several non-Muslim students (often minor) to whom he taught at a Swiss college in the eighties and nineties. Although Ramadan cannot be prosecuted for these actions given the time limitation, several Swiss personalities have asked for an investigation that would determine why the government and its agencies were unable to protect Ramadan’s students given the complaints at the time.
Muslim Presence (Présence Musulmane)
Muslim Presence’s bases of operations in the world, as they were presented on the organization’s website in 2011. Right, a picture of Tariq Ramadan taken during an activity in the Ivory Coast in 2010.
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Tariq Ramadan founded the organization Muslim Presence (Présence Musulmane) in 1996 in France. According to cofounder Yamin Makri, also a close supporter of Ramadan against the women who accuse him of sexual assault, Muslim Presence was initially set up to target the Francophonie, the French-speaking countries. Later, it set up an English-language website and organized activities in English Canada. In 2010, the organization’s website described Muslim Presence as “a group of Muslim citizens who follow the ideas of Tariq Ramadan.”
In Africa, Muslim Presence was partnering with CIMEF (Colloque international des musulmans de l’espace francophone). Of all the substructures once linked with Muslim Presence, this is the only one still active. Tariq Ramadan was listed as a member of CIMEF’s steering body from 2010 to 2015.
In August 2017, Tariq Ramadan announced an activity jointly organized by the Africa-based CIMEF and the Qatar-based Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics, of which he is still officially the Executive Director.
From 2004 to 2010, Tariq Ramadan was banned from entering the U.S. after it was revealed that he had contributed to the Swiss collector of the terrorist organization Hamas. Ramadan’s status changed in the U.S. after the election of Barack Obama.
During the U.S. ban, the organization Muslim Presence played an important role to help Ramadan maintain his presence in North America. While he was banned by U.S. authorities, Ramadan was advising the Canadian government. This was revealed by Gregory Baum (1923-2017), a Theology professor at McGill University (Montreal) and a close ally of Ramadan. In his book The Theology of Tariq Ramadan (Note 10), Baum wrote that “In Canada, Ramadan has been consulted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs […] and the Ottawa Police Department.”
The closeness between Tariq Ramadan’s Muslim Presence organization and the Ottawa Police Department (OPD) was such that, in 2005, when a group of British police officers led by Norman Brennan criticized the country’s police chiefs for inviting Tariq Ramadan to talk about the radicalization of Muslim youth at a conference in London, Muslim Presence and the Ottawa Police Department submitted a joint letter to the Guardian to defend Tariq Ramadan and make sure that the scheduled conference would take place in London.
Point de Bascule has dedicated a file to the organization Muslim Presence.
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