Prominent Swiss Islamic Scholar Referred to Trial on Rape of Three Women, Paris, France

Today, the Paris, France Court of Appeal has ruled that prominent Islamic scholar and Swiss national Tariq Ramadan be referred for criminal trial over the rape of three women. This is the same man who was acquitted of a rape charge in 2023.

On January 31st, 2018 Ramadan was taken into custody and charged with two counts of rape, after a flurry of women had accused him since October 2017 of various incidents dating back to 2008. While in custody, two more women came forward with credible allegations of tape. By June 2018, Ramadan had admitted to five extramarital affairs and was held in prison on two credible rape charges. By February 2020 Ramadan was charged with raping two more women, bringing the total number to four charges. However, in May 2023, he was acquitted of one charge, leaving three on the table.

Today,  those three cases have been forwarded for criminal trial.

Ramadan has made several arguments comparing his case to the Dreyfus Affair, alleging state racism against him because he is a Muslim. His attorneys have also claimed his declining health should prevent a trial as he has been battling multiple sclerosis since being imprisoned in 2018.

The outcome of this trial is sure to spark an intense backlash from the Islamic community in France if he is convicted. Scholarly critics have accused him of blatant antisemitism and radicalism, but he denies any connection to terrorism.

Tariq Ramadan in 2017. Credit: Irfan Kottaparamban