The latest outrage about Tariq Ramadan has nothing to do with sex: “Did Tariq Ramadan Lie About His University Credentials?, by Sarah Mills, Conatus News, March 10, 2018:
Currently awaiting trial for his sexual misconduct, the French-Swiss Muslim intellectual is alleged to have ‘usurped’ [i.e., made up] his University of Fribourg credentials. According to French news magazine Le Point and Swiss magazine Le Temps, as well as Dutch outlet TPO, Ramadan presented himself as Professor of Philosophy and Islamic Studies at the University of Fribourg when he was not, in fact, in possession of these titles.
On November 13, 2003, on the French TV program 100 minutes pour convaincre, on which political figures and journalists would discuss and debate their perspectives on current events and social issues, host Olivier Mazerolle presented Ramadan as Professor of ‘Islamic studies at the University of Geneva and Philosophy at the University of Fribourg’ [information which could only have come from Ramadan himself].
Ramadan went on to publish an article in Le Monde on the theme he had proposed previously on the show – a call for a moratorium on the application of sharia law in the Muslim world – signing it as Professor of Philosophy and Islamic Studies at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). [Note that Ramadan promoted himself to being a Professor not just of Philosophy, but of Islamic Studies as well, at Fribourg] Did he wish to lend weight and authority to his document? At the time of his signing the article, Le Point reports, Ramadan did not hold these credentials, as evinced by the University’s response to a demand for an explanation by Xavier Ganioz, Vice-President of the Socialist Party of Fribourg, as to how Ramadan came to be associated with it.
The rector of the university has since confirmed that Ramadan, indeed, was neither professor nor assistant at the institution – he would offer one-hour lectures on Islam, once a week. It is now being reported also that five female students filed a complaint of sexual assault against him after the single course. [N.B. These five students are not to be confused with the four Swiss high school students, all underage when Ramadan, their teacher at the time, attempted to sexually assault them] The rector added that the university was not responsible for the academic titles attributed to Ramadan after he left in 2004. In 2005, however, Ramadan would continue to present himself in Le Monde as professor. This, despite the fact that his alleged doctorate studies were fraught with controversy.
An Arab world specialist and former dean in the Faculty of Languages at the University of Geneva, Charles Genequand, had rejected Ramadan’s thesis on Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Ramadan’s grandfather, whom Ramadan tried to make out as a sort of ‘Muslim Gandhi’. The dean had few charitable words for his former student, calling him a ‘pseudo-intellectual’ and a ‘vain opportunist’ whose ideas on Islam were ‘backwards.’”
According to a source, Genequand explained that Ramadan even refused to make corrections to his thesis, going so far as to harass and threaten the university in the case he was not awarded his doctorate. Professor Emeritus at the New Sorbonne University, Ali Merad, recalled that Ramadan threatened him with malicious complaints if he did not get his doctorate, and the academic has described how he had never seen a student behave that way in 40 years”.…
Ahmed Benani, political scientist and anthropologist at the University of Lausanne claims Tariq Ramadan to be little more than a ‘television star’, asking, ‘Where is his academic body of work? Not one researcher…has ever taken him seriously”. His opinions have brought the wrath of Ramadan’s followers against him, and Benani claims that even three words of opposition to Ramadan are liable to incur online hate. Political scientist, sociologist, and Islamic and Arab world specialist Gilles Kepel has expressed a similarly less than favourable opinion of Ramadan, whom he considers neither an academic nor a colleague….
A wicked, depraved, violent sexual criminal, a cruel rapist who delighted in his own cruelty and in the humiliating acts he forced so many women to engage in, a blackmailer, who even threatened to harm the children of one of his victims — yes, that’s part of the Tariq Ramadan story.
Let’s not overlook Tariq Ramadan’s other side, as the quiet scholar and deep thinker, that has led to so many accolades as “Europe’s greatest Muslim scholar,” “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,” this “towering intellect.”
No, let’s keep that praise in mind as we go over again — or as some would rebarbatively say, “try to process” — what we’ve just learned about our soi-disant scholar and thinker, Tariq Ramadan.
Until now, we did not know that he had threatened professors who wanted to reject his doctoral thesis, written about his grandfather Hassan al-Banna, whom Ramadan had “tried to make out as a sort of Muslim Gandhi.” Nor did we know that Ramadan not only refused to make corrections to his thesis, but “harassed and threatened the university in case he was not awarded his doctorate.” Professor Charles Genequand, an Arab world specialist and former dean in the Faculty of Languages at the University of Geneva, who had first rejected Ramadan’s thesis, calls his former student a “pseudo-intellectual” and a “vain opportunist” whose ideas on Islam were “backwards.” That is borne out by his pseudo-profundities on Twitter.
Another professor, Ali Merad, recalled that Ramadan similarly threatened him with “malicious complaints” if he did not get his doctorate. Merad said that he had never seen a student behave that way in 40 years. Still another professor, Ahmad Benani, like Merad a Muslim, regarded Ramadan merely as a “television star,” asking “Where is his academic body of work? Not one researcher…has ever taken him seriously.”
There may be something, somewhere, about Tariq Ramadan that does not fill one with contempt, disgust, and rage. But I have yet to find it. Perhaps you will have better luck.