The Paris prosecutor’s office opened an investigation on Monday of death threats against the satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo, over a cartoon of the Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, who faces rape allegations.
The investigation was opened against “written death threats” and “public praise for a terrorist act,”
The magazine depicted Ramadan with with an explicit pose in its edition last Wednesday, with the caption: “I am the sixth pillar of Islam.”
The Swiss academic, an Oxford professor and conservative Islamic intellectual, has been accused in France of rape by two women.
Ramadan, 55, has denied the accusations as a “campaign of lies launched by my adversaries”.
“Rape,” reads the caption on Charlie Hebdo’s cover. “The defense of Tariq Ramadan.”
Laurent “Riss” Sourisseau, the magazine’s editor, said the threats and hate mail had “never really stopped” after the January 2015 jihadist attack in which 12 people were gunned down at its offices.
“Sometimes there are peaks when we receive explicit death threats on social media — this has been the case once again,” he said.
“It’s always difficult to know if these are serious threats or not, but as a principle, we take them seriously and press charges.”