Following Tariq Ramadan’s detention in France, many of his supporters have taken to social media to voice their support. Most recently, his wife Iman Ramadan posted a video online, stating: “I think that Tariq has been judged to be guilty since the beginning…The picture that’s been painted [of him] does not reflect what I know of him, what his family knows.”
Iman Ramadan’s statement is surprising, given that she rarely appears on camera. By doing so, she immediately became the face of the FreeTariq Campaign, which launched at the beginning of February.
Most notably, the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (Collectif contre l’islamophobie en France, CCIF) posted Iman’s video on its site along with a brief statement: “In a State of law, it’s time that the justice system resumes its course against media pressure and operates in impartiality, fairness, and dignity.”
The CCIF previously posted a longer statement on its website before deleting it less than a day later. The statement read: “To denounce all forms of sexual violence and the painful silence in which the victims live is not an Islamophobic act. To use the reality of this violence to make a selective, essentialist and stigmatizing reading [of the issue] based on the origin or religious adherence of people, the moment they are Muslim, [that is].” The CCIF also denounced a “two-tiered justice system.”
“Consequently, we ask that the justice system resumes its course and functions in transparent and impartial conditions, that Tariq Ramadan is freed and that his family can see him, in order to guarantee his right to a fair and impartial trial…And if Tariq Ramadan were innocent and, by blindness or persecution, we damaged the expression of this truth, we would have not only worked to destroy him and his family, but we would have also dealt a decisive blow to justice. In doing so, Tariq Ramadan would become the unwitting political symbol of a system that derails under Islamophobic pressure.”
Like many other Muslims organizations, the CCIF had been relatively quiet since the accusations against Ramadan emerged at the end of October. The activists Al Kanz and Marwan Muhammad, two figures popular among younger generations, have also spoken out against the theologian’s detention.
Muslims of France (formerly the UOIF, linked to the Muslim Brotherhood), also addressed the topic. The organization has resolutely defended Ramadan, presenting itself as a character witness. “Throughout the decades, Muslims of France has never observed the slightest immorality or contradiction between the values promoted by Tariq Ramadan and his behavior,” the organization said in a recent statement.