Below is Oumma.com’s official statement on the Tariq Ramadan affair:
“Nearly seismic, the emotional shockwave provoked by the ‘Ramadan affair’ has undeniably shaken the European Muslim community in the diversity of its components – in France, in Switzerland and in neighboring countries – the recent detention of the Geneva-based Islamic theologian, followed by his incarceration in Fleury-Mérogis on February 2, have come as aftershocks.
Faced with the media’s impact on the serious ‘rape’ cases that are extremely complex, delicate, of a such a scale that three examining magistrates were assigned, and surrounded by certain grey areas, our site Oumma, guided by the duty of objectivity and the search for truth, has strived since the beginning to be as fair, transparent and thorough as possible.
Conscious of our responsibility, particularly as the premier news and debate site for Francophone Islam, mindful of the plurality of opinions and analyses, by those who are concerned by the downfall of a mythic figure and those who point to injustice, without forgetting those that feel that Tariq Ramadan never represented them, we are committed to reporting on any developments in the case.
Respectful of the presumption of innocence from which Tariq Ramadan benefits and of the plaintiffs’ statements, all the while maintaining faith in the French justice system to fairly disentangle the true from the false, we deeply regret that some preachers and activists exploit this terrible affair for careerist purposes.
These divisive figures, under the guise of defending the theologian, take advantage of the spotlight to lecture those who, in their opinion, do not unconditionally defend the accused. Journalistic ethics, be damned!
Our site would like to tell these spiritual advisors that French Islam does not need a leader and that, on the contrary, it would infantilize French citizens of the Muslim faith to believe that they are waiting on a providential man to think, live and breath for them in 2018.
Muslim citizens who, it must be remembered, are not a monolithic block, are sufficiently intellectually armed to form their own opinions.
French Islam needs better structured representative bodies, led by men and women who are competent, trustworthy, attentive to the needs of their co-religionists and in tune with their times, able to think independently from any political-religious ideology, rather than egocentric and tyrannical gurus.
As long as we continue to refer to the ‘Ramadan affair,’ our site will make a point of relaying information in the fairest way possible.
We will not ignore the developments, the theatrics and the flaws, whichever party they benefit, and we will continue to offer a space for Tariq Ramadan’s defenders and critics, who each offer different perspectives.
The Oumma Team.”