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Ian Hamel cleared by Swiss justice of accusations of “defamation and slander” made by Tariq Ramadan

25 February 2021 News   26013  

On January 30, 2019, Tariq Ramadan filed a complaint against our colleague Ian Hamel, for “defamation” and “slander”, following the publication of an article published on November 26, 2018 on the website of the magazine Le Point, entitled “The Geneva government confirms the charges against Tariq Ramadan ”. The text was a synthesis of a report commissioned by the Council of State (the government) of Geneva on the behavior of the preacher when he was a teacher in a college in Switzerland between 1984 and 2004. The report confirmed the accusations against Tariq Ramadan in the Swiss press, namely that he was suspected of having had sexual relations with some of his students. On January 21, 2021, an order for the filing of this complaint was issued by Olivier Jornot, Attorney General of the Canton of Geneva, thus clearing our colleague of the accusations of “defamation” and “slander” made against him by the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The filing of a complaint by Tariq Ramadan does not normally constitute sufficiently interesting information to merit an article. Indeed, the grandson  of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, systematically lodges complaints against all women who accuse him of rape. So far, to no avail. In June 2018, the author of “Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation” had already filed a complaint against Ian Hamel. He reproached him for having written in Le Point that he had obtained his doctorate from the University of Geneva by threatening various members of the jury evaluating his thesis. On two occasions he had been dismissed by the Geneva Court of Justice. This failure did not discourage him from pursuing his legal career.

“Sexual Touching”

It was while reading the book “Duty of Truth”, published on 11 September 2019 by Tariq Ramadan, that Ian Hamel learned that Ramadan had once again filed a criminal complaint against him, for “defamation and slander”, regarding his article of 26 November 2018. In his letter to the public prosecutor in Geneva, from Saint-Julien-en-Genevois (a French commune in Haute-Savoie, on the border with Switzerland), the preacher assured that the “allegations [of Ian Hamel] are in total contradiction with the content of the Council of State’s report”. To put it plainly, he claimed that this 32-page report, written by two former magistrates, exonerated him completely.

However, on page 7 of the report, a former student testifies: “He [Tariq Ramadan] picked her up in his car, insisted that she sit in the front passenger seat and almost immediately put his right hand on her left thigh, while making inappropriate and intrusive advances. Still on page 7, referring to another former student: “Shortly before Christmas 1988, Tariq Ramadan disturbed her with his intimate remarks (…) On the way, he stopped in an isolated car park, kissed her and touched her sexually. The same scenario was repeated one evening before the summer holidays.”

65 articles quote the Geneva report

The article published on Le Point’s website is exactly the same as all the publications published in Switzerland, France and the rest of the world. “Switzerland: a report unveils testimonies of students abused by Tariq Ramadan”, headline in Le Figaro on 29 November 2018. For the English edition of the website of Al Arabiya TV; “Geneva confirms sexual abuse accusations against Tariq Ramadan”.

To this, the preacher gives an explanation: “All the French media have repeated Ian Hamel’s allegations, without of course taking the time to read the document in question or to check the facts, not hesitating to disguise them with force of rash headlines”. Tariq Ramadan even assures that “No less than 65 articles, in the French and international media, have relayed the false information contained in this article which presented itself as “a scoop”. However, Ian Hamel’s article was certainly not a scoop, inasmuch as the report in question was available on the Geneva government’s website!

As early as 22 November 2018, Radio Lac in Geneva ran the headline: “Breaches pointed at in the Ramadan affair in Geneva”. The radio site wrote that Tariq Ramadan “tried to seduce one of his14-year-old student without success and managed to have sexual relations with the three other students aged between 15 and 18 years old”.

Following Tariq Ramadan’s complaint, Ian Hamel was heard by Olivier Jornot, the public prosecutor of Geneva, on 13 March 2020, in the presence of a lawyer from Le Point. The same day, Tariq Ramadan published a press release claiming that our colleague had been indicted for “slander, even defamation”. He claimed that Ian Hamel had been unable “to quote a passage from the report that justified the false content of his article”.

Since then, Tariq Ramadan’s entourage has posted dozens of articles and hundreds of Tweets on social networks relaying these false accusations. On the “Réveil Citoyen” website, it is even stated that in 2007 I threatened to “kill” Tariq Ramadan ! Still as elegant as ever “Chadi Ardelesse” wrote on 22 March 2020: “Internet user: Fake news! The scoundrel journalist IAN Hamel is already under examination for lying about Professor Tariq Ramadan”.

On the other hand, the preacher never filed a complaint against Ian Hamel’s book “Tariq Ramadan: Story of a Sham”, published in January 2020. However, the book is 475 pages long and is largely based on the report of the Council of State of Geneva.

On 9 November 2020, the public prosecutor announced that an order to close the case would soon be issued. This order was issued on 21 January 2021, exonerating our colleague of the charges of “defamation” and “slander”. As usual, Tariq Ramadan appealed against this order of closure.