With permission, we republish here a kind letter received by Dr. Abou El Fadl in response to the Tariq Ramadan writings.
July 31, 2018
Dear Dr. El Fadl:
I am forwarding the letter I sent to OpenDemocracy today about comments I made on your article about Tariq Ramadan, which I believe may have prompted the editors to edit your article by removing references about his accusers. I regret defending those women. Sorry, I hope you put back your article on your own website too.
Dear Open Democracy:
I am writing with regard to an article published by Dr. Abou El Fadl regarding Dr. Tariq Ramadan's incarceration in France on alleged rape charges. The article was taken down after I, under a pseudonym (Hamrah), posted comments chastising Dr. El Fadl for discussing the victim's association with Islamophobes and it being irrelevant. An editor at OpenDemocracy edited the article to exclude references to the victims. But Dr. El Fadl didn't want it edited so he just took it down.
I regret making those comments because I actually started following one of the accusers on twitter (Henda Ayari) and she followed me back because I defended her, but then I started translating her tweets from French to English and I was shocked at how vitriolic she is toward any religious Muslim. Her supporters are mostly right-wing Islamophobes who seem focused on Tariq Ramadan being put behind bars because of his alleged "Muslim Brotherhood ties" rather than regarding any rape charges against him. Henda also keeps making references to Tariq Ramadan and his supporters being "Islamists" and how Islamists' speech and activities must be dealt with by the government. She stops short of saying they should get the death penalty.
I started reading more articles online on the matter and I now see why Dr. El Fadl wrote what he wrote. It is very plausible that these women could be lying and only doing what Islamophobes want.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I am sorry for the inconvenience, but I think the article should be put back up. I was so aggressive in my comments defending these women without actually reading through much of the articles detailing the case and Islamophobe connections.