"We should rejoice," the Swiss intellectual said in a reaction video posted on Twitter. The administrative court of Nice suspended Saturday in the name of freedom of assembly and expression a municipal decree taken to prohibit the arrival Sunday of the controversial Islamologist Tariq Ramadan, expected to host a "literary lunch".
Agreeing with the arguments of Tariq Ramadan's defense, the court considers that this order "seriously and manifestly illegal attacks on freedom of assembly and expression" and sentences the municipality to pay 500 euros to Mr. Ramadan, according to a decision obtained by AFP.
Following the summary liberty that we filed, the Administrative Court of Nice suspended the prohibition order issued by the Mayor of Nice, Mr. @cestrosi.
The Administrative Court ruled that "the decision of the mayor of Nice seriously and manifestly unlawfully interferes with... pic.twitter.com/4cPWd1A3cV
— Tariq Ramadan (@TariqRamadan) June 3, 2023
The city of Nice, led by Christian Estrosi (Horizons), had invoked a "risk of disturbing public order", highlighting the possibility that a collective of feminist associations would come to demonstrate. "I regret this decision," Christian Estrosi responded in a statement to AFP considering that Tariq Ramadan is a "preacher who advocates separatism and the degradation of women" and that he is "not welcome in Nice".
A lunch with 80 people registered
A contested figure with the declining influence of European Islam, just acquitted in a rape case in Switzerland, Tariq Ramadan is to host Sunday a "literary lunch" in a restaurant in Nice, to which nearly 80 people have registered. The location is kept secret and participants will only receive two hours before the meeting place for an exchange around The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho followed by a "meditative reflection".
According to Sefen Guez Guez, who pleaded Ramadan's case at Saturday's hearing, his client has hosted 19 such literary lunches over the past two years in France. After that of Nice, another is planned in the Paris region on June 18. In late May, Tariq Ramadan was acquitted of rape and sexual coercion by a Geneva court that ruled there was no evidence against him in the 2008 case.
VIDEO. Who is Tariq Ramadan, the Islamic intellectual accused of rape?
This was the first rape trial against 60-year-old Tariq Ramadan. He is threatened with a trial in France for similar acts. In 2016, the administrative court of Nice had already rejected the request of an elected representative of the National Front who asked for the prohibition of one of his conferences in Carros (Alpes-Maritimes).
A doctor from the University of Geneva, where he wrote a thesis on the founder of the Egyptian Islamist Muslim Brotherhood who was his grandfather, Tariq Ramadan was Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford, UK. In France, he is suspected of raping four women between 2009 and 2016, a case that triggered his downfall in 2017. In July, the Paris prosecutor's office requested that he be referred to an assize court and it is up to the investigating judges to order a trial or not.