Presumption of guilt

Dalrymple was very unfavourably impressed by Tariq Ramadan on the single occasion that he met him.

He seemed to me the Jimmy Swaggart of Islamism, or at least the kind of man from whom one would certainly not buy a second-hand car. He had the affability of a carpet salesman in a souk, but without the charm; his affability struck me as sinister.

Ramadan is known for

his way of talking in one register to a certain kind of audience and in a completely different register to another kind of audience.

In order that that we, his readers, do not have to endure them, Dalrymple has actually read a couple of Ramadan’s books. They bear

the same relationship to scholarship as football commentary does to playing football.

Contempt of court

Without the scales: Crumlin Road Courthouse

Sans scales: Crumlin Road Courthouse

All the same, says Dalrymple, Ramadan’s arrest for alleged rape, and his subsequent questioning by the police, raises disturbing questions.

Here was a man who so far had been found guilty of nothing.

Ramadan was,

de facto, being described publicly as guilty.

Dalrymple points out that Ramadan has not been proved guilty. It is, he reminds us,

wrong that information intended to be damning should be paraded before the public prior to a proper trial and verdict.

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