Years before the accusation, Henda Ayari appeared under the spot light as the “ex-Salafist who liberated herself from Islamism to become a free, modern woman”. She promotes herself as a “survivor of Salafism” and a role model of “feminist, laicist, anti-Islamist emancipation”. On her Facebook page and tweeter account, she regularly accuses other Muslims of being dangerous “Islamists”, demanding France to ban all so-called Salafists; she amalgamates Islamism with Nazism, as well as pro-Palestinian activists with anti-Semites. This proud and outspoken Muslim, in accordance with her rhetoric, recently found support with some known islamophobes, such as Robert Spencer, director of anti-Muslim news platform “Jihad Watch”, or the philosopher Bernard Henri-Lévy.
Ayari is the first person to have accused Tariq Ramadan of heinous acts. Since then, she benefited from an uncontested acceptance by some prominent French politician, journalists and show hosts. However, after about a year of investigation, the technical expertise of her computers, cell phones and mails has produced no evidence to sustain her accusation. The accusation thus remains based solely on the truthfulness of her testimonial. In this respect, her own family, including her older son and her former sister-in-law, as well as acquaintances, have formally testified or agreed to testify in court that Ayari suffers from manipulative and mythomaniac tendencies.
Furthermore, Ayari could not bring forth any witness to support her testimonial. In the following days after the alleged rape, in which Ramadan strangled and beat her up, as she claims, no-one was able to testify about any physical, psychological or emotional after effects. On contrary, a close friend of her who was expected to testify on her behalf have further contradicted and invalidated her story. Auditioned by the judges, Malica A. described her meeting with Ayari the day after he alleged events. She declared that Ayari was then “in her normal state, looking happy and thriving, she never mentioned any rape or incident, and she had no suspicious traces on her face or anywhere else”.
Furthermore, after the alleged rape, claiming on media that she was “terrified” by Ramadan to the point that “even pronouncing his name was difficult”. Yet, more than 200 emails sent by Ayari to Ramadan where archived in which she was asking Ramadan to meet her, and not to cut her off from his contacts. Her mental state after the alleged events can be gauged via the explicit wording of some of these messages, which reads: “I know you will never be in love in me, but next week, you will be between my thighs.” Psychologically manipulated by her rapist, as she claims, or lies, the judges are yet to take a position.
It is also worth mentioning that Ayari, after seeing her initial testimonial being contradicted by the legal expertise, has changed both the date and the place of the events: from “sometime between March and April” to May 26, 2012. To support this new date, Ayari provides the judges with “unquestionable evidences” (her personal notebook and bank statements). However, the expertise (eye witness testimonial and contradicting weather forecast) proved her wrong; the expertise has shown that she was attending her brother’s wedding that day. She blamed these reoccurring inconsistencies on her “weak memory”.
Today, Ayari is no-longer trying to offer evidence of her accusations, nor she tries to justify the contradictions. Unfortunately, it is based on these changing and contradicting testimonials and false evidences, in awareness of her doubtful mental health and friendship, that Tariq Ramadan is kept incarcerated.