French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo said Monday it was pressing charges after receiving fresh death threats over a cartoon of the Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan who faces rape allegations.
The provocative magazine, which suffered a deadly terror attack in 2015 after publishing cartoons of Mohammed, depicted Ramadan with a huge erection in its edition last Wednesday, saying: “I am the sixth pillar of Islam.”
“Rape,” reads the caption on Charlie Hebdo’s cover. “The defence of Tariq Ramadan.”
The five pillars of Islam are the five basic practices obligatory for believers: faith, prayer, charity, fasting, and the pilgrimage to Mecca.
A minority of Sunni scholars considers jihad to be the sixth pillar of Islam.
The Swiss Muslim academic, an Oxford professor and conservative Islamic intellectual in France, has been accused of rape by two women after the Harvey Weinstein scandal unleashed a wave of sexual abuse accusations worldwide.
Ramadan, 55, has furiously denied the accusations as a “campaign of lies launched by my adversaries”.
Laurent “Riss” Sourisseau, the magazine’s editor, said the threats and hate mail had “never really stopped” after the January 2015 terror attack in which 12 people were murdered at its offices.
“Sometimes there are peaks when we receive explicit death threats on social media — this has been the case once again,” he said.
“It’s always difficult to know if these are serious threats or not, but as a principle, we take them seriously and press charges.”