Tariq Ramadan questioned by police over rape allegations

Professor Tariq Ramadan

Prominent Muslim academic Tariq Ramadan is being questioned by French police investigating allegations of rape and sexual assault against him.

Professor Ramadan was taken into custody in Paris over claims made by two women last year.

The 55 year old denies wrongdoing and is suing one of his accusers, Henda Ayari, who now heads a secular feminist group.

Ramadan, a Swiss national, teaches Islamic studies at Oxford University but took leave of absence in November.

In a book published in 2016, Ms Ayari wrote about being raped in a Paris hotel four years earlier, but the book did not name the attacker.

In October 2017, she said the sexual assault scandal surrounding Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein had emboldened her to accuse Mr Ramadan explicitly. “He literally pounced on me like a wild animal,” Ms Ayari told French TV.

Another woman, a convert to Islam who has remained anonymous, later accused him of raping her in 2009.

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Four Swiss women have also accused the scholar of making sexual advances while they were students in Geneva. He says all the allegations are part of a “campaign of slander” by enemies.

Tariq Ramadan is the grandson of the founder of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.

He has a large following among Anglophone and Francophone Muslims and has consistently argued for peaceful coexistence between Islamic and Western cultures, but has been denounced as a dangerous radical by France’s political and media establishment.

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