Prominent Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan accused of third sexual assault

Ramadan is a professor of Islamic Studies at Oxford, but he has been on a leave of absence since November 2017, after sexual allegations against him emerged.

August 26, 2019 18:48
2 minute read.
Prominent academic Tariq Ramadan

Prominent academic Tariq Ramadan. (photo credit: REUTERS/STEPHANE MAHE)

Another woman has accused once-prominent Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan of raping her, Le Monde reported on Sunday.

According to the French paper, in May a radio-journalist pressed charges against Ramadan for raping her together with his assistant. She claimed that he lured her into his hotel by promising her an exclusive interview. The alleged rape occurred in 2014.

Last January, he tried to contact the woman again by sending her a message. After she did not respond, two men showed up at her door saying that "if she was ill-intentioned towards Ramadan, he was ready to fix things." The name of the victim has not been disclosed.

Ramadan is a professor of Islamic Studies at Oxford, but he has been on a leave of absence since November 2017, after allegations against him emerged when two women filed complaints in France alleging rape.

A grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Ramadan became one of the most influential intellectuals on Islam in Europe, in spite of being surrounded by controversies.

If, on the one hand, he was attacked by radical Islamists for some of his views, including advocating bridging the gap between Islam and modern society, on the other his critics noted that on some occasions he appeared to justify Islamic terrorism.

"The young people who join extremist groups are clearly suffering from massive deficiencies in religious knowledge, and are often politically gullible (when they are not attempting to salve pangs of conscience by cutting themselves off from a life of delinquency)," he wrote in 2012, as quoted in The Washington Post.

In 2003 he accused several "Jewish French intellectuals" of abandoning universal values in order to defend Israel.

The following year, the United States revoked Ramadan's teaching visa for being a fundraiser for a charity linked to Hamas.

The sexual allegations against Ramadan emerged in fall 2017 at the climax of the #BalanceTonPorc ("squeal on your pig") movement, the French equivalent of #MeToo.

In the beginning, many defended him and considered the accusations an attempt to discredit the scholar motivated by Islamophobia. However, as more details were revealed and he was indicted, the voices in support of him began to falter.

Ramadan was arrested in January 2018. He spent several months in jail before being released on bail. He is currently waiting for trial.

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