Black Collar Crime: Islamic Scholar Tariq Ramadan Accused of Sexual Assault

tariq ramadan

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Tariq Ramadan, an Islamic scholar and professor at Oxford University, stands accused of sexually assaulting several women.

Carlotta Gall, a reporter for The New York Times, writes:

Tariq Ramadan, a renowned scholar of Islam, has taken a leave of absence from his teaching post at Oxford University after two women filed complaints that he sexually assaulted them in France.

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Mr. Ramadan, 55, a Swiss-born theologian and philosopher, is a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at the university and a senior research fellow at St. Antony’s, an Oxford college that focuses on international affairs.

The accusations have created a storm in Islamic and academic circles across Europe. Mr. Ramadan is a grandson of Hassan al-Banna, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in the 1920s. He is the author of a dozen books in English on modern Islam and the Western world, and a familiar presence on television news shows and on social media.

Mr. Ramadan has said that the accusations are unfounded and has vowed to fight the cases in court. He has filed a defamation suit in Paris against one of his accusers, the French activist and author Henda Ayari.

Ms. Ayari accused Mr. Ramadan of raping and assaulting her in a hotel on the sidelines of a conference in Paris in 2012. She said Mr. Ramadan had acted as an online teacher and mentor to her and then had suggested one day that they meet at his hotel.

She wrote about the encounter in a book in 2016, but did not name her attacker at the time. Last month, encouraged by the wave of denunciations by women outing their sexual aggressors in the #MeToo campaign on social media after the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Ms. Ayari identified Mr. Ramadan as her attacker. She said she had not spoken out earlier because Mr. Ramadan had threatened her and her children.

Ms. Ayari has lodged a complaint with the French police, alleging rape, sexual assault, harassment and intimidation. Her lawyers said she had also submitted evidence with her complaint.

A second Frenchwoman has also filed a complaint with the police in Paris, accusing Mr. Ramadan of assaulting and raping her in a hotel in Lyon in 2009. That woman, who has not been named publicly, described a horrifying assault by Mr. Ramadan to two French newspapers.

Other allegations have surfaced in French and Swiss newspapers, including accounts from two women who said they had sexual relations with Mr. Ramadan before they had reached the age of consent, and a third who described having a consensual but violent relationship with him.

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