Middle East studies in the News
Leading Oxford Academic in Islamic Studies Denies Rape Accusation by French Writer [on Tariq Ramadan]
by Rachel Roberts
A leading Oxford academic in Islamic studies has denied an accusation of rape after he was named by a French author as her alleged attacker. Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss-born professor of Islamic studies at Oxford University who has advised the Government on how to counter extremism, was named by French feminist author Henda Ayari as the man she claims attacked her in a Paris hotel room in 2012.
A leading Oxford academic in Islamic studies has denied an accusation of rape after he was named by a French author as her alleged attacker. Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss-born professor of Islamic studies at Oxford University who has advised the Government on how to counter extremism, was named by French feminist author Henda Ayari as the man she claims attacked her in a Paris hotel room in 2012. Swiss Islamologist Tariq Ramadan MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/Getty Images) The 40-year-old writer said she had decided to "name and shame" Professor Ramadan as a "pervert guru" in the wake of the growing Harvey Weinstein scandal, which has seen a number of women speaking up about alleged assaults. She wrote on Facebook: "I was a victim of something very serious several years ago, I never wanted to give his name, because I received threats from him if I ever (identified) him. "I was afraid, I dedicated (to) him a whole chapter of my book, a lot of people contacted me for my testimony because they had guessed, I confirm today, the famous Zoubeyr, that is Tariq Ramadan."
Ms Ayari – a former member of an Islamist sect – confirmed she has filed complaints with the prosecutor's office in Rouen about Professor Ramadan relating to rape, sexual assault, violence, harassment and intimidation. She said she had been a great admirer of Professor Ramadan's when she met him at the Union of Islamic Organisations in Paris in 2012 and agreed to meet him in his hotel. She said she was surprised to be asked to meet him in his room rather than in the lobby and that when she arrived, he immediately began kissing her. "When I fought back and shouted at him to stop, he insulted me and humiliated me," she wrote. In her book, I Chose to be Free, the French-Tunisian writer detailed how for two decades she was a member of the Salafist group, which takes an ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam, before she finally broke away.
She claimed in the book she had been raped but gave her attacker a psydonym Zoubeyr, meaning "intelligent, educated and intellectual". Professor Ramadan is the grandson of the founder of the controversial Muslim brotherhood and was chosen by Tony Blair to work on a task force to help tackle extremism in the UK following the July 7 attacks in London in 2005. The academic issued a statement through his lawyer Yassin Bouzrou, saying he "categorically rejects all these false allegations" and intends to lodge a complaint for slander and defamation with the public prosecutor in Rouen. A spokesman for Oxford University said: "We are aware of these reports and are taking them extremely seriously. We are not in a position to comment further at this time."Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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