Middle East studies in the News
French Police Investigating Second Allegation of Rape Made Against Oxford Professor [on Tariq Ramadan]
by Henry Samuel
French prosecutors are investigating allegations by two women who say they were raped by an Oxford University professor.
Professor of Islamic Studies Tariq Ramadan vehemently denies the allegations.
One woman, Henda Ayari, confirmed last week to The Telegraph that she had filed complaints against Prof Ramadan of rape, sexual assault, violence, harassment and intimidation with the prosecutor's office in Rouen, northern France.
Now police say two complaints are being investigated.
Ms Ayari, 40, a former salafist and now a secularist feminist author, said that Mr Ramadan had assaulted her in a Paris hotel in 2012. She said she had decided to "name and shame" Prof Ramadan as a "pervert guru" following the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
A second woman, 45, who wishes to remain anonymous, has also filed a complaint for rape against the renowned Islamic scholar, which she said took place in 2009.
Given the "similarity of the (alleged) events", Paris prosecutors have added her complaint to Ms Ayari's as part of an investigation launched on October 23, a judicial source confirmed to AFP.
Speaking to French media on Monday about her alleged ordeal at the hands of Prof Ramadan, Ms Ayari said: "He literally pounced on me like a wild animal."
She told BFM TV she had gone to the scholar's hotel room to ask him questions about Islam and at the time "I admired him very much".
Referring to the alleged rape, she said "he kissed me really hard... then for a few seconds he choked me, I really thought I was going to die".
She said that in his eyes, "either your veiled or you are raped", adding that he "uses Islam to satisfy his sexual urges".
The second woman - a convert to Islam - has alleged that she was raped by Prof Ramadan in the Hilton hotel in Lyon in 2009.
The woman told Le Monde that he had suggested they go to his room because "everyone is looking at us".
Once inside, she said he had kicked away crutches she was using due to an injured leg and "jumped on me".
"You kept me waiting now you will pay dear," she alleged he said.
The woman alleged she was violently assaulted, receiving slaps to the "face, arms and breasts" and punches to the stomach, before being raped, including with "an object".
He then dragged her to the bathroom by her hair and urinated on her, she alleged.
She went straight to a doctor and has medical evidence of her assault, she alleges.
The unnamed complainant said she later received a text message from Prof Ramadan asking to see her again "as if we had spent a wonderfully romantic and tender evening together".
After she refused she alleged she was subjected to "months of harassment and threats from men who followed me in the street; one threatened to kill me".
Prof Ramadan denounced the allegations as "a campaign of slander clearly orchestrated by my long-time adversaries".
He had already filed a complaint for slander and defamation against Ms Ayari and said he would do the same against the second woman.
Prof Ramadan, the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, was chosen by Tony Blair, the former prime minister, to work on a task force to help tackle extremism in the UK after the 7/7 attacks in London in 2005.
A spokesman for Oxford University last week 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."
Respected in the UK as a scholar who is not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mr Ramadan is a deeply controversial figure in France, where some have accused him of wishing to pursue rigorist political Islam in the West through stealth.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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