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Fresh sexual assault allegations against Oxford professor

Another accusation against Tariq Ramadan comes to light following leak to French press

Tariq Ramadan, Oxford Professor of Contemporary Islam, is facing fresh accusations of sexual assault. 

A woman, as yet unnamed, came forward and gave a report to French police in May of this year, details of which surfaced recently following a leak to Le Journal du Dimanche and Europe 1. The assault itself is alleged to have happened in 2014. This comes after numerous women accused Ramadan of sexual assault and manipulation. 

The first accusations against Ramadan emerged in October 2017, when activist Henda Ayari filed a complaint with the prosecutor’s office in Rouen, which said that Ramadan had sexually assaulted her in a Paris hotel room. Ayari had previously recorded the incident without naming the perpetrator in her 2016 book ‘J’ai choisi d’être libre’ (‘I Chose to be Free’).

Just days after Ayari came forward, a second woman filed a complaint stating that Ramadan assaulted and raped her in his hotel room. 

Since then, further accusations have been made about Ramadan’s behaviour, including by a third woman who claimed that Ramadan sent her ‘pornographic’ messages as well as threatening and blackmailing her, as well as four women who came forward with allegations that Ramadan sexually assaulted them while they were teenagers. 

On 31 January 2018, Ramadan was taken into custody by the French police, and was released on bail nine months later. 

Although Ramadan continued to teach for a short while after the first allegations surfaced, on 7th November 2017 he took an ‘agreed leave of absence’ from his University duties. At the time, the faculty of Theology and Religion apologized for their “lack of communication” with students. 

Eugene Rogan, director of the Middle East Centre when Ramadan was suspended, said the following at the time; “It’s not just about sexual violence. For some students it’s just another way for Europeans to gang up against a prominent Muslim intellectual. We must protect Muslim students who believe and trust in him, and protect that trust”. 

The University’s statement on the Ramadan accusations said: “The University has consistently acknowledged the gravity of the allegations against Professor Ramadan, while emphasising the importance of fairness and the principles of justice and due process.” 

“An agreed leave of absence implies no presumption or acceptance of guilt and allows Professor Ramadan to address the extremely serious allegations made against him, all of which he categorically denies, while meeting our principal concern – addressing heightened and understandable distress, and putting first the wellbeing of our students and staff.” 

A statement posted on Ramadan’s website acknowledged the new allegations, saying “I am, of course, aware of the investigation’s new elements and the new complaint, which the media spoke of abundantly on Sunday, August 25th.” “I will speak in the coming days to present the facts with determination, clarity and serenity. In sha Allah”. 

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