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Police question Tariq Ramadan over sex abuse claims

Two women have accused the prominent Islamic scholar of sexual assault and rape.

French police have questioned prominent Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan over allegations over rape and sexual assault.

Two women filed complaints against Ramadan for an alleged rape in 2009 and an alleged sexual assault in 2012.

Ramadan, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Oxford, has denied the allegations.

One of the women claims she was abused by the scholar in a hotel in 2012. The woman, Henda Ayari, said she described parts of the assault in a book published in 2016. Back then, she did not reveal the identity of her assailant, but in the wake of the #MeToo movement, Ayari said the encounter involved Ramadan.

Ayari then filed a formal complaint with police in Rouen. 

Shorlty after, a second woman came forward who said she had gone through a similar experience with Ramadan in 2009.

Following the allegations, French police started a preliminary investigation.

After the accusations became public, Ramadan filed a complaint against Ayari for slander.

He also took a leave of absence from the University of Oxford.

A joint statement from Ramadan and the university said the leave would allow him to face the "extremely serious allegations made against him".

"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," the statement said.

Ramadan, a Swiss national, is seen as one of the most influential Muslim scholars around the world.

He is the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, and author of several books.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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