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‘I’m innocent’: Tariq Ramadan on rape allegations

The prominent professor of contemporary Islamic studies discusses the ongoing sexual assault accusations against him.

Tariq Ramadan is recognised by many as the most prominent Islamic studies academic in the Western world.

But at the height of the #MeToo movement in 2017, Ramadan was forced to take leave from his post as Oxford University’s Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies over sexual assault allegations.

He denied the accusations, but as the cases against him increased, he was eventually detained by French authorities in February, 2018.

A Paris Court of Appeal released him on bail 10 months later.

Ramadan still rejects the allegations, but the investigation into the case continues.

Is justice in France being served or has this case been politicised?

In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera, Ramadan says he faced what was “almost a media lynching” and says the evidence speaks for itself.

“I kept silent … saying I’m not going to talk to journalists, I’m going to talk to judges. The problem that I had is that the judges were not even listening to me and not even looking at all the evidences that are just proving that I was innocent.”

He says the odds were stacked against him from the beginning.

“At that point I would say that my take on the whole issue is I knew I was targeted. I knew that for the last 30 years I was demonised because of who I represent in the French political and public scene and the way I was treated here was quite clear. ‘We are going to get him and he will end in jail.’ This was my feeling from day one when I entered the police station.”