Prominent Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan denies rape accusation

Prominent Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan denies rape accusation
Prominent Islamic scholar and academic Tariq Ramadan has denied charges of rape and sexual aggression, according to his lawyer.
2 min read
22 October, 2017
Ramadan lectures at Oxford University [Getty]

Islamic scholar, academic and theologian Tariq Ramadan denied allegations of rape on Saturday, after a complaint was filed in France's Rouen a day earlier.

Ramadan's representative, Yassine Bouzrou, a senior lawyer at the Bar in Paris said, adding "a complaint alleging a false allegation will be lodged with the procurator in Rouen on Monday".

Ramadan was accused by Henda Ayari, a former Salafist turned feminist activist, who charged him with "criminal acts of rape, sexual aggression, violent acts, harassment and intimidation".

Ayari, the president of the nonprofit group Liberatrices, revealed the accusations in a Facebook post on Friday, suggesting she had been a "victim of something very serious some years ago" but had refused to identify the culprit due to "threats on his part".

The 40-year-old had previously written of her experiences in her 2016 book entitled 'I Chose to be Free', in which she details meeting a Muslim intellectual and speaker dubbed Zoubeyr in a hotel room in Paris.

"Out of modesty, I will not give here the precise details of the acts that he forced me to undergo. It's enough to know that he profited from my weakness," Ayari wrote in her book.

She also claimed the man "insulted me, slapped me and hit me" when she attempted to call for help.

"I confirm today the famous Zoubeyr is definitely Tariq Ramadan," Ayari wrote on her Facebook post on Friday.

Swiss-born Ramadan, whose grandfather, Hassan al Banna, founded the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, is a controversial figure who has both been praised as a reformist and denounced as a radical for his theories on Western society - namely how modern Islam will shape Europe, which he claims is in decline.

He is a lecturer at Britain's prestigious Oxford University and has authored a range of books, including Islam and the Arab Awakening (2011) and What is a Western/Muslim Individual Today (2015).