Oxford professor accused of rape by second woman

Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the man who founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, now faces two charges of assaulting women in hotel rooms in France

(FILES) This file photo taken on March 26, 2016 shows Swiss Islamologist Tariq Ramadan posing during a conference on the theme "Live together", in Bordeaux, southwestern France.
An investigation was opened in Paris after the filing of a complaint, in particular for rape, targeting the Swiss Islamologist Ramadan, charges that the latter contests, according to a judicial source on October 24, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MEHDI FEDOUACH
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Islamic philosopher Tariq Ramadan is facing multiple accusations of rape and sexual assault, with the French newspaper Le Parisien reporting that a second woman has filed a complaint against him.

The latest woman, an unnamed 42-year-old, alleged that Mr Ramadan, who is professor of contemporary Islamic studies at Oxford University and is the grandson of Hassan Al Banna, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, subjected her to a terrifying and violent sexual assault in 2009.

Earlier in the week, Mr Ramadan, 55, was accused by a French writer, Henda Ayari, of having raped her in a hotel room in Paris in 2012. She made the claim in Facebook and Twitter posts and subsequently lodged a complaint of ‘rape, intentional violence, harassment and intimidation’ with prosecutors in the northern French town of Rouen.

Ms Ayari, 41, had used a chapter of her 2016 book I Chose To Be Free to disclose details about the rape but without naming Mr Ramadan.

“I actually devoted a whole chapter to the attack in my book but changed his name to avoid legal problems. But now I can no longer keep it a secret. It's too much for me to bear and it's time to tell the truth,” she explained in a Facebook post.

The latest allegation sets out in graphic detail how Mr Ramadan attacked the second woman, who has been given the name Christelle and who is reported to have disability in her legs, also in a hotel room. Christelle is identified as being a convert to Islam who had been in conversation with Mr Ramadan about religious matters through social media before they met. She claims that Mr Ramadan then invited her to meet in the hotel lobby during a conference he was speaking at.


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Mr Ramadan then suggested that they go to his room so that they could talk in private. According to Christelle’s deposition to the Paris prosecutor, he subjected her to brutal and violent sexual and physical attacks. It’s alleged that Mr Ramadan put the woman’s clothes at a height that she could not reach to stop her from escaping, and in the end she was able to flee from the room while Mr Ramadan was in the bathroom.

Christelle said that following the alleged assault, Mr Ramadan remained in touch with her, texting her once to talk about the “tender and romantic night” that they had spent together. She also describes in her complaint how since the attack she has suffered from depression, lost her home and tried to commit suicide by overdosing on medication.

Mr Ramadan denied Ms Ayari’s allegations, releasing a statement last weekend: “Prof Tariq Ramadan categorically rejects all these false allegations. A complaint for slander and defamation will be filed with the public prosecutor in Rouen on Monday.” He has yet to release a reaction to the second set of claims.

Oxford University has said it was are aware of the reports: “We are taking them extremely seriously. We are not in a position to comment any further at this time.” A planned event at Imperial College London at which Mr Ramadan was due to speak was cancelled on Tuesday.

Mr Ramadan is due to address an event in Copenhagen on Sunday about "the Muslim responsibility in the West, especially in Europe, and what it means to be a European Muslim".

Mazdak Mohammadi Louyeh, director of VAZÏR, the organisation running the event, told The National that while he took any accusations against speakers very seriously, he considered Mr Ramadan to be "not guilty until proven otherwise".

Lawyer Eric Morain, who is representing Christelle, claims to be in contact with other women who are thinking of filing a complaints against Mr Ramadan.