An Oxford professor accused of rape has been arrested in Paris. Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan has had multiple rape allegations made against him since November, and was suspended by the world’s top university as a result.
The senior research fellow of St. Antony’s College was accused in November of rape by French author Henda Ayari. She alleges that Ramadan violently assaulted her in a Paris hotel room in 2012 following one of his lectures.
“He literally threw himself on me like a wild beast,” Ayari said. He “strangled me… I really thought I was dying, I was certain tonight that if I kept pushing him he would kill me.”
Ayari’s allegations against the controversial Islamic essayist inspired another victim to come forward. She told Le Monde and Le Parisien about the alleged attack, which bore similarities to Ayari’s account: a meeting on the sidelines of a conference after a written correspondence with the Islamologist, followed by an extremely violent assault after meeting in person for a few minutes.
Ramadan was suspended from his position Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies by Oxford University in November, shortly after the allegations against him became public.
“The university has consistently acknowledged the gravity of the allegations against Prof Ramadan, while emphasising the importance of fairness and the principles of justice and due process,” the Oxford statement said.
“An agreed leave of absence implies no presumption or acceptance of guilt and allows Prof 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.”
Ramadan was also accused of sexually assaulting teenage students in Switzerland during the 1980s and ’90s. He took to Twitter to refute the allegations leveled against him.
“Anonymous allegations have been made against me in Geneva accusing me of the abuse of students who were minors nearly 25 years ago,” he said.
“I categorically deny all these allegations.”
Ramadan’s most recent tweet shows he was a free man only two hours ago, tweeting and posting on other social media channels about his “resistance and alternative” movement, a group he has launched to resist “all ideologies that enslave human beings, expel them from their humanity, and condemn all forms of injustice, compromise and the reputation of people, whatever their source.”
The group aims to “make God the centre of our lives.”