Tariq Ramadan, the prominent Oxford University professor of Islamic studies has been arrested in Paris following accusations made against him by two women.
French police reportedly took Ramadan into custody on Wednesday as part of a preliminary investigation into a complaints of « rape, sexual assault, violence and death threats » filed against him by two women last year.
Ramadan, 55, who is the Swiss grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, has denied the accusations and filed a case for slander against the activist Henda Ayari, one of his accusers.
Ayari, a former Salafist turned feminist activist, claims that the Islamic scholar raped her in a hotel room in 2012. A few days later, another woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, filed a second complaint against Ramadan, who she accuses of having raped and beaten her in a hotel in room Lyon in 2009.
Ramadan, who has taken a leave of absence from his position as Professor of Islamic studies in Oxford University is recognised as a leading scholar in his field and a public, if controversial, intellectual contributing to debates surrounding Islam and Western society.
In April 2004 he was named on the list of « the 100 most influential scientists and thinkers on the planet » by Time magazine. But that same year, he lost his chair at a Swiss university for defending sharia law and was banned from entering the United States under the Bush administration for « public safety » reasons. However, he was part of the commission of experts created by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair after the 2005 London bombings.
Ayari credited the French equivalent of the #Metoo movement dubbed #Balancetonporc (denounce your pig) for encouraging her to come forward with her accusation against Ramadan.