French authorities arrested a leading Islamic Scholar from Oxford over allegations from multiple women who say he committed sexual assault and rape, twice in France.
The Paris prosecutor's office said its investigating Oxford University Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan in relation to two women who allege he forced himself on them in French hotels, according to the Associated Press on Wednesday. Ramadan, who is a Swiss national and the grandson of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, has denied all wrongdoing despite four of his former pupils and one other woman accusing him of sexual misconduct and blackmail.
French authorities told The Local that they detained Ramadan "as part of a preliminary inquiry in Paris into rape and assault allegations."
Ramadan lambasted French media, claiming they falsely reported on his situation, and asserted that the accusations against him are part of a "campaign of lies launched by my adversaries." Two of his accusers have since filed lawsuits against him. Ramadan filed a counter-suit for libel and announced via Facebook on Jan. 28 that he would soon file another lawsuit against his accusers.
"He literally pounced on me like a wild animal," said Henda Ayari, one of the women accusing Ramadan of forcing himself on her in a French hotel. "He kissed me really hard... then for a few seconds he choked me, I really thought I was going to die."
Ramadan, now in French custody, is also on a mutually agreed upon leave of absence from Oxford University, which he began in November of 2017 in order to take time to address the allegations against him.
"These accusations are simply false, and betray all the ideals I have long strived for and believed in," Ramadan wrote on Facebook, according to The Local.