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Sexual allegations Tariq Ramadan held in custody in France on rape accusations

Tariq Ramadan

Tariq Ramadan denies the accusations

(Keystone)

Swiss academic Tariq Ramadan, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Oxford, has been taken into custody by French police following accusations of rape, a judicial source said on Wednesday. 

He came in for questioning at the police office on Wednesday morning "as part of the preliminary investigation launched last October in Paris into allegations of rape and violence," according to the source cited by Reuters. Two complaints were filed against Ramadan, a well-known figure in the Middle East. He is the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt, Hassan al-Banna. 

+ Who is Tariq Ramadan?

Ramadan, 55, took a leave of absence from Oxford last November after two women filed complaints in France alleging rape, in 2009 and 2012 respectively. He has denied the allegations and filed a complaint for slander against one of his accusers. 

Born in Geneva in 1962 and the younger brother of controversial imam Hani Ramadan, Tariq Ramadan studied Islamic Studies and French literature at the University of Geneva. He acquired Swiss citizenship at age 22. 

The telegenic, charming, eloquent and knowledgeable figure became the voice of the “European Muslim”, the title of one of his many books, which calls on other Muslims to shake off the mentality of minorities and victims and to stake their claim as full citizens who are faithful to the principles of Islam.  

His audience ranges from second-generation immigrants in the suburbs to intellectuals, especially on the left and among those opposed to globalisation.  

However, many critics argue that beneath the charm of the “Egyptian prince” lurks a dangerous Islamist. Ramadan’s fortunes changed in 2003 when he wrote a column online which two major newspapers refused to run. The column listed a series of Jewish intellectuals who, according to Ramadan, were too complacent about Israel. The following year, the United States denied him entry, although he had been offered a position as a professor at a Catholic university. 

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