Tariq Ramadan

Tariq Ramadan

The grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has been accused of rape, sexual assault, violence and harassment in France.

Henda Ayari, a former Salafist, filed the charges against Swiss Islamist professor Tariq Ramadan, according to Agence France-Presse.

According to Jonas Haddad, Ayari’s lawyer, the plaintiff did not report the assault earlier, out of fear.

On Saturday, French daily newspaper Le Parisien reported Ramadan has denied the allegations and plans to counter Ayari’s accusations by filing his own report with the police.

Ayari’s police report was filed as millions of women across the globe in the past week have come forward to share personal accounts of sexual assault and sexual harassment following allegations recently made public against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

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Swiss-born Ramadan, whose grandfather, Hassan al Banna, founded the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, is a controversial figure who has both been praised as a reformist and denounced as a radical for his theories on Western society – namely how modern Islam will shape Europe, which he claims is in decline.

In 1995, Ramadan was temporarily barred from entering France due to alleged links to Algerian terrorists. In 2003, he clashed with France’s then interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, when he refused to condemn stoning, insisting instead on a “moratorium on the death penalty.”

Due to his many confrontations with French politicians – in particular with Sarkozy during his presidency – Ramadan has become a household name in France.

He is currently a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

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