Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 20 September 2019

Tariq Ramadan book to be published despite pleas of rape accuser

The scholar faces a number of sexual assault accusations

Scholar Tariq Ramadan has admitted to sexual relations with the two women but said they were consensual. AP.
Scholar Tariq Ramadan has admitted to sexual relations with the two women but said they were consensual. AP.

French authorities have allowed the publication of a book by Tariq Ramadan despite it outing a woman, known in the media under the pseudonym Christelle, who has accused the scholar of rape.

A court in Paris ruled that the woman’s identity was already known to the public. But it also accepted that damage would be done to Christelle if her real name was revealed and ruled Mr Ramadan must pay her a symbolic single euro.

He initially denied any sexual encounter with Christelle but later admitted to a consensual relationship in 2009.

“The release of this book as it stands has to be banned as it reveals the identity of my client in 84 instances,” said her lawyer Eric Morain.

“All media have respected the law. Tariq Ramadan must respect it as well.”

Mr Ramadan’s book, Duty of Truth, rejects a number of rape accusations levied against him and portrays the academic as a victim. He compares himself to Alfred Dreyfus, a French officer of Jewish heritage unfairly convicted of leaking military information to Germany in the late 19th century.

Mr Ramadan, the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, has been indicted on two rape charges and faces similar accusation from at least two other women.

The Federation of Muslims in France said felt "betrayed" by Mr Ramadan's behaviour, in reference to the affairs he has admitted.

"We feel betrayed by the behaviour revealed by Mr. Ramadan, a behaviour that totally contradicts the ethical and moral principles expected of a man who preaches Islam, calls for his spirituality and his values, and answers questions of a mostly young audience and looking for models," it said.

Mr Ramadan has taken an agreed leave of absence from his post as a professor at the University of Oxford while under investigation. His appearances on French TV to promote the book have sparked outrage in some corners of France.

The Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions said Mr Ramadan’s words are “an insult to the memory of Alfred Dreyfus and an offence to all who worked towards his rehabilitation”.

He was detained in February last year and held for nine months before being granted bail and denies all the charges.

Last month, Mr Ramadan faced a new accusation of raping of a woman in May 2014 in Lyon, France.

Updated: September 11, 2019 07:08 PM

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