Islamic scholar charged in French court of four counts of rape

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Renowned Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan was charged Thursday in a Paris court with two additional counts of rape, in addition to the two existing charges, the RFI news site reported.Ramadan, a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at Oxford’s St. Anthony’s College, was accused of raping two women in 2009 and 2012, though after a long time of denying any sexual contact with his accusers, he claimed in hearing in October 2018 to have had consensual sex with them.He has been on a leave of absence from Oxford since November 2017.A grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Ramadan became one of the most influential intellectuals on Islam in Europe, in spite of being surrounded by controversies.If, on the one hand, he was attacked by radical Islamists for some of his views, including advocating bridging the gap between Islam and modern society, on the other his critics noted that on some occasions he appeared to justify Islamic terrorism. One of the initial two accusers is a disabled woman identified as Christelle in media reports, while the other is feminist activist Henda Ayari.Since the 2018 hearing, the investigation against Ramadan has widened and included allegations from multiple accusers. Two women, whose photos were found on Ramadan’s computer during the investigation, were questioned in February 2018 by police, and the court decided to add the charges.Ramadan has consistently denied all the charges against him and labeled them as a media frenzy, while his supporters have called the charges an “international Zionist plot.”

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