Rabat – Sexual assault accusations against Tariq Ramadan are piling up, as a third woman, under the alias “Yasmina,” has come forward to accuse the Islamist scholar of sexual harassment. The accuser thus joins two other young women who are currently suing Ramadan for sexual assault and rape.
Yasmina recounted her story to French news daily Le Parisien in its October 28 edition. It all started in 2013 when she asked for legal counselling on Ramadan’s website, and the famous Islamologue answered her himself.
“In the beginning, he used to give me religious advice through his website, before asking me for pictures to see who he was talking to. He thought I was beautiful, and from then on, things became pornographic between us,” she told Le Parisien.
Their exchanges would last until late 2015, when Ramadan would directed ask Yasmina to finally personally meet. “He called me to a hotel in the suburbs, but I didn’t go in alone,” the woman told the newspaper.
Soon after, Yasmina affirms to have been threatened by the Islamologue. “He said he had compromising [knowledge of] me,” she disclosed, adding that Ramadan “used his influence in the community and exploited my weaknesses.”
According to the newspaper, Yasmina contacted them in 2014 because she wanted to sue Ramadan for “sexual harassment and threats.” Fearing an aggressive backlash from the scholar and his followers, Yasmina told Le Parisien that back in 2013 she solicited local media for support. Incriminating exchanges with the professor at hand, Yasmina wanted the public to witness “the hypocrisy of this Islamist symbol.”
Le Parisien thus reached out to Yasmina on Thursday, who stated that she was thinking about taking legal action against Ramadan.
Just on Friday, a second woman filed a complaint against Ramdan for rape and sexual assault, merely a week after Salafi-turned-liberal activist Henda Ayari’s accusations of rape. According to Ayari’s lawyer, Eric Morain, many other women are currently considering sueing Ramadan for sexual harassment or assault.
The grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan Al Banna, Ramadan is regarded by some as a kind of Muslim “royalty.” The Swiss-born Islamic scholar and Oxford professor is widely known for his silver-tongued modernized, peaceful, and sometimes even liberal views on Islam.
Ramadan’s debates have been viewed millions of times on Youtube, very rarely appearing to lose arguments with his opponents. The professor, fluent in French, English and Arabic, often preaches about a future “Euro-Islam,” building bridges between Islam and the West.
Ramadan has been member of various major cultural institutions such as the British Foreign Office and Oxford University where he teaches since 2005, and his books have received glowing reviews in international publications like the New York Times.
However, in France, Ramadan is not so widely admired among the intellectual elite. For years, many French writers, journalists and theologians pointed out the flagrant disparities between Ramadan’s speeches in Europe and the Muslim World, accusing him of a double discourse.
Albeit an impressive professional career, Ramadan is not joining the ranks of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Bill Cosby, and other renowned public figures who saw their reputation crash after sexual assault accusations.