Prominent Oxford University academic takes leave after sex crime allegations

Swiss Islamologist Tariq Ramadan. (AFP file photo)
Updated 07 November 2017
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Prominent Oxford University academic takes leave after sex crime allegations

PARIS: Britain’s University of Oxford said one of its professors, the prominent Swiss Muslim intellectual Tariq Ramadan, had taken a leave of absence from the university, after two women filed complaints against him in France over allegations of rape.
“The University has consistently acknowledged the gravity of the allegations against Professor Ramadan, while emphasising the importance of fairness and the principles of justice and due process,” Oxford University said in a statement.
“An agreed leave of absence implies no presumption or acceptance of guilt and allows Professor Ramadan to address the extremely serious allegations made against him, all of which he categorically denies,” it added.
The Geneva-born academic, the grandson of Hasan Al-Banna, an Islamist thinker and activist who founded the Muslim Brotherhood, has denied allegations made by the two women, including author Henda Ayari, who said he raped her on the sidelines of a Muslim convention in Lyon, France, in 2012.
Ramadan has filed a complaint for slander. (Reporting by Michel Rose)


Canadian leaders condemn arson at mosque

Edson mosque
Updated 19 June 2018
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Canadian leaders condemn arson at mosque

OTTAWA: Canadian leaders on Monday condemned a “brazen” act of arson at an Alberta mosque as Muslims around the world celebrated the end of Ramadan.
The mosque in the town of Edson was set ablaze Saturday night, blackening the entrance to the building but otherwise causing no injuries and little damage.
“All of Canada stands together with the community against this brazen act, which is under investigation. Everyone has the right to practice their faith without fear,” Canada’s Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said on Twitter.
Surveillance footage showed a person in a dark hoodie carrying a jerrycan fleeing the mosque at about 11 p.m. local time Saturday (0300 GMT Sunday).
The 30-year-old mosque serves as a place of worship for 15 families in Edson, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of Edmonton.
Alberta’s social democratic Premier Rachel Notley called the arson an “affront to all Albertans” and she renewed her government’s commitment to “fighting racism in all its forms.”
The province’s Conservative leader Jason Kenney called it “an attack on freedom” while vowing solidarity “with our Muslim neighbors against such acts of hatred.”