Con­fi­den­tial Swiss re­port un­earths Tariq Ra­madan’s preda­tory past

The National - News - - WORLD -

A dev­as­tat­ing re­port sum­maris­ing Swiss in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Tariq Ra­madan sets out a se­ries of al­leged sex­ual as­saults and con­tacts with un­der­age girls.

The Uni­ver­sity of Ox­ford pro­fes­sor was ar­rested in France in Fe­bru­ary on charges of sex­ual as­sault and has since faced al­le­ga­tions in Switzer­land of a sim­i­lar na­ture.

A Swiss ra­dio re­port has now re­vealed au­thor­i­ties in Geneva ques­tioned about 50 peo­ple in­clud­ing for­mer stu­dents of the aca­demic at the Col­lege de Coudri­ers and Col­lege de Saus­sure, where he taught French be­tween 1984 and 2004.

The fi­nal re­port dis­closed by the French-speak­ing Ra­dio Lac found that Mr Ra­madan “tried to se­duce a 14-year-old pupil with no suc­cess, but man­aged to have sex­ual re­la­tion­ships with three other stu­dents aged be­tween 15 and 18.”

It also re­vealed that Mr Ra­madan had sought con­tact with stu­dents out­side the premises of the school and that he reg­u­larly in­vited his pupils – both boys and girls – for in­di­vid­ual restau­rant lunches. One pupil con­fessed to hav­ing been sex­u­ally mo­lested by the scholar in his car.

Ac­cord­ing to teach­ers and stu­dents in­ter­viewed in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Mr Ra­madan is a charis­matic fig­ure who al­ways took ini­tia­tives in or­gan­is­ing cul­tural or so­cial events. Some de­scribed hav­ing a fas­ci­na­tion for him. But the prox­im­ity to stu­dents of a man known to be a se­duc­tion­ist raised sus­pi­cion among his peers.

One stu­dent had come for­ward at the time to de­nounce the al­leged sex­ual in­ter­course be­tween Mr Ra­madan and his girl­friend. His claims were deemed to be in­suf­fi­cient and dis­missed.

Mr Ra­madan, a mar­ried fa­ther of four whose grand­fa­ther founded Egypt’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, now stands ac­cused of hav­ing raped two women in 2009 and 2012 – a dis­abled woman iden­ti­fied in me­dia re­ports as Chris­telle and fem­i­nist ac­tivist Henda Ayari.

The rev­e­la­tions come on the heels of a Paris court rul­ing that granted Mr Ra­madan con­di­tional re­lease af­ter he tes­ti­fied in an ap­peals court. It is not yet clear whether this de­ci­sion will be over­turned af­ter the rev­e­la­tions con­tained in the re­port.

The Swiss aca­demic, 56, who has been in cus­tody in France since Fe­bru­ary 2, de­nied all rape charges and claimed the re­la­tion­ships had been con­sen­sual.

He por­trayed his ac­cusers as liars bend­ing me­dia at­ten­tion in the case to their ben­e­fit, ask­ing: “Who has in­stru­men­talised the ‘Me Too’ move­ment?”

Mr Ra­madan was a pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­sity of Ox­ford un­til he was forced to take leave when the rape al­le­ga­tions sur­faced at the height of the Me Too move­ment.

Tariq Ra­madan was de­scribed as a charis­matic fig­ure but the prox­im­ity to stu­dents of a man known to be a se­duc­tion­ist raised sus­pi­cion among peers

In­ter­views with for­mer stu­dents and peers sug­gest Is­lamic scholar Tariq Ra­madan’s sex­ual im­pro­pri­eties be­gan more than 30 years ago

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