NEWS DESK: A renowned Islamic scholar at the University of Oxford has taken a leave of absence, after two women filed complaints against him in France alleging rape, reported The Independent.
In a statement, the university said the Geneva-born academic had taken a leave “by mutual agreement and with immediate effect”, in order to allow him to deal with the allegations.
Professor Ramadan, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood, has denied the allegations made by the two women, including French activist and author Henda Ayari, who last month accused him of rape, violent assault and intimidation at a Muslim convention in 2012.
“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,” the statement by Oxford University read.
It said the agreed leave of absence implies “no presumption or acceptance of guilt”, and that its principal concern remains “the wellbeing of our students and staff”. Mr Ramadan’s duties will be reassigned and he will not be present on campus, it added.
The Paris courts last month opened a preliminary investigation into Ms Ayari’s accusations, at which point Mr Ramadan filed a complaint for slander against her. He responded to the most recent reports in a tweet on Monday, stating that he “categorically denies” the allegations.
On Tuesday, Mr Ramadan published a copy of Oxford University’s statement on his Facebook page, adding that he welcomed their handling of the situation.
Ms Ayari, who lodged a rape complaint against the 55-year-old on 20 October, recently told The New York Times that she has been subjected to an onslaught of vitriol since naming him as her attacker.