Prominent intellectual

Oxford is apparently making a dog’s breakfast of the Tariq Ramadan situation. Tendance Coatesy gathered some reporting:

Here is the Telegraph’s report on the latest developments.

Oxford professor accused of sexual misconduct with Swiss minors

An Oxford University professor and government adviser on tackling extremism is facing new allegations ​including sexual misconduct with minors.

Prof Tariq Ramadan was accused of rape last month by a French feminist author. He has denied the allegation and said he will sue for libel.

He is now facing new accusations from four Swiss women who say he made sexual advances to them when they were studying under him as teenagers in Geneva.

One of the women told Tribune de Geneve newspaper Prof Ramadan made unsuccessful sexual advances to her when she was 14 years old.

Another alleged he had sexual relations with her in the back of his car when she was 15 years old.

The other two women said they were 18 when they had sexual relations with him, but accused him of abusing his position of power as their teacher.

Prof Ramadan was accused of rape by the French author Henda Ayari last month.

Since then two more women have accused him of rape. He has denied the accusations and filed a case for libel in the French courts.

In statements posted on Facebook, he claims he is being targeted by “a campaign of slander clearly orchestrated by my longtime adversaries” and says he has been advised by his lawyers not to comment further.

Currently Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford, he was chosen by Tony Blair to work on a task force to help tackle extremism in the UK following the 7/7 attacks in London in 2005.

Not, mark you, Gita Sahgal or Maryam Namazie or any other human rights-oriented activist but Tariq “moratorium on stoning” Ramadan. Why? Because of the inch-deep veneer of “sophistication” and academic cred? Because he’s a dude? I really don’t know.

We learnt this last week, (Cherwell 3rd of November).

Students at the Oxford Middle East Centre have reacted in anger to the University’s response to the mounting accusations of rape against Islamic professor Tariq Ramadan, accusing senior figures of acting “as if nothing had happened”.

Ramadan is currently being investigated by French authorities over two allegations of rape, sexual assault, violence and harassment. Ramadan has described the allegations as a “campaign of lies” and said he is suing the alleged victims for “slander”.

Since the first allegation of rape surfaced two weeks ago, the professor has reportedly taught a seminar in Oxford and been seen “laughing” with faculty members.

In response to requests from students, senior figures in the faculty held a meeting on Tuesday “to address implications for student welfare arising from the allegations”.

The faculty told students they intend Ramadan to continue to both tutor and supervise on his return to Oxford from Qatar – although students may ask for another faculty member to be in the room if they wish.

At the meeting, held at St Antony’s College, several students expressed anger at the “lack of communication” from the University, claiming they had heard of the allegations by “word of mouth” without any acknowledgement from the department.

Director of the Middle East Centre Eugene Rogan repeatedly apologised to students for taking ten days to respond to the allegations, blaming the delay on the fact that the controversy was happening in another country with a different legal system.

This is worth noting,

Rogan reminded students: “It’s not just about sexual violence. For some students it’s just another way for Europeans to gang up against a prominent Muslim intellectual. We must protect Muslim students who believe and trust in him, and protect that trust.”

Oh dear god, there it is. He’s Muslim, therefore we have to let him rape girls and women, because otherwise we would be Europeans ganging up on him. As for “prominent Muslim intellectual” – Oxford itself is helping him be a prominent intellectual by employing him. Why him? Why not someone better? Less compromised? Less theocratic? More intellectually honest? Someone who wouldn’t refuse to say that stoning is bad?

Many staff members encouraged those present not to speak to the media about the furore. Professor Rogan told students: “We can’t tell you what you should say. But I encourage everyone to use their moral judgement about how they voice their concerns – not to victimise the women who’ve made the allegations or the men who’ve been accused of things they’ve not yet had the chance to defend themselves against.”

One postgrad said: “There should have been a more open and frank discussion with female students about how to make them feel safer,” she said. “Women won’t come forward here and say how they feel.”

A number of students expressed concern about Ramadan continuing to teach and be present in the faculty. One claimed that immediately following the first allegation, Ramadan was seen “walking and laughing in the hall as if nothing had happened.”

Well, he’s prominent Tariq Ramadan. He’s protected.

I signed yesterday.

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