One of the world's leading Islamic scholars is on a leave of absence from the University of Oxford amid allegations that he raped two women. Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss-born grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, has denied the allegations made by the two women in France and filed a slander complaint, Reuters reports. One woman, author Henda Ayari, says Ramadan "literally pounced on me like a wild animal" when he attacked her in a Paris hotel room in 2012, reports the BBC. Ayari says the Harvey Weinstein accusations inspired her to come forward.
The second accuser, a disabled woman who says Ramadan beat her and raped her repeatedly in 2009, has chosen to remain anonymous. "By mutual agreement, and with immediate effect, Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies, has taken a leave of absence," the British university said in a statement, adding that the accusations had caused "heightened and understandable distress." Ramadan, 55, said he "saluted" the statement, which he said "defended the principle of the presumption of innocence without minimizing the seriousness of the allegations against me." The Guardian reports that four women in Switzerland have told local media that Ramadan sexually harassed them when they were teenage students in the '80s and '90s. (Read more Oxford University stories.)