Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Storm Grows over Rape allegations against Tariq Ramadan as Henda Ayari Speaks out in Le Monde.

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Henda Ayari: for him you are either Veiled or Violated.

Henda Ayari  is one of the women who’ve accused Muslim pundit Tariq Ramadan of rape.

She has just had a ‘Tribune” published in le Monde.

Every woman should find the courage to speak out as I have done.

In anger and in depth, it is an essay of great eloquence.

It calls out for women to speak for justice, against male aggression, and in particular the violence that Islamist males like Ramadan, using their ‘religious authority‘  inflict on women.

Written from the heart and the head, in the clearest of styles, it would take a professional translator to do Ayrai’s text justice.

The link is to only part of the full article, which I read in the print edition of Le Monde yesterday.

Henda Ayari : « Chaque femme doit trouver le courage de prendre la parole comme j’ai osé le faire »

Ramadan is well known in France. So well known I shall not add to this but a Wikipedia link.

He is also an Oxford Don, Guardian columnist and a frequent guest on British television programmes notably Channel Four.

Ramadan was a speaker at the European social forum in 2003 and, no doubt because his books are full of half-baked references to left thinkers and people like Foucault, is considered by some a “progressive” supported by some people who claim to be on the left.


French prosecutors are investigating allegations by two women who say they were raped by Tariq Ramadan, a renowned Islamic scholar and Oxford professor.

One of them, Henda Ayari, told a French TV interviewer that Mr Ramadan had assaulted her in a Paris hotel in 2012.

“He literally pounced on me like a wild animal,” she said.

In a Facebook post Prof Ramadan denied the accusations, calling them “a campaign of lies”, and said his lawyer was suing the women for “slander”.

Ms Ayari used to wear the Islamic full-face veil but is now a secular feminist activist.

She said the sexual harassment scandal surrounding Hollywood film mogul Harvey Weinstein had emboldened her to accuse Mr Ramadan explicitly.

Many women worldwide have shared accounts of sexual harassment using the Twitter hashtag #MeToo. In France the equivalent is #balancetonporc, meaning “expose your pig”.

Ms Ayari had previously published an account of an alleged assault in a book, without naming the man.

Speaking on BFMTV, she said she had gone to Mr Ramadan’s hotel room to ask him questions about Islam and at the time “I admired him very much”.

Referring to the alleged rape, she said “he kissed me really hard… then for a few seconds he choked me, I really thought I was going to die”.

The second woman – a convert to Islam – has alleged that she was raped by Tariq Ramadan in a hotel in Lyon in 2009.

Mr Ramadan denounced the allegations as “a campaign of slander clearly orchestrated by my long-time adversaries”.

He is a controversial and influential figure among Muslim scholars. He challenges fundamentalist Islam, but some critics accuse him of promoting political Islam.

A Swiss national, he is the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood.

Since 2009 he has been professor of contemporary Islamic studies at St Antony’s College, Oxford. He has also sat on a UK Foreign Office advisory group on freedom of religion.

 It became  3 women claiming he raped them.

And now 4

Tariq Ramadan Has His Place in the European Social Forum

Catherine Samary

This open letter was written just before the beginning of the European Social Forum in Paris in November 2003. It was addressed to the Coordination des Associations pour le Droit à l’Avortement et à la Contraception and the Collectif National pour les Droits des Femmes, after they had circulated a petition calling for Tariq Ramadan to be excluded from the ESF. The letter also answers the leaflet produced by the Collectif Féministe pour un Altermondialisme Laïc, which was translated and published by the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty and formed the basis for a resolution by the NUS executive (subsequently overturned) calling for Tariq Ramadan to be removed as a speaker at the 2004 ESF. The author is a leading French feminist and intellectual, and a supporter of the Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire.

On inequality. The feminist collective tells us: “Tariq Ramadan recognises the equality of men and women before God, but believes in a complementarity – and thus a difference – of the sexes on the social and family level.”

The difference between the sexes is a commonplace idea which includes many variants – within the feminist mileu too! One essential point for us is the independence that women (even believers) can gain through education and work. Yet if Tariq Ramadan recognises that Islam attributes to the man the responsibility for earning the family’s money (the woman having a central role in the management of the family, in Islam as in all traditional cultures), he is at the same time in open debate with the currents who wish to ban women from leaving the home. Islam, he recognises, puts the emphasis on the “right” of women “not to work”. But that does not imply opposing the right (if they so choose) to work! Cf. the Gresh/Ramadan debate, op. cit., where Ramadan says:

“I have had some very vehement debates in Europe with certain representatives of the FIS over the place of women and their interpretation of economic reality: banning women from working, asserting that unemployment was due to the presence of women on the labour market and … presenting the act of sending them back to the home as ‘the’ Islamic remedy provoked a reaction on my part. I criticised without compromise these reductionist and simplistic readings. They … characterised me as a ‘soft or light, westernised Muslim’.”

It is true that he makes explicit his search for religious texts in order to remain within the framework of the Muslim world – but he says he wants to carry out “a coherent and more just adaptation” of these texts starting from an “internal” reflection linked to a study of the evolution of contexts – thus of societies and practices:

“I am thinking about the recognition of the independence of women, their social status, marriage, divorce, etc …”

While he was employed by Ken Livingstone later in that decade  Pitt published a whole series of pieces defending Ramadan on his site, Islamophobia Watch.

In 2004 Ken Livingstone hosted a conference to ‘defend the veil’ which was  addressed by Tariq Ramadan.

It would be interesting to hear the reaction to these charges from those who defended Ramadan so vociferously in the past.

Written by Andrew Coates

November 1, 2017 at 2:37 pm

16 Responses

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  1. One of the things that all of this is going to do is revitalise the Comrade Delta ( Martin Smith ) affair in the SWP. Just when they thought it was safe to go back in the water.

    Dave Roberts

    November 1, 2017 at 8:44 pm

  2. One thing, what is St Anthony’s College doing?

    Is it fine for one of their staff to continue working in these conditions?

    So far, silence.

    Andrew Coates

    November 2, 2017 at 12:58 pm

  3. Houria Bouteldja of the Parti des Indigènes de la République (PIR) , a favourite of the oddly named US mag Jacobin, and Richard Seymour, thinks this case is a plot (complot) against Ramadan (I think we can safely guess where this alleged conspiracy comes from). Her reaction has inspired former comrades to protest – good on them! ..


    See above all:

    The double life of Tariq Ramadan. Caroline Fourest

    “It has taken me years to reveal the double-talk of the controversial Islamic speaker Tariq Ramadan.

    Since 2009 I have known that he has also led a double life, contradicting his many sermons on the « Islamic conception of sexuality. » Yet I could not write what I knew. The most serious facts could not be revealed without strong evidence, without a victim filing a complaint. Other facts were deeply troubling, revealing a hypocritical and misogynistic pathology, but I wanted to respect the principal of the right to privacy. I had enough evidence to demonstrate the duplicity of Tariq Ramadan without entering such a sordid area. But I did, however, alert colleagues and even lieutenants of Ramadan. Nothing happened.

    The preacher’s groupies continued to quote him as a reminder that sex outside marriage was haram. It made me smile as I listened to his Puritan sermons about temptation and the duty of chastity. Like the tape on « the great sins, » where he gets carried away against men daring to swim in mixed pools: « You go there and inevitably it attracts you!

    In this sermon, he urges his flock to ask for « places where it is healthy, » meaning single-gender pools. The tone of these tapes is not that of Tariq Ramadan’s polished performances on TV, but that of a preacher obsessed with sexuality, betraying a more personal neurosis.When I think of all the fundamentalist Christian or Islamist preachers I have investigated, I do not think I have ever come across a man who had a balanced sex life or simply conformed to what he preached. The world is full of homophobic televangelists with homosexual relations, pedophile priests and Islamist sex predators.

    In the case of Tariq Ramadan, it seems that we are dealing with a behavior similar to that of the disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, perhaps more violent. If I write these words today, which under French law could lead to prosecution for defamation, it is because a woman, Henda Ayari, has had the courage to file a complaint for rape, sexual assault, harassment and intimidation . Of course, Tariq Ramadan denies her charges and will file a lawsuit against her.

    On social media one of his loyal lieutenants already sees the work of an « international Zionist » plot . His fans accuse the victim, a repentant Salafist, of lying and wanting to promote herself (which, as everyone knows, is tempting). I have not meet her. But what I can say is that her precise and terrifying story is very similar to what four other women have told me.

    Rest of this essential post:


    Andrew Coates

    November 2, 2017 at 1:27 pm

  4. Andrew Coates

    November 2, 2017 at 3:58 pm

  5. From thenational.ae –

    “A French official has admitted knowing Oxford professor Tariq Ramadan was “violent and aggressive” sexually, but denied hearing anything about rape.

    Bernard Godard, who was considered the “Monsieur Islam” of the French Ministry of the Interior between 1997 and 2014, was well acquainted with Mr Ramadan, a prominent Islamic scholar and grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

    When asked whether he had any knowledge of the rape and sexual assault that Mr Ramadan is now being accused of, Mr Godard insisted he had “never heard of rapes” and that he was “stunned”.

    “That he had many mistresses, that he consulted sites, that girls were brought to the hotel at the end of his lectures, that he invited them to undress, that some resisted and that he could become violent and aggressive, yes, but I have never heard of rapes, I am stunned,” he told French magazine L’Obs.”


    John Rogan

    November 2, 2017 at 4:49 pm

  6. Perhaps there is also an answer as to why he clings to his Oxford Professorship.

    Ramadan: Ma chaire d’Oxford est financée par le Qatar.

    My Oxford Chair is financed by Qatar.

    He goes on to say that the management of his post is by the University.


    Andrew Coates

    November 2, 2017 at 5:02 pm

  7. Is Vanessa Redgrave still protesting Gerry Healy’s innocence? For that matter is Livingstone still protesting it and claiming it was all an MI5 fit up?

    Dave Roberts

    November 2, 2017 at 6:59 pm

  8. […] Tendance Coatesey has a great deal of background and commentary. […]

  9. Just had a look at the programme of the Parti des Indigines de la Republique. What a load of 60/70s pretentious twaddle. Sounds like Darcus Howe in full Race Today flow about 1975!

    Dave Roberts

    November 3, 2017 at 6:39 am

  10. There is also this aspect of their politics:

    Andrew Coates

    November 3, 2017 at 11:40 am

  11. Some interesting viewpoint in the Spectator on this “modern feminism which is in fact barely disguised misandry” which is sweeping over us.



    The Spectator

    November 3, 2017 at 6:29 pm

  12. It could argue that is designed to deliberately sow mistrust between the sexes; divide and conquer and all that. A very sinister agenda on the go here.

    The Spectator

    November 3, 2017 at 6:31 pm

  13. And of course Comrade Coates falls for it hook, line and sinker 😉

    The Spectator

    November 3, 2017 at 6:32 pm

  14. “There is political chatter about the possibility of ‘women-only carriages’ on trains.” Jezza – a man ahead of his time 😀

    Jezza's Old Nan

    November 3, 2017 at 6:43 pm

  15. 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.


    Andrew Coates

    November 5, 2017 at 1:10 pm

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