London (AFP) – Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan took a leave of absence on Tuesday from the University of Oxford following multiple rape and sexual misconduct allegations, the British institution said.
“By mutual agreement, and with immediate effect, Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies, has taken a leave of absence from the University of Oxford,” it said in a statement.
Ramadan’s duties will be reassigned and he will not be present on campus, the university said.
The Swiss-born professor has denied two allegations of rape made by French women, as well as further allegations in Swiss media of sexual misconduct against teenage girls in the 1980s and 1990s.
Oxford said the claims had caused “heightened and understandable distress” and its principal concern remains “the wellbeing of our students and staff”.
“An agreed leave of absence implies no presumption or acceptance of guilt and allows Professor Ramadan to address the extremely serious allegations made against him, all of which he categorically denies,” the university said.
Ramadan has furiously denied the allegations as a “campaign of lies launched by my adversaries” and is battling them in the courts.