Henda Ayari on her rape by Tariq Ramadan

French women’s rights activist Henda Ayari, a Salafi-turned-liberal Muslim, accused Swiss Muslim thinker Tariq Ramadan of raping her at a Paris hotel in 2012. In an interview on the Egyptian Dream TV channel on April 7, Ayari, who has founded an NGO to help, among others, women subjugated by Islamic extremists, told her life story and recounted what had happened when Ramadan allegedly lured her to a hotel room and raped her. Ayari, who describes herself as “secular feminist who defends women’s rights,” said that she wrote her book, J’ai choisi d’être libre, describing her path from Salafism to liberalism, after the 2015 Bataclan terror attack, when she realized the danger inherent in political Islam and the Salafis. The book included a chapter on “Zubair,” whom she later identified as Ramadan. He was someone I admired and trusted completely, “like a big brother or an imam,” she said, describing the alleged encounter. “All of a sudden, his behavior changed. He became very violent toward me.” Ayari further said: “I thought I was going to die that night because he choked me and slapped me,” alleging that Ramadan had said to her: “This is what you are asking for because you don’t wear the hijab.” Ramadan is currently being detained in France on charges of raping two women, and several other women have made similar accusations against him.

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