French authorities confirmed Wednesday that Ramadan had been placed into custody. The academic, who has denied any wrongdoing, had complaints filed against him by two women in France over an alleged rape in 2009, and an alleged sexual assault in 2012. The scholar went on a leave of absence from Oxford over the complaints, where he serves as a professor of contemporary Islamic studies.
Considered a leading authority on Islam in the West, Ramadan has written numerous books and articles on the subject, as well as the subject of Muslims' integration into Europe. However, his work has attracted its share of controversy over the years, and Twitter users were sure to point this out in their reaction to his arrest.
Some users, including The Intercept journalist Glenn Greenwald, simply called the arrest "huge news."
Wow. Huge news. This is what Ramadan's victim Henda Ayari said of her alleged rape in 2012: “He literally pounced on me like a wild animal." He "choked me. I really thought I was going to die.” https://t.co/ByqzW6JQXc— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) January 31, 2018
Wow. This is huge. Tariq Ramadan has long been a major figure in the world of Muslim activism and academics. He's been accused by several women of rape and sexual assault. He's vehemently denied the accusations but authorities seem to view them as credible: https://t.co/2gREmHNmkI— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 31, 2018
Others immediately recalled stories of Ramadan's suspected sympathies for the Muslim Brotherhood, and his family's long-standing affiliations with the group, which Egypt, Russia, and several other countries consider a terrorist group.
Some users, recalling Ramadan's controversial defense of the practice of the stoning of women accused of adultery, wrote that his arrest was a "humiliating end" to his career.
Digging deeper, others recalled the fact that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had personally intervened to overturn Ramadan's entry ban into the United States. The scholar had been barred from entry by the Bush administration in 2004 over his financial support for a charity accused of funding terrorists.
Some users, concerned over Ramadan's upcoming talk for the Islamic Institute for Development & Research, put pressure on the London-based think tank to cancel it.
.@IIDR_Live Tariq Ramadan has just been detained in Paris over allegations of sexual violence. It’s not appropriate for him to give a course on Islam to anyone. Many British Muslims are concerned about your event, we are asking you to either cancel the event or find a new speaker— Akeela Ahmed (@AkeelaAhmed) January 31, 2018
London university hosting Tariq Ramadan despite *multiple rape allegations* and ongoing investigation in France. Are there different rules for different kinds of sexual predators? @QMUL please explain. https://t.co/b8p3rPdflD— Muna (@munazainab) January 31, 2018
Finally, others simply said they hope to see some justice for the alleged victims.