Groups Decry Muslim Scholar's Visa Denial
KEN KUSMER, Associated Press Writer
Sept 17, 2004
INDIANAPOLIS — Scholars and critics worldwide are demanding that the U.S. government explain why it revoked the work visa of a Muslim scholar hired at the University of Notre Dame, saying the action threatens academic freedoms.
But few answers are forthcoming from the Department of Homeland Security, which cited security concerns when it barred Tariq Ramadan from entering the country.
That silence has sparked protests from at least four U.S. scholars' groups, led a United Nations-sponsored institution to issue an academic freedom alert and inspired appeals from Jewish organizations.
Robert O'Neil, who is chairman of an academic freedom committee for the American Association of University Professors, said Ramadan's case could have a chilling effect on an academic community already facing security measures stemming from the 2001 terrorist attacks. A more chilling effect....is the thought of brainwashing teenagers with the book that Ramadan believes is 'sacred'.
"It does suggest ... foreign scholars may be scrutinized more carefully and may be denied entry on the basis of something less than overt terrorist activity or association," said O'Neil, whose group has written Secretary of State Colin Powell and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to protest the decision.
The State Department issued Ramadan a work visa in May but revoked it in July. The action came just weeks before the scholar was scheduled to begin a tenured position as professor of religion, conflict and peace-building at Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.
Russ Knocke, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman, said last month that the visa was revoked based on "public safety or national security interests." Knocke has not responded to recent requests for interviews from The Associated Press.
Many who have rallied in Ramadan's support believe the scholar's controversial profile, including sharp criticism of Israel, the war in Iraq and U.S. policy in the Middle East, was the real reason for the revocation.
"We fear that pressures were applied to reverse the granting of the visa by people who disagree with Dr. Ramadan's views as a scholar," two groups, the Middle East Studies Association of North America and the American Academy of Religion, stated in a joint letter to Powell and Ridge.
Scholars at Risk, which normally focuses on rescuing professors who face persecution in their homelands, also has taken up Ramadan's cause because of its ramifications for academic freedom.
"The information we do have does not seem to explain the decision, and if there is more, we'd like to know what it is," said Robert Quinn, director of the group, which is based at New York University.
The Network for Education and Academic Rights issued an academic freedom alert for the United States over the case. It is the fifth alert the London-based, U.N.-sponsored group has issued for the United States since January 2002.
The Jewish Law Students Society at Notre Dame condemned the visa revocation. Chicago's Jewish Council on Urban Affairs said "the barring of Ramadan may represent one more horrific example of government suspicion, intimidation and exaggerated allegations against Muslims and Muslim communities."
Notre Dame spokesman Matt Storin said the university is still seeking answers but has received no specifics about Ramadan's case.
Ramadan remains in Switzerland, defending himself in articles and interviews.
The furor over his visa symbolizes something larger, he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
"All these people who don't know me, they may disagree with me, all the academics, but at least they understand something: In Tariq Ramadan there is a very important challenge, a very important issue, which is the freedom for the academics to speak and to be critical, to be free."
Tariq Ramadan wants to come to America to preach to the younger generation.
This nation will reap what it sows.Tariq Ramadan does not plant peace.
Jer 14:14 The prophets prophesy lies in My name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
Jer 23:26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart.
Jer 23:35 Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the LORD answered? and, What hath the LORD spoken?
Jer 23:36 And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.
The command is:
Mat 17:5 This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; HEAR YE HIM.
2Cr 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Jhn 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Isa 34:16 Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail.
1Jo 2:27 The anointing [Word of God] which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you.
Jhn 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Jhn 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. [no one of these shall fail]
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. [Which is Life]
2Jo 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine of Christ], receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. Not only is Ramadan not bringing the Word of Christ...he brings that which calls the Gospel of Christ lies: his Koran...which breaks ALL humanitarian laws...Spiritually, Nationally and Internationally.
The Koran forgot to mention Palestine...so what wisdom can Ramadan offer to the young of America?
Psa 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.