Government Backs Away from Claim that Ramadan Endorsed Terrorism

April 25, 2006

Source: ACLU Press Release

On April 25, 2006 an ACLU Press Release reported, "In response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union on behalf of academic organizations, the Departments of State and Homeland Security have backed away from a claim that noted Swiss Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan is being denied entry to the United States because he endorsed or espoused terrorism.

'As this case has progressed, it has become increasingly obvious that the government has no legitimate basis for barring Professor Ramadan from the United States,' said Jameel Jaffer, the lead ACLU attorney in this case. 'All the evidence suggests that the government is barring Professor Ramadan simply because it doesn't want Americans to hear what he has to say.'

In July 2004, the Departments of State and Homeland Security revoked a visa that would have allowed Ramadan to accept a tenured teaching position at the University of Notre Dame, explaining their action by pointing to a provision of the Patriot Act that allows the government to bar those who have 'endorsed or espoused terrorism.'

In court, however, the government failed to introduce evidence that Ramadan had endorsed terrorism, and in papers filed yesterday it acknowledged that, despite its July 2004 statement to the media, it had never determined that Ramadan was inadmissible to the United States under that provision of the Patriot Act."