No Appeal by US Government Regarding Tariq Ramadan's Visa

August 25, 2006

Source: South Bend Tribune

On August 25, 2006 the South Bend Tribune reported, "The U.S. government has decided not to appeal a court ruling ordering it to either issue a visa to Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss Muslim scholar, or provide good reasons for not doing so, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported Friday. In 2004, the U.S. authorities revoked a visa issued to Ramadan, who had been hired as a tenured professor at the University of Notre Dame. The government did not provide a reason, but officials referred to a provision of the U.S. Patriot Act allowing exclusion of foreign citizens who have 'endorsed or espoused terrorism.' Ramadan has angered some people by his criticisms of Israeli policies. Ramadan opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and sympathizes with the resistance there and in Palestine. But he said he also opposes Islamic extremism, and promotes peaceful solutions. 'I want to build bridges,' the scholar told the Associated Press earlier this year. 'But I'm not blindly supportive of U.S. or European policies.' A federal court issued the ruling in June in a lawsuit brought on Ramadan’s behalf by the American Academy of Religion, the American Association of University Professors and the PEN American Center. The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the plaintiffs, filed the lawsuit. The government had been expected to appeal the ruling. But on Tuesday it let the 60-day dead-line for appeal pass without challenging the ruling. Federal authorities now have 30 days to act on a second visa request that Ramadan filed in September 2005 and that has been left pending since then."