Patriot Act Faulted in Denial of Visa for Muslim Scholar

October 26, 2007


Source: The New York Times

A lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal judge yesterday to declare unconstitutional a part of the Patriot Act that he says allowed a prominent Muslim scholar to be denied a visa.

The lawyer, Jameel Jaffer, told Judge Paul A. Crotty of Federal District Court in Manhattan that the provision, allowing the federal government to deny visas to people who “endorse or espouse terrorist activity,” was a primary reason that the scholar, Tariq Ramadan, was denied a work visa to enter the United States in 2004.

“What concerns us about this provision is it could be used to exclude people who have done nothing more than disagree with U.S. foreign policy,” Mr. Jaffer said outside court.

Mr. Ramadan was trying to enter the United States from his home in Switzerland after being hired to teach Islamic ethics at the University of Notre Dame.