US Academics Slam Denial of Ramadan Visa

September 26, 2006


On September 26, 2006 reported, "American academics and civil liberty organizations blasted the Bush administration's 'ideological exclusion' of prominent Swiss-based Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan... Diana Eck, who heads the American Academy of Religion, asserted that Ramadan, a Swiss citizen who teaches at Oxford University, is 'one of today's leading Muslim theologians and his voice is vital to the contemporary discussion of Islam in the West... His ongoing exclusion sends exactly the wrong message about America's commitment to the free exchange of ideas.'

Ramadan, one of the world's leading scholars on Islam, was forced to turn down a tenured position at a prestigious US university when his visa was revoked in 2004 just before he traveled to the us... The ACLU said the US government notified Ramadan he was being excluded because he donated $765 to French and Swiss organizations that provide humanitarian aid to Palestinians [in 2000]... Many, including Ramadan, believe the prominent Muslim scholar and thinker is being punished for his criticism of the Bush administration's Iraq war and foreign policy."