Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tariq Ramadan Victory

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Tariq Ramadan is entitled to contest his exclusion from the United States. As I detail in my book, Patriotic Correctness, Ramadan was banned from entering the country to teach at Notre Dame's Joan Kroc Center for International Peace Studies. Various right-wingers lobbied the Bush Administration to ban him from the country because he's an influential moderate Muslim in Europe. Later, the Bush Administration gave the excuse that a Swiss Palestinian charity Ramadan gave money to was later designated a supporter of terrorism by the Bush Administration (it's still legal in Switzerland), and Ramadan should have used his psychic powers to predict this.

I was upset that the Obama Administration hadn't overturned the Bushies on day one, but the court ruling shows this was a wise decision. In 2006, the ACLU, the AAUP, and other groups sued. Under this ruling, the government must now, in order to deny a visa, give a reason, confront the individual with that reason, and give them an opportunity to refute it. An appalling restriction on foreign scholars and academic freedom from the Bush Era has now been lifted.

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