Federal judge urges government to make visa decision on Muslim scholar

[JURIST] A federal district judge on Thursday urged the US government to make a decision regarding the visa application of prominent European Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan [ACLU profile]. Ramadan was originally denied a visa in August 2004, when he was offered a teaching position at the University of Notre Dame. A Swiss native, Ramadan teaches at Oxford University in England and has published 20 books on Islam. He has advocated a "third path" of Islam [court declaration, PDF] to harmonize the conflicting identities of Muslims in Western countries. Although he has publicly condemned terrorism, Ramadan has criticized the US occupation of Iraq. The American Civil Liberties Union [advocacy website] is representing Ramadan [JURIST report] and three academic organizations that have invited him to speak in the United States in a lawsuit [PDF complaint] against the US Department of Homeland Security, seeking to overturn a provision of the USA Patriot Act [PDF text, JURIST news archive] barring entry to any foreigner who endorses terrorism as unconstitutional.

Although government lawyers have denied that the provision motivated the US government's decision [NYT report], they have not offered the government's reasons for refusing Ramadan a visa or stated when it is likely to make a decision, citing national security concerns. Reuters has more.



 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.