Tariq Ramadan denied US visa

by Chris Bertram on August 25, 2004

According to Scott Martens at A Fistful of Euros , Tariq Ramadan (recently interviewed by OpenDemocracy) who had been appointed to a visiting position at Notre Dame, has been denied a US visa under sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act that were amended by the Patriot Act. Scott comments:

Whether one agrees with Ramadan or not, it is difficult to image an Islamic intellectual figure who is likely to be more acceptable as the other side in an American dialogue with Islam. Thus, the refusal to allow him to enter the US suggests that someone in Homeland Security agrees with the Daniel Pipes standard: Any Muslim who fails to condemn Islam, from its founding to the present and in all its manifestations, must be a fanatic and a threat to the West. …. This is an opportunity for Europeans and Americans to show that at the very least they are capable of exercising better judgement than the Bush administration.

{ 23 comments }

1

Njorl 08.25.04 at 2:09 pm

Rephrasing Monty Python’s “Bruces”:

“I’ve told him he’s welcome to teach any of the great Islamic thinkers, provided he makes it clear that they were wrong. “

2

Des von Bladet 08.25.04 at 2:49 pm

JihadWatch accuses Ramadan of refusing to condemn the stoning of wimmins during a debate with N Sarkozy (then French interior minister). (I seem to recall he opposed the head scarf ban, too, but then so did Chris von Timber and so did I, and I, for one, have yet to be refused entry to the FDRUSA on account of it.)

The debate itself is online, but it is somewhat in French. The gist of Ramadan’s real position is that, as a member of a broader Islamique community, it is not his place to unilaterally preempt its debates,

Nicolas SARKOZY:
Ca pose un problème, c’est que nous sommes en 2003 et en 2003 nous sommes un certain nombre qui ne pouvons pas accepter que les femmes musulmanes parce qu’elles seraient musulmanes soient frappées, c’est quand même un discours moyenâgeux, c’est un discours qu’on ne peut pas accepter. On peut être pédagogique sur tel ou tel point qui sont pour le coup de détail pas sur des châtiments corporels physiques sur les femmes quand même.

Tariq RAMADAN:
Non vous avez parfaitement raison, monsieur SARKOZY vous avez parfaitement raison mais tenez-vous à ce que je dis, si il s?agit d?avoir un débat avec moi, ma position elle est extrêmement claire, la violence conjugale, et la violence à l’endroit d’une femme est inacceptable, islamiquement, c’est ce que je dis, et je le dis avec force.

SARKOZKY:
The problem is that it’s 2003 and in 2003 some of us can’t accpet that Muslim women, because they are women, should beaten, that it’s a medieval way of talking, an unacceptable way of talking. On can take a pedagogical approach on some point of detail (?) or another, but not on corporal punishment of women.

RAMADAN:
You are quite right, M. Sarkozy, you are quite right, but keep in mind what I’m saying, that if it were a debate with me, my position is quite clear, conjugal violence, and violence with respect to women is unacceptable, islamically, that’s what I say, and I say so strongly.

And if anyone’s thinking of trotting out the Islamic Reformation malarkey again, I would preemptively agree with the recent Courrier International letter writer who pointed out that a more apt desideratum is something like the kind of synthesis of reason and faith that Thomas ab Aquino put together, and which he swiped, as a project, off of Alverroes in the first place.

3

Scott Martens 08.25.04 at 3:05 pm

Thanks Des, I was looking for a transcript of that debate.

4

dipnut 08.26.04 at 12:19 am

(I posted the following reply to Scott Martens’s original post; perhaps someone here would like to comment.)

…the Daniel Pipes standard: Any Muslim who fails to condemn Islam, from its founding to the present and in all its manifestations, must be a fanatic and a threat to the West.

Obviously one cannot be a Muslim and condemn Islam in all its manifestations. Therefore every Muslim would be a fanatic and a threat to the West.

That’s a heavy assertion to put into anyone’s mouth; it’s in the same league as advocating genocide. On what basis do you ascribe this view to Mr. Pipes?

5

drapeto 08.26.04 at 1:00 am

it is unamerican to not let good looks triumph over ideological differences.

6

rosalind 08.26.04 at 1:26 am

Hee! It’s true; Ramadan is a fox.

Worldview on Chicago Public Radio did a show today all about Ramadan’s being denied a Visa. One woman who was interviewed inanely argued that Ramadan’s belief that Islam is a better religion than Judaism and Christianity made him an anti-Semite and a generally bad man to be in a university environment. She did clarify that she didn’t believe that should keep him from being granted a Visa, but still. It was idiotic. All those other religions advocate the equal truth-value of all beliefs.

7

John Quiggin 08.26.04 at 4:54 am

There’s a petition for Ramadan’s admission, signatures being collected at
academic_freedom_usa@yahoo.co.uk

8

drapeto 08.26.04 at 8:45 am

Hee! It’s true; Ramadan is a fox.

yes, i wondered what scott martens meant by “it is difficult to image an Islamic intellectual figure who is likely to be more acceptable as the other side in an American dialogue with Islam” — acceptable to Muslims? acceptable to Islamists? acceptable to Americans?

then i realized he meant acceptable to me (and you).

9

james 08.26.04 at 3:38 pm

rosalind – “All those other religions advocate the equal truth-value of all beliefs.” What is meant by this statement?

10

rosalind 08.26.04 at 4:36 pm

James, I meant that sarcastically. The woman interviewed on the program was making the case that Ramadan is exceptional in that his religious beliefs cause him to, you know, not accept other religious beliefs. Which is pretty much the essence of almost all religious beliefs.

11

Robin Green 08.26.04 at 4:58 pm

What is meant by this statement?

Sarcasm, I think

12

bill feldstein 08.27.04 at 8:38 am

Mr. Ramadan avocates Lapadation. This type of belief should not be allowed to penertrate the minds of our young. Our department of imigration granted a visa to a radical Islamic Fundamentalist and anti Semite. We Americans are expected to be vigilent! A man of his ilk under the disguise of a Jesuit University being granted permission to work in our country? NO!

13

Tom 08.27.04 at 8:05 pm

both Jews and Muslims have semitic roots, which can be seen in the extreme closeness of Arabic and Hebrew – All members of each group are considered Semites and thus an Arab-Muslim man cannot be anti-semitic.

14

Cecily 08.30.04 at 1:00 am

luxuqsqotoa mipscjos.

15

tickling 09.01.04 at 12:23 am

That’s so funny!

16

Kanish 09.01.04 at 9:30 pm

Dialogue with intellectuals like Tariq Ramadan are essential to creating a more humane world. Suppresion and blind patriotism leads to ignorance and radicalism. Allowing the government to fully control the education system will always create problems and revoking Ramadan’s visa is taking a step in the wrong direction.

17

Kanish 09.01.04 at 9:31 pm

Dialogue with intellectuals like Tariq Ramadan are essential to creating a more humane world. Suppresion and blind patriotism leads to ignorance and radicalism. Allowing the government to fully control the education system will always create problems and revoking Ramadan’s visa is taking a step in the wrong direction.

18

Kanish 09.01.04 at 9:31 pm

Dialogue with intellectuals like Tariq Ramadan are essential to creating a more humane world. Suppresion and blind patriotism leads to ignorance and radicalism. Allowing the government to fully control the education system will always create problems and revoking Ramadan’s visa is taking a step in the wrong direction.

19

Kanish 09.01.04 at 9:32 pm

Dialogue with intellectuals like Tariq Ramadan are essential to creating a more humane world. Suppresion and blind patriotism leads to ignorance and radicalism. Allowing the government to fully control the education system will always create problems and revoking Ramadan’s visa is taking a step in the wrong direction.

20

Kanish 09.01.04 at 9:32 pm

Dialogue with intellectuals like Tariq Ramadan are essential to creating a more humane world. Suppresion and blind patriotism leads to ignorance and radicalism. Allowing the government to fully control the education system will always create problems and revoking Ramadan’s visa is taking a step in the wrong direction.

21

Kanish 09.01.04 at 9:32 pm

Dialogue with intellectuals like Tariq Ramadan are essential to creating a more humane world. Suppresion and blind patriotism leads to ignorance and radicalism. Allowing the government to fully control the education system will always create problems and revoking Ramadan’s visa is taking a step in the wrong direction.

22

Kanish 09.01.04 at 9:32 pm

Dialogue with intellectuals like Tariq Ramadan are essential to creating a more humane world. Suppresion and blind patriotism leads to ignorance and radicalism. Allowing the government to fully control the education system will always create problems and revoking Ramadan’s visa is taking a step in the wrong direction.

23

Kanish 09.01.04 at 9:32 pm

Dialogue with intellectuals like Tariq Ramadan are essential to creating a more humane world. Suppresion and blind patriotism leads to ignorance and radicalism. Allowing the government to fully control the education system will always create problems and revoking Ramadan’s visa is taking a step in the wrong direction.

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