Richard Silverstein at Tikun Olam has a few posts (here and here) about the decision of the State Department to deny a visa to Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan. Ramadan was to begin teaching in the fall at Notre Dame. (See also Chris’s post on the subject.) A spokeswoman for the State Department:
said Mr. Ramadan’s visa was revoked under a legal provision that bans espionage agents, saboteurs and anyone the United States “knows, or has reasonable ground to believe, is engaged in or is likely to engage after entry in any terrorist activity.” She said she could not provide any details about Mr. Ramadan’s case.
I don’t know much about Ramadan, and no scholar is owed a visa. However, I’ve just read Daniel Pipes critical article about why Ramadan should be denied a visa (linked by Silverstein). His evidence alone doesn’t sound like it’s strong enough to keep him out of the country.
It’s maddening. I don’t like second-guessing this sort of decision, and it’s absolutely possible that there is good reason to suspect Ramadan. If that were true, the State Department probably shouldn’t be sharing their suspicions in great detail. But… if there’s real reason to suspect this scholar will engage in felonies while teaching at Notre Dame, why would the State Department invite Ramadan to reapply for another kind of visa?