Ramadan still barred by US government

An American court has upheld Oxford don Tariq Ramadan’s exclusion from the United States, marking another defeat in the Muslim academic’s fight to enter the country.Judge Paul A. Crotty adjudicated that Professor Ramadan should be denied entry to the US on the grounds of donations he made between 1998 and 2002 to a Swiss charity that provides aid to Palastinians, which the U.S government claims was supporting terrorist groups. In a statement Ramadan’s attorney Jameel Jaffer claimed the verdict was “a very sad thing…both legally wrong and deeply unjust”. He said his client was excluded “not because of his actions, but because of his ideas”. Ramadan, Professor of Islamic Studies at St. Antony’s College, advocates the formation of a new European Islamic identity that embraces Western culture. Jaffer accused the court of having followed the government’s decision, “without any evidence at all”. Matt Gosho, Press Officer of the US-Embassy in London, said, “Professor Ramadan was excluded on the basis of donations he made to an organization supporting known terrorist groups in direct violation of our immigration statute.”The organisation was blacklisted by the U.S government in 2003 due to potential violations of the Patriot Act. Crotty ruled that laws enacted in 2005 should be applied retroactively to donations made before the organisation was blacklisted.Gosho continued, “The US Government does not bar, or seek to bar, foreign scholars from visiting, speaking, teaching or publishing in the United States, regardless of those scholars’ political views.
“In point of fact, there are thousands of such scholars are teaching, lecturing and speaking on campuses and in think tanks all over the United States. The U.S. Government, through the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security, actively supports their presence in the America by facilitating their visas applications and entry into the United States. A scholar’s (or student’s, or businessperson’s, or tourist’s) political views are never a factor in determining that persons eligibility for entry into the U.S.” by Sophie Luebbert