[QODLink]
Archive
Visa ban on Muslim scholar challenged
A leading Muslim academic suing the US government over its refusal to give him a travel visa has asked a federal court to allow him to enter the country temporarily while the case is awaiting trial.
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2006 22:31 GMT
Ramadan says he is a moderate and opposes terrorism
A leading Muslim academic suing the US government over its refusal to give him a travel visa has asked a federal court to allow him to enter the country temporarily while the case is awaiting trial.

Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss citizen who now teaches at Oxford University in the UK, had his US visa revoked in 2004, shortly before he was scheduled to move to the US to accept a position at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is representing Ramadan, said the State Department excluded the professor under a provision of the Patriot Act that allows the government to bar entry to any prominent foreigner who has used his status to endorse or espouse terrorism.

Ramadan is a critic of the US invasion of Iraq and has said he sympathises with nonviolent Palestinian resistance against Israel, but says he is a moderate who opposes terrorism and does not support Islamic extremism.

"It would be absurd to suggest that this criticism - the same kind of criticism that appears every morning in the editorial pages of major American newspapers - amounts to approval of terrorism," the ACLU lawsuit said on Wednesday.

Jameel Jaffer, an ACLU lawyer, added: "The government doesn't have the authority to exclude people from the country, invited scholars, simply because it doesn't like what they have to say."

US officials have yet to publicly detail their reasons for revoking Ramadan's visa.

The professor has long drawn extra attention because he is the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest Muslim revivalist group in Egypt.

US Justice Department legal officials have yet to file papers responding to the lawsuit.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
Residents count the cost of violence after black American teenager shot dead by white Missouri police officer.
EU's poorest member state is struggling to cope with an influx of mostly war-weary Syrian refugees.
Study says tipping point reached as poachers kill 7 percent of African elephants annually; birth rate is 5 percent.
Zimbabwe's leader given rotating chairmanship of 15-member nation bloc a year after he won disputed presidential polls.
join our mailing list