AAA joined scores of academics, professional organizations, and citizens in protesting the recent decision by the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and State to revoke the work visa previously granted to Dr. Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss Muslim scholar who had been appointed Henry R. Luce Professor of Religion, Conflict & Peace Building at Notre Dame University. A provision in the USA Patriot Act which ?bars entry to foreigners who have used a position of prominence . . . to endorse or espouse terrorist activity? was apparently invoked to justify the cancellation of Ramadan?s visa. Yet, no details have been forthcoming from the DHS which initiated the move, prompting swift assertions that Ramadan, widely acknowledged to be the type of progressive, innovative Muslim commentator with whom America should be engaged, was being refused permission to teach in this country purely because of his views. Many believe that this flies in the face of academic freedom and are demanding that Ramadan?s visa be reinstated.
AAA weighed in on the matter via a letter from President Liz Brumfiel and Daniel Varisco, President of the AAA Middle East Section to DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Maura Ann Harty, Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN), and Rep. Chris Chocola (R-IN), who represents South Bend, Indiana, home to Notre Dame University.
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