Thursday, March 26, 2009

Obama administration upholds ban on Muslim scholar

The ACLU has championed the case of Swiss Muslim Tariq Ramadan, an Oxford University professor and a vocal critic of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, who has been barred first by the Bush Administration from entering the United States on the grounds national security concerns, and that decision has now been upheld by the Obama administration.

While I was expecting a clean break from the Bush administration’s failed policies, Obama still clings certain policies from the previous administration, as we have discussed here a few times concerning Bush’s faith-based programs that Obama plans to continue, as well as policies involving our national security. But in this case, is he justified? I think maybe he is.

Obama lawyer sticks to ban on Muslim scholar

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A lawyer arguing on behalf of the Obama administration on Tuesday echoed Bush administration policies to back a decision to deny one of Europe’s leading Muslim intellectuals entry to the United States.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Jones told a U.S. federal appeals court panel that they should uphold a decision to bar Swiss Muslim Tariq Ramadan, an Oxford University professor and a vocal critic of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, from entering the United States.

Civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, had hoped Tuesday’s arguments would see a reversal of Bush administration policies that they argue exclude foreign scholars from visiting the United States due to their political beliefs.

“Consular decisions are not subject to litigation,” Jones told the three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, broadly arguing the courts have no power to examine visa denials. The ACLU argued against a judge’s ruling in late 2007 that upheld Ramadan’s ban.

Ramadan is the grandson of Hasan al-Banna, an Islamist thinker and activist who in 1928 founded the Muslim Brotherhood, which opposed secular and Western ideas.

The ACLU has championed Ramadan’s case as part of a larger pattern of scholars and writers being excluded due to unwarranted or unspecified U.S. national security grounds.


The ACLU argued the government was using the provision more broadly to deny entry to people whose political views they did not approve of.

My immediate reaction, while remembering what happened on September 11, 2001, is to say fuck this terrorist sympathizer and America hater. On the other hand, is it right to ban people from coming here simply because of their political viewpoints? Is this a dangerous anti-American instigator who should be kept out of this country for security reasons, or should he be allowed a visa to enter and exercise his freedom of speech?Many people, liberal and conservative think he should be barred from entry because of the rhetoric he espouses. He isn't simply speaking in disagreement of an act committed by the USA, but is against the USA and all of Western culture, in general. Ramadan says he is a moderate, but holds very strong Islamic views towards women and in support of the fundamentalist form of his religion.

1 comment:

Loridae said...

It is often hard to bring your views into line with what's happening in the real world. On one hand I feel that he should be admitted because America hears everyone's view even if they don't like it. However, it wouldn't hurt me a bit, in light of what we suffered on 9/11, to have him turned away and not have to hear his sexist/terrorist propaganda. It's like Guantanamo Bay, I didn't feel so bad about those guys getting slapped around, but in general I do not believe in torture. I'm glad that Obama is shutting Guantanamo Bay down because I don't think America needs to be associated with a torture chamber.