Positive Muslim News

News about good things Muslims are doing in North America and around the world.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Muslim scholar barred from US preaches tolerance


Tariq Ramadan - a Swiss-born intellectual, imam, and activist - is one of Europe's most prominent Muslim reformers. Time magazine named him one of the 100 innovators of the 21st century. The University of Notre Dame has invited him to teach Islamic philosophy and ethics at its Kroc Institute for Peace Studies.
But just days before classes began, the US government revoked his visa on the basis of national security, without explanation. The scholar and his family were stranded as his furniture headed to Indiana. Many American scholars were stunned and have decried the government's action as an interference in academic freedom.


Ramadan has been accused by some of saying one thing to Westerners and another thing to Muslims, yet he seems to have no difficulty in this book and elsewhere rejecting extremism. This reviewer heard him speak at a national gathering of American Muslims in 2002. "We feel vulnerable and defensive, but this is not a time to justify ourselves," he said. "We have to be self-critical ... To kill innocent people anywhere is not Islam and must be condemned. We must speak out when radical groups use jihad wrongly, and when there is wrong in so-called Islamic countries."

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