ADC Press Release:

Muslim Scholar's Visa Revoked: ADC Expresses Concern to DHS


Washington, DC, Aug. 25-ADC is troubled by the last minute decision to bar Mr. Tariq Ramadan from teaching at University of Notre Dame.

Tariq Ramadan was recently named by Time Magazine as one of the "Top 100 Innovative Spiritual Leaders of the 21st Century." He has gained popularity for his views of Islam's compatibility with secular European society. According to press statements, Ramadan believes that "it's time to abandon the dichotomy in Muslim thought that has defined Islam in opposition to the West."

Earlier this year Ramadan was appointed by Notre Dame to be its "Henry B. Luce Professor of Religion, Conflict, and Peace Building" at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.  However, in a blow to academic freedom, his visa was revoked by the Department of Homeland Security.

Ramadan is a Swiss citizen and was born in Switzerland, although he traces his ancestry to Egypt. Ramadan teaches at the College of Geneva and the University of Fribourg in Switzerland.

ADC President Mary Rose Oakar said, "ADC is deeply troubled by yet another visa denial to a visiting Arab scholar, particularly one who hopes to bridge religious and cultural divides.  We are also deeply troubled by a pattern of stifling of academic discourse with regards to the Arab and Muslim worlds.In today's climate we should be encouraging and incorporating the voices of moderation into our national discourse, not rejecting these voices."

President Oakar added, "ADC is expressing its concern to the Department of Homeland Security, asking why Tariq Ramadan's visa was revoked only days before he was to begin teaching. We believe that his visa should be reissued and Ramadan be offered an apology.  We look forward to working with DHS to resolve this issue."