Press Releases

CAIR Calls for Reversal of Prof’s Visa Revocation


A prominent national Islamic civil rights and
advocacy group today called on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) to reverse its decision to revoke the visa of an Islamic scholar who
was due to begin teaching at the University of Notre Dame.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the
DHS decision to revoke a visa previously granted to Tariq Ramadan, a
well-known Islamic scholar who is often described as a “moderate” and a
“reformer,” sends the wrong message to the Islamic world about America’s
willingness to listen to what Muslims have to say.

Ramadan, a citizen of Switzerland, was granted a visa in February following
a lengthy security check. It was revoked July 28, after his family’s
belongings had already been sent to the United States. No reason was given
for the revocation. A statement issued by Notre Dame said: “Professor
Ramadan is a distinguished scholar and a voice for moderation in the Muslim
world”¦We know of no reason his entry should be prevented.”

The Chicago Tribune reported today that the decision to revoke Ramadan’s
visa “could have been influenced by some Jewish groups that have waged a
campaign against scholars and public intellectuals whose views on Islam and
the Middle East conflict with their own.”

SEE: “Muslim Scholar Has Visa Revoked”,1,3887036.story

“The best way to improve deteriorating relations with the Muslim world is
by listening to mainstream Islamic political and religious voices, not by
censoring respected scholars whose views are apparently feared by those who
seek a monopoly on intellectual debate,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad

Awad said the DHS decision runs counter to recent remarks by President
Bush’s national security advisor Condoleezza Rice who said just last week
that America must expand “efforts to support and encourage the voices of
moderation and tolerance and pluralism within the Muslim world.”

CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 28 regional
offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.


Contact the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and
President Bush to urge that the decision to revoke Dr. Tariq Ramadan’s visa
be reversed. You should also send a copy of the letter to your elected

Click on the links for President Bush (click on “President”), Secretary of
State Colin Powell and Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge (click on
“Agencies”). Enter your ZIP Code to contact elected representatives.

Ramadan was to teach at the University of Notre Dame Joan B. Kroc Institute
for International Peace Studies.


Send a copy of your letter to:

R. Scott Appleby
Joan B. Kroc Institute
106 Hesburgh Center
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Phone: (574) 631-5665
Fax: (574) 631-6973

– END –

CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:;
Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail:


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