Press Releases

CAIR’S Letter to DHS on Revocation of Scholar’s Visa


August 24, 2004

The Honorable Tom Ridge
Secretary, Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528

Dear Secretary Ridge,

I serve as executive director of the largest American Muslim civil rights
and advocacy organization in the United States, representing the interests
of more than seven million American Muslims. I write to you today about the
recent revocation of a visa for Professor Tariq Ramadan who was scheduled
to teach this fall semester at the University of Notre Dame Institute for
International Peace Studies in South Bend, Indiana. I seriously hope that
you will reconsider this decision and allow this internationally renowned
academic to help build bridges between the Muslim World and the United
States. This latest action of such a high profile figure makes our task to
reach out to the Muslim world much more and unnecessarily difficult.

TIME magazine recently named Professor Ramadan as one of the Top 100
Spiritual Leaders and Innovators in the world in its April 26, 2004,
edition. Such a prestigious distinction by arguably the preeminent magazine
in America shows the diverse respect that Dr. Ramadan has earned throughout
his career.

In an official statement, the University of Notre Dame stated that:
“Professor Ramadan is a distinguished scholar and a voice for moderation in
the Muslim world,” the university said. “We know of no reason his entry
should be prevented.”

As an organization and on behalf of the American Muslim community, our
continued goal is to foster dialogues of tolerance and pluralism throughout
the world. We believe that in order to improve relations with the Muslim
world, our government needs to reach out to distinguished academics like
Dr. Ramadan. As all Americans, we value the concept of academic freedom
which helps to add diverse and interesting ideas into the free flow of
academic discourse. By revoking Dr. Ramadan’s visa, it unfortunately sends
the wrong message to the Muslim world about America’s diverse ethnic,
religious and political landscape.

Dr. Ramadan seeks to build and mend the bridges between the Muslim world
and the United States. I earnestly hope you will allow him entry to the
United States so that he may continue that endeavor.

Most Sincerely,

Nihad Awad
Executive Director
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)


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. COPY

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

Please see: CAIR Calls for Reversal of Prof’s Visa Revocation


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