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a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

Why don’t we hear Muslims condemning terrorism more often?

Posted by Thomas Nephew on September 27th, 2006

Because we keep them out of the country:

The United States government has denied a visa to Oxford University Professor Tariq Ramadan despite dropping its previous allegation that he endorsed terrorism, the American Civil Liberties Union announced today.

The ACLU, American Academy of Religion, American Association of University Professors, New York Civil Liberties Union and PEN American Center sued the government for preventing their members from meeting with Ramadan and hearing constitutionally protected speech. The lawsuit came after the government invoked the Patriot Act’s “ideological exclusion” provision to prevent Ramadan from accepting a teaching position at the University of Notre Dame in 2004. The provision applies to those who have “endorsed or espoused” terrorism, but government attorneys failed to produce any evidence showing that Ramadan had done so. […]

This week, after more than two years of investigating Ramadan and faced with a deadline imposed by the court, the State Department offered a new pretext for excluding Professor Ramadan: that he had donated about 600 Euros to French and Swiss organizations that provide humanitarian aid to Palestinians-information Ramadan voluntarily provided to the State Department months ago. Although the organizations are legitimate charities in France, the Bush administration contends that the groups gave funds to Hamas and has invoked a law known as the “material support” law, which allows the government to exclude individuals whom it believes have supported terrorism.

600 Euros, six degrees of separation — sounds like a regular kingpin financier of terror. This is who we’ve narrowly prevented from sullying American minds:

…as United States District Judge Paul A. Crotty noted, Ramadan has been a consistent and vocal critic of terrorism. In fact, Ramadan was appointed by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to a United Kingdom government taskforce to combat terrorism and was recognized by Time magazine as one of 100 “innovators” of the 21st century.

Ramadan has faced a long and patently dishonest smear campaign by Daniel Pipes and others desperate to vilify never-quite-moderate-enough Muslims like him. It’s an outrage that campaign appears to have succeeded. This country is the poorer and the more pathetic for our idiot government’s continuing refusal to let us hear what men like Mr. Ramadan have to say.

This development may go generally unnoticed, but it’s of a piece with other news in what looks like a dark week for America. I take little comfort in knowing that at least we’re safe from Tariq Ramadan.

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UPDATE, 9/27: Now that “material support” against the US or a co-belligerent is about to be enough to qualify one as an “unlawful combatant” I wonder if Ramadan was lucky to just get his visa denied. Beats getting disappeared to a few years of “long time standing.” Of course, this administration has snatched people overseas as well, so Mr. Ramadan might want to watch his back. (2nd update: Yes, I suspect Israel isn’t technically a “co-belligerent” — but just wait until the next draft of the McCain/Warner/Graham monstrosity.)

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