Chicago welcomes once-banned Muslim scholar
Chicago Tribune, April 5, 2010
Six years after the U.S. government barred Tariq Ramadan from entering the U.S., the controversial Muslim scholar will speak in Chicago on Saturday—one of his first American appearances since U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised he would no longer be denied a visa for having alleged ties to terrorism. His opponents warn of danger ahead.
Ramadan, now a professor at Oxford University in England, will address an audience at the Council of American Islamic Relations in Chicago. His visa was revoked in 2004 right before he would have moved to Indiana to take a tenured teaching job at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.
A champion of integrating Islam in the Western world, Ramadan criticized the Bush administration's policies in the Middle East. He also has rejected Muslim terrorism as "anti-Islam."
“Anyone who has read any of my 20 books, 700 articles or listened to any of my 170 audio-taped lectures will discern a consistent message,” Ramadan wrote in the Chicago Tribune in 2004. “The very moment Muslims and their fellow citizens realize that being a Muslim and being American or European are not mutually exclusive, they will enrich their societies. Since Sept. 11, I have lectured at countless American universities and civic organizations. The French consul of Chicago invited me in 2002 for a lecture trip in the United States, and I spoke at the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.”
Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Chicago chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, said he wasted no time inviting Ramadan to speak when the scholar’s rights to enter the U.S. were restored in January. He had last spoken with Ramadan in December when both of them spoke at the Parliament for the World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia. Ramadan now has a 10-year visa.
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At Last Allowed, Muslim Scholar Visits - NYT
Tariq Ramadan To Speak in New York - Slate
Why I Was Banned in the U.S.A. by Tariq Ramadan - Newsweek
Tariq Ramadan Has an Identity Issue by Ian Buruma, NYT - 2007
To visit Tariq Ramadan's official website, click here