The Associated Press is reporting that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has signed orders enabling radical Muslim professor of philosophy Tariq Ramadan, of Oxford University in England, and professor Adam Habib, from the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, to re-enter the United States, after having been banned from doing so for over 5 years.
The State Department has concluded that the two no longer pose any danger to the country. According to spokesman Darby Holladay:
[Clinton] has chosen to exercise her exemption authority for the benefit of Tariq Ramadan and Adam Habib. We’ll let that action speak for itself. Both the president and the secretary of state have made it clear that the U.S. government is pursuing a new relationship with Muslim communities based on mutual interest and mutual respect.
Another spokesman added:
As we look at it, we do not think that either one of them represents a threat to the United States.
Habib, a frequent critic of the war in Iraq, was initially denied a visa when the U.S. Government accused him of engaging in “terrorist activity,” an accusation denied by Habib.
Ramadan initially had his visa revoked, as he was about to begin a teaching job at the University of Notre Dame. His subsequent visa applications were denied on the grounds that he had donated $1,336 to a charity that gave money to the Islamic terrorist group Hamas (interestingly, he is also banned for sundry reasons from some Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Egypt). Ramadan has denied any connections to terrorism, and claims to oppose Islamic extremism in all its forms.
But does he?
Here are a few bullet points from Ramadan’s DiscovertheNetworks profile, which highlight why he was banned from the U.S. in the first place:
- In the midst of a series of mid-1990s attacks in Paris perpetrated by the Algerian Islamist terrorist movement, French Interior Minister Jean Louis Debre forbade Ramadan to enter France because of his connections to that movement.
- According to Spanish judge Balatasar Garzón, Ramadan had “routine contacts” with Ahmed Brahim, an Algerian believed to be the financial chief of al Qaeda and the financier of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya.
- In his 2001 trial, Djamel Beghal, an al Qaeda recruiter who confessed to conspiring to blow up the U.S embassy in Paris, testified that he had studied with Ramadan.
- Ramadan’s address was found in a register of the Al Taqwa Bank, which is part of a network of financial institutions that the U.S. State Department believes is helping to fund terrorism.
- Ramadan characterized the 9/11 attacks, the October 2002 Bali nightclub attack, and the March 2004 Madrid train bombings as “interventions” rather than acts of terrorism.
- When asked by an Italian magazine whether car bombings against U.S. troops in Iraq were justifiable, Ramadan replied: “Iraq was colonized by the Americans. Resistance against the army is just.”
- According to terrorism expert Jean Charles Brisard, Ramadan took part in a 2004 London conference with Yusuf al Qaradawi, who has justified suicide bombings, the killing of American soldiers in Iraq, and the 9/11 attacks.
These are troubling on their face, but no matter. Hillary doesn’t think either Ramadan or Habib are threats, and that should be good enough for the rest of us. If it’s not, then perhaps knowing that the communist founded American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), also thinks the pair’s return would be an asset to this country (even going to court on their behalf) will be enough to convince you. The ACLU feels that Hillary’s order is “long overdue and tremendously important.” More importantly, the ACLU sees Hillary’s action as a victory for free speech! From their website:
Ramadan’s case is part of a pattern of the United States government denying visas to foreign nationals whose political views the government disfavors. Once used to bar suspected Communists from entering the country, the practice of “ideological exclusion” was resurrected by the USA Patriot Act. Ideological exclusion violates Americans’ First Amendment right to hear constitutionally protected speech by denying foreign scholars, artists, politicians and others entry to the U.S.
If we’re really lucky, maybe Hillary can work out the travel arrangements in order to allow the pair to be back in time for 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shiekh Mohammed’s upcoming show trial in New York City.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to get the opinions of two such prominent Islamic scholars on how that trial is progressing?