Tariq Ramadan Permitted to Enter the U.S.; Will Take Up Post at Notre Dame

The Swiss Islamist Tariq Ramadan was about to take up a position at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana in 2004 when the U.S. government prevented him from entering the country on the grounds that he had funded two Hamas-related groups. For five years, his exclusion has been debated and tried. Finally, it was reversed today. The Associated Press explains:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has signed orders enabling the re-entry of professors Tariq Ramadan of Oxford University in England and Adam Habib of the University of Johannesburg in South Africa once they obtain required admittance documents, department spokesman Darby Holladay said.

Clinton “has chosen to exercise her exemption authority for the benefit of Tariq Ramadan and Adam Habib,” Holladay said. “We’ll let that action speak for itself.” In a prepared statement, Holladay noted the change in U.S. posture since both professors, who are frequently invited to the United States to lecture, were denied admittance after making statements counter to U.S. foreign policy. 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.”.

Comments: (1) I always expected this outcome, that Ramadan would be allowed in, because so many forces were aligned in his favor. That the exclusion lasted over five years was impressive.

(2) Note that this change was ordered from the very top, specifically invoking Obama.

(3) Note also the sleaziness of the State Department spokesman, ascribing Ramadan’s exclusion to his “making statements counter to U.S. foreign policy.” No, the reason was explicitly his having provided funds to a terrorist-related organization. Why the gratuitous lie, State Department?

(4) The Obama administration puts this case into the context of “pursuing a new relationship with Muslim communities based on mutual interest and mutual respect.” But it’s always been a terrorism case, with no connection to issues of Islam. What amateurs.

(5) Note the term “mutual respect,” the hackneyed phrase repeatedly applied to the U.S. government and Muslims – so much so that I have devoted a whole blog to Obama’s use of these words.

(6) So, fellow Americans, how many of you feel safer with the prospect of Tariq Ramadan present in person to talk to our Islamists?

Daniel Pipes


Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and the author of several books, including Militant Islam Reaches America and In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power (Transaction Publishers), from which this column derives.

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  • hsmarc

    There is obviously alot more to this story. What is the paper trail, so to speak, of the funding and do the groups really have meaningful ties to Hamas? Why would any university, especially one that purports to be faith based, invite someone who might be or has supported a terrorist organization which has the blood on innocents on it’s hands to be on faculty? Is this another apology by the current administration to what it believes were slights against Muslim communities? Is merely being critical of US foreign policy in a time of war reason for exclusion? Was the supposed criticism really inciting violence against the United States?
    Judging by the track records of the current administration and Notre Dame I have to wonder what is going on and is this another embarrassment thanks our friends at South Bend?

  • hsmarc

    After doing some research it becomes readily apparent that one Tariq Ramadan is controversial to say the least. His grandfather founded the Muslim brotherhood and several countries intelligent agencies (including the French) felt that they had the goods on Mr Ramadan to publically state that he does have terrorist ties and has met with known terrorists.
    Is there a “smoking gun”? Probably not but a whole lot of smoke coming from some kind of fire. Whichs begs the question, why on earth would Notre Dame want to be linked in any way to this individual? One would expect to see him at Harvard, Cal-Berlkey or similar ilk campus but a university that purports to expouse Catholic Christianity.
    This is as, if not more outrageous, than Notre Dame bestowing honors on the most pro culture of death President and one of the most pro culture of death politicians in history.
    Shame, Shame on ole Notre Dame.