Tariq Ramadan, a Muslim scholar whose visa was revoked days before he was to begin teaching at the University of Notre Dame, has given up further attempts to enter the country.
Ramadan, who lives in Switzerland with his family, had shipped his furniture to the South Bend, Indiana, campus and was already on the payroll of the university, where he was to teach about religion, conflict and peace-building, when his visa was suddenly revoked last August.
Ramadan is the author of Western Muslims and the Future of Islam (Oxford University Press) and has written and spoken widely on how Islam is compatible with secular European values.
Supporters allege that Ramadan’s critical stances against the war in Iraq and against Israel were the reason for the revocation. Ramadan had applied in October to reinstate his entry visa, but that appeal ended with his resignation from the faculty.
Ramadan cited family stress as the reason for abandoning his quest to teach in the U.S. “As you may imagine, my family has experienced enormous stress and uncertainty during this period, and I keenly feel the need to resolve our situation,” he wrote in a letter to R. Scott Appleby, who directs Notre Dame’s Institute for International Peace Studies.
In a statement, Appleby said that Ramadan would have made a valuable contribution to the study of Muslim religion and culture: “Faculty and students at Notre Dame and at other U.S. universities were looking forward to engaging him productively on a variety of issues central to our times. Such dialogue, we believe, is an essential requirement to a deeper understanding of the complexity of the Muslim world.” –Religion News Service