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Repulsive

Reader comment on item: Why Revoke Tariq Ramadan's U.S. Visa?

Submitted by Richard Silverstein (United States), Aug 28, 2004 at 01:25

I find Daniel Pipes' logic in this post to be completely specious. He raises all sorts of suspicions about Tariq Ramadan's views most of which are not based on hard evidence of any illegal activity. Everything he lists here as reasons that Ramadan is dangerous are not crimes in themselves.

The State Dept. based its revocation on a provision in law which calls for such action when dealing with espionage agents, terrorists or people they suspect might engage in terrorism while in this country.

NONE of the supposedly horrendous things Pipes lists here come even close to falling into this category. Pipes clearly hates Ramdan's views & he's entitled to do so. But you aren't entitled to prevent someone from entering the U.S. merely because you think their VIEWS are bad or dangerous. You have to present evidence of REAL ACTIONS that post real physical danger to people. Ramadan doesn't even come close to fitting into this category. ...

And lest Pipes accuse me of being a Ramadan apologist, nothing could be farther from the truth. I've publicly testified to my reservations about some of his comments in my weblog. But my disagreements with him haven't brought me anywhere near the point of saying that Ramadan is a dangerous person who should be vilified and silenced.

It is PIpes & his cohorts who are the dangers to free expression, not Ramadan. If he disagrees with Ramadan why doesn't he debate him publicly? Why doesn't he go to South Bend and confront him? That would be intellectually forthright and honest. Instead, he wishes to deny Ramadan the right to speak here in this country. ...
Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

This reader, like some others, misses the point.

DHS stated, as I mentioned in my article, that it excluded Ramadan because he used a "position of prominence within any country to endorse or espouse terrorist activity." The revocation was based on "public safety or national security interests." I noted in the article that " DHS knows much more than I do, but it is not talking. A review of the press, however, gives an idea of what the problem is."

I then proceeded to sketch out the sort of terrorism-related activities that Ramadan is associated with. I did not present these as an indictment, but only as an indication of the sort of issues DHS is presumably worried about.

The Ramadan exclusion is not about free expression, it is about connections to terrorism, a distinction that eludes many observers when the person accused is an academic (think of the Sami Al-Arian case).

DP

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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