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Revocation of visa a bad omen

Observer Viewpoint | Thursday, August 26, 2004

I was very disturbed to read in the Aug. 25 Observer that the Department of Homeland Security has withdrawn the visa of Professor Tariq Ramadan, a distinguished Muslim scholar scheduled to begin teaching at Notre Dame this fall.

In a recent story in the Chicago Tribune, Professor Scott Appleby was reported as saying that anyone who has evidence that Professor Ramadan has links to terrorist groups or activities should produce it; otherwise, it looks very much as if Professor Ramadan is being kept out of the country because his views are challenging and may be unpopular. If so, the government’s decision is bad news – bad for democracy and bad for the ideals of open inquiry that Notre Dame cherishes.

I am sure I join many of my colleagues in supporting the University in its efforts to obtain an explanation, and hopefully a reversal of this troubling decision.

Jean Porter

O’Brien Professor of Theological Ethics

Aug. 26