Statement of PEN American Center
Make a Difference
Your support helps the ACLU stand up for human rights and defend civil liberties.
“Immediately after 9/11, publishers and librarians reported a surge in request for books and information about Islam and the Muslim world,” PEN Freedom to Write and International Program Director Larry Siems added. “It is that impulse, and that freedom, that is threatened if the PATRIOT Act is being used to bar influential figures like Tariq Ramadan from the United States. In the face of a considerable body of work that offers no evidence that he endorses terrorism, his exclusion has raised fears here and overseas that the U.S. is once again barring individuals it feels may be critical of U.S. positions and policies. The American people have a right a right to hear directly from, and engage in conversation with, Tariq Ramadan, or to know exactly what criteria are being applied that allegedly trump that right.”
“PEN has long been active in challenging barriers that prevented important international writers and intellectuals from visiting the United States, and we continually invite writers from around the world to meet our members and American audiences. This spring, internationally recognized writers will meet in New York for five days of discussions and debates around the theme of Faith and Reason,” said Michael Roberts, Executive Director of PEN American Center. “Tariq Ramadan could be an important participant in this conversation, as he often is in similar conversations in the U.K., where he now teaches, and throughout Europe. Instead, because of our government’s actions, Americans alone are deprived of the opportunity to engage directly with Professor Ramadan.”
Learn more about the PEN American Center.