January 24, 2006
The American Association of University Professors has asked the State Department and other agencies, at various times, to permit the entry of scholars that our government has proposed to ban on ideological grounds. “Our concern about academic freedom extends beyond the rights that are assured on our colleges and university campuses,” Jane Buck, president of the Association, said on the occasion of Professor Ramadan’s exclusion. “We believe that the people of this country should be able to hear or read ideas from any speaker or writer without government restriction.”
The Association has long held that the free circulation of scholars is an inseparable part of academic freedom. Foreign scholars invited to speak or work in this country should not be barred by our government from entering the United States because of assumptions about their political beliefs, associations, or writings. The Association supports the free exchange of ideas in an atmosphere of openness, tolerance, and civility, out of the conviction that this exchange is necessary to the unfettered search for knowledge, which in turn is indispensable for the strengthening of a free and orderly world.
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