Back to News & Commentary

Next Week: Tariq Ramadan in NYC on April 8

Share This Page
April 2, 2010

Next Thursday, April 8, the ACLU will be co-hosting a panel discussion featuring Professor Tariq Ramadan. Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at St. Antony’s College at the University of Oxford, is a renowned academic and leading scholar of the Muslim world.

He’s also an ACLU client.

In 2004, Ramadan was set to start teaching at the University of Notre Dame. But nine days before he and his family was set to move to the United States, the government revoked his visa, invoking the “ideological exclusion” provision, a law enacted as part of the Patriot Act that allows the government to deny entry to non-citizens who have “endorsed or espoused terrorism.”

We filed a lawsuit in 2006 challenging Professor Ramadan’s exclusion on behalf of American organizations that had invited him to speak in the U.S., asserting their First Amendment rights to hear Professor Ramadan’s ideas and engage him in face-to-face debate. In the face of our lawsuit, the government abandoned its claim that Ramadan had endorsed terrorism, but it continued to defend his exclusion on the grounds that he had made small donations to a Swiss charity that the government alleged had given money to Hamas. The district court upheld the government’s denial of a visa to Professor Ramadan but in July 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed that decision, holding that the government had not adequately justified the ban. And just this past January, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in January signed an order effectively ending the exclusion of Professor Ramadan.

So in his first American appearance since his exclusion in 2004, Ramadan will speak at a panel discussion called: “Secularism, Islam, & Democracy – Muslims in Europe and the West”. He’ll be joined by Dalia Mogahed, Senior Analyst and Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies; George Packer, New Yorker staff writer; and Joan Wallach Scott, Professor of Social Science at Institute for Advanced Study. Slate Group Editor-in-Chief Jacob Weisberg will moderate.

The deets:

Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
The Great Hall, Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street at Third Avenue, NYC
$15/$10 for AAUP/ACLU/PEN members and students with a valid ID.

Tickets available through, (212) 868-4444, or at the door. (But you should buy them out, ’cause we’re going to sell out!)

We hope you’ll join us!