Middle East studies in the News
The Fighting Irish Lose an Islamist Professor, or Did They?
by Lee Kaplan
The U.S. State Department has finally acted to bar the entry of a militant Islamist "educator" who was hired to start teaching at Notre Dame University.
Islamist Tariq Ramadan was all set to start work this week for the start of school at Notre Dame University when he was hit with a surprise: The Department of Homeland Security revoked his visa and work permit per the Immigration and Naturalization Act. Amended as part of the Patriot Act to deal with undocumented immigrants who have used a "position of prominence within any country to endorse or espouse terrorist activity," and whose entry may have "potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States," the law now allows the U.S. government to restrict Ramadan's entry.
Ramadan was to start teaching at the Joan R. Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies at the South Bend, Indiana campus. "Peace Studies" has become the latest touchy-feely major for educators who preach the glories of Marxism and totalitarian societies abroad in the face of "American imperialism" that is becoming more and more popular on politically correct campuses. In the Orwellian world of doublespeak on our university campuses "peace" has become a euphemism for supporting enemies of the United States and declaring their attacks on American society America's fault, so as to arrive at a more peaceful world.
That the U.S. State Department has finally sought to act in an election year to keep someone like Ramadan out is a good sign. This man of "peace," who no doubt was to teach American students from the "Arab point of view" during the War on Terror, appeared in July at the Hijab Conference in London accompanied by a leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood (that's the gang who murdered Anwar Sadat for making peace with Israel). Sheik Yusuf Qaradavi, has been banned from preaching in Egypt for 42 years and from the United States for the last five, but shared the pulpit with Ramadan.
Ramadan passes himself off as a moderate Islamist who always maintains he is not anti-Semitic and that he thinks Islam must adapt to secular society. But make no mistake about it: his connections to militant Islam go way back and he has even been associated with militant Islamic groups from Algeria and even Al Qaeda.
Ramadan's family fled Egypt during Gamel Abdul Nasser' rule for Switzerland where Tariq and his brother, Hani were born. Tariq's grandfather actually was a co-founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and past his legacy onto his son and grandsons. Tariq Ramadan became active in Switzerland at the Islamic Center and Mosque of Geneva, well-funded by Saudi Wahhabist largesse.
Ramadan preached there on Fridays and even provided recorded sermons for other mosques in France. What was said in Arabic may not have been translated the same into French or English. His sermons discussing "Jewish-French intellectuals" who display unconditional support for Israel "only because they are Jews" are "not anti-Semitism," according to Ramadan. Ramadan always claims he only opposes Israelis or "Zionists." That's the popular saw on United States campuses these days too where diatribes against Jews are deemed acceptable as long as they are called "Zionists."
Tariq's brother, Hani, was equally vocal in his zeal for militant Islam and against "Zionists." An educator also, Hani was fired from a teaching position after pushing for the adoption of sharia law by the government and openly advocating that women who were guilty of adultery be stoned to death.
The FBI has established connections with the Swiss security services since 9/11 to keep an eye out for funds being laundered via front groups in the European Union, Switzerland and the USA. And in this instance, maybe it worked. Jewish groups in the United States on learning of Ramadan's appointment to a teaching position at Notre Dame spurred some members of Congress to demand the State Department and FBI conduct investigations into Ramadan's visa and work permits provided for his new position to teach the Fighting Irish. Several wealthy donors were responsible for funding the chair that Ramadan is to take over in Indiana with links to the Middle East.
Ramadan expressed outrage at his being denied entry to the United States and appealed to the Swiss government to act to bring pressure to reverse the cancellation of his work papers.
However, Homeland Security Spokesperson Russ Knocke explained to the media that Ramadan's entry was being denied because U.S. federal law under the Patriot Act now applies to foreigners who have used their positions of prominence in their host countries or elsewhere abroad to espouse terrorist activities. Knocke emphasized the cancellation of Ramadan's papers was based on "national security interests."
As mentioned, Ramadan, who has taught at Geneva and Fribourg Universities, maintains that Islamic values are compatible with secular European society. However, he has been criticized for his links to Islamic militants also and was even investigated once for connections to an Al Qaeda operative involved in the train bombing in Spain. Ramadan professes his innocence of any wrongdoing, even in any of his statements, while still clinging to the position that when he criticizes Israel's Jewish identity it is only a political statement and not anti-Semitic.
Notre Dame naturally leapt to the defense of its choice for a professor of Peace Studies. The University's spokesman, Matt Storin, maintained Notre Dame unequivocally stood behind Ramadan, calling him a "voice of moderation" in the Muslim world. And Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR immediately began shouting his usual refrain about discrimination against Muslims, calling the entry denial a "slap in the face" to Muslims "trying to build bridges between the Muslim world and the West." Hooper never seems to find a militant Islamist or terrorist that he feels is not unjustly accused as the result of "discrimination against Muslims." Maybe that's why so many of CAIR's executives have been indicted for proven links to the terrorist group Hamas.
Ramadan has endorsed more respect and freedom of choice among Muslims, such as not requiring absolutely that Muslim women wear the veil (although his wife, a European convert, wears one at all times in public). Outwardly, he also claims to have no grudges against Jews.
But terrorism expert Yehudit Barsky of the American-Jewish Committee said Ramadan is another "educator" being assigned to an American university to bring legitimacy and respect within educational institutions in the United States to Islamic militants. A thorough investigation of Ramadan's family, and his immediate associates reveals an individual heavily linked to and possibly involved with a Who's Who List of international terrorist groups--even Al Qaeda. Ramadan's close links to terrorism run deep; besides being the scion of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ramadan's father and brother have both also sought to promote militant Islam. Bin Laden's second-in-command, al Zawahiri, one of the most wanted terrorists in the world, came from the Muslim Brotherhood that started in the 1920's and is the first granddaddy of all militant Islamic movements threatening the United States and the free world today.
Ramadan was chosen by Notre Dame because of wealthy donors who wanted him there. Some are from the United States but have extensive ties to the Arab Middle East. U.S. universities need better scrutiny no matter how much donation money is involved in hiring staff that may preach and conduct jihad in a more subtle way in our universities.
Despite this, the State Department is now talking about letting him reapply for admittance to the U.S. after Notre Dame's pleas were heard.
What do you think are the odds that the State Department will give in?
When will our government get really serious about pursuing the War on Terror, which is fought not just with guns but by attacks on our educational system and our next generation also?Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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