US Government Lifts Ban on Tariq Ramadan


After more than five years of waiting, the American State Department has decided, in a document signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to lift the ban that prohibited me (as well as Professor Adam Habib from South Africa) from entering the United States.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)—which, along with the American Academy for Religion, the American Association of University Professors and the PEN American Center had taken legal action against the American government—has hailed the decision is “a major victory for civil liberties” in the United States. Under the Bush administration, academics and intellectuals were frequently excluded on the false pretext of security. Today’s decision reflects the Obama administration’s willingness to reopen the United States to the rest of the world, and to permit critical debate.

Coming after nearly six years of inquiry and investigation, Secretary Clinton’s order confirms what I have affirmed and reaffirmed from day one: the first accusations of terrorist connections (subsequently dropped), then donations to Palestinian solidarity groups, were nothing more than a pretense to prohibit me from speaking critically about American government policy on American soil. The decision brings to an end a dark period in American politics that saw security considerations invoked to block critical debate through a policy of exclusion and baseless allegation.

Today I am delighted at the decision. After more than six years, my exclusion from the United States has come to an end. At no time did I equate the American government (and particularly the Bush administration) with American civil society, its academic institutions and intellectuals. I am duty bound to thank all those institutions and individuals that rallied to my support and worked to end unconstitutional ideological exclusion over the years. I am very happy and hopeful that I will be able to visit the United States very soon and to once again engage in an open, critical and constructive dialogue with American scholars and intellectuals

The decision marks a critical breakthrough in my commitment to a dialogue among civilizations, religions, peoples and their consciences. True dialogue is necessarily critical, political and ideological; nothing should hinder opinions from being expressed and debated. I have never ceased doing so, and never will. Other governments—in the Near East—continue to ban me from their territory and forbid me to express myself freely. We must salute the progress accomplished by the United States—while remaining vigilant and critical of American policies. It is a matter of vital importance to resist all attempts to intimidate by bans, threats, defamation or calumny.

The road ahead is long. But there are victories that give us the strength to go on. This is one such victory. It should remind those who have made use of my exclusion to smear, insult and condemn me in a deceptive and cynical way that only ideas can triumph in a debate of ideas. The dignity of a cause will be the cause of its triumph.

Tariq Ramadan, London, January 20 2010



16 Commentaires

    • Great news,use your access quickly as the next election will surely see Obama’s administration decimated.The forces of repression in the states run deep as is shown daily in the media.The bumped on email I receive here in Australia leads me to beleive that the first intelligent President the yanks have ever had stands no chance to achieve his agenda,the majority of americans still have a long way to go to grow up.Come to Australia where you are welcome.

  1. Prof Ramadan,

    This is amazing news! I hope you are ready to handle even more ‘haters’…yet somehow I believe you have the strength.
    I look forward to finding out if you plan a speaking tour, etc. May Allah continue to ‘part the sea of ignorance’ for you.

    Your friend in the states
    Bilal ‘2Red’ Khan

  2. Assalamualaykum br Tariq

    I believe to this surah so much.  » O you who believe! If you help (in the cause of) Allah, He will help you, and make your foothold firm ». (surah Muhammad 7)

    Masya Allah. I am so pleased to hear this good news. Mabruk…and we know Allah made it and aalways will. Keep up with good work.

    I personally always admire you and your work.


    Sr Nizma Agustjik
    Your Indonesian sister.

  3. The attached undated but signed document to Mr. Ramadan’s elation over receiving it, is very specific: it says that under US INS guidlines, and after consultation with others, the fact that Mr. Ramadan made doantions to the two entities named ep to and thru the year 2003 cannot be used to preclude Mr. Ramadan from obtaining a VISA for entry into the US. Tscitly this means that were donations made after 2003 to these charities, this document is null and void.

    Unfortunately, the only ban lifted by the US, as far as this document is concerned, is that issues over donations to those charities made thru 2003, but not beyond that year, cannot be used against Mr. Ramadan when making a decison regarding his lawful entry into the US; other issues, if amy, can be used to prevent his entry into the US if they choose to continue to make it difficult for him.

    If, however, the only issue the US has are donations made in the time frame indicated, then we in the US will have the great privilege to hear and to see Mr. Ramadan speak in the US.

    Inch’Allah the next EVENT we read about will be that Mr. Ramadan has a valid VISA to enter the US and will be sharing his itenerary with us.

  4. Great New Allah will make our current president win the 2012
    election that the far right wing christian Islamistprobic hater will be discredited in the eyes of public.

  5. I think this is a good news for the US to have some one like you visiting them and I hope they can benefit from your visits and educate them selves from your wisdom. Bil taoufik, InchaAllah

  6. alhamdulillah ustaz congratulations! if its going to benefit us through your work then all of us here in the UK support your endeavors. all the best, Allahu maak!

  7. M.khadar

    Allah is Great. When US citezen voted for change, I emediatly knew things will change negative US media to words muslim. May Almight guid us the right path.


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