Irony in Muslim Scholar’s New Appointment

Response to Chicago Tribune’s “Barred in U.S., scholar may Join British Panel”

There is a wealth of irony in the appointment of Tariq Ramadan to the British task force to aid the British panel in examining the roots of extremism in the country. Ramadan has been accused by the country on numerous occasions of being “more dangerous than several well-known radical preachers”. The United States, a good friend to the British government, went so far as to bar his entry into the U.S. prior to starting his teaching position at Notre Dame without giving a reason for revoking his visa. For such a monster, is it not strange that the British panel has asked him to aid in research on extremism? Even, more paradoxical is the Home Office’s instatement of a law which will deport “preachers of hate”, something British newspaper, The Sun, has often accused Ramadan of.

What is even more appalling is that the U.S. barred a scholar who has no proven ties to terrorist groups from entering the country to teach. It is important for universities around the country to learn about a highly misunderstood religion, and when numerous American Jewish and conservative groups make accusations that an educator like Ramadan has links to Al Qaeda, there should be some sort of evidence to support such claims. The decision to bar Ramadan was rightfully criticized by the academic world in the U.S., for without proof of wrongdoing Ramadan’s presence should have been permitted.