Jewish Students at Notre Dame Speak Out in Defense of Muslim Scholar

August 28, 2004

Source: South Bend Tribune

On August 28, 2004 the South Bend Tribune reported, "Members of a Jewish student group at the University of Notre Dame Law School have written an open letter disagreeing with the U.S. government decision to revoke the visa of a prominent Muslim scholar who had been scheduled to teach at the university. The letter states members of Notre Dame's Jewish Law Students Society were surprised and saddened to hear that the work visa of Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss Muslim scholar, was revoked by the U.S. State Department. The revocation was recommended by the Department of Homeland Security, apparently under terms of the Patriot Act. Government officials have refused to reveal why... 'As members of the small Jewish community at Notre Dame, we support the Kroc Institute's hiring of Professor Ramadan and condemn the Department of Homeland Security's action,' the letter by the Jewish student group reads. 'Diversity in opinion, particularly in religious and political viewpoints, is essential to the well being of any academic community; Notre Dame is no exception. Although we understand that national security interests may have motivated the revocation of Professor Ramadan's visa, we know of nothing in Professor Ramadan's history indicating that he presents a threat to our country or our university. On the contrary, it is the repression of dissenting opinions and critical thought that, throughout history, has been the greatest danger to a free society.'"