Alternative for Ramadan
A staff member in the communications department of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies on the campus of Notre Dame says they department is exploring the option of using a video conferencing classroom. Therefore, Professor Tariq Ramadan can still connect with Notre Dame students while awaiting word from the United States government at his home in Switzerland.
Scott Appleby of the Kroc Institute and the Director of Notre Dame's Peace Studies said, "We're still trying to determine the rational behind revoking the visa in the first place."
The Muslim scholar planned to move from Switzerland to America to teach at Notre Dame, but the Department of Homeland Security stepped-in.
Appleby says of the situation, "This person is one of the most scrutinized people on the planet today and we're still waiting for some kind of credible proof that he has ties to terrorism."
Student's reaction to revoked visa
Bradley Schrager, a Jewish law student on campus said, "It's hard for me to understand the danger represented by a scholar." Schrager welcomes Ramadan's diversity on campus even though he says some Jewish Jobby groups attacked the Muslim scholar with accusations of anti-Semitism. Schrager however believes the accusations are false. "I didn't get that impression from my reading of his works or his career so far. Anti-Semitism is a charge one should be very careful of lodging in almost any context," said Schrager.
Ramadan's grandfather founded a militant Muslim group, but Notre Dame says it has no proof Ramadan was involved with the group. "If we thought Ramadan was anti-Semitic, or condoned violence or moved outside the bounds of respectable free speech, we would have nothing to do with him," said Appleby.
Appleby says scholars of different cultures and faiths would be a good thing for the campus. "I think the other kinds of scholars of Islam and Judaism and other faiths that we can bring to campus, the better," said Appleby.
Students are still looking forward to Professor Ramadan coming to the Notre Dame campus. "My hope is that professor Ramadan will join us on campus as we all expected," said Schrager.
Notre Dame views Ramadan as a 'controversialist', not a terrorist and looks forward to welcoming him to campus someday, even if it is possibly through a videoconference on the Internet.
Questions still remain
The question now is whether or not Ramadan will be able to get his visa back. Appleby says there is talk he may be able to re-apply but everyone is still waiting to find out why the United States government revoked his visa in the first place.