They waited six years for a chance to hear him in person on American soil. Now that they have, many are walking away frustrated from their encounters with Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna.
Ramadan arrived in the U.S. last week and has been speaking in public forums and private fundraisers throughout the country. He was preparing to take a faculty position at Notre Dame University in 2004, when his visa was revoked. U.S. officials cited contributions he had made to an organization that supported the terrorist organization Hamas, a Brotherhood-affiliated group.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dropped the ban on Ramadan's entry in January following a court order that would have required that the government prove he knew the charity had Hamas ties when he made his contributions. Allies in the American Civil Liberties Union and in academic circles eagerly awaited the visit that would result.
"Garden-variety European leftism," wrote the New Yorker's George Packer. On CNN, Christiane Amanpour could not get him to "condemn out of hand stoning of women for whatever reason."