The New York Times article announcing the revocation of Tariq Ramadan’s visa to teach at Notre Dame University mentions that Danlel Pipes played a role in the campaign to silence Ramadan (the story is linked in my post, Tariq Ramadan, Prominent Muslim Scholar Refused U.S. Visa). It seems that this right wing, ardently hawkish pro-Israeli ideologue has engaged in a long-standing vendetta against Ramadan. In his eyes, Ramadan represents the moderate “façade” of fundamentalist Islam and therefore is especially dangerous. Ramadan is some sort of two-faced Muslim monster who attempts to conceal his hateful, anti-Semitic views underneath a smiling and agreeable face.
So I googled his website and sure enough, he’s written a diatribe there (first printed in that neoconserative shmattah, the New York Sun) celebrating his success in denying Ramadan access to U.S. academia: Why Deny Tariq Ramadan’s U.S. Visa? If you read Pipes’ article you will see how the mind of a right-wing Jewish paranoiac works.
I think what Pipes really hates is that Ramadan is a moderate Muslim scholar who might add intellectual luster to the Muslim critique of Israel and its policies toward Palestinians.
I’ve written a riposte to Pipes as a comment on his site. But I wanted my own readers to read it as well so here it is:
I find Daniel Pipes’ logic in this post to be completely specious. He raises all sorts of suspicions about Tariq Ramadan’s views most of which are not based on hard evidence of any illegal activity. Everything he lists here as reasons that Ramadan is dangerous are not crimes in themselves.
The State Dept. based it’s revocation on a provision in law which calls for such action when dealing with espionage agents, terrorists or people they suspect might engage in terrorism while in this country.
NONE of the supposedly horrendous things Pipes lists here come even close to falling into this category. Pipes clearly hates Ramdan’s views & he’s entitled to do so. But you aren’t entitled to prevent someone from entering the U.S. merely because you think their VIEWS are bad or dangerous. You have to present evidence of REAL ACTIONS that post real physical danger to people. Ramadan doesn’t even come close to fitting into this category.
All that Daniel Pipes and the other co-conspirators in this case have done is diminish the level of dialogue within this country around the issue of Muslim-Jewish relations, stifle academic freedom and diminished civil liberties in this country. It is really a shameful vendetta.
And lest Pipes accuse me of being a Ramadan apologist, nothing could be farther from the truth. I’ve publicly testified to my reservations about some of his comments in my weblog. But my disagreements with him haven’t brought me anywhere near the point of saying that Ramadan is a dangerous person who should be vilified and silenced.
It is PIpes & his cohorts who are the dangers to free expression, not Ramadan. If he disagrees with Ramadan why doesn’t he debate him publicly? Why doesn’t he go to South Bend and confront him? That would be intellectually forthright and honest. Instead, he wishes to deny Ramadan the right to speak here in this country. I find such a position intelledtually dishonest and bankrupt.
Oh & Mr. Pipes–I’ve read yr. criteria for publishing comments. I’ll tell you upfront that while I view my comments here as “reasoned disagreement,” I am intellectually hostile to yours with every fiber of my being. Let’s see whether & how you publish mine.