Tariq Ramadan’s endless, Kafkaesque danse macabre with the Justice Department continued yesterday in a case brought by the ACLU on his behalf protesting the denial of a U.S. visa on grounds that he is a national security threat. I should correct that…the government has refused to say why they denied him entry, but implied that it was because he was a threat.
The NY Times reports that at the hearing the government said:
…That Mr. Ramadan’s case had been and remained a national security matter, and that statements he made in recent interviews with American consular officials in Switzerland had raised new “serious questions” about whether he should be allowed to come to the United States.
What were those statements and why did they raise such questions? Ah, we’re the Justice Department and under the new Alice in Wonderland rules embraced by the Bush Administration things mean precisely what we want them to mean. And we’re under no obligation to say anything at all if we don’t want to–even if a man’s freedom to travel and lecture in the U.S. about his field of expertise is denied.
But Ramadan has given us some idea of what Justice is so hot and bothered about. Hold onto your galoshes everyone, the Bern interviewers questioned him about the Iraq war and you know what they found? That Ramadan’s agin’ it:
In a recent interview, Mr. Ramadan said he had spoken openly [to the consular officials] about his opposition to the American occupation of Iraq.
Whoa, big news. Radical news! Stop the presses! If you prevented every foreigner who opposed the war from entering the country you wouldn’t have ANY such visitors here. How can they justify this idiocy??!