Tariq Ramadan: Hearing for Muslim Barred by U.S.





Government lawyers clarified some mysteries yesterday and deepened others in the case of Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss Muslim scholar and leading European theologian of Islam who has been barred by the Bush administration from traveling to the United States since July 2004.

Papers the government presented at a hearing in federal court in New York revealed that, contrary to officials' statements, a clause in the USA Patriot Act that bans any foreigner who "endorses or espouses terrorist activity" was not the reason Mr. Ramadan's United States visa was revoked. The government also said it did not intend to bar Mr. Ramadan in the future based on that clause.

But the government also 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.

Neither the government's documents nor its lawyer, David S. Jones, an assistant United States attorney, explained why Mr. Ramadan was first banned or provided any detail about the new concerns.



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