Sheldon Chad at The Guardian reports on the Obama administration’s recent decision to revoke its ban against Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, who said in response that his name “has been definitely cleared”:
The ACLU’s Melissa Goodman said “the Obama administration should now conduct a broader review of visas denied under the Bush administration, reverse the exclusions of others who were barred because of their political beliefs and retire the practice of ideological exclusion for good.”
“I hope it is only a start, Ramadan said. “Adam [Habib] and myself, we are only symbols now we need a American vision and constructive policy towards the Muslims. It is high time to move from words to a comprehensive move through actions, institutionalisation, and effectiveness of this new relationship. I hope to be part of that move.”
At First Things‘ Spengler blog, David P. Goldman highlights some dissenting reactions. Paul Berman, for one, writes in Tablet magazine:
I do think it’s worth the trouble to look into [Ramadan’s] deep thoughts, and to notice how problematic they are. He can say something attractive at the level of a slogan; but when you examine it more closely it turns out to have unexpected meanings. He opposes terrorism but he does it with a series of asterisks. If you read the footnote in tiny print you discover some troubling aspects regarding terrorism, and this is borne out by the fact that he did donate money to a Hamas charity. To do so was not illegal at the time, and he has himself argued he didn’t know where his money was going. But if you read Ramadan carefully you would not be surprised to learn he donates money to such groups.
In my book I have more to say about Ramadan’s own philosophical ideas, which I find pretty appalling and obscurantist.