“Why Revoke Tariq Ramadan’s U.S. Visa?”

Apropos the story I mentioned yesterday, here’s Daniel Pipes’ argument for why revoking Tariq Ramadan’s visa was a good idea. (My post dealt simply with why it’s constitutional.) I don’t know enough about the facts to speak to this myself, but I thought I’d pass the item along; I’ll be happy to link to counterarguments, too. Here’s an excerpt:

What’s up? The DHS knows much more than I do, but it is not talking. A review of the press, however, gives an idea of what the problem is. Here are some reasons why Mr. Ramadan might have been kept out:

  • He has praised the brutal Islamist policies of the Sudanese politician Hassan Al-Turabi. Mr. Turabi in turn called Mr. Ramadan the “future of Islam.”

  • Mr. Ramadan was banned from entering France in 1996 on suspicion of having links with an Algerian Islamist who had recently initiated a terrorist campaign in Paris.

  • Ahmed Brahim, an Algerian indicted for Al-Qaeda activities, had “routine contacts” with Mr. Ramadan, according to a Spanish judge (Baltasar Garzón) in 1999.

  • Djamel Beghal, leader of a group accused of planning to attack the American embassy in Paris, stated in his 2001 trial that he had studied with Mr. Ramadan.

  • Along with nearly all Islamists, Mr. Ramadan has denied that there is “any certain proof” that Bin Laden was behind 9/11.

  • He publicly refers to the Islamist atrocities of 9/11, Bali, and Madrid as “interventions,” minimizing them to the point of near-endorsement.

And here are other reasons, dug up by Jean-Charles Brisard, a former French intelligence officer doing work for some of the 9/11 families, as reported in Le Parisien:

  • Intelligence agencies suspect that Mr. Ramadan (along with his brother Hani) coordinated a meeting at the Hôtel Penta in Geneva for Ayman al-Zawahiri, deputy head of Al-Qaeda, and Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheikh, now in a Minnesota prison.

  • Mr. Ramadan’s address appears in a register of Al Taqwa Bank, an organization the State Department accuses of supporting Islamist terrorism.

To return to the legal question (and I stress again that I don’t know enough about the factual issues to comment on them), if one thinks that aliens should have a right to enter the U.S., and should be barred based only on proof in court of criminal conduct rather than based simply on suspicion of connections with terrorists, then these allegations might not be enough. But U.S. law has not generally taken such a view, and I think it has been right not to take such a view.

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