Paul Donnelly has written a moving op-ed in today’s Washington Post that discusses Tariq Ramadan — an Islamic schollar of peace who was recently offered a job at Notre Dame University, only to have the Bush Administration revoke his visa on the grounds that he is anti-Jewish and an advocate of terrorism.
Donnelly dissects several of the administration’s claims against Ramadan and argues that they are wrong. Ramadan, who was interviewed by Donnelly shortly after the September 11 attacks, is in a great position to give the Islamic world an alternative to the radical Wahhabistic vision put forth by Osama bin Laden and his backers in Saudi Arabia.
When the US Government acts in this way, it gives fodder to those who argue that ours is not a war against radical terrorists, but a war against Arabs and Islamists alike. I’d like to think the State Department’s action was a mistake. Perhaps it’s based on secret evidence that Donnelly other Ramadan supporters aren’t able to see. But the damage is already done.