US ban on scholar Tariq Ramadan reversed
|Saturday, July 18,2009 07:17|
The ruling boosts the hopes of Ramadan and U.S. civil rights groups who argue that the U.S. government had unlawfully revoked Ramadan"s visa several times in 2004. The case was sent back to a lower court for further consideration.
Civil rights groups had appealed a federal judge"s ruling in 2007 that upheld the government"s ban on Ramadan.
The U.S. government initially gave no reason for the ban but government lawyers later said he was barred because he gave 1,670 Swiss francs, then worth $1,336, to a Swiss-based charity, the Association de Secours Palestinien, or ASP, from 1998 to 2002.
Washington says ASP had contributed funds to the Palestinian Hamas.
On Friday, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals said it was unclear whether the consulate officer who considered Ramadan"s case had given the professor the opportunity to answer whether he knew he had contributed funds to an organization designated a "terrorist organization".
The United States and many Western governments insist on not talking with Hamas and they want Hamas to give up armed resistance against Israel.
However, Hamas says it fights decades of occupation and armed resistance is an international legal right.
He is the grandson of Hasan al-Banna, an Islamist thinker and activist who in 1928 founded the Muslim Brotherhood.