Thursday, February 15, 2007

What the West Can Learn From Islam: Article by TARIQ RAMADAN

I've become a great fan of Ramadan's articles. While I Have yet to read any of his books, his articles have been engaging, thought-provoking and comprehensive. His knowledge and expertise would have made Muslim America, and America in general, better off - had the Government not interfered and denied him entry numerous times.

No doubt, we live in troubled times, but when we have the opportunity to engage in dialogue, I implore all my readers, to please grasp and cling to that opportunity and take full advantage of it. Modern technology and civilization has been kind to us. Let's not deny ourselves the pleasure and good fortune of doing without some "spin-offs" such as inter-religious and interfaith communication.

With that, I present to you Tariq Ramadan's most recent article, "What the West Can Learn From Islam" and copied below is a teaser that will hopefully compel you to read further...

In late September, I finally received a response to the question I had been asking the Bush administration for more than two years: Why was my work visa revoked in late July 2004, just days before I was to take up a position as a professor of Islamic studies and the Henry Luce chair of religion, conflict, and peace building at the University of Notre Dame? Initially neither I nor the university was told why; officials only made a vague reference to a provision of the U.S. Patriot Act that allows the government to exclude foreign citizens who have "endorsed or espoused terrorism." Though the U.S. Department of Homeland Security eventually cleared me of all charges of links with terrorist groups, today it points to another reason to keep me out of the country: donations I made totaling approximately $900 to a Swiss Palestinian-support group that is now on the American blacklist. A letter I received from the American Embassy in Switzerland, where I hold citizenship, asserts that I "should reasonably have known" that the group had ties with Hamas.

What American officials do not say is that I myself had brought those donations to their attention, and that the organization in question continues to be officially recognized by the Swiss authorities (my donations were duly registered on my income-tax declaration). More important still is the fact that I contributed to the organization between 1998 and 2002, more than a year before it was blacklisted by the United States. It seems, according to American officials, that I "should reasonably have known" about the organization's alleged activities before the Homeland Security Department itself knew!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Events of interest!

Mark your calendar as the events below may be of interest to you.

February 15th

Fordham Global Law Society presents: How Can the International Community Help Iraq?

Speaker: H.E. Ambassador Hamid Al Bayati, Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations
Moderator: Professor Paolo Galizzi, Fordham University School of Law

Location: Fordham University School of Law
140 West 62nd Steet (McNally Ampitheater)
Reception to follow
Time: 4:00 p.m.

Free and no RSVP required

February 22nd

UNA NY invites you to hear James Taub, author of “The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power”

Location: Consulate General of the Republic of Poland (233 Madison Avenue @ 37th Street)
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Event cost: Free


More event Info