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Petition Tag - tariq ramadan
Since 2001, the United States government has refused to grant visas to scores of foreign writers, scholars, artists, and activists on the basis of their ideas, political views, and associations. Individuals currently excluded from the U.S. include Swiss-born Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan, who was not allowed to enter the country to assume a tenured teaching position at the University of Notre Dame; Basque historian and PEN member Iñaki Egaña, who was denied entry when he tried to come to the U.S. for research on a Basque author who was a target of MacCarthyism, and Haluk Gerger, a Turkish journalist and sociologist who PEN defended and the U.S. State Department supported in the 1990s when he was jailed repeatedly for his writings on Turkey’s Kurdish minority.
Prevalent during the Cold War, ideological exclusion kept such writers as Gabriel García Marquez, Mahmoud Darwish, Pablo Neruda, and Doris Lessing out of the United States for many years. PEN believes excluding international colleagues on the basis of their ideas and opinions violates the First Amendment rights of Americans to hear these views and engage with the speakers. Ideological exclusion does not make us safer; instead, it impoverishes cultural exchange and academic and political debate, and sends a message that our country is more interested in silencing than engaging its critics.
Stand with PEN in urging the Obama administration to end ideological exclusion and allow a full and free exchange of information and ideas.