US rejects visa for prominent Muslim scholar

September 25, 2006 23:04

The US government has banned one of Europe's leading Muslim scholars from traveling to the United States after accusing him of aiding a terrorist group, although a civil rights lawyer said Monday the Bush administration was using a small charitable donation as a pretext to censor a prominent critic. Janelle Hironimus, a State Department spokeswoman, said a US consular officer last Thursday denied the application by Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss citizen and a visiting fellow at Oxford University in Britain, for a temporary business and tourism visa based on new information the government had learned about the scholar. She said it had been determined that Ramadan was ineligible to enter the country "based solely on his actions, which constituted providing material support to a terrorist organization."

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