Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss-born Islamic scholar who was just allowed into the United States after a six-year ban instituted by the Bush administration, told American Muslims on Tuesday to get involved with all sectors of American society, instead of being "obsessed" with whether they're considered terrorists.
He used the recent debate over health care reform as an area where Muslims could have stepped up, saying it's time they came up with a "new applied ethics [that] is rooted in Islamic tradition."
"I say to American Muslims, 'You have to be involved in all discussions,'" he told journalists Tuesday at the Pew Forum in Washington. "The fact I'm here with you today is a symbolic act. It shows we're opening up."
In 2004, Mr. Ramadan, then 31, was hired by the University of Notre Dame for a tenured spot on its religion faculty. He was first granted a visa in May of that year, but it was revoked that summer by the State Department for ideological reasons. Two years later, the federal government said Mr. Ramadan contributed to Hamas, which the U.S. designates as a terrorist group, between 1998 and 2002.
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