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      Obama Administration Lifts US Ban on Muslim Brotherhood Leader

      The Barack Obama administration has lifted an entry ban preventing Muslim Brotherhood leader Tariq Ramadan from entering the United States.
      By Avi Yellin
      First Publish: 1/22/2010, 1:30 PM / Last Update: 1/22/2010, 1:53 PM

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      The Barack Obama administration has decided to lift a ban preventing Muslim Scholar Professor Tariq Ramadan from entering the United States. Ramadan, an Egyptian currently living in Switzerland, is a leading member of Europe’s Muslim Brotherhood branch and the grandson of the movement’s founder Hassan al-Banna. The Muslim Brotherhood is the parent organization for Hamas and some of the groups that recently merged into al-Qaeda, including Ayman al Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

      Ramadan was invited to teach at the University of Notre Dame in 2004 but the George W. Bush administration revoked his visa, citing a statute that applies to those who have “endorsed or espoused” terrorism. The administration later dropped the terror endorsement claim and linked the ban to $1,336 in donations Ramadan made between 1998 and 2002 to a Swiss charity that was later blacklisted by the US.

      Although the White House asked the court last March to uphold the Bush-era entry ban on Ramadan, the administration has now decided to lift the ban and possibly allow both Ramadan and South African Muslim activist Professor Adam Habib onto American soil. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters that the government no longer views Ramadan or Habib as representing threats to the United States. “The next time Professor Ramadan or Professor Habib apply for a visa, they will not be found inadmissible on the basis of the facts that led to denial when they last applied.”