US ends exclusion of Muslim scholars

The News Leader

January 20, 2010 9:34:21 AM PST
The State Department has cleared the way for two prominent but controversial scholars to return to the United States. State Department spokesman Darby Holladay said Wednesday that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has signed orders enabling the scholars' entry if they obtain visas.

The professors are Tariq Ramadan of Oxford University and Adam Habib of the University of Johannesburg.

Holladay said Clinton decided to use her exemption authority for the benefit of the professors.

The American Civil Liberties Union said it expects the scholars will now get visas within weeks of requesting them.

In an ACLU statement, Habib called it a personal victory and also a victory "for democracy around the world."