[DEBATE] : Non-US petition on Adam Habib
jduncan at fxi.org.za
Thu Nov 15 16:07:30 GMT 2007
This petition is for those outside the US, as the ACLU's petition has been set up for US addresses only. Please circulate. The petition's available on the FXI website, here:
In October 2006, the US State Department revoked the visa of Professor Adam Habib. Subsequently, the visas of his wife and two children were also revoked. Professor Habib is a Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Johannesburg. At the time that his visa was revoked, he was a director of the Governance Programme at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), a state institution. The Freddom of Expression Institute (FXI) believes that the revocation of Professor Habib's visa is a case of ideological exclusion.
In the USA, ideological exclusion refers to the practice of prohibiting foreign citizens from entering the country because they hold a particular political viewpoint that the US government happens to dislike. Ideological exclusion was first written into US law during the "red scare" years following World War II, when communists were barred from entry, but the following decades discredited the practice.
Until it was resurrected by the USA Patriot Act in 2001.
Over the last six years, dozens of foreign scholars, artists, and human rights activists have been denied entry to the US not because of their actions but because of their political views. In recent years, President Bush and senior members of his administration have often contended that the United States is fighting a "war of ideas." It seems, however, that what the administration is fighting is not so much a war of ideas as a war against ideas.
Ideological exclusion doesn't just keep people out; it also denies Americans access to speech that is protected by the First Amendment. The Bush administration must hear that censoring ideas at the border is unacceptable.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of Professor Habib.
Take a stand with the FXI and the ACLU and demand that the State Department end this unconstitutional practice and grant Prof Habib a visa today. Also, demand that the South African government demands answers from the US government for why Professor Habib and numerous other South Africans have been harassed when entering the US, deported, not given visas or have had their visas revoked. Fill in your details below to be included in this petition.
Dear Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
United States of America
On your watch, the State Department has helped to resurrect the discredited practice of ideological exclusion, the practice of denying visas to non-citizens whose politics the government disfavors.
This policy has led to a number of unjust exclusions, including most recently, that of South African academic and human rights activist Professor Adam Habib.
Censoring ideas at the borders is toxic for academic freedom and freedom of speech. We believe that it certainly is a violation of US First Amendment rights. If you believe that the United States should remain a vibrant place for the exchange of ideas where political discourse is not just welcome, but encouraged I call on you to end the policy of ideological exclusion immediately and grant Adam Habib a visa today.
I do not tolerate the censorship of ideas in any country and believe that freedom of expression and academic freedom must be jealously guarded.
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