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And, yes, I DO take it personally: U.K. Muslim luminary's entry to U.S. rejected at JFK
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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

U.K. Muslim luminary's entry to U.S. rejected at JFK

[A] distinguished leader of the Islamic community in London was refused admittance into the United States at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. Zaki Badawi is an Egyptian-born scholar, the principal of the Muslim College in London, which trains imams and Islamic leaders, emphatically preparing them to build bridges with British culture. Holding a doctorate from the University of London, Badawi has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth, has served as an adviser to Tony Blair, and is co-editor of an interfaith magazine with an archbishop and a chief rabbi. He is in his 80s.

Badawi was en route to the Chautauqua Institution in western New York, where he was to give a major address on the compatibility of Islam and Western culture. But on Wednesday evening, US border officials at JFK detained the elderly scholar for six hours, then put him on a plane back to England. Rejected.


The incident is a telling one. If a Muslim of Zaki Badawi's stature can be treated so contemptuously, imagine what the legion of anonymous Muslims face at the burgeoning network of checkpoints, security barriers, and borders that now define daily life.

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