Tuesday, May 16, 2006

"ideological exclusion"

Via The Kept-Up Academic Librarian:

"Since passage of the USA Patriot Act after Sept. 11, 2001, a number of academics have been denied visas or had them revoked. Universities and scholarly associations have written letters to the government to no avail."

So foreign scholars are being kept out of the U.S. seemingly because some in the government are worried about what they might say (link to Christian Science Monitor story) to us Americans. The DHS claims that these academics are kept out because the Patriot Act's section 411 gives the government the power to exclude anyone who espouses or endorses terrorism.

How long before we librarians are given a list of illegal books -- books that are said to espouse or endorse the viewpoints of terrorists? And since the t-word has such a broad definition, I reckon we'll all have lots and lots of weeding to do.

See also: Patriot Act in the U.K.

1 comment:

Angel, librarian and educator said...

So, in other words, the United States is afraid of ideas to the point that it does not even want to be exposed to them it seems. Scholarly exchange seems to be such an important part of education. It is such an important part of what makes civilization, the exchange of ideas and learning from others, something that can help foster peace through understanding. And now we get the nation retreating into isolationism. What does this do? Forone, it alienates others. Two, it reinforces the image in the rest of the world that the United States really is disengaged and uninterested in the rest of the world. Is that a message that the nation can really afford to continue sending to the rest of the world? Not to mention it does seem like a form of censorship.

I cannot help but wonder how long before we get our list of illegal books. You may weed, but I am hiding them if I have to. Heck, I will become a living book if need be. The censors can keep their cowardice. I remember all the rhetoric that if we lost our rights, the terrorists would have won. Seems to me some people are allowing the terrorists to win. We should be allowing the light of ideas, all ideas, to shine, not retreat into the darkness that intolerant and ignorant enemies would have for us.

Best, and keep on blogging.