Evangelicals and the Christian majority need to realize that when we begin infringing on the rights and freedoms of the "other" (Muslims in America) the snowball will inevitably roll over themselves.
[Veli-Matti ]Kärkkäinen, along with his wife, Anne, and two daughters, returned to Pasadena on September 5. They had been forced to leave the United States on July 31 when the Department of Homeland Security revoked Kärkkäinen's "special immigrant religious worker" visa.
Immigration officials, now under the supervision of the Department of Homeland Security, questioned Fuller's tax-exempt status. They ruled that Kärkkäinen's role as a seminary professor was not a "traditional religious occupation." They also claimed that Kärkkäinen, who has two doctorates and two master's degrees and served as president and theology professor at IsoKirja College in Keuruu, Finland, did not have the necessary experience for his position.
Since Fuller is an interdenominational seminary, it did not fit under new post-9/11 rules, which require that schools be affiliated with specific denominations. Also, as Fuller does not have an official relationship with the Pentecostal church that ordained Kärkkäinen, he did not qualify as a religious worker.
Howard Loewen, dean of the school of theology at Fuller, said that Kärkkäinen's situation "cuts against the very mission and vision of Fuller as an evangelical, multidenominational, global institution." More than 600 of the seminary's 4,300 students are from outside the United States, he said, as are a dozen faculty members.
"Ten years ago, we were not so concerned about having international faculty," Corey said. "Now, there is tension between the desire to become a more global institution and the difficulty of getting and keeping international scholars here."
In August, the Department of Homeland Security revoked the visa of Tariq Ramadan, a Muslim scholar and Swiss citizen. Ramadan is the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group with a terrorist history in Egypt. Ramadan, generally considered a moderate voice, was to begin teaching on August 24 at the University of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.
"What amazes me," Kärkkäinen said, "is that the world's most influential country and its administration are obviously unable to make a distinction between threats and friendly, productive immigrants."