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US: Muslim group sues to block 'No Boycott of Israel' bill

Thursday 10/January/2019 - 11:12 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Moamar
A Muslim civil rights group sues the US state of Maryland for enforcing an executive order barring state agencies from contracting with businesses that boycott Israel، as Ynet said.
Maryland's ban on contracting with businesses that boycott Israel tramples on the First Amendment rights of a software engineer who advocates for Palestinians، a Muslim civil rights group claims in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) federal lawsuit seeks to block the state from enforcing an executive order that the Governor of Maryland، Larry Hogan، signed in October 2017.
The order requires contractors to certify in writing that they don't boycott Israel. The group's suit claims the order has an unconstitutional chilling effect on First Amendment-protected political advocacy supporting Palestine.
According to CAIR، 25 other US states have enacted measures similar to Maryland's، through legislation or executive orders. CAIR attorney Gadeir Abbas said other federal lawsuits have challenged measures in Arizona، Arkansas، Kansas and Texas.
CAIR sued Hogan and state Attorney General Brian Frosh on behalf of software engineer Syed Saqib Ali، a former state legislator. Ali's lawsuit says the order bars him from bidding for government software program contracts because he supports boycotts of businesses and organizations that "contribute to the oppression of Palestinians."
"Speech and advocacy related to the Israel-Palestine conflict is core political speech on a matter of public concern entitled to the highest levels of constitutional protection،" the suit says.

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