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Passion Islam I August 2009 ORLD NEWSW I 15
Muslims slam
discriminate law in US
A leading US Muslim civil rights
organization on slammed a draft state
law that would bar teachers in public
schools from wearing “religious dress”
such as a headscarf.
“This legislation forces Muslims,
Jews, Sikhs and others to choose
between their faith and entering the
teaching profession,” said Ibrahim
Hooper, communications director for
the Washington-based Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR),
referring to a bill before the governor
of the northwestern state of Oregon.
“Merely wearing a headscarf is
not proselytizing; it’s a statement of
faith. Practicing one’s faith is a right
guaranteed by the constitution,” said
law would be applied to Christian Egypt in June.
CAIR cites a clause of the Oregon
crosses or the Jewish Star of David, “Freedom in America is indivisible
Workplace Religious Freedom Act
or if it would affect a Muslim woman from the freedom to practice one’s
as saying: “No teacher in any public
who did not normally wear a scarf but religion,” Obama said in the speech.
school shall wear any religious dress
had to undergo chemotherapy and “That is why the US government has
while engaged in the performance of
lost her hair. gone to court to protect the right of
duties as a teacher.”
“Would she be put through an women and girls to wear the hijab,
The bill also says education
inquisition to determine if she was and to punish those who would deny
officials and schools would not be
making a religious statement or not?” it.”
breaking the law if they “prohibit a
he said. The bill has been passed by the
teacher from wearing religious dress
Hooper also pointed out that the Oregon state legislature and the
while engaged in the performance of
Oregon legislation directly contradicts governor “has said he will sign it,”
duties as a teacher.”
a statement made by US President said Hooper.
Hooper questioned whether the
Barack Obama during a speech in
Hamas to take stance that
promotes Mideast peace
The Palestinian Islamic resistance The talks were “positive” and reiterated its readiness for any
movement, Hamas, will not adopt a covered inter-Palestinian conciliation, attempts directed towards freeing
policy that will jeopardize the peace of Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the prisoners, he added.
the Middle East, said Hamas politburo situation in the region, according to Sultanov said that it was important
chief Khalid Mishaal. Hamas politburo member Mohammad for Palestinians to reach conciliation
These remarks came during Nasr. to solve the Israeli-Palestinian
Mishaal’s meeting Saturday night with They discussed the topics that conflict, Russian sources said, adding
Russia’s Middle East Envoy Alexander will be tackled during the upcoming that the Hamas delegation hailed
Sultanov, who is visiting Damascus Moscow peace conference, he said, Russia’s supportive stance. Sultanov
within his regional tour. adding that Sultanov hoped that the said Hamas should adopt a more
Sultanov is scheduled to discuss conference would prove fruitful. flexible policy, while Mishaal said that
with Syrian Foreign Minister Waleed The Russian side did not offer to Hamas’s stance would not conflict with
Al-Muallem the situation in the region, mediate in the prisoners’ exchange international efforts directed towards
and the peace process. deals, he said, and noted that Hamas reviving the peace process.
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