IslamismJanuary 9 2023, 18:58 pm

US Muslim Brotherhood Group Welcomes Introduction of Ohio Bill Requiring Colleges to Accommodate Religious Observances

On Jan­u­ary 4, 2023, the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR) pub­lished a state­ment wel­com­ing a new bill intro­duced in the Ohio leg­is­la­ture requir­ing col­leges to pro­vide accom­mo­da­tions in order to observe reli­gious hol­i­days. Accord­ing to the state­ment on the CAIR website:

The Ohio Chap­ter of the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Islam­ic Rela­tions (CAIR-Ohio) cel­e­brat­ed a deci­sion by Gov­er­nor DeWine to sign House Bill 353, oth­er­wise known as the “Test­ing Your Faith Act” into law.

Read the rest here.

House Bill 353 requires high­er edu­ca­tion insti­tu­tions to give stu­dents a min­i­mum of three absent days every semes­ter and demands those insti­tu­tions accept with­out ques­tion the sin­cer­i­ty of a stu­den­t’s reli­gious or spir­i­tu­al belief sys­tem. The new law also pro­vides a time­line in which stu­dents must noti­fy a pro­fes­sor of their reli­gious exemp­tion requests. On Jan­u­ary 2, 2023, the bipar­ti­san-backed bill was signed by Gov­er­nor Mike DeWine ®. It was co-spon­sored by Repub­li­can Rep. Gary Click and Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep. Jes­si­ca Miran­da and passed favor­ably in both the Ohio House and Sen­ate, with­out any oppo­si­tion tes­ti­mo­ny. Call­ing the law “a win for stu­dents of all faiths,” CAIR Ohio Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Ami­na Barhu­mi said HB 353 kept the reli­gious exemp­tion deci­sions from pro­fes­sors or uni­ver­si­ties uni­form across the board:

What this leg­is­la­tion should be doing is ensur­ing that there are clear poli­cies, so stu­dents under­stand that this is their right. They have the abil­i­ty to take those days off with­out repercussions.

In June 2022, CAIR Ohio Out­reach and Gov­ern­ment Affairs Direc­tor Whit­ney Sid­diqi sub­mit­ted tes­ti­mo­ny to the Ohio House High­er Edu­ca­tion and Career Readi­ness Com­mit­tee on House Bill 353, call­ing the bill a “nec­es­sary first step” to ensure col­lege stu­dents can prac­tice their reli­gious beliefs while at the same time achiev­ing aca­d­e­m­ic suc­cess. CAIR has a his­to­ry of cam­paign­ing for reg­u­la­tions con­cern­ing reli­gious obser­vances with­in the US edu­ca­tion­al system.

CAIR describes itself as “a grass­roots civ­il rights and advo­ca­cy group and as “Amer­i­ca’s largest Islam­ic civ­il lib­er­ties orga­ni­za­tion.” It was found­ed in 1994 by three offi­cers of the Islam­ic Asso­ci­a­tion of Pales­tine, part of the US Hamas infra­struc­ture at that time. Doc­u­ments dis­cov­ered dur­ing the ter­ror­ism tri­al of the Holy Land Foun­da­tion con­firmed that the founders and cur­rent lead­ers of CAIR were part of the Pales­tine Com­mit­tee of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and that CAIR itself is part of the US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. The orga­ni­za­tion is led by Nihad Awad, its long­stand­ing Exec­u­tive Direc­tor and one of the three founders. Recent­ly, CAIR has been gen­er­al­ly por­trayed in the media as a Mus­lim civ­il rights group.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed ear­li­er today on a Min­neso­ta art pro­fes­sor sacked after a com­plaint by the Mus­lim Stu­dent Asso­ci­a­tion group over show­ing his­tor­i­cal images of the Prophet Muham­mad in class. The Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Min­neso­ta CAIR chap­ter spoke in favor of that action.




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