Islamic Society Of North America Expresses Concern Over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act

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The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has issued a statement opposing Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act on the grounds that it could be employed to discriminate against Muslims. According to the statement:

April 01, 2015 Plainfield, Ind. – The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) Wednesday expressed concern about Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

‘ISNA welcomes the protection of an individual’s right to free exercise of religion being given the legal ‘strict scrutiny’ standard, but has serious concerns about the extension of those rights to corporations as well as the protections against civil liability for discrimination by protected corporations against individuals.

‘For example, if a corporation refused to hire a person because they were a Muslim and their religious beliefs did not permit them to hire Muslims, then the prospective employee could not succeed in a lawsuit alleging discrimination against the corporation, because the law is a defense to liability. Similarly, the state government could not levy fines or other punishments against a corporation for discrimination.’

‘Freedom to practice one’s religion has always been among the core constitutional rights of our country. However, this should not be at the expense of other people’s civil rights,’ added ISNA President Azhar Azeez. ‘We urge Governor Pence and the Indiana Legislature to either repeal this law or add sufficient anti-discrimination protections to insure no one’s rights are undermined in the name of religious freedom.’

On 2 April, one day after the ISNA statement, the governor of Indiana signed into law revisions to the bill that purported to protect the religious freedoms of business owners but were heavily criticized as anti-gay.

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) emerged out of the early U.S. Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure and documents discovered in the course of the terrorism trial of the Holy Land Foundation confirmed that the organization was part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. ISNA was named as a Holy Land unindicted co-conspirator as a result of what the US Justice Department called the organization’s ” intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Committee, and the defendants in this case.”

For more on ISNA, go here.

For a detailed analysis of ISNA and its recent history, go here.

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