BDS event at Arizona State University to move forward

Hatem Bazian giving introductory remarks at the Zaytuna College commencement, 2014. (photo: YouTube)

The University has revised its contract for speakers removing anti-BDS language.

By Nora Barrows-Friedman | Electronic Intifada | Mar 20, 2018

[The court-ordered agreement with the university allowing Bazian to speak] “is a reflection of the strength of our legal position. We look forward to seeking a declaration that the law, in all of its applications, is unconstitutional.”
— Gadeir Abbas, attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

A university lecturer and Palestine rights activist will be allowed to speak at Arizona State University next month, after initially being barred due to a state law blacklisting advocates of an Israel boycott.

A court-approved agreement with the university allowing the event with Hatem Bazian to go forward is “a welcome development,” Gadeir Abbas, attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told The Electronic Intifada.

In February, the Muslim Students Association at Arizona State University had invited Bazian, University of California at Berkeley lecturer and chair of American Muslims for Palestine, to speak about the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign in support of Palestinian rights during an event on campus in April.

Bazian was asked to sign an agreement that included a clause certifying that he is not engaged with a boycott of Israel.

The agreement, usually a boilerplate legal document outlining the terms of an event, was amended sometime after the passage of Arizona’s anti-BDS law in March 2016. The law requires the state to blacklist companies and groups from contracts if they boycott Israel. Arizona is one of two dozen states which have adopted anti-BDS measures.

Bazian and American Muslims for Palestine said they could not agree to the clause and would not sign the agreement.

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