Prominent Christian conservatives and other supporters of the First Amendment are speaking up in defense of free speech after a Muslim school contractor in Texas claimed to have lost her job for not signing what has been described as a “pro-Israel pledge.”
Bahia Amawi, a speech pathologist who worked for nearly a decade with speech-impaired and developmentally disabled elementary school children in the Pflugerville Independent School District, has been told she can no longer work as a contractor for the school district if she doesn’t sign a new contract agreement with the state.
The questionable part of the agreement, presented to her for this school year in September, asked for affirmation that the “contractor” does not boycott Israel and will not boycott the Middle Eastern nation during the length of the contract.
As an Austrian-born American citizen with Palestinian descent, Amawi felt that she could not in good conscience sign the new agreement because of her views on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and has not been allowed to work for the school district because of the refusal.
According to the Texas Tribune, the new clause in Amawi’s contract was a result of a bill signed by the state’s Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that made it illegal for the state to contract with companies that boycott Israel. The legislation was a response to the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions movement challenging Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.
Amawi filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Western Texas on Sunday claiming that Texas’ “ban on contracting with any boycott of Israel constitutes viewpoint discrimination.”
“Friends of civil liberty — right and left-need to stand up to the speech police — right or left-who would forbid people saying what they believe or compel their saying what they don’t believe,” Robert George, a Princeton University law professor and one of the nation’s most prominent Christian conservative scholars, wrote on Twitter. “People are commenting that speech policing happens on the left too. Yes! Of course it does. I noted that in my tweet. There are people on both sides who do it & rationalize their support for it. They condemn people on the other side for doing it while doing it themselves.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith