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CAIR Defends Free Speech in Lawsuit Challenging Arizona ‘BDS’ Law

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/2/18) – The CAIR Legal Defense Fund (CAIR) today announced the filing of a lawsuit against Arizona State University (ASU), the Arizona Board of Regents, and Arizona Attorney General challenging that state’s statute (Arizona 35-393.01), which prohibits activity involving Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) in support of Palestinian human rights.

Contract terms used by ASU in adherence to Arizona 35-393.01 prohibits groups and organizations from inviting speakers to campus who are affiliated with the BDS movement. 


Video of CAIR News Conference

CAIR, along with plaintiffs from American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) and Dr. Hatem Bazian, are challenging the law as a fundamental violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. Raees Mohamed of Kelly Warner, PLLC and CAIR-AZ board chair is co-counsel on the lawsuit.  “Freedom of speech is a fundamental American freedom, and there’s no place that this right should be more valued and protected than in our nation’s colleges and universities,” said CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri. “Anti-BDS statutes trample the free speech rights of Americans and cannot be allowed to stand.”

“Arizona’s anti-BDS laws are a gross violation of free speech,” said CAIR-AZ Executive Director Imraan Siddiqi. “Any attempt to suppress speech should not be allowed.”

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR-AZ Executive Director Imraan Siddiqi, 480-704-3786,; CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 248-390-9784,; CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,


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