Muslim Scholar Sues ASU Over Contract; School Says It's A Misunderstanding

Published: Monday, March 5, 2018 - 6:00pm
Updated: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - 9:19am
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A Muslim scholar is suing Arizona State University, alleging the school is illegally blocking him from speaking on campus because of his political beliefs. 

Hatem Bazian is slated to speak on campus about a movement aimed at pressuring Israel to change its policies, particularly in regard to Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

The lawsuit states ASU won't allow him to speak because he won't sign an agreement that bars him from calling for a boycott of Israel.

A 2016 state law barred publicly funded universities from doing business with any firm that won't do business with Israel, but ASU spokesperson Brett Hovell is calling the issue a misunderstanding.

"I don't know where they got the contract. That contract has a revision date on it of September something 2016, it has actually been revised a couple of times since then, and that language is no longer in it," Hovell said.

Hovell said it was a mistake that the form containing the certification was given to Bazian.

In the meantime, lawyers will continue to pursue litigation and seek a court order affirming Bazian's right to speak at ASU despite his refusal to sign the contract.

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