NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Sponsors of legislation that would make it a felony to follow some versions of the Islamic code known as Shariah are proposing an amendment that strips out any reference to a specific religion.
The proposal outraged Muslims who said it was too broad. They were concerned it would outlaw central tenets of Islam, such as praying five times a day toward Mecca, abstaining from alcohol or fasting for Ramadan.
Republican Senate sponsor Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro says the amendment reflects sponsors' "original intention to prevent or deter violent or terrorist acts, but does so without any room for misinterpretation regarding the language's affect on peaceful religious practices."
Remziya (rem-ZEE'-ah) Suleyman (SOO'-lay-man), policy coordinator for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, says the group is still reviewing the amendment.
Read SB1028/HB1353 at: http://www.capitol.tn.gov
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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