Maryland software engineer sues Gov. Larry Hogan over anti-BDS law | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Maryland software engineer sues Gov. Larry Hogan over anti-BDS law

A Maryland software engineer and former state delegate is suing his state’s governor for signing an executive order into law which targets and penalizes supporters of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS), in what he says is a violation of his First Amendment rights.

In December 2018, Syed “Saqib” Ali, an outspoken proponent of BDS and co-founder of Maryland grassroots pro-BDS organization Freedom2Boycott, found two potentially lucrative contracts open for bidding. He intended to apply for both, judging his 20-years experience in tech would make him a formidable contender.

But due to an executive order known as “Prohibiting Discriminatory Boycotts of Israel in State Procurement”, signed into law October 2017 by Maryland’s Republican Governor Larry Hogan, the state requires Saqib to denounce BDS in order to even apply for the contracts. He would need to provide a written statement along with each submitted bid guaranteeing he is not presently, nor does he plan to engage in a boycott of Israel “and its territories” while contracted with the state.

“I want to apply for these contracts, but I’m certainly not going to sign any such pledge,” Saqib told Mondoweiss. “Certainly not.”

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