Another intensely debated amendment concerned Article Twenty-Nine, which outlines restrictions on non-Muslim religious NGOs in Jordan. The amended article as submitted by the government to parliament allows non-Muslim religious organizations to provide "social and charitable services" as long as those services are not part of a proselytizing campaign. During the debate, MP Mamdouh Abbadi warned that the article as written would allow "Jews, Buddhists, and Baha'is" to establish religious charities in Jordan. He proposed an amendment that would only permit Christian organizations to form non-Muslim religious charities. IAF deputy Suleiman Sa'ad, warning deputies of the potentially nefarious influence of foreign religious charities, proposed a further amendment which would only allow non-Muslim religious organizations to operate in Jordan if their members were Jordanian. Abbadi countered that non-Jordanian religious organizations have set up hospitals and other service-oriented programs which provide valuable services to the Jordanian public at no cost to the government. In the end, Abbadi's amendment carried the day and Sa'ad's amendment was defeated -- only Christians will be allowed to establish non-Muslim religious organizations, but there will be no requirement that they be of Jordanian nationality.Allowing Jews, Buddhists and Baha'is to open up charities in Jordan? How obscene!
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