Avella calls for broader religious corporation law
by Andrew Shilling
Jun 04, 2014 | 1072 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
State Senator Tony Avella joins religious leaders at his district office.
State Senator Tony Avella joins religious leaders at his district office.
Hindu, Sikh and Islamic religions are not currently named in the religious corporations law as religions that are allowed to incorporate as a non-profit for legal and tax purposes under current New York State law.

But an amendment to include these religions just recently passed the State Senate, and now awaits a vote in the State Assembly with just three weeks remaining in the state legislature.

State Senator Tony Avella joined several members of the Hindu, Sikh and Islamic religious communities at his Bayside office last week to call on his colleagues in the Assembly to put the bill up for a vote.

“It really is incumbent for the Assembly to move ahead on this legislation,” Avella said. “Religious freedom is one of the fundamental tenants of the U.S. Constitution and this country, and I think the State of New York needs to do this legislation and enact this bill into law as soon as possible.”

Dr. Uma Mysorekar, president of the Hindu Temple Society of North America, said she was astonished to learn that her religion is not included in the law.

“I think it would be wonderful, and we sincerely hope that the Assembly will now pass what already has been passed in the Senate so that we can look forward to a modified Religious Corporations Law,” Mysorekar said.

Mohammad T. Rahman, secretary general of the Islamic Circle of North America, also joined Avella last week to call on the Assembly to take the bill to a vote.

“In this country, we feel that we are fortunate enough to have the legal rights of every human being and practice all religious feelings,” Rahman said.

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