Tehran – Iqna – Three American Muslims have filed a lawsuit against the federal immigration authorities claiming that they were targeted, detained and interrogated every time they returned to the United States.
The three US citizens said they would be subjected to a secondary check by border officers, during which they were asked questions including whether they were Muslim, Sunni or Shiite, which mosque they attended and how often they prayed.
The lawsuit, which the ACLU brought in Los Angeles County Court, alleges that their treatment amounts to religious discrimination under the Constitution, because it violates the First Amendment right to freedom of religion, because other religions are not alike. target for such an interrogation.
It also requires the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to erase the three individuals’ records, which according to the ACLU will be kept in a database for up to 75 years and accessible by US law enforcement.
“Just as border officials cannot accurately identify American Christians to ask about their denomination, which church they attend and how often they pray, so limiting American Muslims to similar issues is unconstitutional. Plaintiffs are entitled to full and equal membership in American society,” the lawsuit.
“By targeting plaintiffs for religious interrogation simply because they are Muslims, border officers of defendants stigmatize them for professing a particular religion and condemn their faith as questionable and distrustful.”
“Every time I go back to the United States, I feel anxious,” said one of the plaintiffs, Abdurrahman Adan Carey, an imam at a mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota.
“I am constantly worried about how I will be seen.”
During the occasions that Carey was arrested and detained, he said he was asked questions by the order’s officers, including whether he was a Salafist or a Sufi, where he studied Islam and what his views were of a 13th-century Islamic scholar. Ebn Taimia.
As a result, Carrie said she no longer wears a prayer cap at the airport.
“It is horrible to hear that you have to hide an essential part of your identity from your government. I should not be questioned because of my religion,” he said in a statement.
The lawsuit alleges that Carey was also placed on a US government review list.
“Religious interrogation by border officers is unconstitutional and it is time for the government to respond,” said Ashley Gorsky, senior attorney for the ACLU’s National Security Project. “This invasive interrogation has no legitimate law enforcement purpose and delivers a mischievous and stigmatizing message that the United States government considers Muslims to be inherently suspicious.”
A US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesperson told Middle East Eye that, in terms of policy, he had not commented on the pending legislation.
The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to Middle East Eye requests for comment on the lawsuit.
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