WASHINGTON, June 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced today that an American Muslim citizen stuck in Kuwait had his passport returned by U.S. embassy officials who had seized it in February.
Aziz Nouhaili, a naturalized American citizen, received his passport following CAIR's intervention on his behalf with the U.S. Department of State. Last week, CAIR sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton seeking the return of Nouhaili's passport and calling its seizure a form of "extrajudicial denaturalization."
In an April meeting with an embassy official, Nouhaili was reportedly told he "should stop thinking of himself as an American" and indicated that it would be more accurate to "consider himself denaturalized."
"We welcome this news and hope that it serves as a reminder that American Muslims have the same right to due process as other citizens," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "The incident needs to be investigated thoroughly to find out if proper procedures were followed and whether this particular American citizen was targeted due to his faith or national origin."
Awad said CAIR has assisted a number of other American Muslim citizens who have been stranded overseas by government actions.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR Staff Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425, E-Mail: [email protected]; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, or 202-488-8787, E-Mail: [email protected]; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: [email protected]
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations