At border, agents ask Michigan Muslims how many times a day they pray
SOUTHFIELD, Mich., April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Friday, April 13, the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) will hold a news conference in Detroit to announce the filing of a federal lawsuit against U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the FBI over the repeated detention and questioning of Muslims about their religious beliefs and practices by federal agents at and inside the United States-Canada border.
WHAT: News Conference Announcing Federal Lawsuit Over Invasive Religious Questioning of Muslims at U.S.-Canada Border
WHEN: Friday, April 13, 9:30 a.m. (Eastern)
WHERE: Outside U.S. Eastern District Federal Court, 231 W Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI
News conference participants will include one of the plaintiffs as well as civil rights attorney Shereef Akeel and a representative of Alliance for Immigrants Rights. Akeel is co-counsel with CAIR attorneys on the lawsuit.
CAIR-MI is filing the lawsuit on behalf of four American citizens who reported that CBP and FBI agents detained and handcuffed them without evidence of wrongdoing and questioned them about their religious beliefs and worship habits. The lawsuit asserts that those actions violated the plaintiffs' First Amendment rights.
Questions reportedly asked of Michigan Muslims by CBP and FBI agents have included:
* How many times a day do you pray?
* Do you pray your morning prayer in the mosque?
* Who else prays in your mosque?
"Invasive religious questioning of American citizens without evidence of criminal activity is not only an affront to the Constitution but is also a waste of limited resources," said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid.
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-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Lena Masri, 248-390-9784, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations