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I Islamophobia

Muslim Ban? Border And Immigration Officials Question Muslims About Their Religion And Politics, Civil Rights Group Complains

By MARCY KREITER, For IB Times, On 20 January 2017, Read Original
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The Council on American-Islamic Relations said Wednesday it had filed a series of complaints with federal agencies, protesting what it described as the “systematic questioning” of Muslim-Americans about their religious and political views.

CAIR, the largest U.S. Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, said it filed complaints with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department “over reports of systematic questioning of American-Muslim citizens by [border agents] about their religious and political views.”

The complaints were filed by CAIR chapters in Florida, California and New York, outlining increased scrutiny of social media accounts and the contents of mobile phones belonging to Muslim-Americans, as well as interrogations about constitutionally protected beliefs.

CAIR said the questions included:

  • Are you a devout Muslim?
  • Are you Sunni or Shiite?
  • What school of thought do you follow?
  • Which Muslim scholars do you follow?
  • What current Muslim scholars do you listen to?
  • Do you pray five times a day?
  • Why do you have a prayer mat in your luggage?
  • Why do you have a Quran in your luggage?
  • What mosque do you attend?
  • Have you ever delivered the Friday Prayer? What did you discuss with your community?

Muslim extremists staged terror attacks in Florida (the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando June 12 that left 49 dead), California (the San Bernardino Christmas lunch attack Dec. 2, 2015, that left 14 people dead) and New York (the garbage can explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood Sept. 17 that left 29 injured).

Anti-Muslim sentiment has been growing in the United States with 257 hate-crimes reported in 2015, compared with 154 the previous year. Donald Trump’s presidential campaign fed the anti-Muslim sentiment, with his proposals to ban Muslims from entering the United States and to establish a registry for Muslims, along with calls for increased scrutiny of mosques.

Anti-Muslim fears have led to people getting kicked off planes simply for speaking Arabic, the most recent involving YouTube vlogger Adam Saleh, 23, last month.

“Guys, we spoke a different language on the plane and now we’re getting kicked out,” a visibly upset Saleh tweeted as he videoed getting kicked off the plane. “This is 2016. 2016. Look, Delta Air Lines are kicking us out because we spoke a different language. You guys are racist. I cannot believe my eyes."


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