DALLAS, Jan. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Dallas Fort-Worth chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-DFW), along with CAIR’s national civil rights department, today filed a lawsuit on behalf of several Muslims challenging their placement — without due process — in the government’s Terrorist Screening Database – a watch list of “known or suspected terrorists.”
CAIR’s lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas, challenges the government’s widespread practice of designating Muslims on the watch lists without providing individuals notice of the basis for their placement and without offering a meaningful opportunity to contest this designation.
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The lawsuit was filed on behalf of five Muslims who are American citizens and have all experienced a range of severe consequences due to their placement on the watch list, including the inability to fly on airplanes, intrusive screenings at airports, and the denial of applications for credit cards and bank loans.
“The federal government’s placement of Muslims on a terror watch list without due process is a widespread practice that unfortunately affects many individuals in the DFW Metroplex,” said CAIR-DFW Legal Director Nikiya Natale. “Our hope is that the court rules this practice unconstitutional so that these law-abiding citizens can be free from the government’s religious, racial and ethnic profiling.”
“This database is nothing more than a list of innocent Muslim citizens who have not been arrested, charged or convicted of a crime,” said Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas. “The extrajudicial use of this draconian and ineffective watch list is incompatible with the rule of law and our American values.”
Last year, CAIR defeated a motion to dismiss a similar lawsuit in a federal court in Virginia, allowing for the broadest ever challenge to the federal watch list to move forward.
SEE: Federal Judge Allows CAIR Suit Challenging Constitutionality of Terror Watch List to Move Forward
The Washington-based civil rights organization said it has witnessed an unprecedented increase in hate incidents targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump.
CAIR asks community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/report
Because of the rise in hate incidents, CAIR recently launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents.
For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here: http://www.cair.com/app
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.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
CONTACT: CAIR-DFW Legal Director Nikiya Natale, 469-980-0310, [email protected]; CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 248-390-9784, [email protected]; CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425, [email protected]; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, [email protected]
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)