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(ANNAPOLIS, MD, 2/22/2013) - The Maryland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MD) testified yesterday at a hearing before Chairman Hammen and Ranking Member Elliott of the Maryland General Assembly's Health & Government Operations Committee in support of the Maryland Liberty Preservation Act of 2013 (H.B. 0558), which would prohibit any state agency or employee from aiding in the detention of a person in accordance with what many say are unconstitutional provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
SEE: CAIR-MD Testimony
Signed into law on December 31, 2011, sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA authorize the U.S. military to carry out domestic anti-terrorism operations and indefinitely detain suspects -- including American citizens on U.S. soil -- without formal charges or hearing.
CAIR Fact Sheet: Repeal Sections 1021 & 1022 of the NDAA
"These controversial provisions deny due process of law and violate the rights, freedoms and values that define our country," said CAIR-MD Vice President Zainab Chaudry. "They also make a mockery of checks and balances set in place to limit powers of any one branch of the government. For the U.S. military to authorize indefinite detention of Americans based solely on suspicion, especially without trial or knowledge of charges being levied against them, is unlawful and unconstitutional."
Dr. Mudasar Raza, who offered CAIR's testimony at the hearing, pointed out that the U.S. Constitution already provides necessary tools to safeguard Americans against foreign and domestic threats. He also commended Delegate Dwyer for introducing the Maryland Liberty Preservation Act and strongly urged state legislators to protect the civil liberties of Maryland residents by approving the act without delay.
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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