NEW YORK, April 20 — American Muslims detained at the border as they returned from a religious conference in Toronto sued the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday alleging they were targets of ethnic and religious profiling. The five Muslims, all U.S. citizens, say customs officials detained dozens of others from their conference in December, subjecting them to interrogations, fingerprinting and photographing. Four carried U.S.-issued passports; the other had a New York state driver’s license, which is an acceptable form of identification at the Canadian border.
The plaintiffs traveled separately and arrived at the checkpoint throughout the afternoon and night. Travelers who told agents they had attended the conference titled “Reviving the Islamic Spirit” were held for questioning, and women wearing hijab were asked whether they had attended the conference, according to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court by the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Council for American-Islamic Relations. (MORE)