(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 8/14/2014)Â — The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) today announcedÂ the filing of aÂ lawsuit on behalf of several Muslims challenging their placement in the government's Terrorist Screening Database — a watch list of “known or suspected terrorists” — without due process.Â The lawsuit wasÂ filed in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit.
CAIR-MI's lawsuit states in part:
“nfortunately, the federal government has designed its federal watch list to be accountability free. Persons placed on the federal watch list have no means of removing themselves or challenging the basis for their inclusion. Indeed, people on the federal watch lists only learn of their placement when they feel the web of consequences burdening their lives and aspirations, and they never learn why.”
The lawsuit seeks a declaratory judgment that the government's policies violate the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution and that requires the government to provide a legal mechanism for those placed on watch lists to challenge their designation.
In a recent investigative report releasedÂ last week based on leaked federal law enforcement documents, Dearborn, Mich., was ranked as secondÂ in the top five U.S. cities represented on federalÂ watch lists.Â
The report stated that “at 96,000 residents, Dearborn is much smaller than the other cities in the top five, suggesting that its significant Muslim population – 40 percent of its population is of Arab descent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau – has been disproportionately targeted for watch listing.”Â
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 Staff Attorney Lena Masri, 248-390-9784, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, or 202-488-8787, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, email@example.com