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CAIR to Argue Against Trump Administration’s First Claim of State Secrets Privilege in Watchlist Case

screenshot 2018.05.17 15 34 10(WASHINGTON D.C., 5/17/2018) – On Friday, May 18, the CAIR Legal Defense Fund of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will argue against the Trump administration’s first assertion of the state secrets privilege in a watchlist case.

Government attorneys are asserting that privilege in CAIR’s broad challenge to the unconstitutional government watchlist that has ensnared countless innocent Muslims.

SEE: Attorney General Sessions’ State Secrets Assertion

MEDIA ADVISORY: A hearing on the administration’s state secrets claim in the case of El Hady v Piehota will be held Friday at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria, Va. (401 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, VA 22314. CONTACT: CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 248-390-9784,; CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425,

[NOTE: There will be two separate hearings, with the first beginning at 10 a.m. in Magistrate Judge Anderson’s courtroom on a related effort to shield from discovery information about the watchlist. Following that hearing, Judge Trenga will hear arguments on the state secrets matter as well as other government efforts to keep hidden basic facts about the watchlist’s operations. CAIR attorneys will be available for comment when the hearings end.]

Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions submitted a declaration formally asserting the state secrets privilege in El Hady et. al v. Piehota — a case CAIR filed in 2015 on behalf of 25 innocent American Muslims, including a baby, who could no longer board airplanes, were handcuffed at gunpoint during border crossings, and who otherwise were afflicted by a variety of consequences as a result of their placement on the watchlist.

SEE: Lawsuits Filed Over Muslim Americans on Watch List (Detroit News)

CAIR continues to challenge the government’s watchlist and has filed multiple lawsuits to return Americans back to their homeland. 

VIDEO:  CAIR-Florida Helps Muslim Citizen on No-Fly List to Successfully Return to Florida

CAIR Holds News Conference for Return of Utah Imam Abdi After Lawsuit Challenging No-Fly List

CAIR has witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

The Washington-based organization’s recently-released 2018 Civil Rights Report, “Targeted,” showed a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents against American Muslims from 2016 to 2017, and a 15 percent increase in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in that same time period.

New CAIR Report: Trump’s Muslim Bans Increased Anti-Muslim Discrimination, Violence

Community members are being urged to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at:       

CAIR launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.

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 understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CONTACT: CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Amy Doukoure, 586-943-8823,; CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418,; CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 248-390-9784,; CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

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