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ACLU and Muslim Advocates Advice

January 22nd, 2010

The ACLU National Security Project and Muslim Advocates are speaking with individuals (US citizens and legal permanent residents) who have been asked questions about their religious and/or political beliefs, associations, and practices when reentering the United States from abroad at border crossings, airports, or ports. We have heard that this is a serious issue confronting Muslims (and people perceived to be Muslim), but are trying to get a handle on the scope of the problem and the situations confronting specific individuals.
Examples of problematic questioning include:
1. “Are you Sunni or Shia?”
2. “Who is the imam of your mosque?”
3. “Which mosque do you attend?”
4. “Why did you perform Hajj?”
5. “Do you believe in jihad?”
6. “What is your view of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?”
7. “What is your view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?”
8. “What do you think about the President?”
9. “What is your affiliation with [X] Muslim organization?”
10. “Do you give to any Muslim charities? Which ones?”
As you may know, Muslim Advocates published a report last year documenting the widespread practice of federal agents interrogating Americans returning to the US after overseas travel. It is critical that we continue to hear from the community on this issue, and urge you to forward this to your friends and family who frequently travel or recently returned home, such as business travelers, students, or those returning from Hajj.

If you or someone you know has been subject to such questioning, please contact Nusrat Choudhury of the ACLU (nchoudhury@aclu.org) or Nura Maznavi (nura@muslimadvocates.org)

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