Interrogations by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies of Muslim travelers at the U.S.-Canadian border violates the travelers' rights, the Michigan chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) argues in a federal lawsuit filed Friday.
It seeks a prohibition on FBI, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents from asking Muslims about their faith.
"Invasive religious questioning of American citizens without evidence of criminal activity is not only an affront to the Constitution but also a waste of limited resources," CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid said in a press release announcing the lawsuit.
CAIR consistently attacks law enforcement efforts, particularly counterterrorism measures. It routinely criticizes terror financing investigations and counter-terror arrests involving informants. Its training programs on encounters with federal agents often instill fear and paranoia among Muslim audiences.
The FBI officially cut off non-criminal communication with CAIR in 2008 based on evidence in a Hamas-financing prosecution showing that CAIR's founding was part of the Muslim Brotherhood's "Palestine Committee" network in the United States.
The suit was filed on behalf of four people who say they were treated inappropriately. One, Wissam Charafeddine, classified his repeated interrogations as "psychological torture."
The complaint cites questions such as "Which mosque do you go to?" and "Who is your religious leader?" as humiliating to American Muslims.
Such questions would not be acceptable for Jewish or Christian American citizens, Walid said.
"I'd also like to question the protocols of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, TSA and CBP and raise a broader issue of would it be acceptable for American citizens who were Jewish to be asked by federal law enforcement how often do they make the Sabbath prayer?" Walid said.