(Tampa, FL - 1/18/2017) CAIR-Florida, the state's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization announced the filing this week of 10 complaints with the U.S. Customs & Border Protection Agency (CBP), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Department of Justice (DOJ), reporting the systematic targeting of American-Muslim citizens for enhanced screening by CBP. The complaints were filed in coordination with CAIR-National, CAIR-SFBA, and CAIR-NY. The complaints reported increased scrutiny of American-Muslim's social media accounts and contents of their mobile phones along with invasive questions regarding their religious beliefs and political opinions about American Citizens. One complaint noted the denial of entry of a Canadian citizen after he informed agents he prayed 5 times a day in response to their questioning.
Among the questions asked by the CPB to Muslim-American citizens as reported in the complaints are:
In one case, CBP officers choked an American-Muslim after he refused to provide them with his cell phone number again after they had accessed it on a previous occasion.
CAIR-Florida's complaints also document how a Canadian citizen of the Muslim faith attempting to visit the US was asked by CBP the following questions before he was denied entry:
All individuals were asked by the CBP to provide their unlocked cell phone numbers or took them away for searching. Individuals were held between 2 to 8 hours by CBP.
CAIR-FL's Chief Executive Director and civil rights attorney, Hassan Shibly, stated that, "This targeting of Americans based on their faith and pressuring them to answer questions about their religious and political beliefs, runs contrary to the fundamental principles of freedom of speech and freedom of religion enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. It reflects a nationwide trend of the CBP targeting American-Muslims; it subjects them to disparate treatment and it reeks of the 'Muslim registry' and 'Muslim ban' proposed by President-Elect Trump."
National media outlets are covering CBP's irregular activities with the American Muslim community:
In response, CAIR-Florida Encourages all those subjected to discriminatory treatment or asked invasive questions by the CBP to contact CAIR to file formal complaints at 813-514-1414.
CAIR-Florida is the state's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties of all people, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR-Florida es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.