On Wednesday, August 8, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, will hold a press conference at its Capitol Hill headquarters in Washington, D.C.
At the press conference, CAIR will announce its new constitutional challenge to the federal government’s watchlisting system, including the TSA’s recently revealed Quiet Skies program.
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Quiet Skies punishes those who—through family, community or the workplace—have relationships with individuals the federal government has designated as a “known or suspected terrorist.” The program imposes indiscriminate surveillance upon a designee’s family members, friends, co-workers, and travel companions at airports and on airplanes.
The lawsuit’s plaintiffs are more than a dozen innocent American Muslims and their families—people who have not been charged, arrested, or convicted of a terrorism-related crime—from Washington DC, Florida, Michigan, Oregon, Kansas, and New Jersey.
The federal government uses the watchlisting system to, as one judge described it, “transfor[m] a person into a second class citizen, or worse.”
Targets of the watchlisting system can be denied the ability to travel by air, subject to invasive and stigmatizing searches and interrogations, detained for hours at border crossings, have their electronics seized, be deprived of the right to purchase a firearm, and have their bank accounts closed—in addition to other innumerable consequences that flow from the government’s secretive watchlists.
The watchlist, as a whole, singles out innocent Muslims. The stigmatizing label of “terrorist” impairs their family, religious, business and employment relationships regardless of their innocence.
CAIR has filed multiple challenges to the government’s watchlisting system along with multiple lawsuits to allow Americans who are subject to the system’s flight ban return to the United States.
WHAT: CAIR News Conference
WHO: CAIR Civil Rights Attorneys and Some of the Plaintiffs
WHEN: Wednesday, Aug. 8, 12:00 p.m.
WHERE: CAIR Capitol Hill Headquarters, 453 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, D.C. 20003
CONTACT: CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425, [email protected]; CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 248-390-9784, [email protected]