June 4, 2020
Issue: Law Enforcement Bias
Muslim Advocates Files Brief Detailing Terrorist Watchlists Discrimination Against Muslims
WASHINGTON, DC — On Tuesday, Muslim Advocates submitted a brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to affirm a lower court’s decision that found the U.S. terrorist watchlisting system violates the constitutional right to due process. The lawsuit, Elhady v. Kable, was brought by the Council on American-Islamic Relations on behalf of a number of Muslims who have experienced traumatic encounters at the hands of law enforcement, due to their inclusion on the terrorist watchlists, including hours-long interrogations at airports, humiliating searches, and even arrest at gunpoint.
Muslim Advocates’ amicus curiae brief highlights how the terrorist watchlists disproportionately target the Muslim community. It further ties this attempt to strip a disfavored minority of due process to many other such attempts by the government in history and the role that the courts can play in stopping them.
“The evidence that the government discriminates against Muslims through its watchlisting procedures is overwhelming,” said Muslim Advocates Staff Attorney Matthew Callahan. “These watchlists follow a long history of attempts by the government to target disfavored minorities out of fear. The lower court’s decision here is a long-overdue recognition that the government cannot trample people’s right to due process in the name of national security.”
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.