Muslim Border Crossing Discrimination Lawsuit Gets Green Light

A lawsuit filed on behalf of several Muslims Americans is moving forward. The lawsuit was filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), in response to the trouble caused to Muslim travelers at United States border crossings.

The defendants in the lawsuit are the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the FBI.

Many Muslims who have crossed the border, both at physical border crossings (i.e. US-Canada) and at airports, have been singled out for harassing behaviors, since 9/11.  According to the lawsuit, four individuals, Abdulrahman Cherri, Wissam Charafeddine, Ali Suleiman Ali, and Kheireddine Bouzid, faced discriminatory behavior at the US-Canada border crossing in Michigan. These behaviors include questions pertaining to religion, such as asking the plaintiff how many times a day he prayed.

The plaintiffs were also subject to repeated and invasive body searches. Some were even detained for periods of time.

What's interesting is that these events were scattered over a period of time. As such, CAIR's complaint pointed to the fact that such widespread use of similar tactics indicated a policy which mandated the actions.

The original lawsuit covered several claims, including violation of the First Amendment and Fifth Amendment.

The government's attorneys attempted to have the case tossed. But on June 11, Federal Disctrict Court Judge Avern Cohn ruled that parts of the case can go forward. This means that there will likely be a trial on the Fifth Amendment issues in the case, as well as on the challenge to official policy.

CAIR could not be reached for comment.