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The Watchlist targeting Muslims is unconstitutional

The Watchlist targeting Muslims is unconstitutional

BREAKING: CAIR to Announce Victory in Constitutional Challenge to Federal Terror Watchlist: CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly is a plaintiff in the landmark case.

(Miami, Fla, 9/4/19) – On Thursday, September 5, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will hold a noon news conference at the Capitol Hill at Washington DC headquarters to outline the practical and constitutional implications of the Muslim civil rights organization’s “complete victory” in its challenge to the federal government’s terror watchlist in Elhady v. Kable (E.D.Va.). CAIR-Florida will have media availability in our 5 statewide regional offices in Tampa, South Florida, Naples, Orlando, and Panama City immediately following the CAIR Washington, DC press conference.

US judge: Terror Watchlist Violates Constitutional Rights


Judge Anthony Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that the government has unconstitutionally failed to provide watchlisted persons with notice and an opportunity for individuals to challenge their status. The judge granted CAIR’s motion for summary judgment in the case of 23 American Muslims who were unjustly labeled as suspected terrorists by their government, causing extensive harm to their families, careers, and ability to travel.

SEE: Judge Trenga’s Opinion


WHAT: CAIR News Conference Announcing Watchlist Victory

WHERE: CAIR’s Capitol Hill Headquarters, 453 New Jersey Ave SE, Washington DC 20003

WHEN: Thursday, September 5, Noon

WHO: CAIR Executive Director, CAIR Legal Team, Affected Clients including plaintiff Hassan Shibly (Executive Director, CAIR-Florida)

CONTACT: CAIR Florida Communications Director Wilfredo A. Ruiz, 305-502-6749, wruiz@cair.com; Plaintiff Hassan Shibly, CAIR-Florida Executive Director, hshibly@cair.com, 813-541-4321, hshibly@cair.com

National Litigation Director Lena Masri, 202-642-4934, lmasri@cair.com; CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425, gabbas@cair.com; CAIR Trial Attorney Carolyn Homer, 202-516-4724; CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid (248) 842-1418.


“The vagueness of the standard for inclusion in the TSDB, coupled with the lack of any meaningful restraint on what constitutes grounds for placement on the Watchlist, constitutes, in essence, the absence of any ascertainable standard for inclusion and exclusion, which is precisely what offends the Due Process Clause,” wrote Judge Trenga.

“For the last two decades, American Muslims have been treated as second class citizens and criminals when we travel. This case vindicates thousands of American Muslims and their families”, said CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly, one of the plaintiffs in this landmark case. Shibly added: “Today’s decision is one of greatest victory to the American Muslim community in the history of the United States. Is a victory for all who care about the U.S. Constitution and our civil liberties.”

“CAIR’s legal team has finally brought an end to the secretive watchlist, which is effectively a Muslim registry created in the wake of the widespread Islamophobia of the early 2000s,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “What a remarkable way to honor CAIR’s 25th Anniversary in 2019.”

“CAIR has a half-dozen other watchlist cases pending in federal courts across the country, and this opinion will pave the wave for our continued victories,” said CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri. “Today’s opinion is a victory for the more than one hundred American Muslims we represent and for the thousands of American Muslims who are currently stigmatized by the watchlist.”

“Every step of this case revealed new layers of government secrets, including that the government shares the watchlist with private companies and more than sixty foreign countries,” said CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas. “CAIR will continue its fight until the full scope of the government’s shadowy watchlist activities is disclosed to the American public.”

“The fundamental principle of due process is notice and the opportunity to be heard,” said CAIR Trial Attorney Justin Sadowsky. “Today’s opinion provides that due process guarantee to all Americans affected by the watchlist.”

“The watchlist’s arbitrary criteria has long enabled the government to target Muslims based on their faith and then bui a secretive network map of their associations,” said CAIR Trial Attorney Carolyn Homer. “Today, the government’s unlawful surveillance of the Muslim community has begun to be curtailed.”

About CAIR-Florida / Acerca de CAIR-Florida

CAIR-Florida’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR-Florida es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, proteger las libertades civiles, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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