The Council on American-Islamic Relations has complained that Muslim-Americans were questioned by authorities over the weekend in connection to rumored terrorist plots coinciding with the presidential election.
The FBI announced last week that al Qaida threatened attacks on Monday, the day before the election, in California, Washington State, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Oklahoma, Florida and Texas. And over the weekend word came that the Islamic State instructed sympathizers to carry out lone wolf attacks on election day.
“The FBI actions . . . to conduct a sweep of American Muslim leaders the weekend before the election is completely outrageous and . . . borderline unconstitutional,” Hassan Shibly, a lawyer and the executive director of CAIR Florida told The Washington Post. “That’s the equivalent of the FBI visiting churchgoing Christians because someone overseas was threatening to blow up an abortion clinic. It’s that preposterous and outrageous.”
Shilby said Muslims in at least eight states were interrogated.
The people who complained to CAIR said they were asked a variety of questions, including if they knew any of the al-Qaeda leaders who were killed in airstrikes in October, according to the Post.
“When FBI agents show up at your door, people are terrified,” Shibly, who claimed he took 6 phone calls from Muslims over the weekend, said. “It does more damage.”
Shilby said CAIR had received calls from California, Washington, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Florida.
Muslims, along with fellow Americans, are committed to doing their job in helping to make our community safer,” Alia Salem, the director of CAIR in North Texas, told the Dallas Morning News.
“That includes reporting suspicious activity. But for the Muslim community to be targeted as if we are guilty is inappropriate. If [law enforcement] wants to communicate with specific individuals, there should be no hindrance in doing that with an attorney.”
Other Muslim leaders are warning fellow Muslims to decline to speak to authorities until they have a lawyer.
The FBI is knocking on Muslim’s doors this weekend. Do you know what to do? Hint: it does not include inviting them in for tea & cookies pic.twitter.com/MHB5NnX2jr
— Alia Salem (@aliarsalem) November 6, 2016
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