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No-fly List Strands American Muslim

Published: 18/10/2012 04:18:15 PM GMT
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CAIRO - An American Muslim has been stranded in Germany unable to return to the United States for being placed on a no-fly list for no apparent reason. The denial of Mr. Suljovic's right to return home without due process (more)

CAIRO - An American Muslim has been stranded in Germany unable to return to the United States for being placed on a no-fly list for no apparent reason.

"The denial of Mr. Suljovic's right to return home without due process of law constitutes a grave violation of his civil rights and liberties,” the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)'s New York chapter said in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Samir Suljovic, a 26-year-old New Yorker, travelled to Montenegro this summer to visit his family and friends there.

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Spending his vacation there, the young American Muslim decided to return back home on October 1.

Arriving in Austria, he was told by airport authorities that he was banned from boarding his flight upon instructions from the US Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection.

Suljovic's attempts to know the reasons behind being banned from returning home have been fruitless.

The young Muslim, who was born and raised in Oakland Gardens, Queens, was even interrogated by embassy personnel in Germany and have his cellphone searched.

“Instead of protecting this young US citizen while he traveled abroad, the government has effectively stranded him in an unfamiliar country without shelter or protection," the CAIR letter said.

Established in 2003 and administrated by the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center, the “no-fly” list includes some 20,000 people deemed by the agency as known to have, or reasonably suspected of having, ties to terrorism.

About 500 of them are US citizens, according to an agency spokesman.

In May this year, fifteen American Muslims, including four military veterans, sued the federal government over being placed on a “no-fly” list for no apparent reason.

This is not the first time Muslims faced troubles over being placed on the no-fly list for no apparent reason.

Earlier this year, an American Muslim family was kicked off a JetBlue flight because their 18-month child was flagged as no-fly.

In 2009, nine members of a Muslim family were removed from a domestic AirTran Airways flight to Orlando, Florida, after they chatted about their seats in the plane.

Another incident occurred in 2006 when six imams were removed from a domestic flight for what passengers considered suspicious behavior.

They were removed from the flight, handcuffed and detained in the airport for questioning for over five hours.CAIR has earlier called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate acts of "coercion and intimidation" used by the FBI to pressure Muslim citizens into giving up their constitutional rights if they wished to return to the United States from overseas.

Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net




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