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A lawsuit against Muslims has been filed with the US Supreme Court. What is at stake? | | Story


The Supreme Court of the United States has said it will delay the trial to see if the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) can provide “government secrets” to avoid prosecution. overseeing Islamic communities and a place of worship after the September 11, 2001 uprising.

Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. This has deprived them of the opportunity to present to the court a wealth of evidence which they say shows that the FBI conducted a campaign to expose Muslims in Southern California which included secret photography and videos and was inspired by the same religion. supervision.

This review came among many US government officials in the 21st century anti-Muslim tactics in the name of national security that continues to bring long shadows, even when they are shrouded in mystery.

“We have been persecuted for the past 15 years, ever since I realized what the FBI is doing,” said Sheikh Yassir Fazaga, a former imam for the Orange County Islamic Foundation in Mission Viejo, California. , when the commission sent a paid is seen as a convert to overseeing his mosque and others in the area since 2006.

The religious leader and complainant in the case, Fazaga v FBI, along with Ali Uddin Malik and Yasser Abdelrahim, both gathered at the Islamic Center of Irvine in Irvine, California.

The lower court in 2012 rejected the first of three cases, ruling in favor of the FBI that, among other things, it ruled that allowing these threats posed a threat to national security. The trial court later agreed with Fazaga, Malik and Abdelrahim, stating that the case would continue, to pass the case in the US Supreme Court.

‘I’m sorry, but you have to trust us’

For the past ten years since the three presidential elections, state security has not been the same, said Ahilan Arulanantham, director of the Center for Immigration Law and Policy at UCLA, who will oppose Fazaga’s replacement, Malik. and Abdelrahim in the Supreme Court on Monday.

“The government says, ‘We don’t care about people because of their religion,’” he said. “Anything we tell you would jeopardize the security of the country and therefore would not be shared with anyone, not even a court of law.

“The government is saying: ‘I’m sorry, but you have to trust us’,” he said.

The FBI, so far, has been protected from giving a full account of its investigative activities in Southern California, but has confirmed in separate courts that Craig Monteilh worked as a spokesman for several agencies in Orange County in 2006 and 2007.

The commission has maintained, according to court documents, that it “did not commit any illegal or illegal activities” and that it “conducted a thorough investigation based on the evidence of possible criminal activity”.

Most of the information comes from accounts from community members who met in Monteilh, as well as from Monteilh himself. long accounts about his role as an informant.

The 2011 lawsuit alleges that Monteilh, under the leadership of FBI agents, filmed videos and audio recordings inside a mosque, at religious gatherings, in people’s homes, throwing a large net and often indiscriminately into various organizations. Muslims.

The entry was particularly painful for Fazaga, who as a prominent leader a few months ago chaired a regional meeting with Los Angeles FBI chief Stephen Tidwell. He assured the delegates that the council was not sending secret investigators.

“The possibility of abuse is a good one,” Fazaga said of the FBI’s international security.

“Suppose you were to place a photocopy of a sign in the chapel of a Catholic church? Imagine being able to do this in a safe place …

“For the government to be able to use these forms without good reason,” he added, “is extremely dangerous and extremely destructive.”

The 2011 trial states that no charges have been filed in connection with the Monteilh investigation.

However, several delegates took it upon themselves to report Monteilh – and his persistence in the violence – to government officials.

Much of the FBI’s investigation became known, especially when Monteilh was discovered in 2009, mistrust of the police, and among Muslims in Orange County, spread, Fazaga said.

Without a response from the government, the environment has not changed, he said.

“The most important thing in a healthy relationship is trust. And if you lose that confidence, you will not have a good team, ”he said.

“People start to doubt. They begin to doubt and then begin to isolate themselves. ”

He also said that non-Muslim converts had faced difficulties in recent years.

“In history, this has been the time when Muslims celebrate,” he said. “Now… I would be lying if I told you that people don’t ask: Is this true? is this a show? Is this the other informant in our community? “

‘Figuratively and doctrinally’

Attorney Arulanantham said the Supreme Court’s actions could be “symbolic and doctrinal”.

“There has been very little response to the long history of discrimination against American Muslims since 9/11, and this case gives them a chance to be missed,” he told Al Jazeera.

“In theory,” he added, “for the courts to decide that there is a way to prosecute the state when it comes to religious discrimination, even in the matter of national security, would be crucial.”

Monday’s debate will focus on the government’s secret, a doctrine that originated in the early 19th century and was re-established in the courts of law to rule when national security could be mentioned for less information.

These controversies may also be referred to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which regulates home supervision. The law was issued after it was revealed that the government is overseeing human rights and anti-war leaders.

Muslim surveillance in the wake of the September 11 attacks continues to wreak havoc on the US. [File: Matt Rourke/The Associated Press]

Fazaga, now an imam at the Memphis Islamic Center in Mississippi, said the FBI’s national security decision “would strengthen the belief that Muslims in the US are second citizens”.

He also said that he is still being reached by other Muslims from all over the region who share his experiences with FBI agents in the 20 years since 9/11.

However, he acknowledged that the case was against a single religious group and urged more US citizens to listen.

“Islamic communities have immediately taken on this burden,” he said.

“But in the end the good that comes out is not only for Muslims. It is for all citizens.”

Fazaga, Malik and Abdelrahim are also represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR), and law firm Hadsell Stormer Renick and Dai.

The verdict in this case is expected soon before the end of the current Supreme Court term, which expires in June 2022.


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