Sunday, July 11, 2010

No freedom to travel for Muslims

Are we really willing to be the sort of country that exiles people from their homes and won't tell them why? Apparently we are, if those people are Muslims. (More here.)

This video clip [3:22] introduces us to two U.S. Muslims recently marooned. Ayman Latiff, a disabled military veteran, is stuck in Egypt, told he is on a "no fly list." Back home, Adama Bah explains no one will tell folks unlucky enough to be banned what they did to get listed or how to get off. She wistfully tries to convey what is like to be unable to board an airplane for work or leisure.

In response to a developing pattern of such strandings, the Muslim civil rights group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has issued a "travel advisory."

In the past few months, CAIR has received a number of reports of American Muslims stranded overseas when they are placed on the government's no-fly list. Those barred from returning to the United States report being denied proper legal representation, being subjected to FBI pressure tactics to give up the constitutionally-guaranteed right to remain silent, having their passports confiscated without due process, and being pressured to become informants for the FBI.

These individuals tell CAIR they have not been told why they were placed on the no-fly list or informed how to remove their names from the list. ...

FBI agents have reportedly told a number of individuals that they face being stranded outside the United States longer, or forever, unless they give up their rights to legal representation or to refuse interrogations and polygraph tests. But even those who submitted to interrogations without an attorney or to the "lie detector" tests remain stranded.

The ACLU is representing 10 plaintiffs who have had this experience -- and all of us who might somehow run afoul of arbitrary government decisions.


the talking dog said...

Thanks for shining a light on this particularly outrage, Jan.

The "drip drip drip" of civil and human rights slip sliding away down the drain is accelerating from trickle to steady stream and is now well on its way to torrent. "Real Americans," of course, think that this only applies to swarthy people and/or those with foreign sounding names.

Right now, the right is raising the alarm that the alleged uber-socialist Muslim Black man in the White House will turn the braunschweige on them and their Whiteness, and "the left" is unable to believe that the avatar of "our team" could possibly be a seamless continuation of the decades long project to restore the 19th century British Empire under American management (complete with the workhouses and prisons and sepois, although the satanic mills have long since been outsourced).

It seems that the only thing proceeding clearly (if only one wants to open their eyes and see) is the advance of the total national security state... they came for the Muslims, but I wasn't a Muslim.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Darlene said...

The talking dog nails it. When they come for me there will be no one left to speak for me.

libhom said...

The no fly list is being used more as a political intimidation tactic than a genuine security measure.