WASHINGTON –- A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization applauded Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) for seeking a federal investigation of alleged religious profiling by agents of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Michigan.
In a statement, Rep. Conyers said: "The American-Islamic community should know that the federal government will protect the interests of the community, while maintaining the appropriate focus on national security."
Rep. Conyers' request for an investigation came after CAIR's Michigan chapter filed complaints with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) seeking civil and potentially criminal investigations into the repeated detention and questioning of Muslims about their religious practices by security agents at the United States-Canada border.
"The allegations of religious profiling raised by Michigan's Council on American-Islamic Relations in Detroit yesterday should be of concern to all Americans," said Conyers.
CAIR-MI documented complaints from constituents who reported that CBP agents pointed firearms at them, detained and handcuffed them without predication of crimes or charges, and questioned them about their worship habits.
Questions reportedly asked of Michigan Muslims by CBP agents have included:
* How many times a day do you pray?
* Do you pray your morning prayer in the mosque?
* Who else prays in your mosque?
Those detained by CBP agents report that the same questions are asked every time they crossed the border.
"We welcome Congressman Conyers' concern regarding reported violations of American Muslims' civil liberties and look forward to his leadership in addressing this issue in the Congress," said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid in a statement released Friday.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.