Placing Muslim jihadists on a ‘terror watch list’ is now apparently discriminatory, according to the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
In two federal lawsuits this week, CAIR alleges that the U.S. government’s terror watch list is unconstitutional because it violates the rights of individuals on the list, according to a report by Courthouse News Service.
“Defendants have utilized the watch list, not as a tool to enhance aviation and border security, but as a bludgeon to coerce American Muslims into becoming informants or forgoing the exercise of their rights, such as the right to have an attorney present during law enforcement questioning,” the lawsuits claim.
Executive Director of CAIR Dawud Walid said that if the federal government was going to track Islamic extremism, it should also surveillance Donald Trump supporters.
“I think the question is, are we going to be selective about this?” Walid said. “Are we following people and placing people on this list who go to KKK meetings, people who go to Donald Trump rallies?”
An attorney representing CAIR said that a baby was on the terror watch list along with many elderly, dead and disabled people who simply ended up on the list because they had “Muslim-sounding” names.
CAIR is representing 14 plaintiffs in the litigation, although an attorney with the group said that “there are thousands upon thousands of potential plaintiffs making it impractical to bring them before the court.”
The lawsuits also claim that residents from Dearborn, Mich., are overly represented on the terror watch list only because the area has a massive Muslim population of 40 percent.