Six groups, including the Anaheim-based Council on American Islamic Relations in Southern California, filed a Freedom of Information Act request Monday asking about suspected law enforcement monitoring of Islamic religious institutions.
[Ranjana Natarajan, the attorney handling the matter] said worshippers at mosques have been asked what their imam is preaching, where they go and what they do on pilgrimages to Mecca, and for details about religious practices.
"People are asking me if it is safe to worship. People began to worry that maybe there is something wrong with going to the mosque," Natarajan said. "So they need to know, is there monitoring going on and, if so, why? If there is monitoring, can we assure people it is not just their religion that is being targeted, that there are other reasons?"
CAIR wanted the records request filed on the belief that no person or organization should be monitored because of peaceful religious practice, Khan said. There must be a legitimate probable suspicion of illegal activity, she said.
"Also, based on the history of innocent people who have gotten into trouble due to incompetence, human error or even untruthful informants, it is necessary to insist on transparency from our government," Khan said. "This is our right as Americans." [Link]
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