Like NYPD, FBI Also Investigating How Many Times a Day Muslims Pray

Yesterday, the AP won a well-deserved Pulitzer for, among other things, revealing that the NYPD had sent an officer on a junket whitewater trip so he could count how many times a day the Muslim students on the trip prayed.

But the NYPD is not the only authority investigating Muslims based on whether they pray five times a day. A group of Muslims are suing FBI and CBP because they keep getting searched and asked how often they pray.

The four plaintiffs describe how, since 2008, all of them have been subjected to invasive searches and grilling about their religious practices during border crossings (most are talking about Canadian crossings, but this includes airports). All of the plaintiffs have had this occur on at least four different occasions.

Upon information and belief, Defendants began implementing a policy or a course of conduct under which Defendants ask Muslim American travelers attempting to re-enter the United States through the United States-Canada border at multiple international ports of entry a detailed list of questions about their religious beliefs and religious practices.

Upon information and belief, citizens of other faiths are not questioned about their religious beliefs and religious practices.

Defendants’ course of conduct or policy includes asking Muslim American travelers, at minimum, a fixed set of questions about their Islamic religious practices, which
include, but are not limited to the following:

a. Which mosque do you go to?
b. How many times a day do you pray?
c. Who is your religious leader?
d. Do you perform your morning prayer at the mosque?

When CAIR submitted a complaint to DHS, they said their “complaint process does not provide individuals with legal or procedural rights or remedies.”

This will be an interesting counterpart to David House’s suit, which recently was permitted to go forward; House argues the search was intended, in part, to access information on Bradley Manning’s supporters and therefore was an illegal abridgment of his First Amendment.

Treatment of Americans at the border has long been excepted from all First and Fourth Amendment protections. It will be interesting if, in light of clear targeting on First Amendment grounds, civil liberties supporters can start to chip away at the egregious exception.

6 replies
  1. PeasantParty says:


    Thank you so much for bringing the House case to attention.

    “How many times a day do you pray?” What exactly are they trying to get from that? Do they want to see how many are devout to the level of fanaticism, or how many will lie?

    Good, Gawd! Have they asked Dobson and those other forceful religious sectors if they even pray at all?

  2. MadDog says:

    I wish both House and CAIR luck in their pursuit of justice. Given the GWOT fever that has driven all of our Federal institutions for the last decade, that pursuit is definitely an uphill climb.

  3. prostratedragon says:

    @PeasantParty: “…What exactly are they trying to get from that?”

    What, indeed. It’s beginning to sound more like a taunt to me than anything else.

  4. orionATL says:


    our united states department of “justice” has once again taken a bat to justitia:

    “…Justice Department officials have known for years that flawed forensic work might have led to the convictions of potentially innocent people, but prosecutors failed to notify defendants or their attorneys even in many cases they knew were troubled.

    Officials started reviewing the cases in the 1990s after reports that sloppy work by examiners at the FBI lab was producing unreliable forensic evidence in court trials. Instead of releasing those findings, they made them available only to the prosecutors in the affected cases, according to documents and interviews with dozens of officials…”

  5. orionATL says:

    if i didn’t know better, i’d say these boys were working from some more law enforcement psuedo-science,

    they may have even hired themselves a team of academics to put together some “science”,

    along the lines of “the more a muslim prays the more likely he is to be a terrorist”.

    as perhaps did the nypd with its “muslim-american radicalization” theory now being used by federal prosecutors to trump the first amendment and put muslim intellectual leaders and preachers in jail for long sentences.

  6. P J Evans says:

    I’m not Muslim, but even I know that they pray five times a day. Which means that the FBI and the CBP are just fucking over the Muslims who are crossing the border. And I wish the best to House and CAIR, because that kind of profiling needs to be stopped.

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