Detroit congressman calls for investigation into border harassment of US Muslims

U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, is asking for a federal investigation into allegations that border control agents are unfairly targeting Muslim Americans traveling between the United States and Canada. In a statement today, Conyers, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said he was “contacting the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to initiate an investigation of these allegations.”

Conyers called for an investigation after the Michigan chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations said Thursday it had received a rash of complaints from American Muslims about their treatment at border crossings. “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 a statement Friday evening from Dawud Walid, executive director, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Michigan

The travelers said they were detained for questioning for unreasonable amounts of time and asked if they knew terrorists. “I had an American passport, and I was put in a cell for four hours,” Ann Arbor teacher Kheireddine Bouzid, who is of Algerian descent, told reporters at a CAIR-Michigan press event on Thursday. “They asked me if I could give them the names of any terrorists.”

Detroit News, 25 March 2011

Update:  “CAIR applauds Rep. Conyers’ call for probe of border harassment”, CAIR press release, 26 March 2011