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Monday, April 15, 2024

US Muslim Mayor files lawsuit due to the reprecussions of the FBI watchlist

Islamic civil rights organization filed a lawsuit on behalf of Mohamed Khairullah, the longest-serving Muslim mayor in the US.

On Monday, an Islamic civil rights organization filed a lawsuit on behalf of Mohamed Khairullah, the longest-serving Muslim mayor in the United States, and fellow plaintiffs, contending that his exclusion from the White House event serves as evidence that Muslims continue to experience adverse consequences even after successfully removing their names from the watchlist.

Decade-Long Battle

Khairullah’s ordeal began in 2019 when he returned to his homeland, Syria, to document the atrocities committed by Bashar Assad’s regime during the ongoing civil war. Little did he know that this journey would set him on a decade-long battle against what he perceives as discriminatory treatment by the U.S. government.

Read More: Secrets of the FBI’s Watchlist and its impact on Muslim communities

Renewed Battle for Justice

Mohamed Khairullah’s exclusion from a White House celebration of the Eid Al-Fitr holiday in 2021 reignited his battle for justice. Despite believing that his travel difficulties had been resolved, the Secret Service’s refusal to allow him entry to the White House served as a stark reminder that his fight was far from over.

“As we stated in the past, we were not able to grant entry to the Mayor at the White House and we regret any inconvenience that may have caused,”

– Secret Service

Mayor’s Struggle

Elected as the mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, Khairullah’s experiences as a public servant have been marked by persistent challenges. His apparent placement on the government’s watchlist not only raised concerns about his personal rights but also exposed the broader issue of discrimination against Muslims in the United States.

Troubling Watchlist

The government’s secret terror watchlist has been a subject of controversy for two decades. With an estimated 1.5 million people listed, the overwhelming majority of whom are Muslim, civil rights organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) have long questioned its constitutionality.

Challenging the Watchlist’s Legitimacy

Khairullah’s case is just one of many challenging the watchlist’s legitimacy. His story is not an isolated incident. It sheds light on the broader issues of religious and ethnic profiling in the United States. His resilience in the face of adversity serves as an inspiration for those who continue to fight for justice and equal rights. CAIR, along with other organizations, has consistently argued that individuals are often placed on the list without valid reasons, subjecting them to unwarranted scrutiny solely based on their religion.

Government Secrecy and Database Retention

One of the most concerning aspects of the watchlist is the government’s secrecy surrounding it. The lack of transparency regarding who is on the list and how individuals can be removed has raised significant legal and ethical questions. CAIR’s investigations have revealed that even after removal, individuals’ names can linger in databases, potentially causing harm and stigma.

Protecting Future Generations

Khairullah’s determination to challenge the watchlist’s constitutionality is not just a personal quest for justice; he sees it as a way to protect future generations from experiencing the discrimination he has endured. He believes that his actions today can pave the way for a more equitable and inclusive America.

Read More: FBI’s Secret Watchlist unveils startling bias with 98% Muslim names

As Mohamed Khairullah’s lawsuit takes center stage, it serves as a symbol of hope for countless individuals who have faced discrimination based on their religious or ethnic background. The outcome of this legal battle could shape the future of watchlists, transparency, and civil rights in the United States.