Michigan Muslims 'victims of racial profiling'

U.S. Muslim leaders say five Muslims cleared of "terrorism" charges this week were victims of racial profiling, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Michigan Muslims 'victims of racial profiling'

On Tuesday, prosecutors in Ohio dropped "terrorism" charges against Osama Abulhassan and Ali Houssaiky, saying they didn't have enough information to prove that the men were involved in a "terrorist" plot.

"Our office and federal authorities do not believe that the defendants pose an imminent threat at this time," prosecutors said.

The men were arrested last week after they bought around 600 cell phones, which they intended to resell for a profit. They were charged with soliciting or providing for an act of terrorism, money laundering and a misdemeanor charge of lying to police.

The release comes just a day after the FBI said it found no evidence that three Texas men of Palestinian origin, also arrested last week in Michigan, have links to "terrorism".

Muslim leaders in Michigan complained that both groups of men were the victims of racial profiling.

"There was definitely some bad judgment used by some officials in Marietta (Ohio)," Abulhassan said after having spent nearly a week in jail.

"I couldn't tell you for sure whether it was racial profiling, but it definitely felt that way," he added.

Muslim leaders also say that such arrests indicate increased targeting of Arab-Americans since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

"This is a very alarming trend and we have every right to be concerned," said Imad Hamad, Midwest regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

"If local police departments become the experts in terrorism and national security matters, they can just make an allegation that can ruin people's lives, simply because of ethnicity and national origin," he added.

According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), reports of discrimination against Muslims sharply increased in the first six months after 9/11, fell in 2002, but climbed again after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

The number of assault or other discriminatory complaints filed with CAIR increased from 1,019 in 2003 to 1,972 in 2005, says Arsalan Iftikhar, CAIR's national legal director.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16