US Supreme Court to hear espionage case against Muslims

The Supreme Court of the United States (US) on Monday (8/11) will hear arguments in court regarding surveillance of Muslims in America. The argument revolves around whether the US government can use the pretext of protecting “state secrets” to keep information secret about surveillance activities being carried out against Muslim communities in mosques in California.

The dispute began a decade ago when three Muslim men filed a lawsuit against the US Bureau of Investigation (FBI). They accused the US law enforcement agency of recruiting a classified informant who claimed to be a convert and of spying on them simply because of their beliefs.

The US Constitution itself guarantees the freedom of its citizens to practice their religion and beliefs.

But the government claims, in this case, it can refuse to disclose information about the surveillance efforts carried out. The refusal to disclose, according to the government, is based on the authority granted by the Foreign Intelligence Reconnaissance Law, as well as the use of defense of state secrets.

The regulation allows the government to block the disclosure of information deemed harmful to national security.

The three Muslim men who filed the lawsuit, namely Yassir Fazaga, Ali Malik and Yasser Abdel Rahim, have argued that the use of the surveillance law violates their religious rights and allows the government to evade its responsibilities.

Some Muslims in California said they reported the informant to the FBI after the person started questioning people about “violent jihad.” [vm/pp]