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FBI Agents Questioning Muslims In Mosques Email this page
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Washington, Oct. 8 (NNN): Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) across the United States have started a campaign to visit mosques and question Muslims who might have information related to a possible pre-election terrorist attack.
The move has provoked sharp protests from American Civil Liberties Union and several Muslim organizations. Shirin Sinnar, president of the San Francisco Association of Muslim Lawyers, told a press conference in San Francisco that she fears the Bush administration is trying to "sow fear in the Muslim community and chill Muslim political expression."

Sinnar showed pamphlets and wallet-sized cards in English, Arabic and Urdu, being distributed at mosques, markets and elsewhere in the Muslim community. The cards tell people they have a right to have an attorney present before talking to the FBI, and they list a phone number for free legal assistance.

Nancy Hormachea, vice president of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in San Francisco, accused the FBI of "targeting and demonizing Muslims," Arabs and other minority groups.

American Muslim Voice director for Northern California, Khalid Saeed, said that the American Muslims and Arabs felt intimidated by the new campaign which was the fifth incidence of an explicit FBI dragnet against these communities.

He said that previously the FBI launched four separate rounds of questioning, which routinely involved interrogating interviewees with questions about their religious practices and political beliefs not related to terrorism.

"The FBI plans to deliberately tail people based on their religion or ethnic origin during a month that is both religiously and politically crucial," said Dalia Hashad, the American Civil Liberty Union's Arab, Muslim and South Asian Advocate.

"Instead of bolstering security, the FBI's new drive is going to stop Muslims and Arabs from attending mosques during the month of Ramadan, and participating in the upcoming election," she added.

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