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AP: Muslim group says police detained 7 praying men

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Muslim group says police detained 7 praying men

By OSKAR GARCIA, Associated Press Writer

LAS VEGAS – The nation’s largest Muslim advocacy organization has filed a complaint with police in a Las Vegas suburb, saying seven Muslim men from southern California were detained and told they were acting suspiciously while praying in a shopping center parking lot.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said Friday it filed the complaint this week against the Henderson Police Department because it did not understand what was suspicious about the men.

“Our main concern is the police department looking at praying and the way they looked as probable cause for investigating those men,” said CAIR spokeswoman Munira Syeda. “They did nothing illegal.”

Henderson police spokesman Todd Rasmussen said the complaint was received and internal affairs would investigate, but he declined comment on the incident.
Rasmussen said the department would inform the group of the outcome of its complaint, but said it did not have a timeline for an investigation.

The group says the men, whom it identified as being of various ethnic backgrounds including Middle Eastern and south Asian, were performing one of five required Muslim daily prayers in the lot while stopped to buy gas and food Dec. 20 during a roadtrip.

As they returned to their car, they were stopped by three officers and kept for about 40 minutes while three officers checked their backgrounds and searched their car, Syeda said.
Syeda said the men were not blocking traffic or preventing other cars from parking.
A CAIR attorney said in a statement that the group was seeking discipline against the officers involved, changes to officer training and compensation for the emotional distress of the men.

“The scope and length of the stop was not reasonable under the circumstances, nor did it serve any legitimate investigative purpose,” CAIR lawyer Ameena Qazi wrote in a letter to Henderson police.

Source: Associated Press (via: Yahoo! News)

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Zuhayr

    March 5, 2010 at 5:49 PM

    how sad? a muslim cannot even pray without being seen as a terrorist. with this kind of profiling, i would feel a lot of resentment towards the society. a muslim cannot even say Allahu akbar in public without being seen as a terrorist

  2. monkeynursemd

    March 6, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    just wonderful.

    i remember when i would pray in high school in the corner of the hallways, i would put up a sign next to me saying, “I’m praying. Can’t talk. Will be done in 5 minutes.”

    Usually when we pray on the road, one of us prays while the other watches the kids.

    D. W. Ali agrees => The earth is a place of prostration…

  3. Brother in Deen

    March 7, 2010 at 1:54 AM

    @monketnursemed

    LOL! What a great idea! Putting a sign while praying! Hahaha Mashallah. May Allah give all our young brothers and sisters who are in High school/College the ability to not be ashamed of their Deen and fully embrace it by practicing it’s teachings and laws such as praying when it’s time to do so, fasting, lowering your gaze etc. Ameen.

  4. Wael - IslamicAnswers.com

    March 8, 2010 at 12:11 AM

    I feel it’s best to follow battlefield protocol when praying in public in the USA these days, which means a few brothers should watch over those who are praying, and then they can pray together when the others are done.

    At the very least those brothers can explain to anyone who approaches that the Muslims are only praying and will be done soon. Worst case scenario, they can defend them from attack.

  5. sarah

    March 9, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    It would be easy to blame non-Muslims in America for racial profiling, but the simple truth is that people claiming to be Muslims are the perpetrators of horrible, vicious, inexplicable attacks in the name of Allah. astaghfirullah, terrorists, claiming to be muslims, have made it difficult for us to praise our Lord publicly (AllahuAkhbar) even in Iraq. There is a story that two men got on a bus in Iraq. One of them was elderly and when he sat down, he felt discomfort and groaned “AllahuAkbar.” The other passengers on the bus feared for their lives because they thought he was planning to bomb the bus. Can you imagine what the Ummah has come to that we FEAR dhikr?

    We cannot blame nonMuslims until we ourselves are role models. Give up your seat to the elderly, smile to a stranger, give more than a penny to homeless person, get involved in your community for things like cancer walks and fundraisers, not just for Palestine. Can we imagine the last prophet (saws) feeling resentment against an ignorant people? All other minorities that came to America had to prove themselves…Chinese used as slaves, Japanese internment camps, Jim Crow laws, racism against the Irish, Jews losing family during the Holocaust and not getting and support from the US government…we need to grin and bear this test.

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