ACLU, Muslims Join to Fight FBI
Anarchists, “peace activists”, the ACLU, and Muslims have joined forces to battle the FBI. From the St. Louis Post Dispatch :
They are Muslims, anarchists and peace activists. They may not have much in common, but two dozen groups and individuals in the St. Louis area united this month to denounce the FBI, claiming the agency is carrying out unwarranted investigations for religious or political reasons.
A series of FBI inquiries across the country shows that the agency has sunk back into the kind of political monitoring it did in the 1960s and 1970s, says the American Civil Liberties Union.
The conduct of the FBI is “eerily reminiscent of the days of J. Edgar Hoover,” its controversial first director, said Denise Lieberman, legal director for the ACLU affiliate in St. Louis.
“They are conducting investigations based on groups’ political activities and affiliations, or their religious affiliations,” she said. “Under our Constitution, government is supposed to have cause to believe that you are involved in criminal activity before they put you under investigation.”
The FBI vigorously rejects the complaints. “We investigate when we have a specific and credible threat, and we do not have the resources nor the time to monitor the activities of people just for the sake of monitoring their activities,” said Roland Corvington, special agent in charge of the FBI office in St. Louis.
One of the individuals is Muhammad Nur Abdullah, the imam of the Islamic Foundation of St. Louis, who said he believes FBI questioning of members in recent months is part of a pattern of bias against Muslims.