Members of the CUNY Clear team (From left to right: Ramzi Kassem, Tarek Ismail and Naz Ahmad)

Pillars Fund

CUNY CLEAR Project to argue case before the Supreme Court

Posted By Pillars Fund  /   October 6, 2020

Today, the Supreme Court is considering whether Muslims are able to hold the U.S. government accountable for religious discrimination. The case, Tanzin v. Tanvir, was originally filed in 2013 by the team at CUNY CLEAR Project, a Pillars grantee partner.

The FBI placed three American Muslims on the No-Fly List in an attempt to make them spy on other Muslims, in violation of their constitutional rights. The men have lost their jobs, been marginalized in their own communities, and suffered in countless ways as a result of their refusal to be coerced.

Today, CLEAR’s founding director, Ramzi Kassem, will argue their case before the Supreme Court justices.

“Our clients were placed or kept on the No-Fly List not because they posed any threat to aviation security, but as a way to coerce them to become informants on their own communities,” Kassem told the New York Times earlier this year.

The justices’ decision on Tanvir will affect the way Muslims—and all people—experience religious liberty in this country. It will also be a statement on they ways our government perpetuates discriminatory policing, surveillance and profiling.

Today’s case is just one of several examples of the ways Muslims in this country are standing up every day to uphold fundamental rights. Today also reminds us why it is so important to pay close attention to who sits on the Supreme Court and to fight for a clear and fair nomination process. At Pillars, we thank Ramzi, the entire CLEAR team, and their partners at the Center for Constitutional Rights for their enduring efforts and courage to ensure our communities have a voice at every level of the court system.

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