The Anaheim-based Council on American Islamic Relations in Southern California, and five other groups filed a Freedom of Information Act request on Monday asking about suspected law enforcement monitoring of Islamic religious institutions. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the request on behalf of the agencies.
Ranjana Natarajan, the attorney handling the matter told the Orange County Register:
Ã¢â‚¬ÂPeople are asking me if it is safe to worship. People began to worry that maybe there is something wrong with going to the mosque. So they need to know, is there monitoring going on, and if so, why? If there is monitoring, can we assure people it is not just their religion that is being targeted, that there are other reasons?
Mosques are peaceful places, and so far all of the mosques involved have cooperated with law enforcement officials and it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t look like thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to change. But the people that attend these mosques have the right to know that the law enforcement officials are conducting legitimate law enforcement investigations. Transparency is important, and a right we deserve just by being Americans.
This is another reason to support our local ACLU.