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Statement from Congressman André Carson on alleged NSA spying on Muslim-Americans

Jul 10, 2014
Press Release

Statement from Congressman André Carson on alleged NSA spying on Muslim-Americans

July 9, 2014


Washington D.C. - Congressman André Carson issued the following statement today regarding reports that the United States monitored several prominent Muslim Americans:

 “As one of two Muslims in Congress and a former Homeland Security official who worked in counter terrorism, I understand the importance of monitoring potential threats.  However, I am deeply concerned that our government may have been spying on American citizens simply based on their religious affiliation.

“Protecting our country from those who would want to do harm is essential, but we must do so in a way that safeguards the civil liberties on which our country was founded. While the Department of Justice and intelligence community have argued that this surveillance was in keeping with current law, I am concerned about what it means for our constitutional protections. 

"No matter what their background, Americans should know that their First Amendment freedoms of religion and speech will not draw suspicion of their government. The circumstances surrounding these five cases remain classified, but based on today’s reports, I am concerned that these surveillance actions, and the laws that authorized them, may fail to meet the standards set by our Constitution.

“I have been in contact with the Department of Justice and will be pursuing additional clarification about these domestic surveillance programs. I consider it among my top priorities to ensure that civil liberties are protected and all Americans know they will not be profiled based on their race, religion, ethnicity or political activity.”