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Muslim Advocates Issues Travel Advisory for American Muslims Returning from Hajj

Washington, DC – Today, Muslim Advocates issued a travel advisory for American Muslims returning to the United States from Hajj.  Saudi Arabia is not singled out under the Muslim ban executive order but American Muslims have reported profiling and searches when traveling.  The advisory was distributed to hundreds of Muslim organizations, mosques, and activists this morning and is being promoted through social media channels throughout the next week, when most travelers are expecting to return from the pilgrimage.  

The advisory comes with a fact sheet to inform the thousands of American travelers returning from Mecca of their rights, particularly in light of the confusion stemming from the Muslim ban executive order.  The advisory covers issues related to questioning, detention, or searches at the airport or border, including issues for travelers who may face enhanced scrutiny because of religious garb.

According to Juvaria Khan, a staff attorney for Muslim Advocates, “American Muslims should never be afraid to travel, but they should be prepared. Traveling while Muslim should not be grounds for discrimination and poor treatment and we want to make sure that people returning from the Hajj are not targeted.”

As the fact sheet explains, “Every year, thousands of Americans travel to Mecca for Hajj. But the Muslim ban has created additional confusion and increased problems at U.S. borders and airports, with travelers facing religious-based questioning, seizure of electronics, and prolonged detentions…Regardless of your immigration status, your race or religion cannot be used as a justification for questioning or searches.”

Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.

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