As a Muslim in the United States, you are among a minority population - specifically, a religious minority. This means that you are a member of a federally protected class.
Racial & Religious Profiling-Federal law forbids racial and religious profiling, which according to the Congressional Research Service, is defined as "the practice of a law enforcement agent or agency relying, to any degree, on race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion in selecting which individual to subject to routine or spontaneous investigatory activities or in deciding upon the scope and substance of law enforcement activity following the initial investigatory procedure."
As proven by recent domestic criminal acts and group conspiracies stemming from misguided religious and social motives, profiling based on race, religion, or ethnicity is not an effective law enforcement tool. Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma City bombing), Eric Rudolph (Atlanta Olympic bombing and other criminal acts), James von Brunn (Washington, DC Holocaust Museum shootings), and the Hutaree Christian Militia would not be identified through this means.
Civil Rights-The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and subsequent legislation provide all persons residing within the borders of the United States certain rights against discrimination and unequal treatment, which are based among other things on their race, age, religious affiliation, sex, national origin, or disability. Among these are:
- Accommodation: The right to receive equal treatment in hotels, restaurants, stores, housing, etc.
- Employment: The right to reasonable religious accommodation for dress and prayer; fairness in hiring, firing and promotions; non-hostile working environment, and the ability to complain without fear of retaliation.
- Education: The right to inform others about your religion; the right to wear religious clothing; to organize student-led prayer on campus, as long as the service is not disruptive to the function of the school; to attend Friday prayer; to be excused from school for religious holidays; to be excused from class discussions or activities that you find religiously objectionable, and to form an extracurricular Muslim student group.
Although federal law is quite specific, Iowa and local law goes further in the definitions of Civil Rights protections.
Contact CAIR-Iowa for legal help/advocacy if you feel you or someone you know is a victim of civil rights abuse or discrimination of any sort. Our services are donor supported, and provided free-of-charge!