Four United States citizens sued the Obama administration after having been taken into custody while crossing the U.S. Canada border, one of which after having his car surrounded by Customs and Border Protection agents with guns drawn. Once in custody they were all subjected to prolonged detention, with at least one individual claiming he was handcuffed to a stool. While detained they were forced to endure invasive body searches, and an extensive and "strikingly similar, if not identical, line of questioning" about their religious beliefs practices. All four are Muslim Americans. No reasons have been provided for their being subjected to such treatment, and none were charged with any crime or violation.

The lawsuit was filed in April 2012, and remains pending before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division. In a recent response to a motion to compel discovery, the Obama administration attached a copy of a "Sample Questionnaire" that they claim is "designed to provide guidance to special agents who are called upon to conduct a certain type of investigatory interview of persons." Or in plain language, a guide on how to interrogate Muslims.

Interrogation questions include:
  • Do you have any relatives or friends who have been martyred fighting in the defense of your beliefs?
  • Do you know or have you heard of anyone in your town/village who has been martyred in defense of your beliefs?
  • What is/are the name(s) of the martyr(s)?
  • When did they become martyrs?
  • Where did they become martyrs?

The "Sample Questionnaire" is 5 pages. A mostly redacted copy was attached as Exhibit A to the Obama administration's response to the motion to compel discovery along with a cross-motion for, and get this, a protective order, because you know, the Department of Homeland Security needs to be protected when they are subjecting American citizens to prolonged detention, interrogation, and invasive body searches solely because of their religious beliefs.

This isn't the first time I've heard about Muslim Americans having their Constitutional rights violated while crossing the border, and unfortunately it probably won't be the last.