Post-9/11 Civil Liberties


Mapping Muslims
In 2013, AALDEF, together with the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition and Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR), released a groundbreaking new report: Mapping Muslims: NYPD Spying and Its Impact on American Muslims. This was the first report documenting the devasting impacts of the New York Police Department's extensive surveillance program that targeted American Muslims throughout the Northeast.

Under the Radar
In 2011, AALDEF and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU School of Law released a Briefing Paper, Under the Radar: Muslims Deported, Detained, and Denied on Unsubstantiated Terrorism Allegations, that exposed the patterns of the U.S. government's targeting of Muslims through immigration programs and practices, including the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), the FBI name-check system in the naturalization process, and racial profiling at U.S. borders.

Third Agency Check
In 2011, AALDEF, in a joint effort with the Asian Law Caucus, released analysis of hundreds of pages of government documents on US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE's) "Third Agency Check" policy. Our analysis revealed that noncitizens in immigration custody from "Specially Designated Countries" are continuously imprisoned until they are cleared by other intelligence agencies, even though there is no evidence that any of them have been charged with a terrorism-related crime.

Cases and litigation

AALDEF v. NYC Police Department
Prompted by a spate of Associated Press news reports on surveillance of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities, AALDEF, together with the Brennan Center for Justice and Muslim Advocates filed a request under New York's Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) asking the NYPD to release information on its Intelligence Department's racial profiling activities. After the NYPD refused to produce relevant documents, AALDEF and Muslim Advocates, with the assistance of pro bono counsel Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, filed an Article 78 administrative proceeding to request public information on the NYPD's surveillance program. Read more...

Al Falah Center v. Township of Bridgewater
AALDEF, with co-counsel Arnold & Porter, Archer & Greiner, and the Brennan Center, is challenging a Bridgewater, NJ zoning law that was enacted to prevent the Al Falah Center from building a mosque and community center. In the latest development, we filed a preliminary injunction blocking Bridgewater from implementing the ordinance. Read more on the case here or download the complaint.

Al Madany Islamic Center v. City of Norwalk
AALDEF and several co-counsel including Wilmer Hale stepped in to represent Al Madany Islamic Center, which contends that its building proposal was rejected by the Connecticut Planning and Zoning Commission due to religious discrimination.

United States v. Hamdan
AALDEF joined civil rights groups in filing an amicus brief opposing the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay because they discriminate against non-citizens. Read our press release and download the amicus brief here.

Community Engagement

AALDEF launched Go Foil Yourself! -- a campaign to help community members discover if they were among the thousands subject to the NYPD's overbroad and bigoted surveillance. Numerous community leaders, organizations, business owners, students, activists, and individuals joined our GO FOIL YOURSELF campaign to take a stand for NYPD transparency.


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