Explain Surveillance of Muslim Citizens


Target: President of the United States Barack Obama

Goal: Explain why the United States government placed five American Muslim leaders under surveillance

An investigation made public by media organization First Look found that the United States placed five American Muslim leaders under surveillance. Their findings were based on documents made available by Edward Snowden, and were released on July 9, 2014. No one knows the reason why the government decided to approve this surveillance, although human rights organizations believe it is based on racism and a belief that Muslim leaders in America are hiding terrorists. These findings have no doubt angered the human rights community around the globe. Urge the president to release the reason why these Americans were placed under surveillance, and issue an apology for violating their rights.

One American Muslim by the name of Nihad Awad, co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was under government surveillance since July 2006. The operation included a collection of electronic communications, which continued until February 2008. Information regarding the other four American Muslims remains secret, however it’s known that they are prominent Muslim figures. There is no word on whether these surveillance operations have found anything incriminating or violent about these Americans.

The United States government has a history of targeting American Muslims ever since the 9/11 attacks. These investigations and surveillance operations are unjustified, and they violate these Americans’ rights to privacy. As Americans, they are granted the same rights as everyone else. Urge the United States government to release the reason why these five men were under surveillance, and for the government to issue an apology for their actions.


Dear President Barack Obama,

Recently, media organization First Look released their findings on a surveillance program that the United States approved. This involved the surveillance of five men, one of whom is Nihad Awad, founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Information regarding the rest of the men is not available, however it is believed that they are all prominent members in the Muslim community. Awad’s surveillance began in July 2006, and collection of his electronic community ceased in 2008.

It angers me that these prominent Americans were placed under surveillance when there wasn’t evidence of criminal activity or wrongdoing. Surveillance was placed on them because the United States was concerned about terrorists or foreign spies. I am writing to demand that you apologize to these men for violating their rights to privacy, and announce to the public why they were placed under such heavy scrutiny. They are Americans, and as such have the same rights as all United States citizens.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: M. Elshinnawi via Wikimedia Commons

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