US Muslims claim policy changes

Five Muslim-Americans have sued the US Homeland Security Department alleging racial profiling.

They say it happened when they were detained and fingerprinted by border agents after returning from a religious conference in Canada. The three men and two women say they were held, along with dozens of other &to=http:// ' target=_blank>US Muslims, for more than six hours and interrogated, photographed and fingerprinted against their will in December last year.

The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiffs were singled out after telling customs officials they had attended a "Reviving the Islamic Spirit" conference in Toronto.

The annual Islamic conference draws thousands of Muslims from Canada, the United States and overseas.

The suit charges that the government violated the group's constitutional rights to practice religion and performed unlawful searches. Donna Lieberman is executive director of the New York &to=http:// 22/101/399/14756_Christmas.html ' target=_blank>Civil Liberties Union, which is helping represent the plaintiffs.

She says the lawsuit is not about money damages, but about vindicating individual rights, tells Xinhuanet.

The plaintiffs were stopped at two New York border crossings after attending a "Reviving the Islamic Spirit" conference in Toronto. They say they had to surrender credit cards, cell phones and other belongings and were searched, questioned, fingerprinted and photographed without explanation. No one in the group was charged.

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