Muslim Lawyers Issue Urgent Community Advisory

Muslim Lawyers Issue Urgent Community Advisory


American Muslims are committed to preserving the safety and security of our country and support the full and fair investigation and prosecution of those who would seek to bring us harm.  However, Muslim Advocates, the National Association of Muslim Lawyers (NAML) and local Muslim bar associations across the country strongly urge individuals not to speak with law enforcement officials without the presence or advice of an attorney.  Despite the characterization that contact with law enforcement is voluntary and discretionary, information provided — or omitted — during any such interview can become the basis for further investigation or prosecution and have immigration implications.

We highly recommend that attorneys and community leaders share a short, 15-min. "know your rights" video, produced by lawyers with Muslim Advocates, with their mosques, family and friends.  The video provides crucial information about how to handle contact from law enforcement officials.  The video is available in five languages – Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, Somali and English.  Click here to view the video online.

Key tips to keep in mind:

  • There is no legal obligation to speak to law enforcement officials.  You are only required to provide identification to law enforcement officials if asked and immigrants are required to carry proof of immigration status at all times.  Declining to speak cannot be presumed as guilt.
  • Any statements made during an interview can be used against you at a later time.  Lying to a federal officer, even by omission, is a crime.
  • If approached by the FBI or law enforcement, ask for their business cards and say that your lawyer will contact them.

For more information, or for assistance locating an attorney in your area, please visit www.muslimadvocates .org or contact Nura Maznavi. (nura@muslimadvocates. org) 415-692-1484.

Muslim Advocates

National Association of Muslim Lawyers 

Capital Area Muslim Bar Association

Florida Muslim Bar Association

Georgia Association of Muslim Lawyers

Michigan Muslim Bar Association

Muslim Bar Association of Illinois

Muslim Bar Association of New York

Muslim Bar Association of Southern California

Muslim Lawyers of Houston

New England Muslim Bar Association

New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association

Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization dedicated to promoting freedom, justice and equality for all, regardless of faith, by using the tools of policy engagement, legal advocacy and civic education and by serving as a legal resource to promote the full participation of Muslims in American civic life.  Muslim Advocates is 501 (c)(3) charitable, tax-exempt nonprofit entity.

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