A Muslim civil rights group today accused the US government of forcing an American citizen into “exile” because he was an Islamic convert.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said Raymond Earl Knaeble IV, 29, had been placed on a no-fly list and had been unable to return home from Colombia since March.
The group’s claim could not be independently confirmed and the Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to CAIR, Knaeble this week flew to Mexico in hope of travelling to the Mexican-US border, but he instead faced lengthy interrogation by Mexican officials before being sent back to Colombia.
“He was stopped by Mexican authorities as he got off the plane and asked, ‘Are you Muslim?’ He was then detained for 15 hours and asked many questions relating to his faith,” according to CAIR.
“It is un-American and illegal for a citizen who has not been accused of, let alone charged with, any crime to be denied entry to his own country without adequate explanation,” said CAIR lawyer Nadhira Al-Khalili, who is representing Knaeble.
“We call on the Department of Justice to end Mr Knaeble’s forced exile and to address the disturbing issue of the other Americans who are similarly being denied re-entry to their own country,” she said.