Press Release

Spy or don’t fly: High Court to examine alleged FBI retaliation against Muslim men The Supreme Court to decide whether individual government officials can be sued for violating RFRA

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

Additional Information

WASHINGTON – Three Muslim men will be at the Supreme Court next week defending their religious freedom after the FBI allegedly punished them. In Tanzin v. Tanvir Muhammad Tanvir, Jameel Algibhah, and Naveed Shinwari allege that they were placed on the FBI’s No-Fly list—a record of individuals deemed to be terrorist threats to the United States and therefore not permitted to fly—for refusing to serve as informants against fellow Muslims. The men say that after years on the No-Fly list, they were removed a mere four days before they received their day in court, and now the FBI claims this should end their case. After the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the men should get their day in court, , the FBI appealed to the Supreme Court.

In February 2020, Becket filed a friend-of-the-court brief, urging the Court to allow victims to be compensated for violations of their civil liberties under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), so that government officials cannot use procedural loopholes to violate the religious freedom of American citizens and get away with it scot-free. The Supreme Court will hear the case telephonically on October 6, 2020.

Supreme Court Oral Argument in Tanzin v. Tanvir

Tuesday, October 6, at 11:00 a.m. EDT (may start later depending conclusion of earlier argument)


A Becket attorney will be available for comment immediately following the hearing.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Ryan Colby atmedia@becketlaw.orgor 202-349-7219.Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.