Justice Department pushes to end religious profiling: report

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Attorney General Eric Holder’s newest policy push includes a recommendation to prohibit federal authorities from using religion as part of investigations, a nod to civil rights activists who maintain that law enforcement agents routinely target Muslims.

The policy under discussion would expand profiling definitions to include religion, national origin, gender and sexual orientation, the New York Times first reported. The Justice Department is currently reviewing the proposal.

Critics say such a plan will hamper terrorist investigations that are often tied to radical Muslim groups. But supporters such as members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations say such reform is overdue.

“Good law enforcement requires good leads, not dragnets that catch law abiding Americans who are simply living their lives,” Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told the Associated Press.

Mr. Awad said the Justice Department’s policy change should also apply to any investigation conducted in the name of national security.

Mr. Holder has long argued for a curb on police profiling techniques. In 2010, he told the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee that his department was working “to end racial profiling in the United States, once and for all,” AP reported.

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