Tags: suit | muslim | bias | security

Federal Worker Alleges Anti-Muslim Bias in Suit Over Security Clearance

Tuesday, 01 Nov 2011 01:02 PM

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A budget analyst for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is suing the group, claiming that his security was revoked unjustly because his wife attended an Islamic school and works for a Muslim nonprofit. Mahmoud Hegab lost his clearance and was put on unpaid leave this year, The Washington Post’s Federal Eye blog reported.

Hegab joined the agency in January 2010 and told officials he had married Bushra Nusairat between the time of his security clearance investigation and the date he reported to work according to the federal court filing.

Nusairat works with Islamic Relief USA. The group works to provide food, public health and education programs to the poor in conjunction with such groups as the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department, the Post reported.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which supplies satellite imagery to the military, revoked Hegab’s clearance last year, citing Nusairat’s background. Hegab was placed on unpaid leave early this year. Court papers filed by Hegab’s attorney, Sheldon Cohen, said the decision to pull his clearance “was based solely” on his wife’s “religion, Islam, her constitutionally protected speech, and her association with, and employment by, an Islamic faith-based organization,” the Post reported.

Cohen told the Post that Islamic Relief USA is a “noncontroversial organization.” Nusairat is a 2005 graduate of the Islamic Saudi Academy. The Saudi-backed school has drawn attention for using textbooks that promoted violence and religious intolerance, the Post reported.

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