By Ariane de Vogue
The Supreme Court returned to the controversial issue of religious freedom on Tuesday in a case concerning three Muslim men who are seeking to sue FBI special agents for damages under a federal law meant to protect religious liberty.
The dispute began seven years ago when, said Muhammad Tanzir, Jameel Algibhah and Naveed Shinwari — who were all born abroad but live legally in the US — they were asked by the FBI to become informants for the government in terrorism-related investigations. The men claim they declined — citing their religious beliefs — and their reluctance to spy on their community.
They allege that they were retaliated against and put on the no-fly list, a watchlist for people who are prohibited from boarding aircraft that originate from, terminate in or pass over the United States. Even after they were removed from the list, their lawyers sought to sue the individual agents for damages, citing the federal law.
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