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Five-year battle for citizenship ends for D.C.-area Muslim man

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It has not been an easy row to hoe for Muslims in the United States. Despite the tenets of religious and individual freedom that are enshrined in the Constitution, there's a lot of bias in grassroots society. This likely comes as no surprise to readers, even in as cosmopolitan an area as Washington, D.C., and its surrounding suburbs.

When the government starts to embody that bias and it infringes on an immigrant's dream of citizenship through naturalization, something has got to give. And it did recently in a federal court on the other side of the Potomac.

The case involves the desires of Muslim man in Falls Church. He first applied for to become a citizen in February 2008. Since we aren't privy to a lot of details about the man's history in this country, we have to assume that he had fulfilled the years of requirements that are needed to even file for consideration.

Still, when he submitted his paperwork, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office rejected it, saying it was worried because of the man's ties to a high-profile Virginia mosque and concerns that he had links with the Muslim Brotherhood. That's the Islamist organization that is seen by some to be behind unrest that swept across Africa and the Middle East as part of the so-called Arab Spring. In essence, the USCIS ruled that this man was of questionable moral character because of his faith.

After years of waiting, a federal judge listened to three days of testimony and evidence during a trial earlier this year. And his ruling, issued late last month, was that the USCIS had overstepped the bounds of its authority. He reversed the government. Not only that, but he personally administered the citizenship oath to the man.

When all this started, the man had been working in information technology for the Fairfax County Police Department. Whether he will return to that position, or whether he has managed to secure other employment is unknown.

Source: The Washington Post, "Judge overrules immigration authorities, orders Va. Muslim be naturalized," Associated Press, July 25, 2012

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