Islamic Shura Council is a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to force the government to reveal information about the FBI’s surveillance of several prominent, law-abiding Muslim community leaders and organizations, including the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, its Chairman Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, its Executive Director Shakeel Syed, the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Southern California and its Executive Director Hussam Ayloush.  Documents produced in the case revealed that the FBI has consistently surveilled the peaceful political and social activities of Muslim community leaders, including their participation in the immigration rallies, their fundraising events for local schools and mosques, and other innocuous events.

During the course of the case the Court also revealed that the government had lied to the Court concerning the existence of a broad range of documents, resulting in the Court taking the rare step of sanctioning the government – forcing it to pay fines to the ACLU – for its misconduct. The government has appealed the sanctions order.

Case Developments

November 17, 2011
In this landmark ruling, the Court ordered the government to pay fines to the ACLU as a disciplinary sanction against the lawyers who lied to the Court. Read the ruling.

April 27, 2011
The Court revealed that the government had lied about the existence of documents concerning its surveillance of Muslims in Southern California. Read the ruling.

March 30, 2011
The Ninth Circuit's order admonishes the government to be truthful in how it describes its documents to the district court, but also orders the district court to redact portions of its opinion. Read the ruling.

September 18, 2007
The complaint describes the history of the FBI’s attempt to withhold information about its surveillance of Muslims in Southern California. Read the complaint.

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Pro Bono Law

Date filed

September 17, 2007


United States District Court for the Central District of California


Hon. Cormac J. Carney

Case number

CV 07-1088