NEW YORK—Muslims residing in the New York area will release a report on March 11 about the impact of NYPD surveillance on Muslims in the region.
The NYPD undertook extensive surveillance of Muslims in the New York area in a partnership with the CIA that targeted ethnic communities, according to a probe by the Associated Press. The media published a series of articles detailing the surveillance, as well as documents that are stamped for internal NYPD use only.
Members of the American Muslim community intend to unveil groundbreaking information about how the surveillance affected community members, according to the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
“The report details how the NYPD’s extensive spying program creates a pervasive climate of fear and suspicion that encroaches upon every aspect of American Muslims’ lives, and severs the essential relationship of trust that should exist between law enforcement agencies and the communities they are charged with protecting,” the group states in a release.
“This report is critically important reading for all Americans concerned with freedom, justice, and equality in 21st century America,” said Imam Al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid, chair of the Majlis Ash-Shura (Islamic Leadership Council) of Metropolitan New York, in a statement. “It is the authentic voice of real people impacted by unjust policies and procedures, for which Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly remain both defensive and un-apologetic.”
Kelly and Bloomberg have stood by the often controversial tactics used by the NYPD, including stop and frisk, in which police officers search persons they suspect are doing something illegal.
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund teamed up with the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition and the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR), a project of the City University of New York’s School of Law.
The group will hold a press conference on March 11 at noon at 1 Police Plaza to release the report.
A group of Muslims also plan to start a city-wide political group called the Muslim Democratic Club of New York. The club is dedicated to helping elect responsible democrats to local office, according to an invitation to the club’s opening event, on March 14.
“Our issues have been ignored for way too long,” Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American and civil rights advocate from Brooklyn, in an email to Capital New York. “We know the only way to show our political power is through votes and money. We needed a partisan arm for the community to do this work outside of our 9am -- 5pm. We have so many American Muslim professionals in the finance, medicine, law, and other sects that we can engage.”