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US Muslims sue to stop NYPD spying program

RT | June 6, 2012

Eight American Muslims have filed a federal lawsuit to put an end to a post-9/11 surveillance program run by the New York Police Department. The lawsuit follows a New Jersey Attorney General probe saying the NYPD had done nothing wrong.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Newark Wednesday by Muslim Advocates, a group who has taken up the New Jersey Muslims’ cause. The suit claims that identifying as Muslim does not constitute “a legitimate criterion” for law-enforcement officials to target individuals for surveillance.

“This case is critical to protecting the civil rights of American Muslims and all Americans,” Muslim Advocates legal director Glen Katon said.

New Jersey Representative Rush Holt called the lawsuit “a thoughtful, sensible step toward bringing law enforcement practices back into line with constitutional protections and the standards of good policing.”

It is the first such legal action to directly challenge the NYPD for spying on Muslims following the attacks of September 11, 2001. An Associated Press investigation last year uncovered a systematic surveillance program that put entire Muslim neighborhoods under a watchful eye, recording the every move of their residents. Undercover police infiltrated dozens of mosques and student groups while investigating scores more in New York City and neighboring New Jersey.

Records showed that police paid special attention to grocery stores that carried halal or kosher food products, eavesdropped on Muslim-owned stores, cafes and hair salons, placed Mosques under surveillance during Friday prayers, and even went so far as to photograph an elementary school for Muslim girls.

While New Jersey lawmakers were up in arms upon learning of the intrusive spying program, after a three month review, the state’s attorney found there was no legal means to stop the NYPD from carrying out their practice of targeting mosques, business and student groups for surveillance.

Both NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and the city’s mayor Michael Bloomberg have supported the spying program, saying the information is obtained within departmental guidelines which are within constitutional bounds.

Kelly further stated that the 2001 attacks showed that the city could not rely solely on the federal government to provide for its security.
As it is, the program operates with limited oversight. The New York City Council claims it isn’t qualified to supervise intelligence operations, while Congress says the NYPD is out of its jurisdiction despite the billions in federal largesse the city receives each year.

Lawmakers and civil rights groups have urged the Justice Department to investigate the NYPD’s practices. A Justice Department spokeswoman said those requests were currently under review.

But Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates, said state and federal stonewalling made the lawsuit inevitable.

“With New York officials refusing to look into the NYPD’s abuses, the New Jersey Attorney General saying his hands are tied, and the U.S. Department of Justice dragging its heels, this lawsuit is the victims’ last resort for justice to prevail.”

June 6, 2012 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Islamophobia | , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. First of all, there is no such thing as a “Muslim-American.” It is impossible for a Muslim to be an American.
    Muslims are slaves to Islam and Islam requires that no Muslim may adhere to any law other than Sharia; it is similar to apostasy for Muslims to be loyal to any country other than an Islamic state. The Qur’an commands all Muslims to be at permanent war with all non-Muslims and are commanded to establish Islam as the sole ruler of the earth.
    The Qur’an also orders that all Muslims conquer, subdue, and enslave all non-Muslims and to kill all non-Muslims wherever they are found.
    The NYC police would be criminally negligent if they didn’t have every Muslim in NYC under surveillance.
    As it is, the federal government is criminally negligent for not rounding up all Muslims and deporting each and every one of them to Saudi Arabia regardless of where they originated.
    Islam is the enemy of all of mankind. It is evil incarnate. The fact that 1.2 billion so-called people worship a mass murderer, pedophile, rapist, bestial sodomite, necrophiliac, slaver, liar and thief, Muhammad, and his made up pagan moon god, Allah, says it all.
    I want all Muslims out of my country!

    Comment by Robert Birdwell | June 7, 2012 | Reply

    • Engaging in projection is convincing only for the choir.

      Comment by aletho | June 7, 2012 | Reply

    • Robert Birdwell—-I feel sorry for you,you are psycho and you need psychiatric treatment.How you can lie in the name of God Book?You don’t know the Torah that’s why you hate Muslims.You are Hitler#2.
      There is no word in Quran that say’s as you said.There is no Muslim in the word that speaks bad for:God,Messengers of the God and God Books but original God books.
      Don’t damage the image of real Jews because they are not as you,they are smarter then you and they lived as brothers with Muslims for 1000 years.Don’t forget that there are Jews living in:Iran,Iraq,Turkey,Egypt,Marroco etc..and nobody killed them for 1000 of years but you guys know who killed you on world war 2.

      This life is to short for such a big hate between nations,race,religions-love mu slims,chatolics, Orthodox same as you love Jews and pray to good to forgive you and die clean,pls don’t infest opinion with garbage comments,america doesn’t need you piece of crap……………………………………….
      Apologies God because I had to read and reply to an atheist.

      Comment by Orbit | June 9, 2012 | Reply


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