Muslims file lawsuit against NYPD for mosque surveillance
Muslims living in northern New Jersey announced that they had filed a class-action lawsuit against the New York City Police Department’s surveillance of mosques, businesses, universities and other locations as part of its anti-terrorism program.
The lawsuit was filed on Thursday in federal court in Newark (Essex County), New Jersey, on behalf of a number of Muslim-American organizations, Muslim-owned businesses, and individual members of the Islamic community, according to a national Muslim group.
The group — Muslim Advocates – said in a statement: “Today, a diverse group of American Muslim plaintiffs filed a lawsuit to end the New York City Police Department’s invasive and discriminatory spying program. The suit, filed by Muslim Advocates, the leading national legal advocacy group working to defend the civil liberties of American Muslims, details countless acts of invasive and discriminatory spying authorized by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.”
While the NYPD’s surveillance operation outraged the members of the New York-New Jersey Muslim communities, it is supported by the majority of residents, according to recent polls. A Quinnipiac Poll revealed that 62 percent of New Jersey voters said the NYPD’s focus on Muslims was appropriate, 18 percent said it was unfair and 20 percent did not express an opinion. Republicans supported it 83-8 percent, Democrats by 44-27 percent, and independents by 64-17 percent.
In the lawsuit, the Muslim plaintiffs stated they found it necessary to sue in order “to affirm the principle that individuals may not be singled out for intrusive investigation and pervasive surveillance simply because they profess a certain faith.”
The anti-terrorism operation by the NYPD’s Intelligence Division “casts guilt on all people of that faith by suggesting that Muslims pose a special threat to public safety,” the plaintiffs stated.
Another large Muslim group — the Council on American Islamic Relations – is expected to file a similar lawsuit in Manhattan against the NYPD. A CAIR affiliate, attorney Mary Catherine Roper from the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, stated, “They should be spending their time looking at the more specific behaviors that ought to draw their attention and make them investigate a person or a group.” She goes on to say that congregating to pray should not be a foundation of suspicion.”
However, a number of Islamic terrorists arrested by the FBI emanated from a Jersey City mosque including Sheikh Omar Abdel- Rahman a/k/a “The Blind Sheikh.” The plan to bomb the World Trade Center in 1993 was proven to have been hatched in that large mosque.
Besides the civil lawsuit, three dozen Democrat members of Congress have asked for a full Justice Department investigation.
“I can’t read their minds or look into their hearts, but based on their actions it seems to me the Democrats will always jump at the chance to investigate cops or intelligence agents or military personnel, but are lax when it comes to investigating the enemies of the U.S. or the criminals,” said former police detective Mike Snopes, who served in the NYPD Intelligence Division.
“Holder, Lautenberg and others are disturbed with the [NYPD] because the department didn’t allow political correctness to get in the way of protecting New Yorkers,” Snopes said.
“And as far as New Jersey, let’s remember that members of a Jersey City mosque were involved in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center,” Snopes added.