NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – More than a dozen Muslim leaders say they will not attend Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s annual interfaith breakfast.
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It’s typically a feel-good moment for the mayor and not shrouded in controversy.
“We strongly value the civic and interfaith relationships celebrated at this event,” the leaders of the Muslim groups wrote in a letter to Bloomberg. “However, this year we have decided to respectfully decline your invitation.”
In the letter, they say that the rights of Muslims are being “flagrantly violated,” adding they “cannot in good conscience appear at a public gathering with the government official who is ultimately responsible and smile for the cameras as if all is well, when we know full well that it is not.”
While the leaders praise Bloomberg for his defense of the Islamic cultural center located near the World Trade Center site, they take issue with the NYPD sending undercover officers into mosques, Muslim neighborhoods and groups in an effort to thwart terror plots. The practice was disclosed as part of an Associated Press investigation.
Opponents called the practice illegal spying. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has flatly rejected that description, saying his officers don’t racially profile but simply follow leads.
In November, hundreds marched on police headquarters in protest.
“We believe it is unequivocally wrong and fundamentally misguided to invest law enforcement resources in religious or racial profiling, rather than investigating suspicious activity,” the Muslim leaders wrote in their letter. Click here to read it.
Do you support the boycott? What’s your reaction to the reported NYPD practice? Sound off in our comments section below.