NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A secret document has come to light that could raise the tensions between New York City’s Muslim community and the Police Department.
It shows that the NYPD recommended increasing surveillance of thousands of Muslims and their mosques based solely on their religion, reports CBS 2’s John Slattery.
The recommendation for increased, secret surveillance on Muslims and Shiite mosques was contained in a 2006 NYPD Intelligence report on Iran, obtained by the Associated Press. At one mosque in Manhattan, there was the following reaction on Thursday:
“You know that’s unfair. We are a community. We are citizens, you know?” Mohammed Abucar said.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said the NYPD never considers religion in its policing. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly then clarified the document’s meaning.
“I’m told it’s our contingency plan for outbreak of hostilities involving Iran, which sounds like something we should be doing,” Kelly said.
“What we’re seeing here is an institutionalized policy of religious discrimination. This is from the very high levels of the NYPD leadership being lied about and covered up by those in the NYPD leadership,” said Cyrus McGoldrick of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
There are calls for the NYPD to have independent oversight, including from John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor Eugene O’Donnell.
“These are the most delicate issues in the country, whether profiling people based on religion or ethnicity,” O’Donnell said.
The document will likely renew debate over how the NYPD views Muslims in 2012.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling for hearings in Albany over the alleged spying without warrants or evidence of wrongdoing.
Are you alarmed by this or do you think it’s the right thing to do? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below. …