NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There was a rally held Monday in support of the NYPD’s controversial monitoring of Muslims.
In a twist, Muslim groups were the organizers and support what some call “spying.”
While many Islamist organizations are aiming their attacks at the NYPD, some Muslim voices have been raised in support of the Police Department.
“The NYPD is not spying. The NYPD is carrying out effective surveillance,” Rep. Peter King told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.
WCBS 880′s Paul Murnane At The Rally
The Department has been under fire for monitoring mosques, Muslim merchants and student groups. Critics, like many seen over the weekend, call it race-based spying.
But on Monday, many Muslims gathered to say it’s not spying; it’s good police work, necessary to keep the city safe from terror.
“Those who undermine the NYPD — trust me — they are the enemies of freedom, liberty. They may not say so but their hidden message is very clear,” said Tarek Fatah of the Muslim North American Congress.
One sign didn’t say “New York,” but rather “American Muslims Support NYPD.” Most of the speakers came from outside the state. There was one New Yorker who took the podium, a young Muslim who’s a senior at a Catholic school on Staten Island.
“My name is Samir Abdelkhalek,” he said, adding he would have no problem with the NYPD conducting surveillance at his mosque.
“No, I would not. I’m in a public place. I have nothing to hide. I love my country and I really have nothing to hide from the NYPD,” Abdelkhalek said.
1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports
But other local Muslims had harsh words for the event.
Linda Sarsour of the Muslim-American Civil Liberties Coalition said police should not be monitoring Muslims without reasonable cause.
“I think this is a shameful event. We will continue to say that the NYPD is religiously profiling the entire Muslim community,” Sarsour said.
From “pro-NYPD” to “con” there’s no sign this dispute is going away.
The NYPD surveillance effort crossed over into New Jersey, angering Gov. Chris Christie. On Monday, Christie said he “may” revoke the policy that gave the NYPD limited authority to operate in the Garden State.
How do you feel about the NYPD’s surveillance program? Sound off in the comments section below!