Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition
January 14, 2009
The Honorable Raymond Kelly
New York City Police Department
One Police Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10038
Dear Commissioner Kelly,
We, the undersigned, are writing to request a meeting to register our concerns over the mishandling and arrest of nine young people by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) at the close of a recent rally in support of the civilians of Gaza. We are deeply concerned that this incident will exacerbate the growing rift between the Muslim community and NY officials.
The January 11th incident on Manhattan’s West Side has lead many in the NY Muslim community to suspect unwarranted police profiling of Muslim youth. Several eyewitnesses to the arrests claim that NYPD officers instigated altercations with protesters and used aggressive force to subdue the crowd.
Whether or not these allegations are true, trust between the Muslim community and the NYPD is indeed eroding. This incident, coupled with your recent visit to Israel with Mayor Bloomberg, sends a disconcerting message that the NYPD has taken a one-sided stance on the issue of Gaza here and abroad.
As the chief of the NYPD, you have a unique opportunity to repair the damage done to NYPD/NY Muslim community relations. We request that you meet with us to discuss these concerns in further detail and look forward to your response.
President, Association of Muslim American Lawyers
President, Arab Muslim American Federation
Faiza N. Ali
Community Affairs Director, Council on American Islamic Relations-NY
Executive Director, Council of Peoples Organization
President, Islamic Circle of North America
Imam Shamsi Ali
Director, Jamaica Muslim Center Inc.
Outreach Coordinator, Muslim American Society New York
Board President, Muslim Consultative Network
President, Muslim Bar Association of New York
Director, Muslim Public Affairs Council-NYC Office
Executive Director, Women in Islam Inc.