New Report Launch: NYPD Spying and its Impact on American Muslims
Press Conference March 11, 2013 at 1 Police Plaza
New York, NY –
On March 11, 2013, members of the American Muslim community released findings from a ground-breaking new report, Mapping Muslims: NYPD Spying and its Impact on American Muslims at 1 Police Plaza, and attempted to deliver the report to New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Ray Kelly and Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence David Cohen.
The report is an unprecedented collection of voices from affected community members, many of whom spoke with researchers under strict anonymity, and documents the impacts of NYPD surveillance on various aspects of religious, political, and community life. The report details how the NYPD’s extensive spying program creates a pervasive climate of fear and suspicion that encroaches upon every aspect of American Muslims’ lives, and severs the essential relationship of trust that should exist between law enforcement agencies and the communities they are charged with protecting.
Since 2002, the NYPD’s secret, suspicionless surveillance program has monitored American Muslim places of worship, community spaces, and student groups from New York City to Long Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and beyond.
“This report is critically important reading for all Americans concerned with freedom, justice, and equality in 21st century America,” said Imam Al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid, chair of the Majlis Ash-Shura (Islamic Leadership Council) of Metropolitan New York. “It is the authentic voice of real people impacted by unjust policies and procedures, for which Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly remain both defensive and un-apologetic. Further, it is a powerful rebuttal to all who seek to minimize the impact of NYPD surveillance of Muslims as a faith group, even as they strive to do the same with the program known as ‘Stop and Frisk’.”
The report was prepared by the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition (MACLC), and its partner organizations the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project of CUNY School of Law, and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF).
Impacted community members, government officials, and representatives of MACLC, CLEAR, and AALDEF will discuss findings from the report at the press conference, including:
Impacts on students on college campuses, including silencing their activism, alienating their student groups, and affecting their academic choices;
Suppressing religious spaces, as mosque congregants become suspicious of one another, imams hesitate when advising their congregants, and individuals refrain from appearing overtly ‘Muslim’ to avoid triggering surveillance;
Silencing speech and political activism – from engagement in public debates and protests, to friendly coffee-house banter;
Damaging the NYPD’s own relationship with American Muslims in New York City, breaching communities’ much-needed relationship of trust with those who are tasked with protecting them.
PRESS CONFERENCE INFORMATION
Press Conference to Deliver the Report: Mapping Muslims: NYPD Spying and Its Impact on American Muslims to Ray Kelly
Date and Time:
March 11, 2013 at 12 PM
1 Police Plaza
Representatives of MACLC, CLEAR, and AALDEF, impacted community members, elected officials, and faith leaders.
Members of the press, please RSVP to Diala Shamas, firstname.lastname@example.org or 718 340 4533
Diala Shamas, email@example.com, 718 340 4533
Ujala Sehgal, firstname.lastname@example.org, 646 207 1497