ISNA Welcomes NYPD Decision to Disband Spying Unit on Muslims

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Plainfield, IN 4/16/14) The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) today welcomed the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) decision to disband their unit that specialized in a massive collection of warrantless surveillance of Muslims who were not suspected of committing any crimes.

NYPD’s surveillance program produced a comprehensive mapping of Muslim centers of worship, businesses, and institutions. The program also went beyond the NYPD’s jurisdiction with surveillance covering Muslim communities in Newark, New Jersey and Muslim student groups from colleges across the Northeast including Ivy League institutions like University of Pennsylvania and Yale. Informants were also enlisted to monitor student organization activities and sermons given at places of worship.

The entire program in its 11 years of existence has not produced any terrorism leads nor cases according to sworn testimony from NYPD officials

SEE: Police Unit That Spied on Muslims Is Disbanded (New York Times)

In a statement, ISNA President Imam Mohamed Magid said:

“The Islamic Society of North America welcomes the decision of the New York Police Department to disband their special surveillance unit. Spying on communities simply because of their religious affiliation is not only unconstitutional, but also further erodes the trust and cooperation between law enforcement and communities which they have sworn to protect. This abuse of authority should be reviewed and elected officials should institute public policy that will insure that this sort program will never be implemented again.”

In 2012, ISNA joined other national religious and community leaders in sending a letter to then NY Mayor Bloomberg to investigate NYPD’s surveillance and training programs.

SEE: Local and National Religious Leaders ask Mayor Bloomberg to Investigate NYPD Surveillance and Training Practices

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is the largest and oldest Islamic umbrella organization in North America. Its mission is to foster the development of the Muslim community, interfaith relations, civic engagement, and better understanding of Islam.


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CONTACT: ISNA Communications Director Edgar Hopida, 317-679-6350 or 317-839-1820, ehopida@isna.net