NEW YORK — Muslim groups are calling for New York’s police commissioner to step down because of his appearance in a film they say puts their religion and its adherents in a bad light.
About 20 activists held a news conference on the steps of City Hall on Thursday and criticized Ray Kelly for giving an interview to the producers of the movie “The Third Jihad.”
The movie uses dramatic footage to warn against the dangers of radical Islam and shariah, or Islamic law. Muslim groups say it encourages Americans to be suspicious of all Muslims.
“Terrorism is an evil that must be eliminated, but one cannot fight wrong with wrong,” said Talib Abdur-Rashid, a Muslim cleric.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday he stood by Kelly and the commissioner’s spokesman, Paul Browne. Activists had also demanded Browne’s resignation.
However, the mayor said Kelly would have to redouble his outreach efforts to Muslims.
“Anything like this doesn’t help credibility, so Ray’s got to work at establishing, re-establishing or reinforcing the credibility that he does have,” Bloomberg said.