Muslims rally in support of NYPD surveillance tactics, say police ‘not trying to hurt us’

NEW YORK — Qazi Qayyoom, an imam in Queens, says he believes the New York Police Department is keeping his community safe, and if that means some Muslims are monitored, so be it.

“The police, they come to us and say, ‘Is everything OK? How can we help you?” he said Monday. “They are not trying to hurt us. For this, I want to say thank you and tell them I support them.”

The rally, held by the American Islamic Leadership Coalition outside police headquarters in downtown Manhattan, illustrated a division even among the faith’s adherents about how far authorities should go in seeking to protect the nation’s largest city from terrorists. Other Muslim groups were quick to say the coalition didn’t represent their views.

Among the speakers was Dr. Zudhi Jasser, the narrator of “The Third Jihad,” a documentary about the dangers of radical Islam that the NYPD showed in the lobby of a police training area and has since disavowed.