December 17, 2013
By Matt Sledge
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly received an award this month from a source that may seem unlikely: a group of Muslim community leaders.
“The Muslim community appears to be softening its stance toward Ray Kelly as he walks out the door,” one tabloid crowed, suggesting that a Muslim council of 10 members hand-picked by the NYPD represented Muslim New Yorkers in all their diversity. But the meaning of the award granted Dec. 9 by the Muslim Advisory Council, set up by the NYPD in 2012, is very much up for debate.
New York’s hundreds of thousands of Muslims come from backgrounds rich and poor, from lands far away to uptown Harlem. The Muslim Advisory Council award — derided by the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islam Relations as a “cheap public relations stunt” — highlights the diverse reactions to revelations of police surveillance of Muslims. Some Muslims have retreated into silent distrust. Others have expressed outrage. A third group sees a different path — trying to engage.
“The idea of the council is great,” said Dr. Ahmed Jaber, a retired obstetrician and gynecologist who used to sit on the Muslim Advisory Council. “We were discussing it years before Kelly. We wanted that relationship with the higher authority.”
At almost the same time it was giving Kelly his award, the advisory council submitted a Dec. 1 memo highlighting controversies that have marred the relations of Kelly’s police department with Muslims: a “radicalization” study panned by civil liberties groups, an Islamophobic screed featuring an interview with Kelly that was screened as a training video for NYPD cadets, and “terrorism enterprise investigations” that have listened in on imams as they deliver sermons.
Those issues, the council wrote in its memo, have “strained the relationship between the Muslim Community and the NYPD” and “served to erode some of the goodwill the NYPD has fostered by other means.”
But the memo also called the NYPD’s efforts to build relationships with communities a “model of cooperation,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner John McCarthy noted in a statement to HuffPost.
Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/17/ray-kelly-muslim-award_n_4455537.html
On Morning Joe Wednesday morning, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly fought back against allegations that the NYPD had monitored entire mosques in the course of counterterrorist operations, telling host Joe Scarborough that the charges were the result of two reporters with an axe to grind, and the police department’s tactics were conducted lawfully and in the interests of the city’s security.
“They’re hyping a book that’s coming out next week,” Kelly said of the authors of the article with the allegations. “The book is based on a compilation of about fifty articles two AP reporters did on the department. If it’s a reflection of the article, then the book will be a fair amount of fiction. It will be half-truths, it will be lots of quotes from unnamed course sources.”
Scarborough asked if Kelly agreed that it would be improper to place entire mosques under police suspicion.
“Of course,” Kelly said. “We do according to the law. What we’re investigating, and how we investigate it, is done pursuant to a federal judge’s direction.”
How did Kelly’s policies manage to alienate the City Council, groups of Muslim-Americans and African-Americans, the New York Times, the FBI and even the Obama administration?
For the past 11 years, Kelly has been described as the most powerful and respected police commissioner in the history of New York City, whose anti-terrorism and crime-fighting policies have stopped 16 terrorist plots and resulted in record-low murders and shootings.
The police historian, Tom Reppetto, has said New Yorkers felt Kelly “stood between New York City and another terrorist attack.” NYU professor Mitchell Moss called Kelly “our secretary of defense, head of the CIA and … chief architect rolled into one.”
The confluence of its Stop and Frisk and its Muslim spying has brought together City Councilmen Brad Lander and Jumaane Williams – who have led the fight for an Inspector General — with Faiza Patel, an outspoken Muslim opponent of the NYPD’s spying who is affiliated with the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU. It was she who helped draft the City Council bill calling for an outside Inspector General.
How efficacious an Inspector General will be remains to be seen as he will be appointed by the Dept. of Investigation, an agency that in theory fights corruption but in reality protects the mayor from it.
Kelly has refused to acknowledge missteps on either Stop and Frisk or on the NYPD’s Muslim spying.
Last week he promoted to three-star chief status both Thomas Galati, the commanding officer of the Intelligence Division, and James Waters, the commanding officer of the Counter-Terrorism Bureau, to which detectives on the Joint Terrorist Task Force report.
March 11, 2013 – American Muslim civil liberties groups released a new report today, Mapping Muslims: NYPD Spying and Its Impact on American Muslims, documenting the devastating impacts of the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) extensive surveillance program that targeted American Muslims throughout the Northeast and spread outrage throughout the nation.
Since 2002, the NYPD embarked on a covert domestic surveillance program that monitored American Muslims throughout the Northeast, from spying on neighborhood cafes and places of worship to infiltrating student whitewater-rafting trips – a program that continued despite the NYPD’s own acknowledgment that, over the course of six years, these efforts had not generated a single lead. The report is an unprecedented collection of voices from affected community members reflecting how the NYPD spying and infiltration creates a pervasive climate of fear and suspicion that encroaches upon every aspect of their religious, political, and community lives.
The report was prepared by the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition, and its partner organizations the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project at Main Street Legal Services, Inc. of the CUNY School of Law, and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF). American Muslim community members delivered the report to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence David Cohen today at 1 Police Plaza.
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.
By Michelle Nichols
Islamist extremists similar to the Times Square bomber are living among New Yorkers and the threat of attack by “homegrown terrorists” is not diminishing, city Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. A failed attempt by a Pakistan-born U.S. citizen to blow up a car bomb in midtown Manhattan last month confirmed “the threat from radical Islam shows no sign of receding,” Kelly told the Association for a Better New York, a non-profit group.