Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Community News Network

October 24, 2013

ACLU calls for probe of surveillance of Muslims by New York police

The American Civil Liberties Union called on the Justice Department on Thursday to investigate the efforts by the New York City Police Department to conduct surveillance in Muslim communities.

In a letter signed by 125 state and national organizations, the ACLU and the other groups said the Justice Department's civil rights division to open a probe into the "unlawful religious profiling and suspicionless surveillance of Muslims in New York City and beyond."

"Putting a class of Americans under surveillance based on their religion is a clear violation of our Constitution's guarantees of equality and religious freedom," said Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU National Security Project. "The NYPD's surveillance program has stigmatized Muslims as suspect and had deeply negative effects on their free speech, association and religious practice."

Citing NYPD documents and an investigative series of articles on the NYPD's secret intelligence operations by the Associated Press, the ACLU said that the New York police have sent paid infiltrators into mosques, student associations and other locations to take photos, write down license-plate numbers and keep notes on people because they are Muslim.

The ACLU also said NYPD officers and informants have "built a program dedicated to suspicionless blanket surveillance of Muslims in the greater New York City area," routinely monitoring restaurants, bookstores and mosques.

Justice Department spokeswoman Dena Iverson said she could not comment on the letter because she had not seen it yet. A police spokesman said the department could not provide an immediate comment.

The ACLU letter was signed by a wide array of religious, racial justice, civil rights and community based organizations, including the NAACP, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and the National Network for Arab American Communities.

"In America, law enforcement should never turn anyone's First Amendment-protected religious beliefs into cause for suspicion, and yet evidence shows that's exactly what the New York Police Department is doing to Muslim New Yorkers," said the Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance and a pastor at the Baptist Northminster Church in Monroe, La.

"The fact that people of faith might have to fear going to their houses of worship or freely practicing their religion is about as un-American as un-American gets," Gaddy said.

 

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 18, 2014

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action following Ohio ruling on quakes, fracking

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIDEO: Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 17, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014