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June 6th, 2012
06:00 PM ET

Muslims sue over New York police surveillance

By Kristina Sgueglia, CNN

(CNN) – New Jersey Muslims filed a lawsuit against the City of New York on Wednesday, accusing police of using unconstitutional tactics to spy on them in the years after September 11, casting an unwarranted shadow of suspicion on the community.

"The NYPD's program targeted innocent Americans solely based on their religious identity," said Farhana Khera, president and executive director of the legal advocacy group Muslim Advocates, which filed the suit on behalf of the eight plaintiffs.

"That's why we believe it is unlawful and needs to stop," Khera said.

Muslim Advocates says it wants an end to the department's "invasive and discriminatory" surveillance program, which it claims targeted at least 20 mosques, 14 restaurants, 11 retail stores, two grade schools and two Muslim student associations throughout New Jersey. The group also wants all related records from the covert program expunged, according to the complaint.

Read the full story on CNN's Belief blog

soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. eyeugize

    Absurd claim without merit. Court will throw it out. Welcome to America. In these dangerous times security for all Americans including Muslims will not take a back seat to anyone or any group. You do have a choice. Love it or leave it. .

    June 7, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Polanski

      "Absurd claim without merit."

      There's plenty of evidence to suggest that the conduct of the NYPD was illegal. Do your research.

      June 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tribecagal

    Remember folks at one time all of our families were immigrants. This same type of hateful vitriol was said against the Irish, Italians, Germans, Greeks, Poles, Chinese and Eastern European Jews. Catholics, Jews, Buddhists....all folks with strange languages and customs. Some were good people, some were not. Same with Muslims. Blanket condemnation of any group only shows ignorance and bigotry.

    June 7, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bob

    So what if we went to their country we would be executed or worse

    June 7, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aisha Musa

      Bob,
      We ARE in their country. They are Americans. That said, you are correct, we can be killed or worse here. The president has the authority to declare anyone a terrorist and order him or her assasinated.

      June 7, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Old Soldier

        listen to that nonsense. They are not Americans. An immigrant to America joins the melting pot of our country, and adopts our customs. They do not want to be Americans, they want the safety of our country and the free money we provide them. They left their countries because their people blow each other up daily.

        June 8, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  4. NPost

    I would just tell them that their surveillance is part of our new 'Sharia Law', They should be able to understand that.

    June 7, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jake

    HUH who put a pox on us? The muslins for certain hate us – why is that so hard to understand?

    June 7, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • deandude33

      @jake...when you say "muslims" hate us do you mean people from the middle east? or white muslims? or black muslims?

      June 7, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jake

    These people are a threat to the Americans – what are so many doing in this country? A few years ago we saw few with their head scarfs on but now they are everywhere. I just wonder how much longer before they kill us. Remember the men who flew the planes on 9/11 were here getting flight instructions in our schools. They all need to return to their country.

    June 7, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • retfed

      Re-read you post, it makes no sense.

      June 8, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  7. Existential Human

    Religion - the opiate of the masses.

    June 7, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. davey

    Islam is not a religion, it is a political system that does not distinguish between the church and the state. It is a system which governs behavior, law and the legal rights of family members and even the diet. It should not, indeed must not be afforded the same manner of protection as freedom of religion.

    June 7, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Imagine20

      @davey: so you do you condone such surveillance of Jews?

      June 7, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • JIMBOB

        Surveillance of Jews has been going on for years. How do you think that the government has prevented numerous Jonathan Pollard type incidents?

        June 8, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
      • Aisha Musa

        Jimbob,

        According to the Christian Science Monitor, no Jews were monitored, and there was no threat being investigated in relation to the Muslims being monitored:

        "An AP review of the report states that plainclothes police officers assigned to investigate the city’s Syrian community “photographed businesses and eavesdropped at lunch counters and inside grocery stores and pastry shops,” even though many of the targets were second- and third-generation US citizens and there was no threat being investigated.

        The report also states that no Jews were monitored, despite the fact the area under surveillance was heavily Jewish. Coptic Christians, also prevalent in the area, were similarly excluded."

        June 8, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • normanpemper

      How is that different from Christianity? The major Christian groups have been fighting for years to bypass the separation of church and state. Every Presidential candidate must declare himself a Christian in order to even be considered. Christians dominate the political landscape on both sides.

      June 8, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. hamsta

    i listed so many minorities that had the lead role in more than one film or show on that post that i ran out of room and had to leave about 20 actors out of that list i was able to name off the top of my head. but i cant expect your race baiting simple mind to understand a sentence with more than 4 words so it just doesnt register in your mind.

    June 7, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      What you listed was a mere drop in the bucket compared to the many more white actors and actresses. And lets not forget those that you recited faced their own bouts of racism in Hollywood. "Tokenism" is real and you are just to simple-minded to register it in YOUR mind. Until there is about 40% to 50% of minorities in MAIN roles in T.V. and movies, there will be white-washing. And, please, all your posts show you that you are really a racist.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Robert

    Muslim communities are where Muslim terrorists hide. Muslims do not belong in America to begin with. Ship them all home to the middle east.

    June 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • History Bear

      Muslim's beling in american just as any other"religion", as long as the acknowledge the supremacy of secular law in all non religious practices. WHen canon/shaira/talmudic etc. law conflicts with secular, they have to acknowledge the secular as supreme. If they won't do that, then they don't beling here.

      June 7, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • Annie

        Jeeper if you could read it then perhaps the spelling was perfect.

        June 7, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      Amen they should not be here and why are they here. We don't have enough jobs for Americans. Do they have other iplans for America. I am afraid so. Why are so many here? Can someone please tell me.

      June 7, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • sarah

        Ask yourself how many Iraqi civilian was killed in Iraq? Why do American work in every Muslims' country such as Armco in Saudi Arabia and Emirate. Are you God divides the daily bread of people so you do not want to divide for Muslim their daily bread in America? Many Muslims are American citizen such as you do you want to do such as Nazi ?

        June 8, 2012 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
    • magnificentmaurice

      yeeeaaaahhhhhhh

      June 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Peacecj

    This is terrorism hidding behind a religion. So we have to take care of the terrorists and ban these code of ethics.

    June 7, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Peacecj

    In saudi arabia muslims get trashed, beaten and heads chopped off, whom do they sue over there??? In other islamic countries, muslims are not even allowed to sell fruits to earn their livelyhood. In usa after terrorising americans and killing 3000 innocent americans, these muslims are filing suits, check from where their money is coming from and who the donors are for the suit. Besides these muslims are like a cancer in society. This cancer has to be taken care off

    June 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Andree Joy

    You are all correct, Only the thruth hurts. If those Moslim have nothing to hide? why worry!!! Why complain!!! The suit should just be dismissed. If they don't like it, go back where you came from. Most of the immigrants that came to this Country, conformed to the laws of the land, the way I did, when I came from France, in 1946.

    June 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Andree Joy

    You are all correct, Only the hruth hurts. If those Moslim have nothing to hide? why worry!!! Why complain!!! The suit should just be dismissed. I

    June 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Freddo

    Hmmm... seems to me there's nothing illegal about monitoring people, so long as electronic surveillance is done with a court order.

    But watching a mosque? Not illegal.

    Good luck with that lawsuit.

    June 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Charles

    SO when a school bus gets blown up, or a plane hijacked or a suicide bomber goes "Boom!" AND THEN it's discovered that the perpetrator had been under surveilance, but the surveilance had been withdrawn (because of this suit) and so the atrocity was allowed......

    then the NYPD gets sued for NOT monitoring these groups.

    How about this for an idea – if Muslims don't want to be regarded as terrorists-in-training, stop training terrorists.

    And stop whining about being seen for what you've historically been.

    June 7, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    If you don’t like it, take it up with your fellow Muslims. No one is stopping you from practicing your religion.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Tony Z

    Tuff cookies. Some extreme state militia organizations are being survieled too. If it walks like a duck...

    June 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  19. momo0828

    Welcome to America!

    June 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  20. LB

    Thank GOD for surveillance!! Many a terrorism effort has been thwarted thanks to surveillance..and were they Muslim? Enough said! ! If you dont like that fact..then get on yer carpet and go back where you came from!

    June 7, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  21. Jim

    I have no problem having surveillance on me, but then I have nothing to hide. Screw the people that have something to hide and watch their asses to the utmost. If there's nothing to hide, why worry? This government doesn't have to have goodie goodie 'no profiling' criteria, but needs to keep extremely vigilant on the makers of crime. If terrorism is 100% from Muslims, then watch Muslims. It's as easy as 2 plus 2 equals 4. Don't be stupid, watch with extreme vigilance and punish with extreme measures. That's the way I see it!

    June 7, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  22. hamsta

    Maybe if muslims didnt like to hijack planes and fly them into buildings we would have no need to conduct surveilance on muslims. frivolus lawsuit, case dismissed.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim USA

      I agree. You are 100% correct.

      June 7, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Max

      Absolutely correct. I was thinking right before I read your post "isn't it almost 100% Muslims blowing these things up? Last time I checked we didn't have alot of Mormon terrorists and the Catholic church hasn't highjacked any planes lately.

      June 7, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
      • realitypolice

        The second worst terrorist attack in US history was carried out by a non-muslim. Do you know what it was and who did it?

        June 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Athiest

      Granted all religions have their trouble, but last time I checked there were no jewish, christian, buddhist, athiest, catholic, or any other religions running around blowing people up, trying to send planes into buildings, chopping peoples heads off in the modern day...

      But one religion does have many people engaging in this behavior, and has for many years...................... Who could that be?

      I wonder...............

      Maybe if some of them would watch their peers, friends, and family to weed out the fanatics we could trust them more....

      June 7, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don't qualify as citizens

      We need to profile and monitor all Muslims and for that matter all of any Arabic linage. They can't be trusted and really none of them should be allowed into this country. Monitor, Detain and Deport.

      June 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • south4evr

      Sorry pal, I'm not anti-minority, I'm anti-anybody who wants to shove their desert religion down my throat or kill me if I don't accept it.

      As for the klan, give me a break, what have they done to anybody in the last 20 years, but march around in their sheets and yell racial/ethnic/religious slurs? You're giving them far more credit than they deserve. Hell, some of us in the south don't even have a sheet to wear!! BTW, the Klan has been under surveillence for decades, but I guess that is okay according to you. White supremacist extremists can't be profiled, can they? Not defending, just sayin'.....

      June 7, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |