Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

25 Oct, 2012

U.S. Islamic Group Asks New York City Council to Stop Police ‘Baiting’ of Muslims


(New York, NY, 10/23/12) — The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today called on the New York City Council to pass legislation that would increase oversight of the NY Police Department and cut the department’s unconstitutional spying program, including the aggressive “baiting” of Muslims by NYPD informants.

CAIR-NY said the “baiting” practice was revealed today in an Associated Press report on the still-evolving NYPD Muslim spying scandal. Today’s article detailed the story of Shamiur Rahman, a 19-year-old American of Bengali descent who was recruited by the FBI as an informant after his third arrest on minor drug charges.

Rahman said his NYPD handlers instructed him to join groups of Muslims at mosques or religious study groups and start conversations about terrorism, recording the conversations for the NYPD. He also gave the NYPD photos, names, cell phone numbers, and license plate numbers of Muslims who welcomed him to their events.

SEE: Informant: NYPD Paid Me to ‘Bait’ Muslims (AP)

CAIR-NY has been working with the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition (MACLC) and Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) to urge the New York City Council to pass the Community Safety Act, a package of four bills (Intro. 799, 800, 801, & 881) that would strengthen protections from predatory policing for New Yorkers and institute an independent inspector general to oversee the NYPD.

The Community Safety Act has received support from the majority of New York City Council members.

“Police ‘baiting’ of communities they are sworn to protect doesn’t align with our Constitution,” said CAIR-NY Advocacy Director Cyrus McGoldrick. “These ineffective and unconstitutional policies are damaging to the communities they target and to the entire city.”

Earlier this year, CAIR-NY testified before the New York City Council at a hearing for the Community Safety Act, and participated in the Communities for Police Reform Advocacy Day at City Hall.

CAIR-NY is a chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.