NYC event tonight spotlights surveillance that has ‘burrowed deep’ into Muslims’ lives for 10 years

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There’s an important discussion about Islamophobia tonight in New York, sponsored by the Jews Against Islamophobia Coalition. This is heroic work; we mentioned it a week back. From the press release:

Challenging Islamophobia and Making Connections: Hate Speech, NYPD Surveillance, Stop and Frisk

What: Representatives from organizations that combat Islamophobia and racism, and are concerned with the targeting and surveillance of their communities, analyze the links between what’s happening in NYC and across the nation and discuss their experiences and strategies for responding.

Why: In the aftermath of revelations about the NYPD’s monitoring of Muslims and “stop and frisk” policies targeting communities of color, and with the increase in hate speech and violence, concerned organizations and citizens are coming together to demand justice and dignity for all.

When: Tuesday, January 29th at 7 PM

236 West 86th Street, NYC


Muneer Awaad, CAIR-NY executive director

Alan Levine, civil rights lawyer; Jews Against Islamophobia Coalition

Frank Antonio Lopez, filmmaker; The Brotherhood/Sister Sol

Linda Sarsour, Muslim-American Civil Liberties Coalition; AAANY

Quotes from speakers and sponsoring organization:

Muneer Awad, CAIR-NY executive director:

“We can no longer view the frequency of anti-Muslim violence as exclusive to the influence of hate groups and extremists. Events like this will help us better understand the roles of our policy makers, institutions, and corporations in perpetuating a climate of hostility for American Muslims.”

Alan Levine, civil rights lawyer, from“Unconstitutional Surveillance,” National Law Journal—

“…the NYPD has, for nearly 10 years, engaged in a far-reaching surveillance program that has burrowed deep into the lives and institutions of New York-area Muslim communities. The Muslim community should not have to wait a day longer for city officials to abandon a practice that so flagrantly affronts principles of equal justice and religious freedom.”

Frank Lopez, The Brotherhood/Sister Sol:

“As an alumni member of The Brotherhood/Sister Sol I have learned to see a brother and a sister in everyone and to make it a point to challenge myself to speak on the injustices carried out against them. The stop, question and frisk policy, as well as other tactics of the NYPD have proven to target and criminalize communities while utilizing unlawful practices. We cannot stand idly by while this injustice continues to be a politicized rite of passage for so many, especially for our young people. Is this really the city we want to live in?” 

Linda Sarsour, Muslim-American Civil Liberties Coalition and Arab American Association of New York:

“Justice is inevitable but it requires commitment, consistency and unity. Our work with coalitions like Communities United for Police Reform and Jews Against Islamophobia has brought us that much closer to ending discriminatory policies of the NYPD and strengthening ties between communities to address other social justice issues. Only together we will win.”

Marjorie Dove Kent, JAI Coalition, sponsor of the evening’s program:

“We are holding this panel to bring these issues to the forefront and to encourage community responses that make clear we will not tolerate Islamophobia and racism. We also want to show that the hateful subways ads are not isolated acts, but are part of a larger pattern of state-sponsored Islamophobia and racism in NYC.”

 Jews Against Islamophobia Coalition consists of Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews Say No!, and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.

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2 Responses

  1. Bumblebye
    January 29, 2013, 4:18 pm

    I saw this letter the other day, from a lady who admits to growing up prejudiced and becoming more so after the loss of a cousin in Afghanistan, and in the recent snowy weather had an awakening:
    She seems to have realised the irrationality of her bigotry, and humbles herself to say so.

    “(An open letter to the community of the Masjid Umar mosque in Evington Road, Leicester).

    “Along with most of Leicester, I was crawling home at a snail’s pace and was facing the long hill of Evington Road. What I saw in front of me was truly wonderful.

    There were many Muslim men, wrapped up and facing icy winds and freezing temperatures, stopping the traffic to guide cars out of side roads, to make sure the traffic flowed and pushing the more modern computerised cars up the hill.

    They were putting themselves in front of heavy vehicles that could have slid and crushed them – still they carried on.

    I knew my old car would make it – no computer to tell it not to.

    I chugged up the hill, but also saw your men pushing the less able and the whole event really opened both my eyes and my heart.

    It didn’t matter who was in these cars – black, white, any creed and any colour, all were assisted, without any prejudice.”

    “A bit of snow and community spirit has changed my outlook on many things. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

    I just wish we were all less irrational, and not bigoted in the first place, or so easily manipulated by propagandists with their own sinister agenda – as the NYPD has so clearly been.

  2. thetumta
    January 29, 2013, 9:29 pm

    And then they came for me. Do the details really matter?
    Hej! Tumta

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