The misrepresentation of the NYPD by the Islamists and their interfaith allies continues. In the latest round, the Shoulder-to-Shoulder Campaign is slamming the Department for privately designating a small percentage of mosques and Islamic organizations as “terrorism enterprises.”
Shoulder-to-Shoulder consists of about 30 religious organizations and was birthed in November 2010 in response to the Ground Zero Mosque controversy. The alliance says it was alarmed by how “prejudice against Muslims had reached an unprecedented intensity.”
It also aims to influence policy. It says its work includes “working closely with White House staff,” “working with Congress to explore ways to end anti-Muslim sentiment” and “implementing a comprehensive press strategy.”
One of the founders of Shoulder-to-Shoulder is the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity. ISNA exponentially increases the power of its activism by working through this interfaith coalition. ISNA is so proud of it that its success was at the top of the agenda when its officials met with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan.
ISNA chose Sayyid Syeed, a former Secretary-General, to lead its new interfaith office. In 2006, he was recorded saying, “Our job is to change the constitution of America.” ISNA’s pro-Sharia influence on Shoulder-to-Shoulder was plain for all to see in its latest newsletter.
There is a section that provides resources “that may be helpful to you as you engage in discussions around anti-Shari’ah or anti-foreign law legislation.” One of them is a June 2013 paper titled, “Secular is Not Always Better: A Closer Look at Some Women-Empowering Features of Islamic Law.”
The overall theme of the newsletter is that the NYPD is discriminating against Muslims in an outrageous fashion. It is titled, “Mosques are houses of worship. Not terrorist organizations.” It is inferred that the NYPD is equating all mosques with terrorist groups, a gross mischaracterization of the NYPD’s operations and integrity. The problem that the NYPD faces is that, inarguably, some mosques are used to preach extremism and foment terrorism.
The Clarion Project sets the record straight by explaining that “[o]ut of a minimum of 175 mosques, only 10 were subjected to a ‘terrorism enterprise investigation’ over 10 years.”
These investigations only commenced after the vetting of a credible lead. These were not randomly chosen mosques. The NYPD would do the same thing to a church or synagogue if there were sufficient evidence that it may be serving as a hotbed for terrorism.
The Shoulder-to-Shoulder newsletter links to an article by Rev. Richard L. Killmer, a Presbyterian minister and Executive Director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. He writes that the NYPD is making “wholesale associations” between Muslims and terrorism. He falsely states, “It seems that the NYPD undertook its surveillance without any stated evidence of wrongdoing.”
There are reasons that the NYPD gave extra attention to these mosques. Of course, the NYPD wouldn’t publicly state the evidence it has before a prosecution begins and jeopardize its investigation. That’s common sense. However, even the open-source information that is available about some of these mosques is enough to justify the investigations.
For example, one of the investigated mosques is the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge in Brooklyn. The NYPD was criticized for keeping a close eye on it and its “moderate” imam, Reda Shata. This is a cleric who praised Hamas, honored its spiritual leader after he was killed by Israel and referred to a female suicide bomber as a “martyr.” Those are statements he made publicly.
Shoulder-to-Shoulder forwards its readers to an article by Linda Sarsour, director of the Arab-American Association of New York. Her group was labeled a “terrorism enterprise” and placed under investigation. The provocative title of her article is, “Being Arab or Muslim is not probable cause for NYPD spying.”
The NYPD did not “spy” on anyone for merely being an Arab or a Muslim.
She writes, “Criminalizing an entire community is not effective policing and is a waste of taxpayer dollars.” She’s right. That’s part of the reason why the NYPD doesn’t do that. Nor did the NYPD do anything illegal, as is implied when she says terrorism can be fought against “while following the law of the land.”
A wide range of non-Muslim religious organizations are signing onto ISNA’s political agenda in the name of interfaith relations. Simultaneously, ISNA is holding huge conventions with a parade of Islamist speakers, misleading non-Muslims about Sharia Law and telling its base that “Muslim terrorism is not a threat after 9/11.” In its magazine, it makes even more exaggerated claims about the NYPD, such as that Muslims get investigated for reporting crimes.
The NYPD officers put themselves on the line to protect us—all of us, including Muslim-Americans. They expose themselves to disdain and danger daily. The least we can do is honor them by giving them a fair shake.
This article was sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Democracy.
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