NYPD: Spying on Muslims leads to ... nothing

STEPHON JOHNSON Amsterdam News Staff | 4/16/2013, 4:34 p.m.
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Galati said that if the language or dialect detected is from South Lebanon, that may indicate that the person could be "a sympathizer to Hezbollah because Southern Lebanon is dominated by Hezbollah." However, to Islamic Center of North America (ICNA) President Dr. Zahid Bukhari, the surveillance is just another form of discrimination against Muslims.

In a statement, Bukhari said, "The NYPD's unacceptable surveillance of Muslims violates our civil liberties and promotes Islamophobia. This deplorable behavior needs to be addressed by the Justice Department, as it violates the religious freedom of all Americans."

According to Bukhari, the ICNA is undergoing a multimillion-dollar grassroots

anti-Islamophobia campaign called "Defending Religious Freedom, Understanding Shariah." The campaign includes a 36-city education tour to "introduce the Islamic faith to the American public through localized events and charity initiatives." Browne, on the other hand, is sticking to his guns.

"Again, the demographics work involved completing surveys," said Browne. "When they were done, they were done. In the case of New Jersey, they were completed at the end of 2007. [The] AP is trying to make it look like cause and effect that we're not now in Jersey due to recent complaints. False again. Note the surveys leaked to the AP all pre-dated 2007. As for terrorist investigations, we'll continue to go to New Jersey and other states in the furtherance of terrorist investigations. That hasn't changed at all."