JNN 24 Feb 2012 New York : The New York City police have spied on Muslim communities in nearby US sate of New Jersey’s biggest city, in an operation so secretive even the Newark mayor did not know about.
New documents released by the Associated Press show that the NYPD’s secretive Demographics Unit engaged in eavesdropping activities to gather information on mosques and Muslim-owned businesses in Newark in 2007.
“If anyone in my police department had known this was a blanket investigation of individuals based on nothing but their religion, that strikes at the core of our beliefs and my beliefs very personally, and it would have merited a far sterner response,” Newark Mayor Cory Booker said on Wednesday.
The 60-page report includes profiles of Muslim-owned businesses and their clientele, along with photos and maps of all of Newark’s mosques.
“These locations provide the maximum ability to assess the general opinions and general activity of these communities,” the NYPD Newark report said.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said that his police do not consider religion in their policing, but the document makes clear that Muslims were specifically targeted.
On Sunday, in similar documents obtained by the Associated Press it was revealed that The NYPD has been monitoring Muslim students at New York University and at least 14 other colleges all over the northeast US.
The revelation outraged faculty and student groups, however NYPD said its actions were justified in an effort to identify possible campus radicalization.
In recent months, the AP has revealed secret programs the NYPD, built with help from the CIA, to monitor entire Muslim neighborhoods, collecting information on the daily activities of Muslims such as eating and praying which are all behavior protected by the First Amendment of the US constitution.
It should be noted that the NYPD is not the only institution discriminating against Muslims, the FBI has its own ethnic mapping program that spies on Muslim communities, especially prayers and other community leaders.