Wednesday, 16 April 2014

NYPD Drops Controversial Muslim Surveillance Unit

BBC has published an article regarding NYPD's secret programme of having a sole unit to counter 'possible terrorism threats by Muslims' by the means of eavesdropping and spying.  

This shocking revelation was made to light after the Department decided to disband such unit following 2 federal lawsuits and complains from civil rights group. The squad's method of operation was in the form of dispatching plainclothes detectives to eavesdrop on conversations and detect places frequented by Muslims.

The unit - in operation since 2003 and later renamed the Zone Assessment Unit - logged where Muslims worked, shopped, ate and prayed. It is also said to have sowed Muslim mistrust for law enforcement.

"The Demographics Unit created psychological warfare in our community," Linda Sarsour of the Arab American Association of New York told the New York Times newspaper.

"Those documents, they showed where we live," she added. "They were able to see their entire lives on those maps. And it completely messed with the psyche of the community."

The head of the New York Civil Liberties Union, Donna Lieberman, told the Associated Press the surveillance had harmed community relations.

"We hope this means an end to the dragnet approach to policing... and a commitment to going after criminal suspicion, rather than innocent New Yorkers,'' she told AP.

Such a squad shows how paranoid and unjust these US authorities are towards Muslims who ironically happen to hold similar citizenship! Ever since 9/11, the wrong perception of Muslims as terrorists just got from bad to worse. Any bombing or massacre or mass killings will subject the Muslims as suspects first, long before the suspects are nabbed!

It is a little peculiar to see the country where the terms "freedom of expression" and "championing human rights" were first coined has the audacity to practise racism and oppression of innocent Muslims. Islam is and always has been a religion of peace, just and true. Islam does not condone the act of hurting others what more terrorism.

When the authorities whose job is to protect the lives of the people against discrimination are the ones carrying out the discrimination, what kind of future do you think the country holds? All of a sudden, the American dream where hope and aspiration are made real is now seen so close to impossibility and far-fetched!


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