CAIR: NYPD Kept Secret Files on Muslim-Owned Businesses

Mar 09, 2012, 13:13 ET from Council on American-Islamic Relations

Muslim civil rights group asks White House to address 'blatant' religious profiling

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today again called on the Obama administration to address new revelations that the New York Police Department (NYPD) kept secret files on businesses solely because they were owned by Muslims.

CAIR urged the president to speak out against the NYPD's blatant use of religious profiling.

According to the latest revelations by The Associated Press (AP):

"The New York Police Department kept secret files on businesses owned by second- and third-generation Americans specifically because they were Muslims, according to newly obtained documents that spell out in the clearest terms yet that police were monitoring people based on religion…

"Police photographed businesses and eavesdropped at lunch counters and inside grocery stores and pastry shops. The resulting document listed no threat. And though most people of Syrian heritage living in the area were Jewish, Jews were excluded from the monitoring…

"Similarly, police excluded the city's sizable Coptic Christian population when photographing, monitoring and eavesdropping on Egyptian businesses in 2007, according to the police files."

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"It is indisputable that the NYPD is engaged in a widespread campaign of religious profiling targeting the American Muslim community," wrote CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad in a letter to President Obama. "Only direct White House and Justice Department intervention will provide some measure of protection for the constitutional rights of American Muslims."

CAIR recently called on the Obama administration to investigate the reported use of White House funds for the NYPD's controversial campaign of spying on Muslims without warrants or evidence of wrongdoing.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Board President Zead Ramadan, 212-882-1520; CAIR-NY Civil Rights Manager Cyrus McGoldrick, 212-870-2002, or 203-206-6883, E-Mail: cmcgoldrick@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: arubin@cair.com

SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations



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