NEW YORK, Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today "cautiously" welcomed a decision by the CIA to launch an internal investigation into whether that agency broke the law by helping the New York City Police Department (NYPD) engage in widespread religious and ethnic profiling and monitoring of Muslim communities.
"We cautiously welcome the CIA's decision to probe its apparent cooperation in the profiling of an entire religious community, and hope the agency's investigation will be undertaken honestly and transparently," said CAIR-NY Civil Rights Manager Cyrus McGoldrick. "Constitutional rights and protections need not be sacrificed to ensure our nation's safety and security, and our law enforcement agencies must protect all Americans by investigating crimes and not communities."
McGoldrick said he would have preferred a third-party independent investigation of the issue.
He said an ongoing investigation by the Associated Press revealed that undercover NYPD officers in a so-called "Demographics Unit" targeted Muslim communities and houses of worship in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut with the assistance of individuals linked to the CIA.
NYPD officials initially denied the Demographics Unit existed, despite the AP's publication of an NYPD presentation that described the mission and makeup of the unit.
McGoldrick said CAIR, along with a coalition of other religious and civil liberties groups, recently called on the New York City Council and Mayor Michael Bloomberg to enforce a law that prohibits the use of racial or ethnic profiling by law enforcement officers.
He said CAIR also called on the Senate Intelligence Committee, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Department of Justice to take action in response to the revelations.
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 Civil Rights Manager Cyrus McGoldrick, call/text: 203-206-6883, 212-870-2002, E-Mail: [email protected]; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: [email protected]; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: [email protected]
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations