News Release

Lawsuit Filed Against NYPD Spying on Muslims


AP reports this afternoon: “The New York Police Department’s widespread spying programs directed at Muslims have undermined free worship by innocent people and should be declared unconstitutional, religious leaders and civil rights advocates said Tuesday after the filing of a federal lawsuit.”

“‘Our mosque should be an open, religious, a spiritual sanctuary, but NYPD spying has turned it into a place of suspicion and censorship,’ Hamid Hassan Raza, an imam named as a plaintiff, told a rally outside police headquarters shortly after the suit was filed in federal court in Manhattan.” See New York Civil Liberties Union news release: “Rights Groups File Lawsuit Challenging NYPD’s Muslim Surveillance Program as Unconstitutional.”

DEEPA KUMAR, dekumar at
Kumar is author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire. She said today: “When the Associated Press first broke the story about the extent of the NYPD spying program in 2011 and 2012, it was roundly denounced as religious and racial profiling, with some mayors and university presidents in the northeast even calling the practice ‘un-American.’ Yet, little has been done to dismantle this program. The lawsuit brought against the NYPD needs the support of ordinary Americans who have been horrified by the NSA’s mass surveillance and spying program. Muslim Americans have been living under a nightmarish reality since the events of 9/11. They have faced arrests, indefinite detention, torture, deportation and surveillance. No human being should be treated this way through the logic of ‘guilt by association.’ This spying program — as well as the wholesale demonization of Muslims — must stop.”

Kumar is also an associate professor of media studies and Middle Eastern studies at Rutgers University.