The author of this short piece spoke yesterday at the press conference for Occupy Wall Street at New York City Hall. Afterwards asked him if he could comment on the recent publishing of revelations from a several-month-long AP investigation which revealed a deeply-entrenched profiling-surveillance co-op between the NYPD and CIA. He asked for my email address and promised to send something. Here it is:
Attached is my article on COINTELPRO revisited. Please publish.
Imam A. Abdul-Baqi
Patriot Act = COINTELPRO Revisited
by Imam A. Abdul-Baqi
Imam Abdul-Baqi addressing media at City Hall
In a series of articles, published recently in the Associated Press, the Daily Challenge and the New York Times, it was revealed that the New York Police Department (NYPD), along with the CIA, were involved in domestic spying on innocent Muslims and their houses of worship. Why?
The CIA spokeswoman, Marie Harf stated, “It should not be surprising to anyone that, after 9/11, the Central Intelligence Agency stepped up its cooperation with law enforcement on counterterrorism issues or that some of that increased cooperation was in New York.” Although NYPD investigation into criminal activities is well known, going outside their jurisdiction (New Jersey) is a violation of their mandate. NYPD should be involved in policing the streets of New York City, in order to make New Yorkers feel safe.
Crime rates are going up. The War on Drugs is a failure and the crooks on Wall Street are milking the system of millions of dollars with their corporate greed, all this while the poor are getting poorer. Currently, there are 3 million people in poverty in New York. Why are no arrests being made curtailing these crimes? Instead, the NYPD were caught going beyond state lines to spy on Muslims who were not involved in any criminal act. Over 200 mosques were spied on. This is a tremendous waste of time and tax-dollars, which could have been used to fight legitimate crime.
Since 9/11, with the Patriot Act, we have seen an increased infringement upon Americans civil liberties. Religious profiling is the result of institutionalize racism; it is COINTELPRO all over again. Previously, it was the Native-Americans then the Blacks then the so-called radicals or the freedom fighter, and those opposed to U.S. foreign policy, today it is the Muslim community who are targeted.
On 9/11/2001, an enormous crime was committed, and all criminals should be punished, but to blame 1.5 Billion Muslims for the actions of a few extremists is wrong, unacceptable, and discriminatory.
The two primary groups involved in Muslim-bashing are Stop Islamization of America, headed by Pam Geller, and Jihad Watch, headed by the Pro-Israel Zionists, Robert Spencer and his patron David Horowitz. These groups have conspired to mislead the America public and pollute their minds with lies, misconceptions and distortions about the Muslim faith. They are in a campaign of hate. They have influenced public opinion to the degree that our law enforcement agencies are poisoned with the venom of Islamophobia, which is fear and hatred of Muslims and Islam. Racism is a disease and institutionalized racism must be rejected.
Unless we have become a police state, the NYPD should be involved in fighting crime in New York City, while the FBI deals with interstate crime, and the CIA is supposed to gather international intelligence on all foreign threats to America. The racist Ander Brevik, a right-wing Norwegian who was responsible for the mass murder of 76 people in Norway. He quotes extensively from the writing of both Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer in his manifesto of hate, but there weren’t any investigations into the activities of Stop Islamization of America and Jihad Watch. Hate groups are on the rise in America.
They need to be monitored, for they are fanning the flames of hate, which leads to violence.
The NYPD needs to review its bias policy of religious profiling, along with its "stop and frisk" policy (which targets inner city youths). They should do their job and continue fighting real crime in New York City, not spying or harassing innocent citizens who are not involved in any criminal activity. Everyone is engaged in a day to day struggle to survive and make a decent living, and the Muslim community is no different from any one else.
Thanks to the Imam for sharing this. In parting, I'll add that irrespective of any theological or political debate concerning the content of Islam as regards violence or human rights, WE DO NOT LEGISLATE SYSTEMS OF THOUGHT. Behavior - it is what people DO that matters.