Wait a minute. We’re constantly told that the vast majority of Muslims abhor jihad terrorism, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is a greasy Islamophobe. We’re constantly told that Muslims are loyal, law-abiding citizens. So why shouldn’t they be eager to cooperate with counterterror efforts?
That’s the title of a startling new report out of CUNY Law School. It calls for imams and other Muslim community leaders to “announce to your congregations or membership that informants will not be tolerated in your communities.”
The report is co-authored by the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition, CUNY”s Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility Project, and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. They argue that the NYPD”s secret surveillance of Muslim mosques and neighborhoods in the New York area has “marginalized and criminalized a broad segment of American Muslims.”
Let’s take a deep breath here. As NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly noted, his cops adhere to guidelines signed by a federal judge in 1985 and amended in 2002. Last year, an investigation by the New Jersey attorney general backed up the commissioner when it found there were “no violations of law.”
The cops are looking at these communities for one reason: They are a logical place for terrorists to hide themselves. Both the 1993 bombing of and the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center were planned and enacted by Muslims living in New Jersey. So long as New York remains a terror target, there will be active plots against the city.
We saw that in December, when two Pakistani brothers were arrested for targeting New York City landmarks to avenge comrades killed in US drone attacks. The FBI didn’t know the two had come to New York from Florida “” they were located by NYPD surveillance. And the lead cop in the investigation that resulted in the arrest of Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law was an NYPD detective.
The activists hope to portray the NYPD”s work as broad-based and biased. But knowing which mosques house transients, or what Internet cafes they might seek out, or where they might find jobs yields information that can later prove critical.
To pretend otherwise is to deny reality. And to demand that New Yorkers refuse to cooperate with police in preventing another 9/11 is just plain irresponsible.
Two years ago, a local imam described the vast majority of the Muslim population in our area are “unapologetically Muslim and uncompromisingly American.” We agree. So why not help authorities keep the guilty few away from the law-abiding many by cooperating with police?