home
RSS
June 6th, 2012
12:47 PM ET

Muslims sue over New York police surveillance

By Kristina Sgueglia, CNN

(CNN) - New Jersey Muslims filed a lawsuit against the City of New York on Wednesday, accusing police of using unconstitutional tactics to spy on them in the years after September 11, casting an unwarranted shadow of suspicion on the community.

"The NYPD's program targeted innocent Americans solely based on their religious identity," said Farhana Khera, president and executive director of the legal advocacy group Muslim Advocates, which filed the suit on behalf of the eight plaintiffs.

"That's why we believe it is unlawful and needs to stop," Khera said.

Muslim Advocates says it wants an end to the department's "invasive and discriminatory" surveillance program, which it claims targeted at least 20 mosques, 14 restaurants, 11 retail stores, two grade schools and two Muslim student associations throughout New Jersey. The group also wants all related records from the covert program expunged, according to the complaint.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

According to NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne, police were in compliance with overarching counterterrorism efforts and standards.

"I refer you to the New Jersey Attorney General's report and to the fact that NYPD activities in New Jersey were lawful, appropriate, and in keeping with efforts there, in New York, and around the world to prevent terrorists from returning here to kill more New Yorkers," Browne said in e-mail.

In May, after a three-month review, New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa declared that New York police did not violate any laws when they carried out surveillance programs across state lines.

The details of the program emerged in August and included a 60-page report, obtained by The Associated Press, showing NYPD maps of Newark and photographs of Muslims' residences and mosques. There was no statement in the document regarding terrorism or criminal activity.

W. Deen Shareef of the Council of Imams in New Jersey, which is among the plaintiffs, said more people are uncomfortable with coming to the mosque to pray because they feel that they are being watched.

"People are concerned with going about their day-to-day life," Shareef said.

The owners of a Newark halal grocery store, also suing the city, say they lost a lot of regular customers since photographs of the market emerged in the report.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

"It has draped a blanket of suspicion over the Muslim-American community and over the people outside of the community that associate with its members," Shareef said.

Shareef, Khera and the other plaintiffs - including a decorated U.S. Army Reservist and a Rutgers College student - say they hope this lawsuit will help lift that blanket.

"What makes America great is that we don't treat each other differently based on on how someone looks or how someone prays," Khera said.

"The Constitution guarantees that every American can be treated equally under law, and we expect government officials to do the same."

Watch CNN Newsroom weekdays 9am to 3pm ET and weekends. For the latest from the CNN Newsroom click here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Muslim • TV-CNN Newsroom

soundoff (677 Responses)
  1. Maybe

    Maybe they should sue Bin Laden for defamation of religion....No, wait, Obama got Osama and he swimming with the fishes.....never mind..

    June 7, 2012 at 7:34 am |
  2. Mark

    I travelled to Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) a few years back, every where I go, I did not have basic fundemental rights (eating food in public or taking a snap using camera for example). Their airport, there cops do not target any foreigners, only locals are "suspects".

    June 7, 2012 at 7:25 am |
  3. larry5

    How about an out of court settlement, some one way airplane tickets.

    June 7, 2012 at 5:17 am |
    • Jim

      I agree

      June 7, 2012 at 6:00 am |
  4. TGM

    I suspected that the insular self-segreating incompatible group whose creed calls for jihad / masscre of infidels and suicide bombs (and whose members were responsible entirely and exclusively for the 911 terror attack on NYC) would find surveillance something to ;blow up' over

    June 7, 2012 at 5:15 am |
  5. why?

    Ano-t-her ex-am-ple of the Isr-a-eli at-ti-tude tow-ards the-ir big-gest sch-m-uck sup-por-ter, the U.-S. Gove-rn-ment, is seen in the Isr-a-eli at-tack on the un-ar-med U.-S.-S. Li-b-erty. Dur-ing the 1967 Si-x Da-ys W-ar the Ame-r-ican ship U.-S.-S. Li-b-erty was rep-ea-tedly att-a-cked by Isr-a-eli jet fi-gh-ters and tor-p-edo boats. This un-ar-med Ame-r-ican sh-ip lo-st 32 U.-S. Sai-l-ors and 2 U.-S. Mar-in-es when the Isr-ae-lis re-pe-at-edly at-ta-cked it. Su-rv-ivo-rs of this act of anti-Ame-r-ican agg-res-sion by Isr-a-el said the Isr-a-elis were get-ting re-ady to bring on bo-ard from he-li-cop-ters Isr-a-eli tro-ops arm-ed with au-to-ma-tic wea-p-ons to ki-ll the rem-ai-ni-ng sur-vi-vors. The only rea-son they didn't land the Isr-a-eli ter-ro-ri-st tro-ops was because the Li-be-rty was able to get of-f a mes-s-age for help to a U.-S. ai-rc-ra-ft ca-r-ri-er. The Isr-ae-lis fear-ed their vic-ti-ms would soon be ab-le to act-ua-lly fi-ght back so they re-tre-at-ed. What sou-lle-ss co-w-ar-ds!

    June 7, 2012 at 3:45 am |
  6. why?

    Why?

    June 7, 2012 at 3:37 am |
  7. A Athiest

    So terrorist can sue for being watched now ?

    June 7, 2012 at 3:08 am |
    • AusieSceptic1

      so all muslims are terrorists?

      June 7, 2012 at 3:25 am |
    • really

      YES

      June 7, 2012 at 7:49 am |
  8. why?

    Ostrovsky was an active Mossad (Israeli Secret Police) officer during the 1980's. In his revealing book he tells how the deaths of 241 United States Marines in Beirut could have been avoided if the Mossad had shared information with the U.S. They chose not to warn the Americans of a probable attack on the Marines for fear it would jeopardize one Israeli contact! This self interest lead to the deaths of 241 American Marines. With this lowly act by our "ally" Israel, the U.S. Government should have cut off all U.S. aid to this warmongering state. But U.S. politicians put a higher value on Jewish money and media for their political campaigns then they do on the lives of American service men and women!

    June 7, 2012 at 2:48 am |
    • Burning Whizzer

      Please shut the hell up.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:06 am |
    • why?

      NO!

      June 7, 2012 at 3:16 am |
    • Burning Whizzer

      The nice thing about someone like you that spams the comments is that it provides us with the ability to report your spam to CNN more frequently, which result in the deletion of all of your comments. That means you've ultimately wasted all of your time posting garbage that no one reads in the first place. Praise the bloody old lord Sky Hostess.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:25 am |
    • why?

      Burning Whizzer,
      . This is not spam, but informative information!
      unlike you, that makes nothing but snide remarks.
      No-one cares that you went to taco bell, that belongs on your lonely facebook page.

      Report all you want they will find your claim as unfounded, as the information I post, is relevant!! NOT SPAM!

      June 7, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  9. why?

    WHAT HAS ISRAEL DONE FOR THE UNITED STATES?

    You would think that for all the United States does for Israel we would get something in return. However, this is not the case.

    One good example of Israel's low opinion of the U.S. can be found in the book BY WAY OF DECEPTION – THE MAKING AND UNMAKING OF A MOSSAD OFFICER by Victor Ostrovsky.

    June 7, 2012 at 2:47 am |
  10. why?

    Another threatening quote from the Jewish Bible is Isaiah 60:12 – "For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted." If this isn't a threat I don't know what is! According to this Bible quote, any country that refuses to "serve" Israel is doomed! What utter nonsense!

    June 7, 2012 at 2:45 am |
  11. why?

    To back up America's blind support of Israel Christian leaders/charlatans in the U.S. often quote the Bible passage of Genesis 12:3 which reads, "I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." This primitive propaganda may have worked in the super-st-itious dark days 3,000 years ago when it was written, but it should be laughed at today! The tribes fighting the Jewish tribes back then were all super-st-itious and this type of propaganda worked well in psychological warfare. It served the Jews well, and unfortunately, it still is.

    June 7, 2012 at 2:39 am |
  12. why?

    HOW COULD THE U.-S. PUT IS-RAEL ABOVE AM-ERICA?

    It bog-gles the mind to think that an advanced na-tion like the U.S. would ever put the in-terests of another na-tion above its own. Per-haps the answer lies par-tially in super-st-ition. Part-icularly in the super-st-ition found in the Bible.

    In De-utero-nomy 7: 6 the Jew-ish Bible god has this to say to the Je-ws: "For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God ha-th chosen thee to be a spe-cial people unto him-self, above all people that are upon the face of the earth." The ac-c-eptance of this Jew-ish pro-pa-ganda and super-st-ition has crip-pled any ra-tional cri-tic-ism of Je-ws in general and Is-rael in par-ti-cular. The Bible att-empts to program us to think of the Je-ws as "above all people that are upon the face of the earth." I, for one, re-fuse to ac-c-ept this Jew-ish lie!

    June 7, 2012 at 2:36 am |
  13. WWJD


    ATHEISTS UNWITTINGLY OBEY AND WORSHIP SATAN WITHOUT EVEN REALIZING IT

    Few 100% true Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things:

    † Atheism is a religion that makes you stupid, ignorant & blind.
    † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here on CNN blogs are posted by closet Atheists)
    † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Atheists causes problem in our religious society.
    † Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
    † Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
    † Atheism making you agree with Stalin, Hitler (Denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders.
    † No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime.
    † Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
    † Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
    † Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
    † Most Atheists are uneducated... No Atheists could run for presidency.
    † Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
    † Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
    † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
    † The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
    † Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = Atheism!
    **Only 2-3% of the U.S. are Atheists/Agnostics VS. over 90% who believe in God (80% Christians) in the U.S.**

    † † Our Prayers goes to Atheists to be mentally healthy and seek their creator † †

    ATHEISTS WILL BURN IN HELLFIRE AND BRIMSTONE WHERE THEY BELONG WHEN JESUS RAPTURES ALL CHRISTIANS AND THEN ARRIVES ON HIS WHITE HORSE AND SLAUGHTERS ALL ATHEISTS AND THEIR CHILDREN IN ARMAGEDDON WITHOUT ATHEISTS THERE WILL BE FINALLY PEACE FOR ALL MANKIND

    ATHEIST ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR PLANETS DRUG PROBLEMS AND CHILD SLAVE LABOR AND DESERVE TO HAVE THEIR SKIN BOILED OFF IN HELL FOR ALL OF ETERNITY

    June 7, 2012 at 2:32 am |
    • why?

      You're an idiot!!!

      Atheist are nothing of the kind!

      Im not atheist.

      But you're not Christian, and posting shameful post like this!!

      June 7, 2012 at 2:41 am |
    • A Athiest

      What total rubbish.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:05 am |
    • AusieSceptic1

      Keep it up WWJD.
      posts like yours are always worth a laugh

      June 7, 2012 at 3:28 am |
    • why?

      There are two different “10 Commandments” in the bible

      The First Tablets (Exodus 20)

      The Second Tablets (Exodus 34)

      1. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.

      1. [Y]ou shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

      2. You shall not make for yourself
      a graven image. [Y]ou shall not bow down to them or serve them.

      2. You shall make for yourself no molten gods.

      3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

      3. The feast of unleavened bread you shall keep.

      4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

      4. All that opens the womb is mine.
      [Sacrifice firstborn male animals to Yahweh.]

      5. Honor your father and your mother.

      5. Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest..

      6. You shall not kill.

      6. [Y]ou shall observe the feast of weeks, the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering.

      7. You shall not commit adultery.

      7. You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven.

      8. You shall not steal.

      8. [N]either shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left until the morning.

      9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

      9. The first of the first fruits of your ground you shall bring to the house of the LORD your God.

      10. You shall not covet.

      10. You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.

      ISNT IT ODD, THAT IN 2 VERY DIFFERENT “10 COMMANDMENT” THERE IS NOT 1 COMMANDMENT, NOT 1, THAT SAY YOU SHALL NOT MOLEST CHILDREN!!

      NO COMMANDMENT TO PROTECT CHILDREN, YET THERE ARE COMMANDMENTS THAT PROTECT MEN, AND THEIR “PROPERTY”!!!

      WHAT DO YOU THINK WOULD BE MORE IMPORTANT TO GOD?
      MATERIALS? OR THE LIFE AND WELL BEING OF OUR CHILDREN???

      THIS IS CLEAR INDICATION THAT THE BIBLE AND THE 10 COMMANDMENTS WERE WRITTEN BY MEN, AND FOR MEN!!!

      MAN GAVE YOU RELIGION, GOD GAVE YOU REASON!!
      USE IT!!!

      PROTECT OUR CHILDREN FROM THE IMPOSTERS POSING AS MEN OF GOD!!!

      June 7, 2012 at 4:01 am |
    • dee

      and you will stand before God and have to answer to him for all your sin and judgements be the first to cast the stone if one has no sin and from what you write your full of sin I see hate and judgement all up in those words of yours that is not how God is you need to reread the Bible !

      June 7, 2012 at 5:43 am |
    • lol

      You climb into bed with the same types of people that killed your Jesus......Then hit the voting booths to cram your brainwashing down our throats....American Taliban Go away.......Hypocrites one and all.

      June 7, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • bobby

      kill yourself today

      June 7, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  14. Erin

    As an American women Now living in Egypt (an islamic country) I find it saddening that my fellow Americans would stoop so low as to assume that you are the superior country and that white is the superior race.. I am married to a wonderful educated Muslim man. and to those who say that all muslim's are pigs have obviously never met one in your life. Being born and raised in America for 32 years I can say that they treat there women and families and everyone else in there life fantastic. I have never seen such love and happiness come from people. I am ashamed at all of you bashing people who did nothing wrong to you. Sure the 9/11 attacks were horrible and sure the extreme muslims had a hand in it but so did BUSH never forget that. so next time you want to bash someone for there race or relgion remember that you are no better than the person standing next to you and the next time you put all the blame on muslims for the attacks of 9/11 look to the one you voted into office Dear Mr. Bush

    June 7, 2012 at 2:24 am |
    • Rock

      I see that just like most of the women associated with Islam, that you are brainwashed!

      June 7, 2012 at 2:41 am |
    • why?

      You can't claim that all Americans, or that all white people think one way. And then accuse them of being racist!!

      You are officially the pot, calling the kettle black!!

      June 7, 2012 at 2:43 am |
    • Burning Whizzer

      Sure Erin. Perhaps you've never heard of a guy named "Bill Clinton." Care to do a little research on the subject? My guess is you've watched "Loose Change" on youtube a few dozen too many times.

      June 7, 2012 at 3:06 am |
  15. why?

    The terror that grips the United States today is the direct result of this preferential treatment the U.S. Government gives to Israel as well as supporting Middle East dictators who promise to cooperate with Israel in exchange for millions and billions of U.S. tax payer dollars. If we did not give tanks, attack helicopters, machine guns, ammunition, fighter jets, and bombs to Israel to make it easier for them to slaughter their Palestinian neighbors, if we did not support brutal dictators to be cooperative with Israel, and if we did not smash Israel's biggest military rival in the region, Iraq, the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 never would have happened. The U.S. needs to put America's interests before the interests of Israel.

    June 7, 2012 at 2:12 am |
  16. why?

    United States tax payers give the Jewish state of Israel about 3.5 to 5 BILLION dollars every year! This to a country with only 5.8 million people! It averages out to about $862.00 US dollars to every Israeli citizen! And Americans thought it was great to get $300.00 to $600.00 back in a tax stimulus payment which is actually their own money!!!

    June 7, 2012 at 2:10 am |
  17. why?

    We must stop the terrorism. The disease of terrorism, like all diseases, has a CAUSE AND A CURE! It is the cause that must be eliminated if terrorism is to be stopped. The primary cause of the terrorism that is hitting the United States is the unnatural preference the U.S. Government gives to Israel. The U.S. Government puts Israel's interests even above America's own interests. (Two great books on this important topic are Imperial Hubris by the former CIA leader of the bin Laden unit, and The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy by John Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt.)

    June 7, 2012 at 2:09 am |
  18. Who are they kidding?

    Wow.They are Muslims so they should believe in the Quran. If they believe in the Quran then they should also believe in Sharia Law. Under Sharia law, those women in the picture on the cover story would have been beaten, mutilated, or stoned to death for stepping up and opening their mouth. If they don't like being "watched", they can go to an Islamic-dominated country where life is better for them...right? I wouldn't care if I were watched 24 hours a day, I have nothing to hide.

    June 7, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • WOW

      Good point.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  19. Burning Whizzer

    I stopped at Taco Bell and got three cheesy gordita crunches and a chicken grilled stuffed burrito, and I'm telling you, this stuff is everything I thought it could be. Fantastic. I don't use any taco or hot sauce. I put salt on it. I haven't had Taco Bell in at least 5 days. This is perhaps the best decision I've made in the past hour.

    June 7, 2012 at 1:54 am |
  20. why?

    Religion? Ok believe In whatever religion you want.
    But when you use a book, written by "MEN", and claim it to be the word of GOD; then use it as a tool to rally for the killing or harming of others. Then it's not really a religion anymore. But rather a cult with an agenda!!!
    and for this, its not ok to simply say, its my religion, and I have a right to hate!!!
    HATE IS A CRIME IN THIS COUNTRY!!
    AND NO MATTER WHAT RELIGION YOU ARE, IF IT TEACHES HATE, IT TOO SHOULD BE ILLEGAL, AND PUNISHABLE!!

    June 7, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • John

      If a group of people misunderstood the religion, and spread hate and violence, this does not mean that the religion is wrong!!

      June 7, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • Burning Whizzer

      Drink enough of your own pee, and your skin will start turning yellow. It's science.

      June 7, 2012 at 1:51 am |
    • why?

      They all believe it's the word of GOD! but it's not, its the word of "MEN"!

      THAT MAKES THEM ALL WRONG!!!

      June 7, 2012 at 1:57 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.