Muslim Civil Group Blasts NYPD `Terrorism’ Report
NEW YORK (RNS) A New York City Police Department report that characterizes young Muslim men as susceptible to Islamic extremism and “jihadization” is biased and unfair, a Muslim civil rights group said Thursday (Nov. 20).
The Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition, created last year in response to a NYPD analysis of terrorism plots, said it has already met with Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly several times to protest the 90-page report, “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat.”
Although the NYPD report states “there is no useful profile” of a potential terrorist, it notes that most of the plotters of 11 global cases over the past six years — including the 9/11 attacks — were Muslim men under the age of 35.
“While the report is not intended to profile Muslims or Islam, the report does exactly that,” said Naoma Nagahawatte, New York City office director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, during the Thursday protest on the steps of City Hall.
European Muslim plotters, who face different socioeconomic barriers and are considered more vulnerable to extremist beliefs, should not be lumped together with Americans, the coalition members agree.
Kelly could not be reached for comment. When the study was released last year, he said it aimed to help law enforcement officials stay ahead of terror plots, by identifying risk factors and symptoms of radicalization.
In calling for a complete revision of the report, which has also been referenced by other police departments and the Senate Homeland Security Committee, the coalition advises law enforcement agencies to increase partnerships with Muslim groups and develop programs to educate police officers and Muslims about each other.
“Through a more cooperative strategy,” the report said, “we can be safe while free.”
The Muslims’ critique is endorsed by civil liberties advocates, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and the Sikh Coalition, whose members also experienced anti-Muslim discrimination and hate crimes in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks because of their traditional turbans and beards.
By Nicole Neroulias