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Regarding “Spying ends”
Good riddance. Your editorial hails the end of the targeted spying of American Muslim citizens by the New York City Police Department.
What is needed is more than the cosmetic dismantling of the illegal spying infrastructure. We should demand an unequivocal apology from Mayor Bill de Blasio to the Muslim community.
This apology must state that the very premise of the collective and indiscriminate spying program was both morally and practically wrong and not worth the millions of dollars spent on maintaining it. Let’s be reminded that in court testimony, the NYPD admitted that the entire espionage program, which spanned more than six years, did not produce a single terrorism-related case.
Furthermore, the espionage has created a wall between law enforcement and the Muslim community, the great majority of whom are law abiding and abhor criminal and terrorist activity. The Muslim community and all its allies should not rejoice at the demise of the Demographic Unit, which is nothing more than a cheap public relations tactic. These efforts are meager and totally disconnected from the deeply felt moral indignation our community feels.
The Muslim community, consisting of proud and productive citizens of this great land, are not against normal and legal police work to ensure our lives and property are safe. But such a responsibility is not without constitutionally mandated limits.
Denville, April 17
The writer is a member of the American-Arab forum, a Paterson-based think tank specializing in Arab and Muslim-American affairs.