While several members of the NYPD attended the opening of the Queens Muslim American Society's new community center Friday night, the group's leader spoke out against Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and called for his resignation amid the controversy surrounding his role in an incendiary film about radical Islamists. NY1’s Ruschell Boone filed the following report.
Pictures showing Police Commissioner Ray Kelly with Muslim leaders are proudly displayed at the Queens Muslim American Society Community Center.
However, its president, Ahmed Jamil, is calling for the commissioner's resignation because of his participation in the controversial film “The Third Jihad,” a documentary about radical Muslims.
“Not every Muslim has violence. Absolutely this is nonsense. Nonsense. Not acceptable,” said Jamil.
Kelly was interviewed for the film in 2007.
When complaints were raised about its content, Kelly's spokesperson initially said producers used old news clips of the commissioner. That turned out not to be true.
Kelly himself called the film inflammatory and apologized this week.
“Apology is not enough,” said Jamil.
Still, several NYPD officers attended the center's grand opening event Friday.
It offers a place for recreation and programs like job placement.
The NYPD routinely reaches out to Muslims at events like this and through the department's cricket and soccer league, among others.
“My son was in soccer league and play and he still has the uniform for NYPD soccer,” said Jamil, though he added that he would “absolutely not” support Kelly on this issue.
But some residents NY1 spoke with were willing to give the commissioner the benefit of the doubt.
“He should apologize,” said one man. “I cannot talk about people. I didn't decide yet.”
Kelly continues to have Mayor Michael Bloomberg's backing and says he has no plans to step down.