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The Call Blog: NYPD Monitoring Muslim Student Groups

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The Mayor says the NYPD’s monitoring of Muslim college groups and students is to make us safer. But the premise this investigation is then taking is that every Muslim college student could be undertaking in or is prone to terrorist activity. Such an assertion is a blatant generalization. Now it’d be one thing if police had intelligence that certain Muslim groups or students were doing so, but without that, it is racial profiling of an entire group of people, and a gross violation of their civil rights.

Some Muslim student groups and university officials are calling for an investigation, after an Associated Press report revealed the NYPD monitored Muslim college students across the Northeast. The AP released a report this weekend, saying police talked with local authorities about professors 300 miles away in Buffalo, and sent an undercover agent on a student whitewater rafting trip in upstate New York. Detectives also visited websites, blogs, and forums of Muslim student associations at more than a dozen universities, including Yale, Columbia, NYU and a number of SUNY campuses.

An NYPD spokesman said police only checked websites between 2006 and 2007, and “investigated persons who we had reasonable suspicion to believe might be involved in unlawful activities.” The spokesman said police wanted to get a better handle on what was occurring at student associations, saying 12 people arrested or convicted on terrorism charges had once been members of Muslim student associations.

The president of Yale released a statement denouncing the NYPD’s surveillance as “antithetical to the values of Yale, the academic community, and the United States.” Muslim groups are calling it a violation of civil rights, and saying the NYPD is criminalizing a whole community based on its religion. But Mayor Bloomberg defended the police department today, saying: “The job of our law enforcement is to make sure that they prevent things. And you only do that by being proactive.” What do you say?

Do you agree with the police department’s monitoring of Muslim student associations? Should the NYPD be surveying students outside New York? Is this a violation of civil rights or a reasonable way to keep the country safe?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

The US Government and Security should do whatever it needs to do to insure the safety of the American people even if it means surveillance of student due to prior students who have had contact with persons of interest. If the students being watched are completely innocent they should not be concerned. I say the NYPD is completely justified in being proactive.


What they're doing is racist, plain and simple. Did we expect every German to be a Nazi after WW2??
In some ways this reminds me of the paranoia during the Cold War, when anyone with leftist leanings was suspect, and perhaps a Communist. Haven't we learned anything? What is becoming of the U,S,? We have no right to treat people this way.

Jackson Heights

If they are not guilty of anything then why the resistance to the NYPD’s approach?
As we all know there have been plenty of things reveled on the internet as of late.
Also for the president of Yale or any university for that matter to object to this
procedure. The presidents of all of these schools should keep an eye out on their
own students. It seems as though with all of the incidents that have happened in
these colleges lately they should not be complaining about their rights being
infringed upon.
Also when one shows an ID drivers license and is still asked to take a picture to
open an account in a bank. Is that a correct thing to do? But never the less if that
is the rule then we all have to abide by the rules.
This is a different world we live in and precautions have be taken and as I have
already mentioned, if you have done nothing wrong then just go along with it.
I have been fingerprinted and so what was I to do say no and put up a fuss. I
could tell you that when going for a job if that is part of the resume then we have
to abide by their rules or look somewhere else for employment.


What else was the NYPD supposed to do ?
Who is going to protect us ?
Who else bombs planes ?
It would be insanity if the US didn't do anything -
so what the investigators are saying its okay for us to
get killed and not say anything about it.

East Village

Nypd should be monitoring all groups- and that is what bloomberg should have sad.

This is racial profiling

Kips Bay

Asking the bleeding obvious, who besides Muslims attempted to blow up the WTC in 1993, who but Muslims flew two planes into the twin towers, the Pentagon and another unknown site?

All Muslims are not terrorists. But all terrorists have been Muslim.

Port Richmond

Honor killings are on the rise in the USA and there are entities who are working to introduce Shariah law mainstream. Furthermore, it is a known fact that funds for Islamic extremists are funneled through mosques and various Islamic groups and while many Muslims claim that that they are not all jihadists, they have yet to take a stand publicly against Islamic extremists.

That being said, let NYPD do its job.


The NY Police should be dedicated exclusively to protecting NY from crime Let the Federal Agencies do their job without 'cooperation' (= interference) by local Agencies. We in N Y need the Police for ourselves.


The question is not whether it's right or wrong to monitor any group. The question is what is the specific lead that the NYPD had to monitor these students in particular. If there was a legitimate reason for monitoring these students, then it is just and the NYPD was doing their part in protecting our city. However, if the reason was because "muslim students" have been known to have terrorist links, then it is an atrocious breach of our civil liberties and Mayor Bloomberg should be appalled. He should also have more respect and refrain from making condescending remarks (his use of "cute") when speaking about civil liberties. He must lead by example and respect all questions, comments and concerns the people he governs have especially when his actions are teetering on the infringement of our constitutional rights.

Gramercy Park

Why stop there? EVERY religious should be watched! Let's face it, they ALL have more than their fair share of wackos. Want to REALLY stop them all? TAX them!

Hell's Kitchen

Sure we should keep Muslim men, especially college students, under surveillance. If such steps had been taken 10 years ago the clean-cut flying students who carried out the 9/11 atrocities might not have got away with it. We have to be vigilant since we have dearly paid the price of not being vigilant.

East Village

I am a conservative and I am EMBARRASSED at how ill-informed and ignorant Summer sounds!!!! The issue is just profiling that if done, should be handled at the federal level!

The Muslims need their own Al Sharpton! And it sure is the liberals as the first caller claimed.

Richmond Hill NY

If the surveillance is done on Muslim student associations and even one (1) terrorist plot or one (1) rogue student is found then it's worth it.

The problem for the NYPD is the question of whether or not they are violating any laws.

Profiling is a necessary tool to stop criminals. PERIOD.

Everyone should applaud the NYPD's efforts, they stopped potential attacks.

We need to remember the 911 hijackers were MUSLIM.


I live in Battery park City. 19 years. I was on West Street when the first plane hit. Unless you were there, you have no concept of how important it is to prevent a repeat. People who are law-abiding have no fear from the NYPD.

Battery Park City



The NYPD may have a very good reason to be doing this. They do not have to tell us why.
These spoiled college brats were only 8 years old when our nation was shook to its core.
Thank you NYPD for doing what is right to protect my country.

Forest Hills

Monitoring is 100x better than stop and frisk.

You'll never see someone arguing against stop and frisk by saying that the stop and frisk policy will create terrorists or criminals. What does that say about the people being monitored?

The blacks have been living in the United States for hundreds of years struggling under the racial radar with their civil rights stripped away but yet everyone makes a big deal about the civil rights of Muslims after they took down the towers?

I think the NYPD should leave the Muslim alone and be preoccupied by the crimes that go around every single day.

New York Police should not surveil anyone who is not under suspicion of a crime,or suspected of actively conspiring to comit a crime-based on evidence.;this is a violation of innocent citizen's constitutional rights.If someone is suspected of conspiracy outside of New York City,it is the authority of the FBI, not the NYPD, to investigate this.New York City's Police Department has absolutely no excuse to spy on any innocent citizen outside their jurisdiction, which is New York City,not the world.September 11th's mass murders are not a handy excuse for "pro-active" extensions of police power or executive power beyond that lawfully given those branches of any US government,local or national.

Where does the NYPD get jurisdiction to investigate the whole country on behalf of NYC? At the cost of any group's personal freedoms being violated. This is modern day McCarthyism. And, who the hell is footing the bill for this unwanted service. In addition, Commissioner Kelly was just recently on the carpet for illegal and inappropriate conduct at a NYPD training facility. And, why is the mayor constantly white washing NYPD inept and illegal procedures. They just shot an unarmed kid for a misdemeanor crime. You can't judge a book by it's cover and the illusion of security is only an illusion (ie. armed officers in the streets and subways). Darrell from Harlem, NY.

First of all, profiling is a way of life, everyone on the planet does it based on their prior experiences, even animals do it, so there’s absolutely nothing wrong with profiling, it’s simply going with the house odds.

Second, since 9/11, I haven’t heard of any Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, or any other religious extremist terrorists except Muslims, so why not keep a close eye on them; you profile the most likely group.

Third, unless I missed it, I haven’t heard of one single case where a Muslim turned in a possible Muslim terrorist. Every Muslim caught in the last 10 years trying to blow something up, has been caught by other means, including profiling. So as the old saying goes, “if you're not against it, you’re for it,” and until I start hearing of Muslims turning in possible terrorists and/or suspicious activities in their neighborhoods, it certainly appears as though they're for it; it’s time they stop flapping their gums on how American they’ve become, and prove it with some patriotic action in helping to capture those that preach hatred among them.

New Dorp




Define terrorists ......its the beginning of our loss of civil rights. There are giving police the right to do this not only to Muslims but to all & any accused terrorist. Its only beginning with Muslims but its not going to end there people in fear are losing site of the truth. Society needs to wake up and realize that imperfect human beings that hold a title in government cannot protect us they can only take our rights. Sept. 11 should prove enough that evil exists & laws cannot stop nor prevent evil from happening.

This white power structure has been monitoring people of color for years. When was the last time they monitored a white racial group? Even though Homeland Security has proof these groups are on the rise since the election of our first black president. The paranoid white power structure is turning our country into a police state! I say all of us are in danger from them not the other way around.

Far Rockaway

The public right to safety unfortumately supercedes individual rights at times. I am apalled at the ignornace being aired tonight. Most of your callers are obviously clueless when it comes to US constitution and individual freedoms.

Forest Hills

I have a large problem with the protests from groups regarding the NYPD monitering of Muslim student organizations. Some of your call-ins compared this to the Holocaust. Seriously, do any of these people actually understand what happened during the Holocaust?!

Almost all the acts of Terrorism lately have been committed or attempted by Islamic extremists. I don't understand why these student Muslim groups are not outraged by that, people hijacking their religion for the purpose of terrorism, I find that more outrageous then the NYPD trying to protect us all from another 9/11!

The NYPD is 'monitoring' these groups, not arresting people or causing any harm. In fact the NYPD has been responsible for stopping many terrorist attempts. Most rational people in NYC are grateful we have such a vigilant police force. It is easy to distract from the issue calling this racial profiling and bringing up civil rights but this is a matter of safety.

New York

We can do whatever it takes to keep us safe. Who cares what they surveil let them work their magic and kick out those Muslims!


As a good Muslim, I would say feel free to investigate me because we know they will investigate me when I'm in a muslim country because 'Im an American. Good muslims have nothing to hide.


I agree with maintaining rights and o Privacy, however, Why is it that no one is on the streets protesting terrorists? Ray Kelly didn't fly a plane into our skyline. It is radical muslims who have created this situation for us, NOT the NYPD. People have to accept that radical Muslims attacked us and want to continue to do so, thereby creating a threat. If we want protection then a certain amount of racial profiling dies need to occur, whether we like it or not. If student associations were used to recruit then it makes sense doesn't it? And finally if one thinks that this monitoring is going to cause Muslim students to get angry and turn against America then 1. That is quite a passive aggressive way to approach it and 2. If that really does occur then it would lead me to think something is wrong with those individuals - then you were a terrorist to begin with.

Don't be angry at the country that wants you to be safe, be angry at those extremists that propagate the problem with their violence.

Upper East Side

As a boy i was told that the police were here to protect us and our rights but now, as a young man i see that they work for the Mayor and he is clearly allowing them to infringe on our rights as Americans. Bloomberg is turning this city into a police state and slowly i can see the separation between The American people and it's government. We are no longer a government of the people by the people but rather, a government of people for the people. The only people we should be worried about is Bloomberg and his thugs.

I think this is wrong and outrages. Anyone can be a terrorist. Muslims should not be targeted.

I feel disgusted to live in such a place where this is happening. If NYPD is going to do this they should monitor all groups. This is just another sign of how we are privacy losing rights, and slowly beginning fade into the a very discriminatory and racist country again.


This is a new world since 9/11. We have to give up some freedoms to be safer. If you are not guilty of anything, accept the surveillance and move forward. We need to protect America and specifically NYC. Muslim extremists are just that, extreme. They will strike without warning and better we get a step ahead. Stop with the civil rights etc, and remember it is about protecting your life and the lives of millions.


You can NOT compare the NYPD activities to the Nazi's. The Nazi's were completely intolerant. They arrested people without cause. The Jews did not fly airplanes into buildings. They did nothing illegal, nothing to prompt their treatment.
The NYPD is not exterminating Muslims. They are investigating groups of them. And if their is no wrong doing, then there should be no reason for this discussion.
NYPD should stay within their jurisdiction.

The Muslims of USA is just patriotic like other Americans. If there is anyone(not only Muslim) must be responsible for their actions. Why only Muslims are the target. How many other examples we have here in Ny and beyond. I think we the Muslim are love this country like other. We have so many in the USA army & si many in NYPD.

Staten Island.

Walter's last comment seems pretty much on point. The 19 young men on the planes on 9/11/01 were all Muslims and just about every attempted attack since have been Muslims . Is there any real reason we should be watching every other culture? When you as a supposed mediator of this program are so whole heartedly are against the NYPD how would you like them to do their job? Perhaps you should watch the footage of 9/11 and go talk to people who lived through it and even more important ask the survivors of those who did not come home that day. I live my life as best I can and I' m not worried about big brother watching me......why are you?


Power corrupts I guess, that is the lesson of the Bloomberg administration. Aside from the obvious profiling implications, what gives the NYPD investigative powers at schools in other parts of the state and even at out-of state schools ? Despite their skewed numbers to the contrary there are enough crimes in this city that should be enough to keep the NYPD busy, why don't they concentrate on doing their actual job. The NYPD is not the FBI and Bloomberg is not the President, New York is not the only place to have been hit with a terrorist attack and Muslims aren't the only ones who have committed such crimes.

This is not unlike the shooting they had in the Bronx recently, where there is this perception that one group of people is committing 100% of any given crime. They don't kick in people's doors in white neighborhoods where there is the same crime, and when someone who is not Muslim does something that could be considered terrorist activity they don't blanket their neighborhood with undercover cops. Did they investigate everyone who knew that guy in New Jersey who was firebombing Jewish houses of worship? Have they ever looked for anybody past the handful of people involved in the Oklahoma City bombing? Has any White Power group ever been charged with committing terrorist acts against American citizens?

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