Updated 10/11/2009 11:29 AM
Muslim New Yorkers Protest Alleged Racial Profiling
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Muslim New Yorkers and civil rights advocates took to the streets in Queens Saturday to protest alleged racial profiling by law enforcement.
Citing recent raids and increased surveillance of their communities, they rallied against what they call unfair targeting of Muslims.
The nonprofit group Desis Rising Up and Moving organized the protest outside the Flushing Public Library.
"An entire community and people and religion should not be profiled or characterized as terrorists because of certain investigations," said DRUM Executive Director Monami Maulik. "We understand that investigations should happen but they should happen in a manner that's lawful and respects people's dignity and due process rights."
Naiz Khan, seen above, a Muslim Queens resident, said he was placed under FBI surveillance after befriending Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan immigrant accused of plotting a terror attack here in the city.
Zazi stayed with Khan in the days leading up to the failed attempt.
"My life has been affected by this. I have no job now. I am looking for a job," said Khan. "The people who would give me a job [beforehand], if they heard about me, they will not give me that job again."
In response, New York Police Department officials said in a statement: "New York City has been the target of various terrorist plots at least eight times we know of since the destruction of the World Trade Center and the death of over 2,700 people there. The NYPD does not engage in racial profiling. It follows leads in terrorism cases in much the same way it follows leads in gun trafficking and other cases of criminal activity."