The NYPD Muslim Advisory Council gave Police Commissioner Ray Kelly an award on December 9, shortly after it issued a report praising the NYPD’s treatment of the Muslim community, while still acknowledging that disagreements persist.
CAIR-NY and its allies immediately went on the offensive, calling it a “cheap public relations stunt.” Its response isn’t only an attack on Kelly; it’s an attack on the Muslim leaders that participated in the so-called “stunt.” The message is that they are betrayers of the Muslim community.
These Muslim leaders that praised Kelly did not rubber-stamp all of the NYPD’s activity—in fact, some of them even had intelligence gathered on their houses of worship. But here’s where they differ with CAIR: CAIR thinks anything short of an all-out assault on the NYPD is treachery.
These other Muslim leaders can appreciate the NYPD’s sincerity and hard work even if they disagree with some policies. Even now, about 1,200 NYPD officers are getting multicultural training that has two sections devoted to Muslims.
But CAIR-NY still isn’t happy because it is not the one giving the training, proving yet again that CAIR’s “civil rights” agenda is more about ideology, self-interest and political influence.
The FBI’s official policy is to reject CAIR from outreach events because of evidence of its links to Hamas and other radicals. CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a trial related to Hamas fundraising. The New York chapter of CAIR has its own radical record.
The Muslim Advisory Council that CAIR-NY is going after even has members with concerning records, but even they appreciate the NYPD and rebut the notion that it persecutes Muslims.
The Council includes Daisy Khan, the wife of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, best known as the face of the failed “Ground Zero Mosque” project. She represents the American Society for Muslim Advancement.
It also includes the leader of Masjid Al-Ikhlas, whose mosque was attended by four Islamists that were arrested in 2009 for planning a series of terrorist attacks.
Another Council member is Imam Ahmed Dewidar of Mid-Manhattan Islamic Society. He once gave an interview to a Muslim Brotherhood website where he suggested that the 9/11 attacks were a conspiracy “pinned” on Muslims. He said the U.S. government used the attacks to make laws to “restrict the growth and presence of Islam in the U.S.”
In 2005, he gave an interview where he said the U.S. war in Iraq and promotion of democracy was part of a Jewish plot to control the Middle East. He also said that, “Even when a Muslim tries to work in the [American] media, he has to contend with five million media employees who are controlled by the Jews.”
Also sitting on the Council is Imam Tahir Kukiqi of the Albanian Islamic Cultural Center, which the NYPD privately listed as a “location of concern.” He was offended, but instead of portraying the NYPD as an enemy of Muslims, he joined the Council in order to address the Department’s concerns.
“The NYPD has the best record of public safety in the whole entire nation, and a great deal of that effort has been done by the leadership of Mr. Kelly,” Imam Kukiqi said when explaining why he and his colleagues honored the Police Commissioner.
On December 1, the Muslim Advisory Council submitted its report outlining areas of success and areas of weakness in its work with the NYPD.
“The Police Department has demonstrated that Muslims stand equal to other citizens of NYC by cracking down on hate crimes … Due to the work of the Hate Crime Task Force, Muslim New Yorkers can sleep more soundly at night,” it states.
The Council points out that the NYPD has 1,500 Muslim police officers patrolling five boroughs. Its Chaplain’s Unit has an imam and in 208, the NYPD established a Muslim Officers Society that has at least 350 officers.
“The NYPD considers the Muslim Community a full and equal partner in the fight against violent extremism and is committed to countering any assertion that portrays New York City Muslims as a collective threat to national security or to other New Yorkers,” the Council says.
It concludes that the Muslim community’s relationship with the NYPD is a “model of cooperation.”
The NYPD was earlier defended by Muslim leaders in 2012 at the height of the controversy over the NYPD’s intelligence-gathering methods and training materials. About 25 Muslim leaders and organizations came together for a rally in New York City to counter the exaggerations of CAIR and its allies.
The Clarion Project has repeatedly examined the claims of the NYPD’s detractors and provided the context that most press accounts do not.
For example, virtually no outlet covered the NYPD's explanations in September as to why it gathered intelligence on multiple Muslim organizations. While these groups played the victim and filed a lawsuit, the revealed details show that the NYPD was following solid leads. It wasn’t discriminating or persecuting against Muslims; it was doing legitimate, commonsense police work.
The NYPD received negative press attention for labeling certain mosques as “terrorism enterprises” deserving of a closer watch. Instead of contributing to the hysteria and speculation, we looked at what was actually known.
“Let’s summarize what we know for a fact: Out of a minimum of 175 mosques, only 10 were subjected to a “terrorism enterprise investigation” over 10 years,” I wrote at the time.
The bottom line is this: Muslims – including those who oppose the NYPD’s practices, are thanking Commissioner Ray Kelly, but for CAIR, even they are sell-outs.
For CAIR, Muslims are either with it or against it in its jihad to destroy the image of Kelly and the NYPD.
Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on top-tier TV stations as an expert on counterterrorism and Islamic extremism.