Dr, Zuhdi Jasser, the narrator of our film, The Third Jihad, led a coalition of Islamic and Congressional supporters of the counterterrorism efforts of the New York Police Department in a rally Monday outside the NYPD’s headquarters. The NYPD and its commissioner, Ray Kelly, came under attack close to a month ago by CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) and The New York Times, who objected the NYPD’s showing of The Third Jihad in its counterterrorism training.
The assault was joined recently by the Associated Press in an investigation that revealed that the NYPD had put Muslim student organizations and mosques in the tri-state area under (legal) surveillance after September 11. A number of attempted terrorist attacks on New York were prevented by the NYPD from information gained through the surveillance.
Jasser, a former U.S. Naval Physician and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, said the coalition wanted to thank the NYPD for monitoring extremists, “a job that Muslims should be doing,” he emphasized.
“If you look at arrests for terrorism, in the last over 200 arrests, over 80 percent have been from Muslims, and yet we are only one and a half percent of the population“ said Jasser. “
Jasser (left) added that he didn’t view the NYPD as over-stepping their bounds. “In no way do we want to we want to be spied on, but this is not about spying. This is about monitoring public programs; the more we overblow the monitoring of Muslim Communities, the more that will serve to radicalize Muslims.”
Jasser defended the NYPD’s showing of The Third Jihad, which proved how that many Muslims groups, like CAIR, purport to be moderate but have radical agendas that include taking over America from within. He compared The Third Jihad to another, patriotic film. “If you look at Third Jihad, also look at movies like “Act of Valor. Here’s a movie about Navy SEALs, the greatest heroes of the United States, that actually says the same thing — they went after Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and elsewhere. These are not racism; these are reality films,” he said.
Samir Abdelkhalek, a high school senior at St. Peter’s Boys High School on Staten Island, spoke on behalf of the Muslim Liberty Project, a group of young people affiliated with the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. “As a Muslim, I have nothing to hide,” he said. “I have trust in the NYPD for following people with reasonable belief.”
An imam from Queens, Qazi Qayyoom, joined the event to show his support and gratitude to the NYPD. "They protect us, they allow us to pray in peace; some of us don't have those rights in the countries where we came from," he said. "We thank them."
A business owner on Long Island, Mohammed Hai, 58, who attended the press conference, came to show support the NYPD in their efforts to protect the community. “We are the real Muslims and stand up for the real Islam,” he said.
The news conference ended with comments by Representative Peter T. King (R-NY), head of the House Committee on Homeland Security who praised the “effectiveness” of the NYPD in preventing more terrorist attacks on New York. “Let’s give a medal to Ray Kelly,“ said King, who pointed a finger at the culprits who are hampering the NYPD’s counter-terrorism effort. “Let’s denounce The New York Times and the Associated Press for what they are: Left-wing rumor mongers.” King (right) added that these media outlets were “disgracing themselves.”
Late last week, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a statement in support of Kelly and the NYPD, saying the NYPD will and should continue the surveillance. “The threat is not going away. We've got to do everything that the law permits us to do to prevent another terror attack. We cannot forget that."
Bloomberg added, "This is not a joke. This is not a political statement or a political football to play with," he said. "We are threatened.”
Bloomberg called the surveillance “legal,” “appropriate’ and “constitutional.”