A newly released poll found that 63% of New York voters approve of the way the New York City Police Department is doing its job, with an overwhelming 82 percent saying that the NYPD has been effective in combatting terrorism.
In addition, a clear majority (58%) think that the NYPD is acting appropriately in dealing with the Muslim community.
"New Yorkers brush aside the gripes about police surveillance of the Muslim community. Voter approval of the way police are handling terrorism is through the roof and overall approval for police in general and for (Police) Commissioner Ray Kelly is undented by criticism," said Maurice Carroll, director of the institute that conducted the Quinnipiac University poll.
The poll comes in the wake of harsh criticism of the NYPD by CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations), The New York Times and the Associated Press (AP). The criticism began in January when the Times dredged up a year-old story that the NYPD was showing our film, The Third Jihad, in its counterterrorism training program. A few weeks later the AP revealed that the NYPD had put Muslim student organizations and mosques in the tri-state area under surveillance.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly got a 64 percent approval rating in the poll, with 28 percent saying they would be more likely to vote for a candidate for mayor of New York if the candidate promises to ask Kelly to continue as commissioner. Current New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (who himself got an overall 54 percent approval rating) will be leaving the office at the end of his current term.
The poll also showed that the majority of New York City voters have a favorable opinion of Islam (by a 54 – 23 percent margin). In addition, 65 percent of those polled believe that mainstream Islam is a peaceful religion.
From March 6 – 11, Quinnipiac University surveyed 964 New York City voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points, through live interviewers, land line and cell phone calls.
The poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia and the nation as a public service and for research.