The NYPD has decided to dump the “Demographic unit” which was responsible for mapping Muslim communities and spying on so-called “hot spots”; mosques and Muslim owned businesses such as restaurants and cafes. It was dropped because of the sustained and consistent efforts of Muslim activists and their allies who should be applauded not only for their resilience but their stand for all of our civil liberties.
At the time, two astroturf Muslim organizations, AILC and AIFD had a twenty person rally in support of the spy program. In reality, one man, the Right-Wing’s favorite Muslim, Zuhdi Jasser, was behind the rally,
TheÂ American Islamic Leadership Coalition (AILC)Â seems to consist of only twelve members; of these, most are inactiveâ€“they contribute nothing to the AILC and their only purpose seems to be to create some semblance of a â€śgroup.â€ť Â Three of the individuals in the list of twelve arenâ€™t even American Muslims.
In reality, the AILC is really just one man, who is the groupâ€™s founder:Â Zuhdi Jasser, every right-wingerâ€™s favorite Muslim and the narrator of the anti-Muslim film,Â The Third Jihad. Â The contribution from many of the other members in the group seems minimal to non-existent. Â One of the exceptions might be Tarek Fatah, who is not even an American Muslim to begin with.
What of the second group, theÂ American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD)? Â If you click on their â€śleadershipâ€ť tab, only one manâ€™s name comes up: you guessed it, itâ€™sÂ Zuhdi Jasser, who â€śis the Founder and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD).â€ť Â Who else is a part of this astoturf group is a mystery.
Joining Jasser were the clownish Tarek Fatah, Rep. Peter KingÂ andÂ Asra Nomani who wrote in support of the surveillance program inÂ The Daily Beast. Nomani infamously compared Muslims and Colombians to the KKK,
[J]ust as we need to track the Colombian community for drug trafficking and the Ku Klux Klan for white extremists, I believe we should monitor the Muslim community.
One wonders what these “eager to be spied on and have their civil liberties curtailed” Muslims think now? Will they rally to bring back the “spy program?” Will they condemn the NYPD’s move as they were condemning those who spoke out against the program? Maybe now they will call for Muslims to be interned?
Perhaps they are satisfied that, as Arun Kundnani noted recently at the Islamophobia Conference in Berkeley, California, “There are 10,000 counter-terrorism analysts and 15,000 paid informants” at the FBI alone.Â
The truth is that in New York the spying will continue with paid informants and undercovers,Â as this enthusiastic article by Michael Daly in The Daily Beast notes,
The New York City Police Department is curtailing its spying ON the Muslim community, but it will continue spying IN the Muslim community.
And it will do so as part of an ongoing counter-terrorism effort that includes the use of undercovers and confidential informants.
In fact, the department is training more undercovers even now.