Mosque Surveillance Ruled Legal by Judge

Thursday, 20 Feb 2014 11:14 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
New York City's secret police surveillance of mosques, Muslim businesses and a Muslim student group in New Jersey did not violate the Constitution, a federal judge ruled on Thursday.

U.S. District Judge William Martini in Newark, N.J., threw out a lawsuit brought by several New Jersey Muslims who claimed the New York Police Department illegally targeted them for undercover monitoring solely because of their religion.

The police department's widespread program was first revealed in a series of articles by the Associated Press, which reported that officers had infiltrated Muslim organizations throughout the region following the World Trade Center attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The plaintiffs in the case, led by Syed Farhaj Hassan, an Army reservist, claimed the program impaired their freedom of expression, caused them to stop attending religious services and threatened their careers.

In a 10-page ruling, Martini said the city had persuasively argued that its surveillance was intended as an anti-terrorism, not an anti-Muslim, measure.

"While this surveillance program may have had adverse effects upon the Muslim community after the Associated Press published its articles, the motive for the program was not solely to discriminate against Muslims, but rather to find Muslim terrorists hiding among ordinary, law-abiding Muslims," Martini wrote.

Baher Azmy of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which filed the lawsuit along with a group called Muslim Advocates on behalf of several Muslim individuals and groups, compared Martini's decision to the Supreme Court's ruling in 1944 that the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II was constitutional.

"The decision gives legal sanctions to broad, undifferentiated racial and religious profiling," he said, calling it a "dangerous" finding. Azmy said the plaintiffs would appeal the decision.

A spokesman for the city's law department declined to comment.

The New York Civil Liberties Union has filed a similar federal lawsuit against New York City in Brooklyn, which remains pending.

In addition, a group of civil rights lawyers have filed court papers in Manhattan federal court claiming the city's surveillance runs afoul of a longstanding court order governing how police can monitor certain political organizations.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and police officials defended the program as vital to anti-terrorism efforts. It is unclear whether the new mayor, Bill de Blasio, will change the city's legal approach to the surveillance issue.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Pope Francis: Vatican Brass Diseased With Power and Greed

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 08:45 AM

The Vatican's top administrators would have been expecting an exchange of pleasantries at their annual Christmas meeting . . .

Wash Post: FAA Approval of Drones Outpaces Safety Concerns

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 08:22 AM

The decision by the Federal Aviation Administration to grant commercial drone permits to six Hollywood cinematographers  . . .

Al Sharpton Gets Death Threat After NYPD Killings

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 08:03 AM

The Rev. Al Sharpton says he has received death threats from people blaming him and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for th . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved