Thursday, April 17, 2014

ISLAMIC LEADERSHIP COUNCIL OF METRO NY ON THE DISBANDING OF THE NYPD DEMOGRAPHICS UNIT










Wednesday, April 16, 2014 . Yesterday,  Police Commissioner William Bratton announced the disbanding of the  NYPD Special Surveillance Unit, that targeted the Muslim community for years under the leadership of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. The Majlis Ash-Shura of Metropolitan New York congratulates all Muslims in New York City and beyond, and our many allies, who "dared to struggle, dared to win" against such an injustice. 

To all who spoke out, marched, rallied, wrote, litigated and engaged in every possible act of legal resistance, know that Allah has blessed your efforts. You were determined to stand for our communal and individual civil, constitutional and human rights. You refused to be intimidated and compromise for the sake of expediency. You were criticized and rebuffed by the former mayor and police commissioner and boycotted their photo ops. You did not defend nor apologize for their actions. Instead, you supported the leadership of the Majlis Ash-Shura as we all stood together on the front lines of struggle.  

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) commanded us to change evil with our hands when we see it. If we can't do that he said, then speak out against it. If we can't do that, then hate and resist it in your hearts he continued, but that is the weakest of faith. Brothers and sisters, know that you have demonstrated your strong faith and must continue to do so.

Two years before 9-11 , officers of an NYPD special unit unjustly killed an innocent Muslim African immigrant named Amadou Diallo. Eventually after much public opposition, struggle and legal action, the unit was disbanded but the need for police reform continues to this day. Likewise, the disbanding of the NYPD Demographics Unit is a beginning not an end. We must remain both vigilant and diligent in protecting our rights and those of all people.

Mayor DeBlasio has set the tone for an atmosphere in which meaningful changes can occur in NYPD policies and procedures. Our prayer is that his vision will be our vision , and that  Police Commissioner Bratton will be true to his word and lead the NYPD towards a 21st century model of policing, that ensures public safety while safeguarding the constitutional, civil, and human rights of all citizens.
May Allah bless our Muslim leaders with the courage to stand for what is right and just, oneness of purpose, unity of ranks, and the wisdom to act in effective strategic ways,  that will secure meaningful victories for our community, and all of humanity.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
THE MAJLIS ASH-SHURA OF METROPOLITAN NEW YORK
1350 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS, 2ND FLOOR
NEW YORK, N.Y. 10019

(212) 203-5098

Sunday, July 28, 2013

PRAY FOR THE LEADERSHIP




TO THE ANONYMOUS PERSON WHO SENT ME A RAMADAN LETTER DENIGRATING "MOST BLACK AMERICAN IMAMS"

Even though I find it curious that the shortcomings you attribute to "most Black-American Imams" can only be attributed to us in your view , I state nonetheless that if you are a sincere Muslim and believe what you say, then pray for those of us whom you cite. Perhaps we'll meet your standards one day.

If you are an enemy of Islam trying to sow the seeds of fitna (and I say that because your letter in form and content reminds me of those sent during the COINTELPRO era, including your use of a return address of another masjid -auuthu bil-laah), then may Allah humiliate and expose you.

Oh btw, next time use spell check !

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A REFLECTION FOR TRAYVON


NEVER ENDING STORY
After the Indictment of Trayvon  the Dead Victim
And the Acquital of George Zimmerman, the Killer

By Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid

As long as white folk continue to deny the ongoing existence of racism
And its impact on themselves, black folk, all people of color, and
American life
Racism will never be eradicated in America.

As long as “good White folk” remain in denial as to their own implicit race bias
And the enduring legacy of white supremacy on American policies and institutions,
Injustice will remain ascendant in the land.

As long as white folk, when confronted by the apparent ugly truths
of racial injustice
Are afraid to speak or act  with equity , but choose to uphold double standards
And keep the flames of injustice burning, the soul of the nation decays.

“If you Black, get back.
If you’re White, you’re alright.
If you’re Brown, stick around.
If you’re yellow, it’s mellow.”

As long as black folk are afraid to be uncompromising
In the face of injustice,  but insist on trying to get along
With those who don’t want to get along with them

Yo bro’ - Smile if you must but resist
and stop laughing to keep from crying

Yo sis’ - our fratricide is no excuse for their genocide

It AIN’T Post-racial!  Not yet.

As long as courts continue to generate the same results
Time after time after time,

Trayvons and Cliffords and Amadou, Amadou, Amadou
Sean and Anthony, RaMarley, Hilton, and Mohammadou, Mohammadou, Mohammadou

Will be duplicated and replicated,
Lives stolen by devils with guns, in uniform and out

No justice, just-us
No justice, just –us
Never justice, just -us

As long as  inquiring minds must ask

“Why are White boys rarely killed by Black police officers
and never killed by Black vigilantes?

“Why are Black police officers killed by not-so-friendly fire from
White police officers, but never the reverse?”

Something wrong, something wrong

There must be a solution beyond shouts and shots,
Shouts and shots,
Shots,
Shots,
Shots…

There is a solution. It’s called Truth and Courage.

But who will stand up, to themselves?






http://abcnews.go.com/US/george-zimmerman-prosecution-petition-overwhelms-naacp-website/story?id=19662189#.UeMTHxbhGfQ

http://mxgm.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Operation-Ghetto-Storm.pdf

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

WE HAVE A RIGHT


NY MUSLIM LEADERS & ACTIVISTS SUE THE NYPD

(AP photo) LEADERS AND MEMBERS OF THE MAJLIS ASH-SHURA OF METROPOLITAN NY JOIN COMRADES IN STRUGGLE TO ANNOUNCE LAW SUIT AGAINST NYPD:
first row, beginning from right to left: plaintiff Asad Dandia (white shirt with black tie), Majlis Executive Committee member Imam Siraj Wahhaj (representing Masjid At-Taqwa as a plaintiff), me (Imam Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid) , Amir of The Majlis, plaintiff Imam Hamid Hassan Raza, of Masjidul-Ansar, attorney Hina Shamsi of The ACLU, attorney Ramzi Kassem of City University of NY CLEAR (Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility) , Dalia Shams, also of  CLEAR
2nd row, right to left , Majlis secretary, Imam Abdul-Azeem Khan of Masjid Omar bin Abdul-Aziz, Imam Charles Aziz Bilal of Masjid Alhamdulillah, Imam Ayub Abdul-Baki of The Tauhid Center for Islamic Development, Attorney Art Eisenberg of the ACLU (far left)

LINK: http://reason.com/blog/2013/06/18/nypd-faces-lawsuit-over-massive-surveillance

STATEMENT BY IMAM AL-HAJJ TALIB ‘ABDUR-RASHID
President, The Islamic Leadership Council Of Metropolitan N.Y.
9 Sha'baan 1434 A.H./June 18, 2013 A.H.

Good morning, peace be unto you all, and As-Salaamu ‘Alaikum. The Majlis Ash-Shura  of Metropolitan NY is a network of some 46 Muslim congregations and organizations representing thousands of Muslim men, women, youth, and children. We are here in representation of  that significant Muslim constituency , to stand with the members of this hard-working legal team. We do so in expression of a common belief of all Muslims in this city and beyond, and people of other faiths as well. We believe that all faith communities, including our own, have a right to exist without stigma, and without having undue suspicion cast upon us, because of our religion.
In the years since 9-11, the NYPD under the command leadership of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, has covertly altered the status of Muslim houses of worship , from what the Police Department once called “sensitive locations”, to what they now identify as “locations of concern”.
Since that tragic day 12 years ago this coming September, our civil society has wrestled with the task of establishing a balance between public safety on one hand, and on the other, the human right to equal treatment and protection under the law for all people, including Muslims.
Many people in New York City have been misled into thinking that violation of the rights of the minority, are necessary for the safety and security of the majority. It is not. As both citizens and neighbors, we Muslims seek , as the Prophet Jeremiah exhorted, “the safety and security of the city”. This is our concern for  our neighbors, and ourselves.
But when Muslim New Yorkers are led to believe that we cannot trust all  police officers to be loyal to their oath of duty to safeguard all people equally; when we instead witness some officers enforcing a discriminatory policy of surveillance , resulting from suspicion based upon religious affiliation alone, it undermines our ability to partner with law enforcement, and that renders all New Yorkers less safe, not more safe.
50 years ago too many elected and law enforcement officials in our country, believed and maintained that unjust discriminatory policies profiling citizens because of their race or ethnicity, were not unconstitutional. Eventually they were proven wrong. and our country is better because of that.
Today in our city and country, there are those who believe , and after today will continue to maintain, that profiling because of religion, or at least our religion, and it’s resulting suspicion-less surveillance of Muslim men, women, and youth ,where we worship, study in universities, or socialize, is not unconstitutional .
They are unapologetic in their defense of their unjust policies. They might even scour the Muslim community, until they find some unaware soul whom they consider to be “opinion makers”, who will stand with them in defense of discrimination against our community. Allah willing, one day they too will be proven wrong. and the city and the country will benefit.
Discrimination against Muslims is unconstitutional , and we refuse to be scapegoated because of the thoughts or actions of an unbalanced few, who claim the same religion as we do.
We too are unapologetic. But we are unapologetically Muslim, and unapologetically American. As Americans, Muslims are entitled to equal protection under the law, and freedom from discrimination, just as all citizens are regardless of their religion, or lack thereof.
Equal protection and freedom are not just for Christians and Jews, and their places of worship. They are for everyone. It is is not just churches and synagogues, but also mosques and temples that are sacred locations , equally entitled to protocols of respect and regard .
As for ourselves as Muslims, we will continue to pray to the God of Justice. We look forward to our day in court, and on that day, may justice prevail. 





Tuesday, December 25, 2012

NO BREAKFAST WITH BLOOMBERG 2012






ISLAMIC LEADERSHIP COUNCIL OF METRO NY Announcement
12 Safar 1434 A.H. December 25, 2012
As-Salaamu 'Alaikum wa Rahmatullah. As promised, below please find our official statement this year regarding Mayor Bloomberg's December 28, 2012 breakfast.

Yours in Islam,
Imam Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid
Amir


majlis logo 1
MUSLIM LEADERS PLAN TO ONCE AGAIN BOYCOTT THE MAYOR'S INTERFAITH BREAKFAST THIS YEAR  
For immediate release                                                                           
December 25, 2012

The Majlis Ash-Shura  (Islamic Leadership Council) of Metropolitan New York, in conjunction with other community-based leaders and activists, reiterates its principled position against the attendance of Muslim leaders at the A nnual Interfaith Breakfast sponsored by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The breakfast is scheduled to occur this Friday, December 28th. To date, not only has the Mayor failed to answer our correspondence of a year ago, but to substantively address the concerns of the Muslim community regarding racial and religious profiling and warrantless surveillance.

In 2011, the Associated Press  began a series of articles "outing" the NYPD's covert program of surveillance targeting the Muslim community without concrete suspicion of criminal conduct, in New York City , New Jersey, and as far north as Buffalo, N.Y. (http://www.ap.org/Index/AP-In-The-News/NYPD) . This followed an exposé of repeated viewing by over 1500 police officers in training , of a bigoted and controversial film - "The Third Jihad", and a knowing appearance in the film by Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly in-spite of earlier claims to the contrary by Browne. (http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/politics/2012/01/5121583/third-jihad-featuring-authorized-appearance-ray-kelly)

As a result of these scandals, senior NYC Muslim leaders, activists, 
legal professionals and community based leaders, denounced the flawed and fundamentally misguided policies that resulted in the ethnic and religious profiling of the American Muslim community by the NYPD, with the support of Mayor Bloomberg. (http://maclc1.wordpress.com/letter-to-mayor-bloomberg-122711/)
The surveillance targeted Muslim houses of worship and their leaders, university students, shopkeepers, religious schools, activist organizations, business persons and many others. A police demographics unit identified "ancestries of interest" in the Muslim community, which including a variety of immigrant Muslim ethnicities, and even African-Americans. 

Over the past year several events of note have occurred:
1-    The A.P. story, which was ridiculed and rebuffed by the Mayor, the Police Commissioner and the NYPD's spokesperson Paul Browne, won a Pulitzer prize for excellence in journalism. Kelly described the NYPD as being "under attack" by the AP for its investigative reporting.
2-    During sworn testimony, Thomas P. Galati, Commanding Officer of the Police Intelligence Division stated that no significant leads were produced by the years of surveillance.
3-    Muslim leader critics of the policy of surveillance joined forces with a multi-faith coalition of religious, civic, and political leaders, organizers and activists, including various interfaith coalitions, the NAACP, numerous elected officials and others, linking NYPD surveillance of Muslims with its Stop and Frisk policy , as a waste of financial resources and evidence of racial, ethnic and religious profiling. Last June Muslims were uniquely and historically visible amongst the thousands of New Yorkers who marched in silent opposition to the profiling policies.
4-    The Mayor and Police Commissioner remain defensive of the policies and unapologetic for their implementation, although Stop and Frisk's momentum has visibly slowed.
5-    Published reports of polls citing public support for the NYPD Muslim Surveillance program , showed the basis for the support to be the combatting of
terrorism. However investigative reporters disputed the truth of this, calling such official claims of having thwarted 14 plots to kill New Yorkers "overstated and exaggerated". (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/10/fact-check-how-the-nypd-overstated-their-counterterrorism-record_n_1662639.html).
6-    A law suit was filed by Muslim lawyers in the state of New Jersey against the NYPD.
7-    The Mayor and Police Commissioner have refused to meet with their Muslim critics, choosing instead to avoid substantive dialogue by forming an advisory council of Muslim leaders with little history in community activism ,
and who have not publicly expressed criticism of NYPD policies.
  
The Majlis Ash-Shura (Islamic Leadership Council) of Metropolitan NY is an ethnically diverse coalition of over 40 Muslim congregations and organizations - the only such organization in existence in the city for over 2 decades.

Its' president, Imam Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid, is a major spokesman for the coalition of Muslim leaders, congregations and groups struggling against what they view as human and civil rights violations, Imam 'Abdur-Rashid stated today:

" We of the Islamic Leadership Council of Metropolitan New York, in partnership with faith, civic, and social justice leaders throughout the city, once again call upon people of conscience to continue to raise our collective voice in favor of justice, and human, civil, and constitutional rights.

"Our stance is a principled one, based upon the refusal of the Mayor and Police Commissioner to substantively address the issues raised in our collective letter of last December. On the contrary, these top city officials have avoided substantively discussing our concerns in public or private, while continuing to engage in photo-ops with Muslim leaders  seeking favors or approval, or who have placed their faith in an illusion of engagement.

"As proven repeatedly over the years, the Mayor's breakfast is not an occasion for dialogue or engagement over serious issues, nor does it result from such. There can be no engagement without discussion of grievances , and demonstration of mutual respect. Once again we will not be present, and urge others to do the same."

The Mayor never responded to our letter of December 29, 2011. Now, as then, we demand:
1-    Mayor Bloomberg's clear and  unambiguous public support for the rights and privacy of all New Yorkers, including Muslims
2-    Condemnation by the mayor of all policies that profile and target communi-ties and community groups based solely upon their religion or the color of their skin.
3-    Increased transparency in city government, and greater police accountability.

Our community's invitation to the Mayor and Police Commissioner to engage in meaningful exchange over these real issues still stands.