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
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.
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
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.