The End of Surveillance for New York Muslims — For Now

Source: | Salaam Bhatti


Earlier this week, the NYPD disbanded its Muslim surveillance program.

Good riddance.

Through all the pain, suffering, and headlines this operation caused over the course of a decade, it generated zero leads. A decade of surveillance should have crushed anyone’s hope for a hopeful future. So how did New York Muslims cope in the past few years?

In 2008, civic-minded Linda Sarsour organized the largest voter registration drive in the Arab American community’s history in Brooklyn.  With the Arab American Association of New York, Muslim groups, and others, Sarsour also raised a lot of awareness about the NYPD surveillance problem.

In early 2011, New York Muslims passed out thousands of fliers in Times Square reading “Muslims for Loyalty.” These fliers highlighted that loyalty to one’s country was a part of a Muslim’s faith. This led to a blood drive in honor of the 9/11 victims started in NYC, called “Muslims for Life.” It collected over 11,000 pints of blood in its first month and is now an annual campaign that gets showtime at Capitol Hill. NYC comedian Dean Obeidallah was a key part of the “Axis of Evil” comedy tour from 2005-2011, which was instrumental in showing America that Muslims are normal. Now, he teams up with a NYC Jewish comedian in a show called “Stand Up for Peace.” And many New York Muslims have made media appearances dispelling Islamophobic rhetoric.

In a nutshell, in an era of surveillance, New York Muslims carried forward. This peaceful jihad has been nothing short of… read more at

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