Source: Huffington Post
Over 100 faculty members of the City University of New York have signed a petition calling on the school’s chancellor to oppose surveillance of Muslim students by undercover New York City police officers.
“Such surveillance chills the atmosphere of free speech and open dialogue that educational institutions require, and it violates constitutional protections that require specific search warrants,” reads the petition, written in the form of a letter to CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken.
“You must formally state your opposition to these operations and work actively to stop them,” it continues. “Their continuation will be a great stain on the university.”
The petition comes a day after Gothamist published an investigative report by Aviva Stahl that revealed that an undercover NYPD officer who went by the name “Melike Ser” staged a conversion to Islam in 2011 at Brooklyn College, a CUNY school, in order to befriend and spy on law-abiding students in the school’s Islamic Society. For years afterwards, Ser frequented the group’s activities, and grew intimate with the members — in one case even being a bridesmaid at a student’s wedding — all while trying to elicit incriminating comments from the students in support of terrorism.
Earlier this year, an undercover investigation by Ser led to the arrest of two Queens women on terror charges. It’s unclear how the two women came into contact with Ser, or what role Ser played in the pair’s alleged plot to build a bomb.
It’s also unclear why Ser would need to spy on law-abiding CUNY students for two years in order to arrest the two Queens women, neither of whom matriculated at a CUNY school.