Latest NYPD Muslim Spying Files Don't Mince Words

Want another sign that the New York Police Department was very explicitly spying on Muslims, on the basis of their religion alone? In the latest files unearthed yet again by the Associated Press, the NYPD kind of incriminates itself.

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Want another sign that the New York Police Department was very explicitly spying on Muslims, on the basis of their religion alone? In the latest files unearthed yet again by the Associated Press, the NYPD kind of incriminates itself.

"This report will focus on the smaller Muslim community," one file on the city's Syrian community very explicitly says, to the exclusion of Syrian Jews. Another, on Coptic Egyptians in New York, goes even further in clarifying who police targeted in 2007: "This report does not represent the Coptic Egyptian community and is merely an insight into the Muslim Egyptian community of New York City."

The targeting of Muslim Syrians and Egyptians should hardly be surprising, given all that we've learned from the AP's dogged investigation of the NYPD's Muslim spying, but never have we seen the criterion (religion) being so unambiguously stated. That makes it even harder to reconcile the department's actions with Mayor Michael Bloomberg's insistence that "We don't target individuals based on race and religion." Perhaps sensing that it needs to make amends for its somewhat anti-Mulsim past, the NYPD agreed to meet with the city's Muslim leaders this week.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.