(NEW YORK, N.Y., 11/25/13) –- On Tuesday, November 26, the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), along with other Muslim and civil rights organizations, will hold a noon news conference at One Police Plaza with Imam Abdur-Rashid and Samir Hashmi, who have filed Article 78 petitions against the NYPD in response to the department’s refusal to provide intelligence records gathered on the two men.
[NOTE: An Article 78 proceeding is a legal method to challenge the actions, or lack of actions, of an administrative agency in court.]
WHEN: November 26, Noon
WHERE: One Police Plaza, New York, NY
CONTACT: CAIR-NY Director of Operations Sadyia Khalique, 212-870-2002, E-Mail: email@example.com
Press release by the Law Firm of Omar T. Mohammedi, LLC:
Since 2002, the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) has engaged in a domestic surveillance program and practice of religious profiling that targets Muslim individuals, places of worship, businesses, schools, student groups, and other establishments located in and throughout New York.
Talib W. Abdur-Rashid, the Imam of the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood Inc. and the President of the Majlis Ash-Shura (Islamic Leadership Council) of Metropolitan New York, has been the subject of such illegal surveillance. Surveillance of Imam Abdur-Rashid intensified following the Sean Bell verdict in 2008, due to the Imam’s stand against the NYPD’s profiling of African Americans and its illegal stop & frisk policies.
Mr. Hashmi, former Treasurer of the Muslim Student Association at Rutgers University, was surveilled while he was a student at Rutgers. The NYPD launched an aggressive and egregious operation to monitor the Muslim student group at the university in New Jersey in 2009, using undercover NYPD officers to establish a secret safe house in an off-campus apartment. After a detailed investigation, the FBI and local police concluded that the covert operation’s objective was to monitor Muslim students at Rutgers University.
Imam Abdur-Rashid and Samir Hashmi individually submitted Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests, seeking the intelligence the NYPD gathered on them through its illegal surveillance. Their requests were categorically denied. Imam Abdur -Rashid and Samir Hashmi have now filed Article 78 petitions against the New York Police Department in response to its blanket and baseless refusal to provide intelligence records gathered concerning the two men.
“As an active member and a leader in the Muslim community,” Imam Abdur-Rashid says, “I am outraged that the NYPD not only spies illegally on me and the Masjid I serve, but refuses to offer the information they have on me.” Mr. Hashmi fears he was “targeted and surveilled just for trying to be an active student leader in the community.”
"Imam Abdur Rashid and Mr. Hashmi are entitled to know the information the NYPD has about them. They are outstanding members of the community. They have not done anything illegal for the NYPD to have dossiers on them in the first place," says attorney Omar Mohammedi.
For further information please contact:
Omar Mohammedi, Esq.
Mehak Jamil, Esq.
Law Firm of Omar T. Mohammedi, LLC
CAIR-NY is a chapter of America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Director of Operations Sadyia Khalique, 212-870-2002, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com