Muslim leaders boycott New York City mayor's event

By REUTERS
December 31, 2011 01:43

 
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NEW YORK - More than a dozen Muslim community leaders boycotted an interfaith breakfast organized by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday to protest reported police surveillance of Muslim areas since the September 11, 2001, attacks.

In an open letter to Bloomberg, the leaders accused the mayor of ignoring concerns that the New York Police Department has been using racial profiling and violating civil rights in its anti-terrorism surveillance programs.

"We believe with heartfelt conviction that during times when a community's rights are being flagrantly violated its leaders cannot in good conscience appear at a public gathering with the government official who is ultimately responsible and smile for the cameras as if all is well, when we know full well that it is not," the letter said.

The letter cited a series of articles earlier this year by The Associated Press that alleged that police, at times in cooperation with the CIA, infiltrated New York mosques, Muslim bookshops and other Islamic businesses and institutions to gather intelligence without specific evidence of any criminal activity.

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