CAIRO - US Muslim groups have joined hands to call for the New York attorney-general to investigate the city's police over recommendations to increase surveillance of Shiite mosques in the city.The incident show "the need to hold the NYPD [New York Police Department] accountable for its flagrant use of discriminatory policing practices has never been more glaring and urgent," Muslim groups said in a letter to New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman cited by Huffington Post on Saturday, February 4.
The letter, signed by about 33 rights groups,after a leaked document revealed that the police department have recommended increasing surveillance on Shiite mosques in the city.
A May 2006 report addressed to the police commissioner Raymond Kelly and leaked by the Associated Press revealed that the police recommended increasing surveillance of Shiite mosques in the city.
The report, titled "US-Iran Conflict: The Threat to New York City", made a series of recommendations to Kelly, including: "Expand and focus intelligence collections at Shiite mosques."
It included a list of mosques and community organizations, extending from southern New Jersey to Connecticut.
The report also recommended an assessment of the Palestinian community in the city to look for potential terrorists.The New York Police have been in the eye of storm over a series of spying scandals on the Muslim minority in the city.
Last month, the NYPD sparked a heated controversy after revelations that it used a video screening accusing Muslims of launching a holy war on the West as a training material for its officers.
The film, The Third Jihad: Radical Islam's Vision for America, claims that "the true agenda of much of Muslim leadership here in America" is to "infiltrate and dominate America."
The film sparked charges of a cover-up and calls for NYPD Commissioner Kelly and Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne to resign.
Muslims say that they have lost trust in New York officials to conduct a credible investigation.
"The mayor's office and the City Council have been asked repeatedly to hold the NYPD accountable, and they have not done so," Farhana Khera, executive director of San Francisco-based Muslim Advocates, which spearheaded the letter, told the Huffington Post.
"It's time for the state to get involved."
Earlier on Friday, Muslims groups held a small rally outside New York police headquarters, repeating calls for the resignation of Kelly and reforming the department.
"Due to the fact that the police commissioner and Mayor (Michael) Bloomberg both refuse to accept the severity of their actions, or meet with local Islamic leaders in an attempt to mend the situation, we as a community with full force must stand up to the mistreatment and dismissal of our community at large," the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said on its website.
"Silence and lack of reaction to this pressing issue will only allow this type systematic persecution of a minority community to continue and escalate without any reprimand."
The accusations against the NYPD were not the first.
Last September, the CIA launched an investigation into cooperation with NYPD to spy on American Muslims.
In 2011, the New York University's Center for Human Rights and Global Justice issued a report criticizing the tactic of US law enforcement agencies in sending paid informants into mosques to instigate and trap Muslims into terror plots.
The report, themed Targeted and Entrapped: Manufacturing the Homegrown Threat', cited three high-profile domestic terrorism prosecutions which raised question marks about the role of the FBI and the NYPD in creating the perception of homegrown terrorism.
New York is home to some 800,000 Muslims, about 10 percent of the city's population.
There are about 100 mosques throughout New York's five boroughs.
The United States is home to an estimated Muslim minority of seven to eight million.