'NYPD Spying On College Students Is Counterproductive'

An op-ed by Alejandro Beutel & Haris Tarin

March 26, 2012

In light of recent news about NYPD's surveillance of Muslim college students, the Huffington Post published an op-ed, "NYPD Spying on College Students Is Counterproductive," by Alejandro Beutel, MPAC's Policy & Legislative Analyst, and Haris Tarin, the Director of MPAC's DC Office, that discusses how their involvement with Muslim student organizations in college helped sculpt who they are as community activists and leaders.   

"We come from two very different backgrounds. One was born Muslim, the child of immigrant parents, who fled war in Afghanistan to find a better life in America. The other is the son of a Jewish father and Catholic mother of Salvadorian heritage, who grew up in New Jersey and converted to Islam to seek spiritual renewal.

What we share is the experience of having shaped our American Muslim identity on a college campus through involvement with Muslim student organizations. Becoming involved in civic activism, we always saw our values as Americans and as Muslims in harmony with each other.

That shared experience, which nurtured our pride in being American Muslims, is precisely what caused us to be profoundly shocked by revelations of massive surveillance of Muslim communities across the Northeast, including university campuses by the New York Police Department (NYPD)

The NYPD's surveillance of an entire community based on their faith -- with no evidence of criminal activity -- is a blow against democracy and an ineffective and counterproductive offense to its mandate to "protect and serve."

Read the full article here. 



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