MACLC was mentioned in a misleading way during the Congressional Hearings convened by Rep. Peter King. In his testimony Mr Zuhdi Jasser 1) falsely claims that CAIR and MPAC co-authored our critique but in fact our work is very much a group effort and does not follow or rely on the points offered by any member organziation. Mr Jasser goes on to say of the NYPD Radicalization Report: “Rather than demonize this great work” these groups should have admitted that it was work Muslims should have been doing.” To that we can only say that we do not demonize the Report but offer a critique intended to build policies that are truly fact based and not based on shakey analysis, unexamined assumptions and fear. Mr Jasser’s less grounded and more hysterical approach is seen in the propagandistic video The Third Jihad, shown in some NYPD training courses. Regarding this we continue to request full explanation from the Commissioner. Maclc_Letter28_January_2011-CORRECTED_NAME and NYPD_Third_Jihad_Follow-up
The correct MACLC blog is www.maclc1.wordpress.com
SEE YOU THERE!
On December 12, 2008 MACLC sent a letter to Janet Napolitano, the new head of Department of Homelands Security, calling on the new Administration to develop security polices that avoid linking religious precepts with terrorism. See:
December 12, 2008
Ms. Janet Napolitano
Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528
Dear Ms. Napolitano:
We, the undersigned organizations and members of the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition (MACLC) congratulate you on your appointment to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). We view this as an opportunity for our government to restore America’s global image as a leading defender of human rights. As a coalition consisting of New York Muslim advocates and community leaders, we are concerned over the heightened scrutiny and subsequent marginalization of American Muslims under the Bush administration. Thus, we urge DHS to develop counterterrorism strategies that uphold national security interests without unduly infringing upon civil liberties.
Our concern especially warrants your consideration in light of the 2007 New York City Police Department (NYPD) Report, “”Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat.” The Report presents a misleading depiction of Islam and its adherents by perpetuating widespread public and private stereotypes of the American Muslim community.
Some of our specific concerns regarding the Report include:
· Linking of faith with terror by erroneously associating religious precepts with violence, without considering religious nuances and guidelines provided by defense experts and DHS documents.
· Infringing on free exercise and association rights protected under the U.S. Constitution, and implied sanctioning of racial and religious profiling.
· Alienating mainstream American Muslims and failing to provide practical counter-terrorism solutions that target actual offenders.
MACLC recently released a detailed critique of the NYPD Report, entitled “CountertERRORism Policy: MACLC’s Critique of the NYPD’s Report on Homegrown Radicalism”. This critique, draws attention to the mischaracterization of the domestic threat of terrorism while offering recommendations to the NYPD that safeguard both civil rights and national security interests.
In a letter dated October 6, 2008, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly acknowledged some of MACLC’s concerns regarding the Report, stating:
“The report never intended to be a policy prescriptive for law enforcement actions, a fact that should have been emphasized, as you noted during our discussions. Indeed, the very reason that this report was disseminated publicly — and not just within the law enforcement community – was for the expressed purpose of engaging and soliciting a broad array of views from a diverse group of people.” Commissioner Kelly also noted in the letter: “The readership would have been better served if a statement clearly asserting that Muslims are not in any way a threat to security were to have been including at the beginning of the report.”
While MACLC welcomes Commissioner Kelly’s statements, we remain deeply concerned that the Report’s unsubstantiated analysis will continue to guide policing and public perception unless it is updated. Case in point: the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs adopted the Report’s analysis and made the alarmist statement that “the United States will likely face increasing levels of homegrown terrorism.” Furthermore, drawing on the NYPD Report, the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department, Homeland Security Division has developed protocols for car stops that profile for citizenship and connections to “Islamic owned businesses.”
Echoing President-elect Barack Obama’s recent statement that national security will be his top priority, MACLC recognizes the importance of contending with such threats to our country. However, we firmly believe that collaborating with, rather than alienating, the Muslim community will strengthen national security efforts. As such, we’ve enclosed a copy of the detailed MACLC critique and recommendations for your review and consideration.
For any additional information on this matter, please contact MACLC representatives at email@example.com. We look forward to your response, and to working with your office.
President, Association of Muslim American Lawyers
President, Arab Muslim American Federation
Deputy Director, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School
Faiza N. Ali
Community Affairs Director, Council on American Islamic Relations-NY
Executive Director, Council of Peoples Organization
President, Islamic Circle of North America
Imam Shamsi Ali
Director, Jamaica Muslim Center Inc.
Outreach Coordinator, Muslim American Society New York
Board President, Muslim Consultative Network
President, Muslim Bar Association of New York
Director, Muslim Public Affairs Council – New York City
Executive Director, Women in Islam Inc.
 U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, “Violent Islamist Extremism, The Internet, and the Homegrown terrorist Threat: Majority & Minority Staff Report,” May 8, 2008, at 4.
 Id. at 5.
 Testimony of Major Thomas Dailey, Kansas City, Missouri Police Department, Homeland Security Division, to the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, “The Role of Local Law Enforcement in Countering Violent Extremism,” 18-19, 22 (October 30, 2007).