More Religious Leaders to Boycott Mayor’s Breakfast Over NYPD Muslim Spying
New York, NY (December 29, 2011) – More New York City religious leaders say they will boycott Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s interfaith breakfast on Friday because of his uncritical support for the reportedly widespread NYPD program of spying on ordinary Muslims without warrant or evidence of wrongdoing.
Other faith leaders who attend the breakfast say they will raise the issue of warrantless surveillance of religious communities with the mayor and other city officials.
“Like our Muslim fellow New Yorkers, we religious leaders of diverse traditions enjoy the benefits of life in a safe city and are proud of our mayor’s past courageous stance on religious freedom. However, his current condoning of police surveillance based on religious affiliation represents a departure from his past support of this core freedom,” said Rev. Chloe Breyer, Executive Director of Interfaith Center of New York and Associate Priest St Mary’s Episcopal Church.
When Rabbi Michael Weiser of The Free Synagogue of Flushing, one of the religious leaders giving invocations at the breakfast, learned about the issue, he stated: “I am in full support of my Muslim brethren in their plight against these violations. I know how it feels when a certain community is being singled out by a government. I hope this un-American, unconstitutional, unjust practice ends.”
Yesterday, a number of Muslim community leaders and their interfaith supporters announced the boycott. For an updated list of signatories, see: here .
SEE: 14 Muslim Leaders Plan Boycott of Breakfast With Mayor article
While Mayor Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly continue to deny allegations of domestic warrantless spying based on religious profiling, advocates remain concerned about rights violations.
Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union said, “No amount of rhetoric can dress up a massive program of suspicionless police surveillance of the Muslim community in New York City as something that is acceptable in a free society. We count on the NYPD to fight crime – and to do so effectively – but profiling innocent New Yorkers because they are Muslim is undermines law enforcement, violates civil liberties and has a devastating impact on the thousands of peace loving Muslim men, women and children in our city.”
Linda Sarsour, firstname.lastname@example.org, 917-306-3323
Faiza N. Ali, email@example.com,718-724-3041