Sunday, November 25, 2007
This is so beautifully stated, Thank you Cop Watch:
Cop Watch Los Angeles - South Central Chapter:
In Defense of Our Muslim Sisters and Brothers. Fight Racial Profiling and White Supremacy.In sight: In danger from the U.S. Imperialist War on the World The U.S. Imperialist war on the world continues to escalate and their plans at home grow more dangerous.
These attacks target us all not just our Muslim brothers and sisters but all our communities. Recently the LAPigD publicly announced the legalization of racial profiling in order to protect white privilege and capitalist interest. They announced their plans to map and identify Muslim communities throughout Los Angeles. They later came out and said that, due to public pressure, they would reconsider such a plan.
However, those of us who know anything about this imperialist establishment are well aware of double speak where they say one thing and do another. We are well aware of the LAPD track record ontelling the truth or inability to do so. Just recently they publicly announced plans not to tow vehicles of undocumented drivers and went on to change the policy 2 days later. Amerikkka’s history is a story of lies and deceit, murder and genocide. A disgusting record of committing genocide on the peoples of the Americas, the enslavement of our African brother and sisters, the Jim crow laws, the Chinese exclusion act, the brazero program, the swift Raid etc etc etc.
The LAPigD did not fall far from the tree bred with a history of racism and violence that have terrorized our communities since their inception.Our brothers and sisters who are driven from their homelands by the effects of neo-liberal policies only to live in fear from the police and immigration, find no peace as pawns of this empire that exploits them for their labor and devalues them as human beings referring to them as“illegals” or “aliens”.
We should not forget the actions of this government during World War 2 when they uprooted and relocated more than 120,000 Japanese people in Amerikkka from their homes and sent them to internment camps. Now our Muslim brothers and sisters are being targeted and put at risk by xenophobic security forces who view all people of color as the enemy.
We will not sit silently while there is oppression and racism. We will not only stand in solidarity but defend our Muslim brothers and sisters who are being scapegoated just like we stand in solidarity with colonized people who are being rounded up by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). We will wage resistance and take direct action against the police state.
All Power THROUGH the People!
Cop Watch LA - South Central
Friday, November 16, 2007
Joint Statement of Northern California Bar Associations & Civil Rights Organizations re: Shelving of LAPD Mapping Project
Office of the Mayor, City of Los Angeles
200 North Spring Street, Room 303
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Chief William J. Bratton
Chief of Police
Los Angeles Police Department
150 N. Los Angeles Street, Room 630
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Re: Joint Statement on the LAPD’s Decision to “Shelve” Mapping of Muslim-American Community
On behalf of the undersigned bar associations and civil rights organizations, we welcome the decision by the Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) to “shelve” efforts by the LAPD to “map” Muslim communities in the Los Angeles area under the guise of counter-terrorism. Though we commend the LAPD for being responsive to the concerns of the Muslim community, we feel it is necessary that the LAPD should not only “shelve” the program, but in light of historical lessons, permanently abandon and publicly renounce such efforts altogether.
We were deeply disturbed by LAPD Commander Michael Downing’s recent description of the mapping program as an effort “to identify and counter violent extremism,” and his public pronouncements that "we want to know where the Pakistanis, Iranians and Chechens are so we can reach out to those communities.” The road to Manzanar was paved with similar “outreach” efforts initiated in the name of national security. Soon after the Pearl Harbor attack, then Attorney General Earl Warren directed the mapping of all Japanese-owned land in California, moved to enforce the Alien Land Law against Japanese landowners, and publicly stated his belief that the Japanese presence created the conditions for another Pearl Harbor. Having set the stage for internment, he soon advocated for excluding all Japanese from within 200 miles of the coast.
At a time when hate crimes and other egregious civil rights violations committed against Muslims, South Asians, Arabs, Iranians and other minority communities are on the rise, we feel it was deeply irresponsible for Commander Downing to popularize the premise that these communities are more likely than other Americans to commit violent acts of terror.
This premise is false — one only needs to examine the many documented acts of hatred and violence directed at these communities by fellow Americans from outside these communities, not to mention the dearth of successful domestic terrorism prosecutions. History demonstrates the danger of advancing such premises. Not long ago, it was falsely premised that all Japanese-Americans were inclined toward espionage. The results were tragic and shameful for our great nation.
Isolating whole communities for investigation, surveillance, and intelligence-gathering based on religion and national origin is no less unlawful, imprudent and reprehensible than racial profiling — which the U.S. Department of Justice banned for federal law enforcement agencies based on a presidential directive. The LAPD’s plan raised urgent constitutional concerns — violating equal protection guarantees and chilling the free exercise of religion.
The lessons of Japanese internment — beginning with mapping — taught our country that national security goals are not served by violating civil liberties. The LAPD’s proposed measures had threatened to drop these hard-learned lessons down the memory hole. We urge all law enforcement agencies to keep these lessons in mind, so that we never have to relearn them.
The South Asian Bar Association of Northern California
The Bay Area Association of Muslim Lawyers
The Iranian American Bar Association
The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area
The Sikh American Legal Defense & Education Fund
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
MUSLIMS WELCOME REMOVAL OF LAPD’S MAPPING PROGRAM
Los Angeles, CA, – 11/15/2007: The controversial Muslim ‘Mapping’ Plan of the Los Angeles Police Department is now “dead on arrival” according to Chief William Bratton.
“It is over and not just put on the side,” said Chief Bratton in a meeting with the Muslim leadership of Southern California on Thursday, November 15th. The meeting was moderated by Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles, Arif Alikhan and attended by Deputy Chief Mike Downing.
Chief Bratton acknowledged the hurt and offense caused to Muslims and agreed to send a letter to the Muslim community announcing the official termination of the ‘mapping’ plan.
A major reason for the termination of the 'mapping' plan was the Muslim community’s vociferous opposition and active civic engagement in making themselves heard beyond Los Angeles. Muslim organizations demonstrated a strong unity of purpose and message on the issue of 'mapping' that led to a position of strength for Muslims in the meeting. Those involved in the initial phases of this controversy were the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Muslim Advocates and American Civil Liberties Union. Several other mosques and organizations joined in the common stand against the 'mapping' plan at the meeting.
Present at the press conference was also a large coalition of interfaith groups and social justice organizations whose continued support strengthened the Muslims' call for the withdrawal of the 'mapping' plan. The alliance with these groups proved instrumental in registering a strong voice to preserve American democratic values in our city government.
The Muslim organizations highlighted the pervasive culture of ignorance across the country in political and law enforcement circles contributing to misconceptions about Islam and Muslims that lead to short-sighted policy-making. In response, Chief Bratton suggested the establishment of a Muslim Forum for LAPD to directly interface with him and his senior command staff in pursuit of mutual understanding between law enforcement and the Muslim community. The Muslim leadership welcomed the idea and hopes the Forum will help to dispel the myths about Islam and Muslims and create a healthy dialogue with law enforcement.
Today, the people of Los Angeles spoke and the City of Los Angeles listened to the collective voice for justice and civil rights.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Los Angeles Police, Muslim Group on Same Page With Mapping Plan
By Daniel Fowler, CQ Staff
To better understand its Muslim communities and head off radicalization, the Los Angeles Police Department recently initiated a project to identify who the city’s Muslims are and where they are located.
“I think we don’t know enough about American-Muslim communities in the United States,” said Michael P. Downing, deputy chief commanding officer of the LAPD’s Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau. “I certainly don’t know enough about them in Los Angeles.”
A leading Muslim civil rights organization headquartered in Los Angeles does not necessarily object to the community mapping project, but wants it to be accompanied by increased dialogue between police and Muslim citizens.
“While we think mapping is a good idea to understand the demographics of a community, law enforcement should not be looking at the problem of extremism only from an intelligence standpoint,” said Safiya Ghori, director of government relations at the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
Downing mentioned the initiative during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing this week on local law enforcement’s role in fighting Islamic extremism.
“In the past, we have relied on interventions based on ‘experts,’ logic or previous programs that are either generic or insensitive to the constellation of issues,” Downing said in his written testimony to the committee. “This has consistently produced unremarkable results. Public safety pays a high cost for this business practice.”
The LAPD is working with the University of Southern California’s National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events on the project and also hopes to enlist a Muslim group to assist as well, Downing said in an interview.
“Just in Los Angeles, we have probably 700,000 American-Muslim members spread throughout the region,” he said. “Many of them are diaspora communities from second and third generation that identify with Pakistan or Somalia or Chechnya or Jordan, all throughout Europe and the Middle East.”
Downing said the LAPD is trying to identify who the Muslims are and where they are located.
Then the LAPD would “apply risk factors: whether they are exposed to Wahhabi-Salafi preachings, the age gender demographic, socioeconomic conditions, unemployment and then try to see which communities are isolated,” Downing said, “and on one side infuse social services and governmental resources to get them integrated into . . . the greater society and then maybe on the other side make sure we know about what’s going on in that community.”
In his written testimony, Downing said the LAPD plans to “take a deeper look at their history, demographics, language, culture, ethnic background, socio-economic status, and social interactions.”
“It is our hope to identify communities, within the larger Muslim community, which may be susceptible to violent ideologically-based extremism and then use a full-spectrum approach guided by an intelligence-led strategy,” he continued.
Mapping and Dialogue
In addition to mapping, Ghori said, there should be community dialogue because “establishing trust is not just about identifying risks. It’s about working to develop more dialogue and understanding between law enforcement and the Muslim-American community.”
Ghori said reading Downing’s written testimony about the mapping project made her a “little nervous.”
“This sort of study should look at characteristics and behaviors rather than ethnic and religious groups as a whole,” she said.
Downing agrees that the two efforts go hand in hand.
“We can’t have mapping without dialogue,” Downing said. “We can have dialogue, but if we are not reaching the right people, then it’s really not very fruitful. Hopefully, the mapping will help us identify the right people . . . in terms of who we need to dialogue with and integrate into the greater society of Los Angeles.”
Downing said nothing about the project is covert. For the past 18 months, the LAPD has been making a grass-roots effort to reach out to Muslim communities.
The “outreach and grass-roots dialogue with Muslim communities has helped the entire command staff to observe, learn, engage, and most importantly listen,” he wrote. “This has helped to build more robust trust networks at the divisional level of the police service area.”
In his written testimony, Downing said, “One of our goals is to be viewed as trusted friends by Muslim communities in our city.”
“They have done a great job in the past few years to work with the community to build bridges,” Ghori said. “And I think it’s one of the best examples of local law enforcement in this country.”
Downing said in an interview he got the idea for the community mapping project while visiting West Yorkshire during a stint with Scotland Yard in England from November 2006 through January 2007. “[It’s] where I first saw the kind of work and the benefit it had,” he said.
By spring, Downing said, he hopes to complete the community mapping initiative. If it’s successful, he believes it could be transmittable, at least in part, to other major U.S. cities.
“The ultimate goal of this thing is to try to integrate . . . so they keep their Muslim identity, but integrate into the greater society,” he said.
Michael Downing is Deputy Chief in charge of the LAPD’s Counter Terrorism Bureau. In Washington last month, he told a congressional committee, there is “a vicious, amorphous and unfamiliar adversary on our land.” He said the LAPD hopes to identify communities that “may be susceptible to violent, ideologically-based extremism.” Since then, news reports have talked about “Muslim mapping,” which has been denounced by the ACLU and others as “racial profiling.”
- Mike Downing: Deputy Chief at the Los Angeles Police Department and Commanding Officer of the Counter Terrorism Bureau
- Bill Boyarsky: Vice President of the LA City Ethics Commission
- Usman Madha: Community Liaison for the King Fahd Mosque
- Salam Al-Marayati: Executive Director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
(Greetings of Peace)
I've received a request from one of the Muslim community's mainstream leaders out on the west coast, to share some information on the LAPD Mapping proposal with the members of our online network. I have no problem honoring this request, but not without comment.
The LAPD profiling initiative - and the Muslim community's response, thus far, to this ill-conceived initiative - underscores one of the major problems that threatens the overall health, as well as the short and long-term viability of this potentially great, but deeply disturbed nation, called America. (Not to mention the health and well being of individual Muslims and Muslim communities throughout America.)
The LAPD Mapping proposal DID NOT take place in a vacuum! It is nothing more than the natural outgrowth of the NYPD's Special Report on the Homegrown Terrorist Threat in America that was released earlier this year (summer 2007).
The LAPD and NYPD (two of the largest police departments in two of America's major cities), while on opposite coasts, are nevertheless on the same page vis-a-vis the alleged Muslim threat in America. It is the Muslims (generally speaking) who are fearful, divided and weak - causing the community to be susceptible, and enabling some of our "leaders" to be complicit, with such nefarious intrigues!
From what I've been reading, some of the community's leaders who thought themselves to be insiders (privileged members of the Muslim community on a first name basis with the powers-that-be in their respective jurisdictions) have discovered how nebulous such insider status can be, when the proposal was publicized without any prior notice or "consultation."
Those who are truly sincere will admit (at least to themselves) their mistake, and work to openly oppose this disastrous campaign before the dye is set. While those who covet their delusional status (more than they value their sense of responsibility to community) will look for a way to spin the LAPD/NYPD/AMERIKKKAN agenda to suit their own self-serving ends.
A final thought, for the record. When the NYPD report came to our attention back in August, we immediately sent out a release (part of an analytical commentary) wherein we warned that if the report was not effectively CHALLENGED, it would be on the road to becoming policy throughout America. Well now, the chickens are starting to come home to roost; as time is the best tester of men and ideas.
El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan
Director of Operations
The Peace And Justice Foundation
"That man can have nothing but what he strives for;
That the fruit of his striving will soon come in sight."
- An-Najm (Surah 53; 39-40)
p.s. IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO RESPOND WITH EFFECTIVE PUSHBACK. (But time is of the essence.)Please go to the following website for additional information on the LAPD Mapping proposal from a Muslim source: www.shuracouncil.org
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
According to the latest article in the LA Times, the LAPD has changed its plans amidst the controversy following the initial plans of mapping the Los Angeles Muslim community. We are still however, waiting to here what the department itself has to say. Here are some excerpts:
"The LAPD today abruptly scrapped its controversial plan to create a mapping program for the city's Muslim community, saying instead it would focus on a "community outreach" strategy more palatable to local civil rights activists.
The decision marks a major retreat for the department, which had said the mapping was necessary to better identify isolated Muslim communities where home-grown terrorism could breed.
But over the last week, the plans has been roundly criticized by Muslim groups and civil libertarians, and others have questioned whether it's possible to map the far-flung community.
Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Michael P. Downing said today that in the wake of the protests, officials would drop the mapping aspect of the plan but continue its attempt to make inroads into the Muslim community through outreach efforts.
In a document reviewed by The Times last week, the LAPD's counter-terrorism bureau proposed using U.S. Census data and other demographic information to pinpoint various Muslim communities and then reach out to them through social service agencies."
Read on here.
An LAPD proposal to collect data on Muslim communities sounds more like the old department than the new one.
November 13, 2007
The Los Angeles Police Department wants to be trusted. It proposes to map the city and pinpoint Muslim communities that "may be susceptible to violent, ideologically based extremism," but it also doesn't want anyone to worry that it will pick on individuals or stereotype groups based on their religion or national origin. Rather, the department insists that it will "take a deeper look at the history, demographics, language, culture, ethnic breakdown, socioeconomic status and social interactions" that define L.A.
We recognize that today's LAPD is a far cry from the one that turned its "Red Squad" against liberals in the early decades of the 20th century, that allowed soldiers to beat young Latino men in the 1940s during the so-called Zoot Suit Riots, that spied on political opponents through the 1960s and 1970s -- including such fringe figures as the mayor. It has evolved from the LAPD that antagonized blacks and Latinos through the 1980s with excessive force, gang sweeps and aggressive car stops, including the routine "proning out" of young men on the pavement. One victim of that practice was none other than Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., who would go on to make the LAPD wish it had treated him better.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MSA West Condemns LAPD's Muslim Community Mapping Project
Muslim Students Stand United with All People of Conscience Against Community Profiling
(Los Angeles, CA, 11/13/07) – Muslim Student Association West (MSA West), a grassroots umbrella organization representing Muslim student groups from across the West coast, condemns the Los Angeles Police Department's proposed initiative to map Muslim communities in an effort to identify "extremist" influences. MSA West stands united with the ACLU, CAIR, Shura Council and Muslim Advocates in an open letter addressing the concerns of the Muslim community regarding the program. MSA West believes that the program does nothing to counter criminal and terrorist activity in the United States; rather, it targets groups and individuals based on their religious affiliation and creates unwarranted suspicion and demonization of the Muslim community. To have a systematic program of racial and religious profiling in any community goes against the very ideals of the Constitution, and attacks the civil rights and liberties of all American citizens.
Michael P. Downing, Deputy Chief of the LAPD's Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau –in a testimony to the US Senate on October 30 – suggests that law enforcement's job is not "one of religious scholar or social worker " and yet states that there are those "political jihadist" who are " attempting to create division, alienation, and a sense of persecution in Muslim communities" and that they "are the nemesis of community engagement..." facilitating "the radicalization process" and law enforcement must "elavate the moderate Muslim voice". The prevailing fear of homegrown terrorism has no concrete basis and cannot be used as justification for destroying protected freedoms. MSA West recognizes the obligation of the LAPD to secure Los Angeles, but vehemently stands against this initiative, which does nothing to further security but rather puts law enforcement in the precarious position of social worker, religious judge and jury, and analyst of political and social sentiments by utilizing a vague "moderate Muslim" litmus test. This is a gross violation of civil liberties that has been affecting minority communities.
The Qur'an says: "O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves...So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you be not just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed God is ever, with what you do, well Acquainted." (4:135)
Suwila Habib, MSA West Vice President, states that "All people of conscience must stand firmly against the LAPD proposal to map the Muslim community and we request them to sign the petition in order to show their opposition. We ask Chief Bratton to immediately withdraw the Mapping Program, which is an ill concieved plan that places suspicion on the Muslim community of Los Angeles. We fear that students will be unfairly targeted for expressing views outside of mainstream media- such as our complete opposition to the war in Iraq, continued denial of Human Rights to the Palestinian people under the brutal occupation, and our outspoken stance against the violation of civil rights of the Muslim community under the Patriot Act."
MSA West urges Muslim students and community members to stay informed about developments concerning LAPD's Muslim Community Mapping project. We also encourage Muslim students to engage their campuses in open dialogue about this issue.
MSA West is a cohesive coalition of Muslim students united for the sake of God, who aim to embody the concepts of unity, strength and activism. This statement is endorsed by Muslim Student Associations across the West Coast including, but not limited to: MSA Cypress College, MSA UC Berkeley, MSA Chaffey College, MSA CSU Northridge, MSA CSU Long Beach, MSA San Jose City College, MSU UC Irvine, MSA SJSU, MSA USC, MSA UC Los Angeles, MSA Mount San Antonio College, MSA Arizona State University, MSA UC San Diego, MSA CSU Fullerton, MSA UC Davis.
Sign the petition now!
For more information, please contact:
Merusha Nasoordeen, Communications Director: firstname.lastname@example.org | 714.276.4199
It all began with the testimony given to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security's and Governmental Affairs on October 30, 2007- here by Micheal Downing the Deputy Chief in charge of Counter-Terrorism/Criminal Intelligence Bureau at LAPD.
- Immediate Los Angeles Times Article on the issue on Oct. 31, 2001
- Congressional Quarterly Article on the issue which was forwarded by MPAC to its listserv- "Los Angeles Police, Muslim Group on Same Page With Mapping Plan" by Daniel Fowler which unfortunately is subscription based. (found on MPAC email, update 11/09/07)
- Daily KOS puts out this release of a letter sent to LAPD, Mayor V and Jack Weiss by the ACLU, Shura Council, Muslim Advocates and CAIR. (originally added on 11/09/07) The letter is here (updated 11/13/07)
- The New York Times comes out with this report on November 9th, 2007.
- USA Today also does an article.
- LA Times follows up with another article (updated 11/09/07) on Community dissent building against proposed plan.
- MPAC releases a Press Release for an immediate PRESS CONFERENCE Stating: "MPAC unequivocally opposes any profiling on ethnicity or religion as counter to American legal principles and federal law enforcement guidelines. At the same time, MPAC remains committed to fostering engagement and dialogue between law enforcement and the Muslim community...has not taken a position on the proposed program" (updated/received 11/09/07 12:26 PM, this was for 12PM)
- The Pakistani and Iranian communities are at risk for Radicalization, according to Downing- read it here. (updated 11/09/07 320PM)
- Mayor V says "police department has good intention" lets map them terrorists...read here at the LA Times follow up article (updated 11/09/07 327PM).
- Shura Council posted a special advisory to the Muslim community where they request your feedback on the program- see here. (updated 11/09/07 400pm)
- Downing has done it now- the Muslim Hysteria builds as John and Ken radio show are requesting vigilante citizens to call in and report where Muslims hang out so that they can report it to LAPD- now we can just wait until some crazy guy pulls up and starts shooting people. (updated 11/09/07 410pm)
- Buzzing with updates- CAIR sends a Press Release out. Hussam Ayloush says “Based on statements of those involved, it is clear that the ‘mapping’ project would target the Muslim community based not on any suspicious criminal activities, but rather on the basis of legitimate religious and political views protected by the First Amendment,” (updated 11/09/07 440pm)
- Hussam Ayloush on CNN discussing LAPD Mapping:
(Updated 11/09/07 6:39pm)
- Affad (Assad) Shaikh on We The People Radio Station discussing in depth how the community sees this issue and what their concerns are. (updated 11/11/07)
- IECOC issues a statement opposing the Mapping of the Muslim community- read here. IECOC is a local, national and international player in the Muslim community and a major American institute for Shia Muslims. (updated 11/12/07)
- Sheikh Suhaib Webb's blog has a very interesting post on the Muslim Mapping- the post opposes any such LAPD plan on the premises and in practice. (Updated 11/12/07 120pm)
- MPAC releases a press statement saying: "Amid news reports that mischaracterized MPAC's position on a proposed Los Angeles Police Department "mapping" plan, the Muslim Public Affairs Council sent a letter today to LAPD Deputy Chief Mike Downing expressing deep concerns regarding misrepresentation and quotes attributed to LAPD officials." (To me it seems this came on the heels of a strongly worded statement sent out to the Muslim community by a community activist questioning MPAC's position and asking for a definite clarification of the issue.) (Updated 11/12/07 146pm)
- Bill Boyarsky over at LA Observed wrote up a very interesting piece about how Mayor V is caught in the middle of bad situation.
- AMAZING- Two LA Times Editorials (one a LAT Editorial and the other a column denouncing the mapping of the Muslim community and calling for immediate scrapping) If you can not read all the things, MAKE SURE YOU READ THIS!!! Enjoy the Editorial and Column and two letters to the Editors from NON MUSLIMS. (did you send a letter, did it not get published forward it or post it as a comment!) (Updated 11/13/07 149PM)
- NBC National News did a nice piece on the issue on 11/10/07- Hussam Ayloush along with Dr. Mahar Hathout of MPAC were featured- however, note that the issue is about "racial profiling" not about shutting the program down, ONLY Ramona Ripston from ACLU alludes to such a stance (one that I agree with whole heartedly) (updated 11/13/07 634pm)
- Darn Liberals, screwing the country with their desire to protect our Civil Liberties and Rights, I mean what do these things do for America?- says Orielly...watch Hussam Ayloush on Fox News: (Updated 11/13/07- 750pm)
- Its a petition, please sign it. (Updated 11/14/07- 202AM)
- Opposition continues to grow- Islamic Center of Irvine (outside of Los Angeles county, however with a sizable congregation that stretches into LA county) issued a press release expressing concerns to the LAPD mapping proposal, much like IECOC. (Updated 11/14/07- 202AM)
- MSA-West issues a Press Release asking for the withdrawal of the LAPD Mapping proposal and outlining how Students Free Speech will be affected by ambiguous terminology used by LAPD officials-read here. (Updated 11/14/07- 303AM)
- If Faux News can publicly say it then how am I supposed to believe that LAPD will not be internally doing these things to target my community?-
"The subject of the "interview" was the LAPD's recent foray into "Muslim mapping," a practice that is being called racial profiling by the ACLU. McCann and Friends disparage that idea and agree that while the term "mapping" might not be the best choice of words, the intent is to establish a network so that in the event of trouble (terrorism) local law has a starting point for investigating."26. Interesting analysis over the Van Der Gaelien Gazette-
"Ok, now this is just plain weird. It’ll also - I am sure - remind some people of what a certain political organization did in a certain period, in a certain country. Not to Muslims but to a certain other group.
Although comparisons between what the Nazis did and what the LAPD wants to do are overdone, it is quite a troubling development, in my humble opinion. It’s none of the LAPD’s business where these people live. What matters is whether they break the law or not, just like other Americans."
27. Reported in the Long Beach Press Telegram, Sharaf Mowjood, Government Relations Coordinator for CAIR says that "People are concerned on the purposes this will be used for."
28. Other articles include the AP, UPI, LA Daily News, Press Telegram
For a complete analysis of the testimony and This American Muslims thoughts on this ill conceived plan by the LAPD which is in essence a racial/religious profiling program disguised to as an intelligence gathering situation go here.
UPDATE (11/09/07): What you can do if you are as outraged as many other community members are:
- Write a letter to the news paper, keep it short keep it sweet and state your opposition to this project.
- Write a letter to Council Member Jack Weiss's offices, Mayor V's office and Chief Bratton's LAPD office and state that you as an Angeleno or as a American or decent Human are distraught at this report and are in opposition to it.
- Call up the three offices, which is the next step of activism. I can when I get some time post up for you the addresses and contact information for these people. Until then utilize google search engine- it does wonder.
As some Muslamics readers commented, let's keep the focus on the LAPD project and coming up with a wise, strong, united response to the situation.
As-salaamu alaykum. Last week, the Los Angeles Times published several articles regarding the Los Angeles Policy Department's recent announcement that they will be initiating a project which will essentially "map" Muslims in the Southern California area.
I would like to take this opportunity to clarify our position to you directly:
- MPAC does not support, nor has agreed to work with the LAPD on a "mapping" program. Deputy Chief Mike Downing misrepresented MPAC's position in his comments to the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 9th which stated that MPAC "embraced the program 'in concept'." This is simply not true. We have at no point embraced, supported or otherwise signed onto this vaguely defined proposed program.
- MPAC strongly opposes, and will work against any "mapping," profiling, or singling out of Muslims or any other community that could essentially be used by the LAPD's counterterrorism division to violate our privacy, civil liberties, and human rights.
- MPAC is committed to working with decision makers directly to get better decisions made -- be they in government, Congress, the media, interfaith, or Muslim community circles. We stand in defense of the Constitution and our core values as Muslim Americans.
- I, along with other Southern California Muslim leaders, will attend a meeting with LAPD officials on Thursday, November 15 to see complete information and to critically review the proposal before making any assessments or recommendations.
Thank you to all those who have contacted us with your comments, your feedback, and your concerns. We are seriously reviewing the known aspects of this so-called "mapping" plan and will issue our full assessment publicly after Thursday's meeting.
Salam Al Marayati
Muslim Public Affairs Council
1. The whole "mapping" issue has the community up in arms. Everybody has a different take/view/opinion. What you're reading below comes from a community activist who I personally respect. Again though, it is just one view.)
2. In addition to contacting Shura Council to indicate your support for their approach to the mapping (remember every Muslim organization is against it, but they've all got different approaches), you should contact MPAC. They are your organization, you have the right to ask them for clarifications as well as any other questions you may have. In addition, they've expressed an interest in community members contacting them - so take them up on the offer!
Subject: Please read and respond to protect your rights as Muslims
Assalamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah,
I'm sure many of you are by now outraged by the LAPD's plan to map Muslim communities in LA. What seems to potentially pose an even greater threat is the lack of a unified, cohesive voice in opposition on behalf of the Muslim community itself. While non-Muslim groups are willing to join forces to denounce this plan as an outrage and a threat to the freedom and civil liberties of all, I have learned that the Muslim leadership is shockingly divided in its response. I have spoken with Shakeel Syed of the Shura Council today and he confirmed that MPAC favors a toned down approach and a willingness to try to work with the LAPD (or at least be engaged in the process though they say they are against racial profiling). This is in stark contrast to Shakeel's position and that of CAIR (and probably all the other member organizations of Shura) who reject outright any plan based on the premise of singling out Muslim communities on the misguided and bigotted position that we are somehow more prone to violent acts or extremism than other groups. Shakeel assured me this is his position but due to MPAC's sphere of influence within Shura Council, he asked me to get others to speak out so that MPAC clearly knows that they do not represent the Muslim community on this, and so that Shura Council can come out with a forceful unified stand against this nonsense.
So I am requesting each of you to send an email to Shakeel Syed emphasizing the following two points:
1) We are shocked and dismayed by the position of MPAC on this issue and it does not reflect the overwhelming sentiment of the broader Muslim community in Southern California.
2) We call upon the Shura Council as a representative, united voice to categorically denounce and reject any plan that is predicated on the wholesale targeting of the Muslim community without any reasonable cause as an affront to our civil liberties, as a violation of the law of this land, and to exercise any means at its disposal to fight such a measure.
A request has been put in to Shakeel to call an emergency meeting of the Shura Council prior to the scheduled meeting with the LAPD this Thursday. He is also contemplating an emergency town hall meeting to hear the voice of the community, which I have encouraged him to proceed with.
Please send this to anyone on your email contacts and urge people to flood his email box, even if you write two or three sentences to capture the above points. Remember, this is no longer about whether or not you agree with MPAC on a particular issue--this threatens the privacy, security and freedom of every one of us.
wassalamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah,
November 11, 2007
IECOC Opposes the Proposal to Map Muslim Communities
The Islamic Educational Center of Orange County joins in the efforts by Muslim advocacy groups and civil libertarians to denounce the Los Angeles Police Department to map Muslim communities in the greater Los Angeles area.
Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Michael P. Downing, who heads the counter-terrorism bureau, testified before a United States Senate committee on Oct. 30, 2007 that “we want to map the locations of these closed, vulnerable communities [Muslims].”
“To do this, we need to go into the community and get to know peoples’ names. We need to walk into homes, neighborhoods, mosques and businesses,” he said.
If the mapping project goes forward then we fear that over 500,000 American Muslim families in the greater Los Angeles area could automatically become suspects as “risk factors.”
Targeting peaceful Muslim communities reminds us of how the Jews first began being identified by the Nazis during the Holocaust and the American Japanese internment camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
The mapping project strikes at the heart of the American constitution and the civil liberties of its citizens.
Let us not run on fear factors but on sound facts.
Let not our leaders compromise the very essence of “justice for all” and innocence before guilt.
American Muslims are peaceful and law-abiding citizens who care for the safety of their homeland and their neighbors.
The Islamic Educational Center of Orange County welcomes all forms of dialogue and cooperative effort in getting to know the American Muslim community. The doors of our mosque have always been open to the public and law enforcement agencies, we have held numerous interfaith and civic functions, and generously extended our hands to help our neighbors in need. We earnestly work towards the betterment of our nation and its national security for all people.
IECOC will continue to update and inform the community on this issue.
Imam Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini
Islamic Educational Center of Orange County (IECOC)
3194-B Airport Loop Dr.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626