Press Releases

Coalition to Call for Resignation of NYPD Commissioner Over Anti-Islam Film Cover-Up

(NEW YORK, N.Y., 1/25/12) – On Thursday, January 26, the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) — along with the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition (MACLC) and other minority and civil liberties groups — will hold a news conference on the steps of City Hall to call for the resignations of New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Ray Kelly and Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne due to revelations that they covered up their roles in the production of the anti-Islam propaganda film “The Third Jihad” that was shown to almost 1500 NYPD officers.
SEE: NY Times Slams Hateful Anti-Islam Film
CAIR-NY: Mayor Bloomberg Disavows Use of Anti-Muslim Movie in Police Training

WHAT: News Conference to Call for Resignation of NYPD Commissioner Kelly, Deputy Commissioner Browne
WHEN: Thursday, January 26, 11 a.m.
WHERE: Steps of New York City Hall, New York, NY
CONTACT: CAIR-NY Civil Rights Manager Cyrus McGoldrick, 203-206-6883 or 212-870-2002, E-Mail: cmcgoldrick@cair.com
A New York Times article published yesterday stated:

“Commissioner Kelly is listed on the ‘Third Jihad’ Web site as a ‘featured interviewee.’ Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, wrote in an e-mail that filmmakers had lifted the clip from an old interview. The commissioner, Mr. Browne said, has not asked the filmmakers to remove him from its Web site, or to clarify that he had not cooperated with them.”

CAIR-NY: In NYPD Training, a Dark Film on U.S. Muslims

But in a follow-up article today, the Times reveals that Kelly and Browne were both involved in the film’s production: “Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne told The New York Times on Monday that the filmmakers had relied on old interview clips and had never spoken with the commissioner. On Tuesday, the film’s producer, Raphael Shore, e-mailed The Times and provided a date and time for their 90-minute interview with the commissioner at Police Headquarters on March 19, 2007. Told of this e-mail, Mr. Browne revised his account. ‘He’s right,’ Mr. Browne said Tuesday of the producer. ‘In fact, I recommended in February 2007 that Commissioner Kelly be interviewed.'”
SEE: In Shift, Police Say Leader Helped With Anti-Islam Film and Now Regrets It (NY Times)

“As leaders of the nation’s largest police department, Commissioner Kelly and Deputy Commissioner Browne’s actions set a tone for relations with law enforcement that impact American Muslims nationwide,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “The reputation of the NYPD deteriorates with each new revelation of improper actions. It’s time for change.”
“This controversy has moved beyond an issue of poor judgment in the use of an Islamophobic training film to an issue of the integrity of public officials,” said CAIR-NY Civil Rights Manager Cyrus McGoldrick. “The lack of truthfulness exhibited by Commissioner Kelly and Deputy Commissioner Browne means New Yorkers must now question the credibility of every statement they make. This situation necessitates their immediate resignations.”
He said this latest revelation comes following a year-long series of misstatements and retractions from Kelly and Browne that indicates a total disregard for the civil rights of American Muslims and a complete lack of respect for one of the city’s largest religious communities.
McGoldrick said that when the issue first came to light last year, CAIR-NY called on the NYPD to investigate how the propaganda film came to be used in mandatory counterterrorism training. CAIR-NY also called for new NYPD guidelines to ensure that officer training materials offer only unbiased information about any religious or minority community. Along with the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition (MACLC), CAIR-NY sent several letters to Commissioner Kelly, but received no response beyond callous dismissals of the allegations as “wrong” and “a non-issue.”
SEE: CAIR Asks NYPD to Probe Use of Anti-Muslim Training Film
SEE: Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition

McGoldrick added that a recent series of investigative reports by the Associated Press revealed that undercover NYPD officers in a so-called “Demographics Unit” spied on Muslim communities and houses of worship with the assistance of individuals linked to the CIA. NYPD officials initially denied the Demographics Unit existed, despite the AP’s publication of an NYPD presentation and other documents that described the mission and makeup of the unit.
SEE: CIA Lawyer Never Approved NYPD Collaboration that Built Widespread Muslim Spying Programs
AP: NYPD Demographics Unit Presentation

Reports indicate that the NYPD even spied on Muslim leaders who figured prominently in community outreach efforts, and infiltrated Muslim student groups not suspected of committing any crime.
SEE: NYPD Even Spied on the Muslim Leaders Who Were Helping Them
SEE: NYPD Spying on Muslim College Students Now

“The Third Jihad” was produced by the shadowy non-profit group the Clarion Fund. A previous anti-Muslim propaganda film produced by the group and distributed to millions of voters in swing states just prior to the 2008 election was apparently backed by a $17 million donation from a “longtime contributor” to neo-conservatives and militant Israeli groups. The Clarion Fund also has links to the right-wing Israeli group Aish HaTorah.
SEE: Moneyman for Anti-Muslim DVD Campaign Revealed?

The Times article on Tuesday also notes: “[The Clarion Fund’s] previous documentary attacking Muslims’ ‘war on the West’ attracted support from the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a major supporter of Israel who has helped reshape the Republican presidential primary by pouring millions of dollars into a so-called super PAC that backs Newt Gingrich.”
SEE: Gingrich’s Anti-Muslim Sugar Daddy Funded Film Shown to NYPD

McGoldrick noted that the Obama administration said it would review and reform government training on Islam after CAIR and the other civil rights groups expressed concerns about persistent reports that FBI agents and other government and military officials are trained to view mainstream American Muslims with suspicion and to view the faith of Islam as the source of terrorism and extremism.
SEE: CAIR Calls for Reform of FBI’s Training on Islam, Muslims
Manufacturing the Muslim Menace
How We Train Our Cops to Fear Islam
Islam-Bashing Bigots Train Counterterrorism Agents

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

– END –
CONTACT: CAIR-NY Civil Rights Manager Cyrus McGoldrick, 212-870-2002, or 203-206-6883, E-Mail: cmcgoldrick@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: arubin@cair.com

 

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