NEW BRUNSWICK - Several Muslim community leaders in New Jersey are expressing outrage over reports indicating the NYPD monitored Muslim student organization at colleges across the Northeast, including Rutgers, without warrants or probable cause.
"Any investigation...based on the faith of the community is racial profiling or ethnic profiling and that is illegal," says Aref Assaf, president of the American Arab Forum.
Salim Patel, who heads the Rutgers Muslim Alumni Association, tells Kane In Your Corner, "What if it were Jewish students targeted for being Jewish? Or black students targeted for being black? This is so wrong it's almost beyond words."
The surveillance is documented in a secret NYPD report recently uncovered by the Associated Press. It shows detectives routinely trawled student websites and blogs at area colleges and, in some cases, sent in undercover agents. The NYPD even reportedly set up a safehouse just off the Rutgers campus in Piscataway.
The NYPD insists all surveillance was legal, and New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg defends the operation, saying anti-terror efforts help to provide students with the freedoms they enjoy.