Kelly on his department’s relationship with Muslims; a Muslim professor on his protest T-shirt
Here’s Hussein Rashid, the Hofstra professor who wore an “I AM NOT A TERRORIST” t-shirt to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s interfaith prayer breakfast last week, to call attention to the NYPD’s surveillance tactics that, according to the Associated Press, focus on Muslim neighborhoods. Rashid said the t-shirt, and his attendance at the event, were in fact both a form of protest.
“If I’m suspect by virtue of being Muslim than all my associates will be suspect,” he said.
Earlier that morning, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly spoke to Fox 5 New York, acknowledging some of the criticism but saying it doesn’t reflect the relationship his department has with Muslim residents.
“I think we have an excellent relationship with the Muslim community in the city. There are some people who don’t agree and we understand that,” Kelly said.
Muslim residents here “work very cooperatively with us, no question about it,” he said. “Every year we have a pre-Ramadan conference. Five hundred people come to our auditorium; we brief them. I go to the Mosques. We have, you know, question-and-answer sessions. But I believe that our relationship is very good. There are some people who are not happy with some of the things that we’re doing. We understand that. Everything we’re doing is pursuant to the law. We feel we have to do it in our post-9/11 world to protect New York City.”