Muslim advocates have successfully sued the New York Police Department into erasing all its records on the surge of Islamic radicalism and the threats specific individuals pose to the U.S. as a whole.
Not only does the NYPD now have to purge all those records, but it also must ensure that future terror investigations tread lightly when looking into the Muslim community, the Free Beacon reports.
The document, called “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat,” now has to be deleted, despite police maintaining it served as an extremely important training resource. The police have now had to promise that they won’t use the report moving forward and have pledged to remove it from their site.
The American Civil Liberties Union represented several Muslim community advocates in its lawsuit against the department, alleging that the paper violated the Handschu Guidelines, which is a set of practices the NYPD must abide by when opening political investigations. Specifically, the complaint argues that “the NYPD had a policy or practice that violated the Handschu Guidelines by conducting surveillance and investigations of individuals and organizations associated with the Muslim religion solely on the basis of religion, and without a factual predicate.”
The court order comes at a time when surveillance programs have been crucial in uncovering and foiling domestic support for the Islamic State.
Counter-terrorism experts are concerned that the ruling comes at the wrong time and will likely diminish the department’s ability to crack down on radical elements within the Muslim community.
“To pursue a see-no-Islam counter-jihadist strategy is not only absurd and contradictory on its face, but it’s a severe dereliction of duty—ignorance is not an excuse, and it represents a failure to do everything necessary to defend against an ideology that seeks to undermine the Constitution and subvert and destroy Western civilization again, according to Islamic supremacists themselves,” Benjamin Weingarten, a national security analyst, told the Free Beacon.
When news of the case broke earlier in January, an op-ed in The Guardian applauded the decision for prohibiting ‘discriminatory’ surveillance of Muslim communities and pointed out that removing the report is essential at a time of growing ‘Islamophobia’ in the United States.
Since the Muslim advocates won the action, which began following the 9/11 attacks, the NYPD must pay $1,671,686 to cover all expenses and attorney’s fees associated with the action.
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