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A protest against targeting of Muslims, ending with a prayer near One Police Plaza
by Dan Rosenblum
About 150 demonstrators gathered in Foley Square on Friday afternoon to give voice to a growing list of complaints against the NYPD and police commissioner Ray Kelly for targeted surveillance of New York Muslims.
The Friday protest was coordinated by nonprofit Muslim advocacy organization Majilis Ash-Shura of Metropolitan New York and Desis Rising Up and Moving, a Jackson Heights-based organization which advocates for the civil rights of South Asian immigrants. Among the demonstrators were also Occupy protesters and interfaith leaders, as well as some local elected officials. Some speakers called for more accountability by the police; others called for Kelly and Browne to step down.
It was the second rally to protest the department's Muslim-specific policies in as many weeks. The day before, the Associated Press had written about an internal department document suggesting the department targeted Shi'ite mosques for surveillance. That countered Kelly's previous assertion that Muslim communities weren't targeted by religion.
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