I’ve learned that when The Most Important Newspaper In The World tells you something, it’s worth checking twice. Or three times. It was true about their reporting on the Occupy Wall Street march on the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s true about Steubenville. And so when I see a New York Times editorial criticizing the NYPD for spying on innocent Muslims, I want to know more.
The editorial titled Spying on Law-Abiding Muslims and in it, the New York Times is taking the NYPD for task for trying to protect the citizens of New York City against Islamists. Of course, they don’t phrase it that way, since they know many of their readers probably remember the events of September 11th, 2001 vividly. What the Times does is to distort and hide facts about allegations made against the NYPD. They do this so that reasonable people will be outraged by the NYPD picking on ‘law-abiding Muslims’, since most Americans have valid, longstanding concerns about police overreach and religious liberty.
Let’s go through this step-by-step and see how the New York Times omits just enough facts to misdirect their reader’s outrage. Here’s a key graf from the Times piece.
In a particularly striking declaration, a Queens man who said the Police Department paid him to spy on Muslims last year also said he was assigned to spy on a lecture at the Muslim Student Association at John Jay College of Criminal Justice even though the police did not think the group was “doing anything wrong.” He said his handler told him that the department considered “being a religious Muslim a terrorism indicator.”
Outrageous, totally outrageous, say reasonable people and also “Harrumph!” Why would the police spy on a group who wasn’t doing anything wrong? The New York Times fails to mention who made these allegations or who the speaker was but a little research turns it up pretty quickly. Here’s an October story from the Huffington Post about the man who was the informant, named Shamiur Rahman.
One of his earliest assignments was to spy on a lecture at the Muslim Student Association at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. The speaker was Ali Abdul Karim, the head of security at the Masjid At-Taqwa mosque in Brooklyn. The NYPD had been concerned about Karim for years and already had infiltrated the mosque, according to NYPD documents obtained by the AP.
Rahman also was instructed to monitor the student group itself, though he wasn’t told to target anyone specifically. His NYPD handler, Steve, told him to take pictures of people at the events, determine who belonged to the student association and identify its leadership.
On Feb. 23, Rahman attended the event with Karim and listened, ready to catch what he called a “speaker’s gaffe.” The NYPD was interested in buzz words such as “jihad” and “revolution,” he said. Any radical rhetoric, the NYPD told him, needed to be reported.
Okay, a little closer. Lots of stuff that the Times left out, such as explaining that they were worried about the speaker — Ali Abdul Karim.
Here’s a little bit about Mr. Karim from his own bio. Again, the Times didn’t find this ‘fit to print.’
Master Ali Abdul Karim studied Shinobi-no-jitsu (Ninjitsu) from world famous and noted Grand Master Ronald Duncan since 1969.
Ninjitsu is the ancient Japanese martial art involving security, surveillance, and commando warfare. Some of the arts that Master Karim has studied is Aikijutsu, Kempo Jutsu, Hakko Ryu Jujutsu, Kenjutsu, Aikido under Prof. Luqman Hakeem, aspects of Shiao Lin Chin Na, Fu Jiao Pau, Pa Qua Kung Fu, Eagle Claw, White Eyebrow Kung Fu, Tai chi quan, Shiao Lin Chi Gung, Wing Chung Kung Fu, and the Monkey Style to name only a few. It only seemed natural for Master Karim to pursue the modern Western approach to balance his training. Master Karim is an expert in SWAT team operations, pistol disarmament, and special reaction security. In 1982, the Military Police Corps unit of the U.S. Army at Fort Dix, NJ awarded him a certificate of appreciation in recognition of his outstanding performance as a primary instructor for the National Association of Tactical Teams (NATT), a special reaction team for combat. Master Kareem earned a certificate of achievement for the completion of the Advanced Urban Assault Rappel course, and Advanced Elevated Urban Operations course. Master Karim is a Licensed Private Investigator and is a CEO of his own Security firm.
Okay, so the dude has a unique look and martial arts and weapons background and he’s a Muslim. Whatever, right!?! Let’s not partake in the stereotype that he might be aggressive or that his mosque has any connections to terrorism, right?!? What is the facist NYPD THINKING looking into a speech by Mr. Karim? (Who they don’t mention.)
Well, let’s keep researching, shall we? Surely, Mr. Karim has never…
Oh, wait. Look at this blog post from Americans Against Hate (a group I am admittedly unfamiliar with.)
Don’t snap a photo of the Masjid At-Taqwa in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn unless you want to be hauled away by a group of angry Muslims in Islamic attire to the basement of the facility where a group of twenty “security guards” in karate suits will interrogate you.
This might sound preposterous.
But it happened on Saturday, April 24, at 3:00 in the afternoon.
Ali Kareem, the head of security for Siraj Wahaj’s mosque, conducted the grilling. A small, muscular man with a wispy black beard that has been dyed red with henna, Kareem demanded to know the reason why a trio of kafirs had dared to photograph the building on a public street without securing his permission.
He further insisted on securing our identities and obtaining our motives for such a violation of Islamic space.
And the Masjid At-Taqwa mosque in Brooklyn? These obviously are law-abding Muslims. They certainly abide by Sharia law.
— Masjid At Taqwa (@taqwany) January 18, 2013
And does the mosque that Mr. Karim is the head of security for have even the smallest bit of connection to terrorists? Well, I think you can guess the answer to that by now and it’s an answer that clearly the New York Times saw fit to leave out of their criticism of the NYPD…
The place has played host to a number of notorious exponents of radical Islam, including Clement Rodney Hampton-El (Dr. Rashid), a key player in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Mr. Hampton-El is presently cooling his heels in a federal slammer since he was found guilty of seditious conspiracy. Mr. Hampton-El, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, fought as a mujahadeen under Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in the holy war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
Upon his return, Hampton-El was hailed as a hero by members of the mosque. Imam Wahaj has said that he was sought out by young and old alike for spiritual advice as an “elder” in the community. Wahaj, in fact, appeared as a character witness for Hampton El when the former mujahadeen stood trial before Judge Michael Mukasey in New York’s Federal District Court on charges of seditious conspiracy and attempted bombing.
Hampton-El is currently serving thirty-five years in a supermax prison for America’s most dangerous inmates.
And there’s more about the mosques’s connections with terrroists in the link to the post.
Guess what? If I lived in New York City, I’d want the NYPD looking into this group.
The question is: why doesn’t the New York Times?