Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly did his best at a breakfast earlier this month to explain and justify his department’s undercover surveillance in mosques and Muslim student associations within and outside the city.
There is every reason to believe that Islamic terrorists have and will continue to recruit both in mosques and student associations. The NYPD undercover officers are there to prevent another 9/11.
Nevertheless, it is not hard to understand why this offends Muslims, who see surveillance as trampling on their religious freedom. In claiming the spying is legal, Kelly appears to be referring to a court-ordered reform known as the Handschu agreement, which resulted from NYPD spying on leftist radicals in the 1960s.
The agreement prohibits the NYPD from investigating lawful political activity unless it has specific information that a suspect is, or is about to be, engaged in criminal conduct.
City Islamic leaders are not convinced the current NYPD spying meets that standard.
Outside the city, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie complained the NYPD is conducting this operation in his state without consulting with the state’s law enforcement.
The commissioner needs to find a way to protect the city that does not trample on the rights of the city’s Muslims. At the same time, the city’s Islamic leaders must make a greater effort to ensure that their houses of prayer are not exploited by terrorists.
Fighting for PS 78
A meeting of Community District Education Council 30 speaks volumes about the way parents feel about neighborhood schools.
The meeting was called to introduce to the community the plans for a new middle and high school to be built in Hunters Point. Representatives of the city School Construction Authority were on hand to discuss IS/HS 404, a school planned for 150 51st Ave. in Hunters Point.
The new high school sounds great, but the people who came wanted to discuss PS 78’s future. The building where the school is now was built as an early childhood center. It has no auditorium or gym.
But it is their school and they do not want their children going someplace else. It is time the city Department of Education got the message.