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New York to introduce reforms protecting Muslims from surveillance


Initiative, triggered by lawsuits, seeks to protect Muslims from discriminatory and blanket surveillance

New York will appoint an independent monitor to review counter-terror police investigations as part of reforms designed to protect Muslims from discriminatory and blanket surveillance, officials said Thursday.

stigmatized communities based solely on religion, and that lawful political and religious activities were subject to unwarranted police surveillance following the 9/11 attacks.

The terms of the settlement, which were reached after more than a year of negotiations, must be approved by a federal judge.

Discriminatory surveillance sowed fear and mistrust, drove down mosque attendance and forced religious leaders to censor conversations out of concern that they might be misunderstood, the group said.

Hina Shamsi, ACLU National Security Project director, said it introduced “much-needed constraints on law enforcement’s discriminatory and unjustified surveillance of Muslims.”

“At a time of rampant anti-Muslim hysteria and prejudice nationwide, this agreement with the country’s largest police force sends a forceful message that bias-based policing is unlawful, harmful and unnecessary,” she added.

Muslim community leaders have complained of an unprecedented backlash across the United States after extremist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, fueled by rhetoric on the presidential campaign trail.


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