April 1, 2013
Diala Shamas’s op-ed in today’s New York Daily News describes the impact that 10 years of spying by the New York Police Department has had on Muslim communities in the city.
“As one of the [Mapping Muslims: NYPD Spying and its Impact on American Muslims] authors, I spent many hours listening to Muslim New Yorkers from all walks of life as they told chilling stories of how every aspect of their daily routines has been affected, how they have essentially been made to cower from the public sphere that American democracy is supposed to celebrate. …Proponents of the NYPD’s surveillance program argue that those who have done nothing wrong should have nothing to hide. But the logic of this claim is offensive to the deeply valued American concepts of privacy and freedom of speech. The notion that a community’s speech and actions are being monitored weakens our democracy, essentially reducing an entire segment of the population to silence and second-class status.”
Shamas is a Liman Fellow and staff attorney at CUNY Law’s Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project. She is a co-author of the recently released report Mapping Muslims: NYPD Spying and its Impact on American Muslims.