By Hunter Walker
Republican Long Island Congressman Peter King held a rally outside One Police Plaza this morning to support the NYPD and Commissioner Ray Kelly in the wake of Associated Press and The New York Times reports critical of the department's monitoring of the Muslim community. Mr. King described these articles as "anti-NYPD" reporting instigated by the Council on American Islamic Relations, which he described as having terrorist ties.
"It is absolutely disgraceful that The New York Times, the Associated Press, other elements of the politically correct media have allowed themselves to be used by groups such as CAIR and I just wish once just once, the New York Times or the Associated Press instead of calling CAIR a "Muslim civil rights organization' would refer to them as what they are; unindicted co-conspirators in the most major terrorist financing case in the United States," Mr. King said referring to allegations the group was involved in providing support to Hamas. "That's what CAIR is, and yet, when you read the papers and you read the reports, it's anti-NYPD."
Last month, the Associated Press reported the NYPD conducted widespread surveillance of Muslim student groups and mosques. In January, The New York Times reported the NYPD continuously screened a documentary called "The Third Jihad," which accuses "homegrown" Islamic groups of waging cultural and violent jihad against America, for officers. Both these reports sparked outrage against what critics described as overzealous and discriminatory surveillance tactics.
Congressman King, who is Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and a member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence praised the NYPD's anti-terror efforts and defended the tactic of investigating specific communities.
"This is such political hypocrisy. When you think that, for instance, in the years when the government was going after the mafia, they went to the Italian-American community. I'm Irish-American, when they were going after the Westies, they went into the Irish-American community, because that's where the threat was coming from," Mr. King said. "The fact is, the overwhelming majority of Muslim-Americans are outstanding Americans, but the threat to our civilization today comes from that small minority within the Muslim-American community and thank God that Ray Kelly is working to make sure that we find out who they are."
Mr. King was accompanied by members of Muslim American group, including Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, the founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, who narrated "The Third Jihad." A red white and blue banner behind Congressman King and the other speakers proclaimed, "American Muslims Support the NYPD."
A large contingent of press gathered to cover the rally, which was attended by less than twenty people including the congressman. Some of the people at the rally carried signs reading "CAIR Does Not Speak For Me" and "The New York Times Missed a Fact: American Muslims Support NYPD."
Mr. King said he was "proud to stand here today on behalf of the NYPD and Commissioner Ray Kelly." He said the department's intelligence efforts have thwarted several terror attacks and said they should serve as a model to other law enforcement agencies.
"Ray Kelly and the NYPD have sworn never, ever to allow an attack against this city again. There's been 14 attacks stopped, primarily because of the NYPD," Congressman King said. "No one no one is doing more to stop terrorism than the NYPD. What they are doing with their counterterror force, with their intelligence units is what all police departments should be doing at all levels of government. And thank God that Ray Kelly is not backing down to the politically correct media."
At one point while Congressman King was speaking, a heckler attempted to interrupt the proceedings by shouting "Muslims don't support NYPD police brutality." Mr. King continued undeterred, wrapping up his remarks by suggesting Commissioner Kelly be given a medal for his work fighting terrorism.
"Let's give a medal to Ray Kelly and let's denounce the New York Times and the Associated Press for what they are; left wing rumormongers carrying out the work of CAIR," Mr. King said.