- Reports found NYPD spied on American Muslim college groups at 16 Northeast colleges
- Dean Obeidallah: If NYPD had spied on any other group or faith, people would be outraged
- Freedom of religion also means freedom from harassment for your faith, he writes
- Obeidallah: Commissioner Raymond Kelly must stop NYPD’s illegal profiling
Editor’s note: Dean Obeidallah is a former attorney turned comedian and has appeared on Comedy Central’s “Axis of Evil” special, ABC’s “The View” and HLN’s “The Joy Behar Show.” He is co-executive producer of the annual New York Arab-American Comedy Festival and co-director of the upcoming documentary: “The Muslims Are Coming!” Follow him on Twitter.
(CNN) — First, there was “Flying While Muslim.” This expression summed up the extra challenges of being an American Muslim when flying on commercial airlines.
This situation has become almost accepted as part of the American Muslim experience. In fact, I have even comically offered advice to people in my community on how to avoid extra problems when they fly: “Dress white, make your flight. Dress brown, never leave town.”
But now there is something new: “Studying While Muslim.” And there is nothing funny about it.
Documents obtained by The Associated Press reveal that for the past few years, the New York Police Department has been engaged in the weekly surveillance of American Muslim college groups at 16 schools across the Northeast, including New York University, Yale, Rutgers and the University of Pennsylvania. (The NYPD has neither commented on the number of years that this surveillance was conducted nor if it’s still happening.)