Reality Check

Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Suit against anti-terror squad tossed

By Hannan Adely


Law and Order from Bigstock




JewishWorldReview.com |

HACKENSACK, N.J. — (MCT) Civil rights advocates said they were troubled by the dismissal of a federal lawsuit that challenged broad surveillance of Muslims by the New York Police Department and feared it would give law enforcement a "green light" to spy on people based on their religion.

Muslim Advocates, a civil rights organization, filed the lawsuit in June 2012 on behalf of 11 Muslim individuals, businesses and organizations in New Jersey, alleging that the surveillance program violated their constitutional rights by targeting them on the basis of religion. U.S. District Judge William Martini dismissed the lawsuit Thursday, saying the plaintiffs did not show discrimination or injury.

Glenn Katon, legal director of Muslim Advocates, said the organization planned to appeal the decision.

"We really think the case was wrongly decided," he said. "If its reasoning were upheld, it would be a dangerous precedent" against equality under the law and religious freedom.

Plaintiff Gary Abdul Karim Abdullah, owner of All Body Shop Inside and Outside in Newark, said he lost customers and income after his business was identified as one under surveillance.

"It had an adverse effect," he said. "A lot of people called and told me they were afraid to come near the place. Along with the economic situation, it's been very difficult."

He said he was disappointed that the judge dismissed the case. "I think they should have heard from the people (in court) what they think about it," he said.

Martini said the plaintiffs did not prove they were targeted because of their religion and that the "more likely explanation for the surveillance was a desire to locate budding terrorist conspiracies."

"The motive of the program was not solely to discriminate against Muslims, but rather to find Muslim terrorists hiding among ordinary, law-abiding Muslims," he wrote.


FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.


Even if the plaintiffs had proved injury, Martini said, it would have been caused by "unauthorized disclosure of documents" by The Associated Press, which broke the news about the surveillance program in a series of stories starting in August 2011. The AP series later was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the NYPD launched a surveillance program that targeted Muslims at businesses, universities and mosques, including ones in Paterson and Newark, as well as student groups at 16 Northeast colleges, including Rutgers University.

The NYPD allegedly listened in on sermons and conversations at mosques and reported back what they heard. Officers also recorded license plate numbers, mounted cameras on light poles, mapped and photographed mosques, and listed ethnic makeup of businesses in police reports, and they monitored student websites and emails.

News of surveillance caused outrage among Muslims and public officials in New Jersey, who claimed the NYPD did not inform them of their operations in the state. Muslims believed they were discriminated against and said fear of surveillance had put a chill on Muslim life, as people feared speaking out about politics, joining Muslim groups and even praying at mosques.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Police Department maintained that the surveillance program was legal and that police collected information that was publicly available to know where terrorists might go to "lie low." They noted that 9/11 hijackers had spent time in New Jersey, including men who rented an apartment in Paterson. The police used informants only to follow leads, they said.

The Police Department's media office did not respond to a request for comment Thursday afternoon.


Muslim Advocates was the first to challenge the NYPD's actions in a civil rights lawsuit. The group claimed that the surveillance cut down freedom of religious expression and assembly, diminished employment prospects and led to loss of business in places identified as targets of surveillance.

The lead plaintiff in the suit was Syed Farhaj Hassan, a Middlesex County resident who is an Iraq war veteran and an active member of the U.S. Army Reserve. Hassan, an observant Muslim of Pakistani descent and a military intelligence specialist, said he was concerned that being associated with a mosque under surveillance would blemish his record and jeopardize his job and security clearance.

A principal who worked at two Muslim girls' schools in Newark that had been under surveillance said she believed her career prospects had been hurt because of her association with those schools. The Muslim Students Association claimed students did not feel secure joining the group or participating in events or discussions because police had monitored the group.

The Muslim Foundation and Council of Imams in New Jersey also were plaintiffs as were two businesses who said they lost customers because their businesses had been identified as ones under police surveillance.

Baher Azmy, legal director for the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is co-counsel on the case, called the decision "troubling and dangerous." She said it "gives legal sanction to the targeted discrimination of Muslims anywhere and everywhere in this country, without limitation, for no other reason than their religion."

Katon said there are plans to appeal the decision in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. Other cases are also pending.

A group of New York City residents sued the Police Department in June over the Muslim surveillance program in a civil rights case that is pending in Brooklyn. Civil rights attorneys also filed court papers a year ago alleging that the surveillance program violated the Handshu rules that were imposed on New York City police after a landmark federal case over surveillance of political activists in the late 1960s.

In New Jersey, former Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa concluded after a three-month fact-finding review that the NYPD broke no state laws when it did surveillance in New Jersey, while New York's attorney general declined to investigate.

Lawmakers and more than 100 organizations have called for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate; the first request came in September 2011. The department has only said, since then, that it is reviewing the requests for an investigation.

>

Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

© 2014, The Record (Hackensack, N.J.) Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.