Letter from President John Sexton to NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly re: NYPD Surveillance
Islamic Center wanted to make it's members aware of the following
letter that was sent today by NYU President John Sexton to NYPD Police
Commissioner Raymond Kelly in regards to the recent revelations of NYPD
surveillance of Muslim students on campus. Please pass on to those
whom you feel would be interested in reading.
Should you have
any comments or concerns, feel free to reach out with your feedback to:
appreciate the grave responsibility that the Police Department has
taken upon itself to safeguard New Yorkers from terrorist attacks. All
of us who lived through the events of 9/11 here in New York understand
what is at stake for our city. However, if our understanding of the
newly revealed information is correct – that the Police Department has
been monitoring our Muslim student group based on religion alone – then
we find this troubling and problematic.
fill a special and especially valuable role in our society. Our
commitment to the free and peaceful exchange of ideas is at the heart
of our effectiveness as institutions of research and of teaching and
learning. This is true even of genuinely controversial ideas, let alone
the kind of uncontroversial activities involved here.
students now wonder whether continued participation in the University’s
Islamic community of worship is a risk; whether an opinion expressed
at a student group meeting will end up in a government report; whether
testing an argument or challenging conventional wisdom will cause one
to become a suspect of some sort. These possibilities are disquieting
to our students and their families, harmful to our
community-building efforts, and antithetical to the values we as a
university cherish most highly.
You are a public
servant of good will and character facing difficult and complex
challenges in keeping New York safe from terrorism, and we at NYU
appreciate your hard work. Still, I must report our community's alarm
over the reports of this activity, and that we stand in fellowship with
our Muslim students in expressing our community’s dismay.