February 14, 2020
Issues: Law Enforcement Bias, Stopping Discrimination
Mayor Bloomberg Spied on Arabic Speakers, Candidate Bloomberg is Wooing Them
Washington, DC — Middle East Eye reporter Ali Harb noted that Mike Bloomberg’s campaign ran this Arabic ad in the current edition of The Arab American News, a Dearborn, Michigan-based newspaper. As has been documented, the New York Police Department under Bloomberg’s leadership used speaking Arabic or being in a place where “Middle Easterners” gather could justify police surveillance. In 2012, Muslim Advocates filed a lawsuit, Hassan v. City of New York, on behalf of Muslim individuals, businesses and organizations that were targeted by Bloomberg’s NYPD. This lawsuit resulted in a landmark settlement that brought an end to the spying program. We have been calling on Bloomberg to disavow the discriminatory spying program and are asking our supporters to do the same. The following is a quote from Muslim Advocates Public Advocacy Director Scott Simpson on Bloomberg’s hypocritical Arabic ad:
“Under then-Mayor Bloomberg’s Muslim spying program, reading an Arab American newspaper in public or even just speaking Arabic would have been justification enough to be surveilled and profiled by the NYPD. Bloomberg is campaigning in the same language he once flagged as a warning sign. The NYPD’s Muslim spying program profiled people based on their ethnic origin, the types of restaurants they went to, the language they spoke or simply whether they attended a mosque. The NYPD mapped out every mosque within 100 miles of New York and even posted cameras to record who was coming and going. Yet, these massive civil rights violations resulted in no credible leads. Despite court interventions and repeated public shaming, Bloomberg has failed to disavow or even apologize for treating countless innocent Muslims like criminals. His silence on such a massive civil rights failure is unacceptable.”
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.