Civil rights groups appeal ruling allowing NYPD to spy on Muslims

(RNS) Muslim Advocates and the Center for Constitutional Rights on Friday (March 21) appealed a federal judge’s ruling that affirmed the right of the New York City Police Department to spy on Muslims based on their faith and ethnicity. Last month, Newark U.S. District Judge William Martini rejected charges of illegal spying, stating that any harm suffered by the plaintiffs was not because of the spying program but because of news reports that revealed the secret program in 2011.
Syed Farhaj Hassan, 35, who is now the first-named plaintiff in a lawsuit filed last week by Muslims Advocates group (on behalf of NJ Muslims) vs. the NYPD is photographed in his home in Helmetta, NJ on June 15, 2012.

Syed Farhaj Hassan, 35, the first-named plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by Muslims Advocates group (on behalf of NJ Muslims) vs. the NYPD is photographed in his home in Helmetta, NJ on June 15, 2012.


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The appeal was filed with the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. “The message of the decision is that it’s OK to spy on Muslim Americans,” said lead plaintiff Syed Farhaj Hassan who enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2001 and