A number of Muslim leaders rejected invitations to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Interfaith breakfast after claims that the NYPD is spying on Muslims.
Although a number of Muslims were invited to attend the annual event, many declined in protest to what they deem to be inappropriate and sneaky tactics used by law enforcement, according to The Associated Press.
The group making the claims consisted mostly of Muslim leaders, but included some Christian and Jewish organizers as well. They issued a letter to Bloomberg outlining reasons for their concerns.
The letter stated that the behaviors of law enforcement officials, “threaten the rights of all Americans, and deepen mistrust between our communities and law enforcement.”
The leaders all signed the letter, although it is unclear whether they had all been invited to attend the breakfast.
“Mayor Bloomberg, the extent of these civil rights violations is astonishing, yet instead of calling for accountability and the rule of law, you have thus far defended the NYPD’s misconduct,” the letter said.
The NYPD is accused of using undercover police officers to sneakily gather intelligence in predominantly Islamic neighborhoods, through Islamic cafes, mosques, and Islamic bookstores.
It has been alleged that some law enforcement would pose as regular people and try to spark conversation with Muslims to determine their religious views. Others would simply listen in on private conversations, and many are said to have even engaged in sporting games with the goal of getting sensitive information.
Sources say that the Muslim leaders appreciate Bloomberg's support during the World Trade Center mosque-building fiasco, but they now reportedly feel violated by what they deem to be an unlawful spying scandal.
The letter also requested that a formal meeting be set up between Bloomberg and Muslim leaders to discuss the spying allegations.
It is unclear whether Bloomberg will adhere to this request.