web analytics
April 19, 2015 / 30 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


A Dose Of Sanity

Federal Judge William Martini’s decision last week dismissing a civil rights lawsuit charging that NYPD surveillance programs aimed at the Muslim community were unconstitutional because they were driven by religion, national origin and race – and involved spying on ordinary people at mosques, restaurants and grade schools – is probably not the last word on the issue.

Other judges presiding over similar cases may well rule differently. Indeed, an appeals court might even reverse the Martini ruling. But for the moment, the ruling is a dose of sanity in a war against terror that is being fought in a fog of political correctness.

We are not unmindful that generally appropriate governmental initiatives may have some inappropriate aspects in execution. But these do not necessarily define the overall effort. And we are also not unmindful that members of the Muslim community and its institutions not involved in terror efforts understandably chafe at unwelcome governmental attention. Yet we are reminded of an old aphorism widely but apocryphally attributed to the notorious bank robber Willie Sutton who, when asked why he robbed banks, is supposed to have said, “Because that’s where the money is.”

Thus, Judge Martini said in his decision that the plaintiffs in the case, who included several New Jersey Muslims,

have not alleged facts from which it can be plausibly inferred that they were targeted solely because of their religion. The more likely explanation for the surveillance was a desire to locate budding terrorist conspiracies. The most obvious reason for so concluding is that surveillance of the Muslim community began just after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The police could not have monitored New Jersey for Muslim terrorist activities without monitoring the Muslim community itself. While this surveillance program may have had adverse effects upon the Muslim community…the motive for the program was not solely to discriminate against Muslims, but rather to find Muslim terrorists hiding among ordinary, law-abiding Muslims.

On the other hand, Farhaj Hassan, a plaintiff in the case and a U.S. soldier who served in Iraq, said, “I have dedicated my career to serving my country, and this just feels like a slap in the face – all because of the way I pray.” The Center for Constitutional Rights, which represented the plaintiffs in the case was critical of the decision:

In addition to willfully ignoring the harm that our innocent clients suffered from the NYPD’s illegal spying program, by upholding the NYPD’s blunderbuss Muslim surveillance practices, the court’s decision gives legal sanction to the targeted discrimination of Muslims anywhere and everywhere in this country, without limitation, for no other reason than their religion.

A spokesman for the Center compared Judge Martini’s decision to the World War II internment of approximately 120,000 Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast based solely on their ancestry. But whatever one thinks of it, the internment program was based on not a single reported terrorist incident. Nor were there any reported during the course of the interment. The dissimilarities are striking and illuminating.

Plainly, attention was paid to people and institutions because of their Muslim dimension. Yet that can only be the beginning of the inquiry, not the end of it. Nations must be able to protect their citizens, and the fallout is not always evenly distributed. Muslims, though, do share equally with their fellow Americans in the protections afforded by the anti-terrorism efforts reviewed by Judge Martini. Of course, such efforts must be pursued with objective motivation and reasonable restraint.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A Dose Of Sanity”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
ISIS affiliates murdering Christian Africans in Libya
African Christians Slaughtered by ISIS-Affiliates
Latest Indepth Stories
Temple Israel Of Boston

“The resentment towards us (Jews/Israelis) was really intense. They clearly hate Zionism & Zionists”

US has no problem with Egypt's bombing hundreds of homes of Gaza civilians but can't stand to see Israel destroy a terrorist's home.

Egypt has been more effective against Gazan smuggling tunnels than Israel’s military operations

Mrs. Golda Katz a"h

She had many names and was many things to many people, but to me she was just Babineni.

ISIS terrorist carries the group's black flag.

Is ISIS in Gaza? “No, but there are ISIS loyalists here..we pray to God they unite under ISIS’ flag”

Rabbi Portal was that great “inspirer,” changing people for the better, enriching the lives of all

Iran knows Obama, Putin, and the Europeans don’t have a Red Line beyond which they will go to war

There is no way to explain the Holocaust. I know survivors who are not on speaking terms with G-d. I know many who are the opposite. I have no right to go there…

When a whole side of your family perishes, friends become the extended family you do not have.

“We stand with Israel because of its values and its greatness and because its such a wonderful ally”

Mr. Obama himself inelegantly cautioned members of the Senate to be careful not to “screw up” the negotiations by seeking to have input into the future of the sanctions regime that has been imposed on Iran.

For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.

Mitchell Bard is nothing if not prolific. He has written and edited 23 books, including “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Middle East” and “The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East.” Bard, who has a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA, is also the executive director of both the […]

Understanding the process described in Dayenu reveals deep relevance for us today.

For Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, the tanks, planes, and uniforms of the IDF were implements of mitzvot

More Articles from Editorial Board

For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.

He went on to say that the United States would defend Israel if it were “attacked by any state.”

In their zechus may we all come to appreciate that life is a fleeting gift and resolve to spend every precious moment of it as if it were the last.

A worthy idea any way you look at it.

If nothing really changes in the hearts and minds of the Palestinians, is Israel obligated to provide them and its other adversaries launching pads for attacks?

The United States placed enormous pressure on Israel to relinquish its gains, which Prime Minister Ben-Gurion did with great reluctance.

The real issue is that in many respects the president has sought to recalibrate American values and our system of government.

Former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman, writing in the Washington Post on Sunday, provided one of the clearest and most compelling analyses we’ve seen of the importance of the prime minister’s speech.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/a-dose-of-sanity/2014/02/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: