By Jon Dougherty
A former NYPD officer and current host on NewsMaxTV says members of a new Muslim Community Patrol look more like “Sharia police” than civic-minded people concerned about the safety of their neighborhoods.
“Not at all comfortable with this. ‘Muslim Community Patrol’ in NYC, driving cars that look identical to NYPD RMPs. This looks a lot like Sharia Police. In Brooklyn,” former New York City officer John Cardillo tweeted along with a picture of a uniformed MCP member standing in front of one of the group’s two vehicles.
Not at all comfortable with this. ‘Muslim Community Patrol’ in NYC, driving cars that look identical to NYPD RMPs.
This looks a lot like Sharia Police. In Brooklyn. pic.twitter.com/U5RNy5clc8
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) February 4, 2019
The MCP is a Neighborhood Watch-type of an organization similar to other ethnic-and-religious-themed watch groups in the city.
It was founded by local Muslims in response to rising concerns over hate crimes, according to Maeen Ali, one of the patrol’s founders, as reported by The New York Times.
On its website, the MCP notes that it is “a civilian patrol organization established to patrol neighboring communities in order to protect members of the local community from escalating quality-of-life nuisance crimes.”
“The organization’s vision is to promote the safety and well‐being of all residents of the neighboring communities. MCP acts as a liaison between the local police as well as the local community, bridging gaps, community services, providing safety education and patrol tips for all,” the site says.
In addition to Cardillo, some Muslims also have concerns about the MCP.
Somia Elrowmeim, the adult education and women’s empowerment manager at the Arab American Association of New York, told the Times that the patrols really should work to avoid hurting the image of the city’s Muslim community.
According to the Times, “she said a single misstep from the patrol could reflect poorly on the city’s entire Muslim community. She said more outreach to community leaders was essential before patrols began operating.”
“Until then, Ms. Elrowmeim, 34, offered this message: ‘We don’t want you near our community.’”
Other influential members of the Muslim community were taken aback by the MCP, the Times reported.
Habib Joudeh, vice president of the Arab American Association of New York, told the Times he wasn’t at all aware of the MCP until it began to stir controversy.
“You have to inform people of what’s going on first,” Joudeh told the paper.
Vice president of Muslim Community Patrol & Services, Noor Rabah, said the organization will tread lightly.
“It’s like a neighborhood watch but on steroids,” he told the Times. “Presence is prevention. Just us being around should deter the average criminal mind of doing something to harm another person.”
“We know our place: We are not cops,” he said. “We are simply patrollers for the community that also serve as the eyes and ears for the NYPD.”
He added that he wants members of the unarmed group to expand the number of vehicles it uses from two to five by the end of the month. He also claimed that he wants the MCP to eventually cover the entire city of New York.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10
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