Stand up against NYPD’s actions
With the recent outburst about the New York Police Department monitoring Muslim-American students around campus, it is safe to frankly and openly agree that Muslim-American college students are being violated. Muslim-Americans who have worked with us, studied with us, lived with us and even partied with us are not being treated like us. And by “us,” we speak as true Americans. The Central Intelligence Agency and other forms of government are prohibited from spying or monitoring the lives of American citizens, yet the NYPD has been discovered doing just that. Simply put, spying on American students simply because of their religion or Islamic lifestyle is unfair, unjust and should not be tolerated in a country that prides itself on being equal and being free.
What are these students but our fellow classmates, future doctors, lawyers and critical thinkers? Most of them are American-born, and they all seek to fulfill goals and dreams within their own lifestyle. Since the Bill of Rights was enacted, the Constitution has not excluded those of other faiths. Rather, it extends to every American — Muslim-Americans included.
Yes, it is understandable that the American government wants to be aware and able to prevent attacks as devastating as Sept. 11. However, there is a line that needs to be drawn — that is, where the government protects American citizens rather than questioning them, and where the government’s paranoia is limited to those who actively present a threat rather than to those who may look like one.
The monitoring of these individuals, Muslim or otherwise, is not protecting Americans. It is discriminating and insulting to Americans.
And all of “us” should be appalled at the gesture. As members of the University Chapter of Journalists for Human Rights, together we condemn the measures taken, and we call for the need to educate and to raise awareness. The rights of Muslims across the nation and here at home were violated, and we are standing against it together.
JHR’s goal is to create rights awareness, which is the first and most necessary step to ending rights abuse. JHR promotes rights media, which is the process of writing, collecting, editing, producing and distributing media that creates societal dialogue on human rights.
Talissa Patrick is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in journalism and media studies with minors in cinema studies and sociology. She is the president of the University Chapter of JHR.