Tag Archives: Muslims

LAPD “Maps” Area Muslims: ACLU-SC and Community Groups Sound Alarm

Today the ACLU of Southern California sent a letter to the Los Angeles Police Department’s deputy chief commanding officer of LAPD’s Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau, Michael P. Downing, to express its grave concerns about efforts by the LAPD to map Muslim communities in the Los Angeles area as part of its counter-terrorism program.

The letter, co-signed by the Islamic Shura Council, the Council on American Islamic Relations, and Muslim Advocates comes just after Downing’s testimony in front of the US Senate in which he described the department’s efforts to identify and counter violent extremism, in part by identifying who the city’s Muslims are and where they’re located.

“Singling out individuals for investigation, surveillance, and data-gathering based on their religion constitutes religious profiling that is just as unlawful, ill-advised, and deeply offensive as racial profiling…[ ]…While preventing violence and terrorism is a goal we all share, it must be pursued in a manner respectful of the rights of the hundreds of thousands of Muslim Americans living in the Los Angeles area” writes Peter Bibring of the ACLU-SC.  The letter goes on to request a meeting among the parties to engage on this important safety and civil liberties issue.

Commander Dowling reportedly got the idea of mapping while visiting West Yorkshire England during a brief stint with Scotland Yard in late 2006.