Feb

22

NYPD Surveillance: MSA “Shocked” at PrezBo’s Public Response

Written by

Earlier today, the Columbia University Muslim Student Association released a statement of concern in response to reports that the New York Police Department has been surveilling Muslim students at Columbia. Their primary target, however, was the Columbia administration, which has yet to directly address the student body regarding the situation. PrezBo did release a press statement (included after the jump), but the MSA sees it as inadequately opinionated, and asserts: “It is ironic that President Bollinger, a stalwart supporter of civil liberties, did not outwardly condemn the racial profiling committed by the NYPD on this campus.”

The MSA will hold a Town Hall at 8:30 pm in Earl Hall tonight to discuss the NYPD’s actions.

President Bollinger:

As our university has made clear from the outset of this recent story, we are deeply concerned about any government activity that would chill the freedom of thought or intrude upon student privacy, both of which are so essential to our academic community. We did not know about or condone the surveillance of publicly accessible websites by the NYPD. Like the city that is our home, Columbia prides itself on being a place that welcomes the widest possible diversity of people, regardless of race, nationality, religion or political viewpoint. Freedom of speech and association, the right to worship as one chooses, and the right to personal privacy from government are not only American values enshrined in our Bill of Rights, they are essential values of any great university. We have repeatedly defended these values at Columbia in recent years and will continue to do so. We want to be sure our Muslim community knows that we support everyone’s right to carry on their lives and their studies without the feeling of being watched by a government that exists to protect us all.

 

Tags: , , ,

41 Comments

  1. Lee Bollinger  

    Academic...community? Whosawhat? Call me back when you donate $60 million, weirdos.

  2. Anonymous  

    lol wth, nothing pleases you people. his public response seemed fine... you guys want like a heart-shaped box of chocolates and some flowers? I dont think he needs to apologize or throttle the throats of the nypd... his address was fair and adequate.

  3. wait WUT  

    people are angry because NYPD read their website everyday? Should be happy you're getting hits....

  4. nwbar

    This story is going to develop... if they were going undercover whitewater rafting with City College students there's probably more out there. And I can't exactly imagine Columbia standing up for undergrads.

  5. Anonymous  

    I'm sorry, this is much more than people getting upset because the NYPD reads a public website. This is about people being targeted because they represent a religious group, which violates a Constitutional right last time I checked.
    The NYPD has been known to send spies to events held by MSAs and it is believed there has been such an occurrence MSA events in the past few months. Even if no evidence is found of this -President Bollinger needs to let his students know he does not condone this kind of activity, for REAL. He can send out an email to let us know about the new Provost but can't address this concern, which has an effect upon the Muslim student body, even if you can't see it. Students feel uneasy. Students don't know whether they can speak freely, or if they are being watched. Students feel marginalized. And it took President Bollinger a good few days to even issue anything public- whereas responses from other Presidents (ie President of Yale, of Barnard) have been immediate.

    This is so much more than being mad because someone is tracking a website.

    • Anonymous  

      such truth. its clearly not an issue about the public website. the undercover acts is what is not okay. A lot of people don't seem to know much about the situation, and Bollinger's statement selectively addressed the wrong part of this big problem.

      • Anonymous

        So long as a place is public, anyone can enter. People who work for the government are, ostensibly, anyone. If the mosque or other organization is private, then members can enter. If the member is part of the government, they can enter. The larger question is what was being discussed within those hallowed wals that the MSA is so concerned will be discovered? Places of worship are not to be used for preaching apolitical view. Johnson Amendment anyone?

    • My hope  

      in the political conscience of Columbia undergrads is restored. Thank you.

    • haha the constitution`

      may give you certain rights, but remember we have the patriot act which gives the NYPD and other entities the rights to do such things

      why are we making a big deal over nothing here...this only affects like 5 students

  6. STOP BITCHING  

    There was nothing wrong with that public response!

    • An adequate response  

      at the very least would be a statement promising some kind of action ensuring a violation of this kind won't happen again. Why isn't PrezBo demanding an investigation into the exact nature and extent of the surveillance? Why doesn't he give his friend Kelly a call and tell him to back off?

  7. Anonymous  

    Does anyone know if there was free food at the Town Hall tonight?

  8. cc'14  

    "We want to be sure our Muslim community knows that we support everyone’s right to carry on their lives and their studies without the feeling of being watched by a government that exists to protect us all."

    Does anyone notice the pat on the back he gives the NYPD at the end, nullifying whatever "deep concern" he might be feeling at the moment?
    President Bollinger, you need to send out a REAL supportive message to the ENTIRE community. No one even knew of your statement outside of the Spectator article.

    Why isn't there a public announcement on the Columbia website? Don't be so easily swayed by what Bloomberg, the NYPD, or even Bollinger claims. The NYPD cloaks its activities under "terrorism and crime fighting" which includes going as far as to spy on innocent MSA members on their water-rafting trip. This is what our tax-dollars are paying for.

  9. Anonymous

    I have to confess that I have always been a fan of Bollinger, Bloomberg, and MSA. That said, the NYPD and Bloomberg truly botched this situation. Columbia's MSA is a terrific organization and in no way merited such surveillance. Like if the NYPD had simply asked a few people at Columbia about MSA, the police would have quickly concluded that the NYPD's time would have been better spent somewhere else. Taimur was MSA president last year, and he is as reasonable a guy as you will ever meet. Epic fail. Whoever authorized this surveillance should be fired for wasting police resources in such an absurd manner without doing an adequate preliminary investigation. I highly doubt the MSA ever did anything in particular to draw the NYPD's attention, so this was probably a case of profiling.

    More generally, the NYPD's likely use of profiling in this case was irrational and short-sighted because, even if their actions somehow made us safer in the short-run, in the long-run such profiling will lead to alienation and probably increase the chance of terrorism. For example, Europe has had serious difficulties in assimilating its Muslim population because countries like France (by banning burqas in public) and Switzerland (by banning the building of minarets) essentially tell their Muslim citizens that their Islamic identity cannot coexist with their secular-national identities. That is, a French Muslim can speak perfect French and sing "La Marseillaise," but can never be just quite "French" as long as they hold onto any remnants of their religious identity in the public sphere. Historically, America, "the melting pot", has had the enviable ability of being able to assimilate people from many different kinds of backgrounds; however, the NYPD's profiling of American Muslims on college campuses threatens to tarnish that very American characteristic.

    Full Disclosure: I put together an event once for the Roosevelt Institute, and we were lucky enough to have Columbia's MSA as one of our major co-sponsors.

  10. Eric Rosenberg

    I have to confess that I have always been a fan of Bollinger, Bloomberg, and MSA. That said, the NYPD and Bloomberg truly botched this situation. Columbia's MSA is a terrific organization and in no way merited such surveillance. Like if the NYPD had simply asked a few people at Columbia about MSA, the police would have quickly concluded that the NYPD's time would have been better spent somewhere else. Taimur was MSA president last year, and he is as reasonable a guy as you will ever meet. Epic fail. Whoever authorized this surveillance should be fired for wasting police resources in such an absurd manner without doing an adequate preliminary investigation. I highly doubt the MSA ever did anything in particular to draw the NYPD's attention, so this was probably a case of profiling.

    More generally, the NYPD's likely use of profiling in this case was irrational and short-sighted because, even if their actions somehow made us safer in the short-run, in the long-run such profiling will lead to alienation and probably increase the chance of terrorism. For example, Europe has had serious difficulties in assimilating its Muslim population because countries like France (by banning burqas in public) and Switzerland (by banning the building of minarets) essentially tell their Muslim citizens that their Islamic identity cannot coexist with their secular-national identities. That is, a French Muslim can speak perfect French and sing "La Marseillaise," but can never be just quite "French" as long as they hold onto any remnants of their religious identity in the public sphere. Historically, America, "the melting pot", has had the enviable ability of being able to assimilate people from many different kinds of backgrounds; however, the NYPD's profiling of American Muslims on college campuses threatens to tarnish that very American characteristic.

    Full Disclosure: I put together an event once for the Roosevelt Institute, and we were lucky enough to have Columbia's MSA as one of our major co-sponsors.

  11. Anonymous  

    Doesn't the NYPD know that Columbia destroys all community - interest, Greek, or religious? We don't have enough time in the week or juice left in the brain to think about anything else except school.

  12. Nancy Reagan  

    I have to confess that I have always been a fan of Bollinger, Bloomberg, and MSA. That said, the NYPD and Bloomberg truly botched this situation. Columbia’s MSA is a terrific organization and in no way merited such surveillance. Like if the NYPD had simply asked a few people at Columbia about MSA, the police would have quickly concluded that the NYPD’s time would have been better spent somewhere else. Taimur was MSA president last year, and he is as reasonable a guy as you will ever meet. Epic fail. Whoever authorized this surveillance should be fired for wasting police resources in such an absurd manner without doing an adequate preliminary investigation. I highly doubt the MSA ever did anything in particular to draw the NYPD’s attention, so this was probably a case of profiling.
    More generally, the NYPD’s likely use of profiling in this case was irrational and short-sighted because, even if their actions somehow made us safer in the short-run, in the long-run such profiling will lead to alienation and probably increase the chance of terrorism. For example, Europe has had serious difficulties in assimilating its Muslim population because countries like France (by banning burqas in public) and Switzerland (by banning the building of minarets) essentially tell their Muslim citizens that their Islamic identity cannot coexist with their secular-national identities. That is, a French Muslim can speak perfect French and sing “La Marseillaise,” but can never be just quite “French” as long as they hold onto any remnants of their religious identity in the public sphere. Historically, America, “the melting pot”, has had the enviable ability of being able to assimilate people from many different kinds of backgrounds; however, the NYPD’s profiling of American Muslims on college campuses threatens to tarnish that very American characteristic.
    Full Disclosure: I put together an event once for the Roosevelt Institute, and we were lucky enough to have Columbia’s MSA as one of our major co-sponsors.

  13. "Shoeless" Joe Jackson  

    I have to confess that I have always been a fan of Bollinger, Bloomberg, and MSA. That said, the NYPD and Bloomberg truly botched this situation. Columbia’s MSA is a terrific organization and in no way merited such surveillance. Like if the NYPD had simply asked a few people at Columbia about MSA, the police would have quickly concluded that the NYPD’s time would have been better spent somewhere else. Taimur was MSA president last year, and he is as reasonable a guy as you will ever meet. Epic fail. Whoever authorized this surveillance should be fired for wasting police resources in such an absurd manner without doing an adequate preliminary investigation. I highly doubt the MSA ever did anything in particular to draw the NYPD’s attention, so this was probably a case of profiling.
    More generally, the NYPD’s likely use of profiling in this case was irrational and short-sighted because, even if their actions somehow made us safer in the short-run, in the long-run such profiling will lead to alienation and probably increase the chance of terrorism. For example, Europe has had serious difficulties in assimilating its Muslim population because countries like France (by banning burqas in public) and Switzerland (by banning the building of minarets) essentially tell their Muslim citizens that their Islamic identity cannot coexist with their secular-national identities. That is, a French Muslim can speak perfect French and sing “La Marseillaise,” but can never be just quite “French” as long as they hold onto any remnants of their religious identity in the public sphere. Historically, America, “the melting pot”, has had the enviable ability of being able to assimilate people from many different kinds of backgrounds; however, the NYPD’s profiling of American Muslims on college campuses threatens to tarnish that very American characteristic.
    Full Disclosure: I put together an event once for the Roosevelt Institute, and we were lucky enough to have Columbia’s MSA as one of our major co-sponsors.

  14. Daniel J. Travanti  

    I have to confess that I have always been a fan of Bollinger, Bloomberg, and MSA. That said, the NYPD and Bloomberg truly botched this situation. Columbia’s MSA is a terrific organization and in no way merited such surveillance. Like if the NYPD had simply asked a few people at Columbia about MSA, the police would have quickly concluded that the NYPD’s time would have been better spent somewhere else. Taimur was MSA president last year, and he is as reasonable a guy as you will ever meet. Epic fail. Whoever authorized this surveillance should be fired for wasting police resources in such an absurd manner without doing an adequate preliminary investigation. I highly doubt the MSA ever did anything in particular to draw the NYPD’s attention, so this was probably a case of profiling.
    More generally, the NYPD’s likely use of profiling in this case was irrational and short-sighted because, even if their actions somehow made us safer in the short-run, in the long-run such profiling will lead to alienation and probably increase the chance of terrorism. For example, Europe has had serious difficulties in assimilating its Muslim population because countries like France (by banning burqas in public) and Switzerland (by banning the building of minarets) essentially tell their Muslim citizens that their Islamic identity cannot coexist with their secular-national identities. That is, a French Muslim can speak perfect French and sing “La Marseillaise,” but can never be just quite “French” as long as they hold onto any remnants of their religious identity in the public sphere. Historically, America, “the melting pot”, has had the enviable ability of being able to assimilate people from many different kinds of backgrounds; however, the NYPD’s profiling of American Muslims on college campuses threatens to tarnish that very American characteristic.
    Full Disclosure: I put together an event once for the Roosevelt Institute, and we were lucky enough to have Columbia’s MSA as one of our major co-sponsors.

  15. Franklin Pierce  

    I have to confess that I have always been a fan of Bollinger, Bloomberg, and MSA. That said, the NYPD and Bloomberg truly botched this situation. Columbia’s MSA is a terrific organization and in no way merited such surveillance. Like if the NYPD had simply asked a few people at Columbia about MSA, the police would have quickly concluded that the NYPD’s time would have been better spent somewhere else. Taimur was MSA president last year, and he is as reasonable a guy as you will ever meet. Epic fail. Whoever authorized this surveillance should be fired for wasting police resources in such an absurd manner without doing an adequate preliminary investigation. I highly doubt the MSA ever did anything in particular to draw the NYPD’s attention, so this was probably a case of profiling.
    More generally, the NYPD’s likely use of profiling in this case was irrational and short-sighted because, even if their actions somehow made us safer in the short-run, in the long-run such profiling will lead to alienation and probably increase the chance of terrorism. For example, Europe has had serious difficulties in assimilating its Muslim population because countries like France (by banning burqas in public) and Switzerland (by banning the building of minarets) essentially tell their Muslim citizens that their Islamic identity cannot coexist with their secular-national identities. That is, a French Muslim can speak perfect French and sing “La Marseillaise,” but can never be just quite “French” as long as they hold onto any remnants of their religious identity in the public sphere. Historically, America, “the melting pot”, has had the enviable ability of being able to assimilate people from many different kinds of backgrounds; however, the NYPD’s profiling of American Muslims on college campuses threatens to tarnish that very American characteristic.
    Full Disclosure: I put together an event once for the Roosevelt Institute, and we were lucky enough to have Columbia’s MSA as one of our major co-sponsors.

  16. Nietzsche

    I have to confess that I have always been a fan of Bollinger, Bloomberg, and MSA. That said, the NYPD and Bloomberg truly responded to this situation like weaklings. Columbia’s MSA is a strong eagle, powerful and above being watched by any petty force of law. If the NYPD had simply asked a few people at Columbia about MSA, they would have been haughtily rebuffed. They have nothing to fear, although it is not their concern, as it has always been the nature of the world that the weak are driven before the strong. Slave morality. Whoever authorized this surveillance should be fired for wasting police resources and making weakness out to be strength, for imposing the sickness of the NYPD upon the healthy man of the MSA.

    More generally, the NYPD's use of profiling in this case was irrational and short sighted. The hawk does not fear the rodent. The strong country does not fear, does not spy, the strong country laughs at the bombs around it and does with its weakened enemies what it will. For example, Europe has had serious difficulties in assimilating its Muslim population because countries like France (by banning burqas in public) and Switzerland (by banning the building of minarets) essentially tell their Muslim citizens that their Islamic identity cannot coexist with their secular-national identities. That is, a French Muslim can speak perfect French and sing “La Marseillaise,” but can never be just quite “French” as long as they hold onto any remnants of their religious identity in the public sphere. Historically, America, “the melting pot”, allows for their friends to become their allies, assimilating all into an Ubermenschen army to bring death to their enemies rather than spying; however, the NYPD’s profiling of American Muslims on college campuses threatens to tarnish that very American characteristic.

    Full Disclosure: I put together an event once for the Theodore Roosevelt Institute, and we were lucky enough to have Columbia’s MSA as one of our major co-sponsors, as well as an appearance from the Theodore Roosevelt where he ate a live polar bear. "What does not kill him makes him stronger,"he quipped. "But the NYPD is killing America."

  17. Joe Hill  

    I have to confess that I have always been a fan of Bollinger, Bloomberg, and MSA. That said, the NYPD and Bloomberg truly botched this situation. Columbia’s MSA is a terrific organization and in no way merited such surveillance. Like if the NYPD had simply asked a few people at Columbia about MSA, the police would have quickly concluded that the NYPD’s time would have been better spent somewhere else. Taimur was MSA president last year, and he is as reasonable a guy as you will ever meet. Epic fail. Whoever authorized this surveillance should be fired for wasting police resources in such an absurd manner without doing an adequate preliminary investigation. I highly doubt the MSA ever did anything in particular to draw the NYPD’s attention, so this was probably a case of profiling.
    More generally, the NYPD’s likely use of profiling in this case was irrational and short-sighted because, even if their actions somehow made us safer in the short-run, in the long-run such profiling will lead to alienation and probably increase the chance of terrorism. For example, Europe has had serious difficulties in assimilating its Muslim population because countries like France (by banning burqas in public) and Switzerland (by banning the building of minarets) essentially tell their Muslim citizens that their Islamic identity cannot coexist with their secular-national identities. That is, a French Muslim can speak perfect French and sing “La Marseillaise,” but can never be just quite “French” as long as they hold onto any remnants of their religious identity in the public sphere. Historically, America, “the melting pot”, has had the enviable ability of being able to assimilate people from many different kinds of backgrounds; however, the NYPD’s profiling of American Muslims on college campuses threatens to tarnish that very American characteristic.
    Full Disclosure: I put together an event once for the Roosevelt Institute, and we were lucky enough to have Columbia’s MSA as one of our major co-sponsors.

  18. alum '11

    ^ROFL, whats GOING ON UP THERE?!

    • Eric Rosenberg

      lol I have no clue. I posted twice because the first post accidentally came out as anonymous, then realized you can't delete your original posting. But I assume they agree with the message which is good.

      Also, Class of 2011 represent!

  19. ...  

    bollinger made some comment... maybe it could have been stronger... it doesn't matter, because he doesn't have purview over the nypd and it seems to me that he was abundantly clear that the university would not support such activities.

    y'all should be bitching at the city if you really care.

  20. Donald Trump

    This IDIOT, this pathetic IDIOT, the President of Columbia you know? He should've talked to the MSA, I mean, I'm a hawk times five, and very militaristic , but more importantly hawk times five and like, I will talk to the MSA.

  21. Anonymous  

    The first thing you learn when starting to use the internet is that whatever you say is public, and you should expect everyone to have access to it. I don't see a problem with the NYPD looking at accessible public websites as they are PUBLIC, just hope they weren't getting paid overtime for all the hard work.

© 2006-2015 Blue and White Publishing Inc.