The Associated Press bias machine is at it again. In an article “NYPD Spied on Muslim Partners”, the AP expressed its shock and disapproval (in a “news story“!) of the New York Police covertly collecting information on a Muslim cleric who appears to be a model of moderation.
In 2007, the New York Times wrote glowingly of Sheikh Reda Shata in 2007, describing “his efforts to reconcile Muslim traditions with American life.”
So why would the NYPD collect information about his activities?
Consider the earlier story of another moderate cleric. In 2001, right after the 9/11 attacks, the New York Times reported that:
“Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki, spiritual leader at the Dar al-Hijra mosque in Virginia, one of the nation’s largest…at 30 is held up as a new generation of Muslim leader capable of merging East and West.”
By 2010, a different face of Imam Al-Awlaki had become obvious. The AP then reported that:
“Al-Awlaki has urged Muslims to kill Americans and has been linked to last year’s shooting at a U.S. Army base in Texas, and the attempted bombing of a U.S.-bound flight last Christmas Day, Dec. 25. He is believed to be hiding in Yemen and has issued videos online repeatedly calling for Muslims to kill Americans.”
The ultimate result was President Obama’s approval of an attack on him that was ultimately successful last week. (With the Osama execution, it was further welcome evidence that the president is taking terrorism more seriously now than he did as a candidate.)
Shata may be a saint. Moderation must be encouraged. The work of reconciliation must go on.
But police work must also go on. The NYPD is responsible for preventing another 9/11 in New York City. They should be allowed to do so.
The seven NY Democratic state senators who have chosen to play this furor for votes should (but probably won’t) be ashamed of themselves.