New York: New York Police Commissioner
Raymond Kelly is under fire from civil rights group, who are
demanding his resignation over his appearance in an
inflammatory anti-Muslim film shown to his department`s
officers during training.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) said
Kelly and Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne should immediately
resign from their positions for taking part in the production
of the `Third Jihad`, "a blatantly bigoted and hate-filled
film vilifying the American-Muslim community".
The 72-minute film shows Muslims shooting Christians in
the head and conveys a message that the community cannot be
trusted. It also shows a doctored photo of an Islamic flag
flying over the White House, car bombs exploding, executed
children lying covered by sheets.
Its message is that the true agenda of much of Islam in
America is to "infiltrate and dominate America".
The group said Kelly had "lied" to the community by
initially denying any involvement in the film.
"The decision to take part in the film, as well as show
the film to nearly 1,500 NYPD cadets raises serious concerns
about Kelly`s ability to serve and protect minority groups in
New York City," the group said.
ADC President Warren David said the residents of New York
deserve "transparency, honesty, integrity" and not a leader
like Kelly who lacks all these qualities.
The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic
Relations along with the Muslim American Civil Liberties
Coalition (MACLC) and other minority and civil liberties
groups said the revelation about the use of the video during
police training comes following a year-long series of
"misstatements and retractions" from Kelly and Browne that
indicates a total disregard for the civil rights of American
Muslims and a complete lack of respect for one of the city`s
largest religious communities.
"This controversy has moved beyond an issue of poor
judgement in the use of an Islamophobic training film to an
issue of the integrity of public officials," said CAIR-NY
Civil Rights Manager Cyrus McGoldrick.
"The lack of truthfulness exhibited by Commissioner Kelly
and Deputy Commissioner Browne means New Yorkers must now
question the credibility of every statement they make. This
situation necessitates their immediate resignations".
As leaders of the nation`s largest police department,
Kelly and Browne`s actions set a tone for relations with law
enforcement that impact American Muslims nationwide, CAIR
National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement.
"It`s time for change".
McGoldrick said when the issue first came to light last
year, CAIR-NY had called on the NYPD to investigate how the
propaganda film came to be used in the counterterrorism
training but received no response beyond dismissals of the
allegations as "wrong" and "a non-issue".
McGoldrick added that the community is already concerned
that NYPD officers and FBI agents spied on Muslims by
infiltrating their houses of worship and Muslim student
Browne had initially said Kelly had not given an interview
for the film and that a clip featuring the police commissoner
was lifted from an old interview.
He later said he had helped arrange Kelly`s interview for
Mayor Michael Bloomberg sought to defend the police
commissioner but said Kelly would have to work harder to
regain the trust of the Muslim community.
"Anything like this doesn`t help credibility," Bloomberg
"Ray`s got to work at establishing, or re-establishing, or
reinforcing the credibility that he does have" with the Muslim
"Ray Kelly probably visits more mosques than an awful lot
of people who believe in the faith that`s practiced there,"
"He has reached out to this community as he has reached
out to lots of other communities.... And we`ll continue to do
In a statement, Browne said he agreed with the mayor and
said "I could have done a better job in providing a fully
accurate account sooner".
Kelly later apologised to the Muslim community saying when
the content of the film was brought to the attention of the
department, the film was withdrawn.