Anti-Muslim hate speech on the Internet is commonplace and can motivate some people to commit acts of violence against Muslims, according to a report released Tuesday by Muslim Advocates, a legal and advocacy group in San Francisco.
The report contains examples of hate speech and how it can lead to violence, as well as how victims of online hate speech can report it and counter it. The report aims to help educate parents, students, youth, community leaders, Internet companies, and policymakers on how to counter online hate speech.
Muslim and civil rights groups welcomed the news that the New York City Police Department’s Demographics Unit will disband but said they still fear they may be targets of warrantless surveillance.
Muslim Advocates filed a lawsuit in 2012 to stop the program, and the group was later joined by the Center for Constitutional Rights.
“We need to hear from the mayor and NYPD officials that the policy itself has been ended and that the department will no longer apply mass surveillance or other forms of biased and predatory policing to any faith-based community,” said Ryan Mahoney, president of another Muslim civil rights group, the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Muslim-American civil rights groups are criticizing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for vetoing a bill on Tuesday that would have created an independent inspector general to oversee the New York City Police Department.
The New York City Council passed the bill June 27 as a check against controversial NYPD policies that critics say violate the civil rights of Muslim and other minority New Yorkers. Reports that the NYPD spied on mosques, Muslim businesses, organizations, and students began surfacing in 2011.
“The NYPD is out of control and discriminates against innocent Americans, and Mayor Bloomberg has let Americans down by allowing the NYPD to use discriminatory policies without any accountability,” said Glenn Katon, legal director for Muslim Advocates, a civil rights group based in San Francisco.