As issues that arose following revelations of the NYPD’s zealous surveillance of Muslims throughout the Northeast are still far from being resolved, the New York Post published a cartoon by Sean Delonas depicting those Muslims that see these actions as an invasion of privacy as bomb-making terrorists. Aside from dealing in offensive stereotypes of Muslim-Americans, The cartoon simultaneously belittles an argument about First Amendment rights and slanders those who speak out against the NYPD’s tactics, leaving the argument at a severely detrimental you’re either with us or against us stage.
But it’s not like this is an unexpected move for the Post or Sean Delonas. As Gothamist — which alerted us to the cartoon — points out News Corp decided to form a “diversity council” after they ran a Delonas cartoon in 2009 that many believe compared President Obama to a chimpanzee that had been shot.
We’ve reached out to the Post‘s PR, and will update if we hear back.
The cartoon was published on the same day that students at NYU’s Islamic Center met to call on Mayor Bloomberg to apologize. According to NY1:
The students say they want an apology from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and will continue pressing local officials for support and writing letters to the police until their concerns are answered.
NYU President John Sexton previously wrote a letter expressing his dismay at the reports of the surveillance program and wrote that the NYU community was “alarmed.”
Across town, Columbia University President Lee Bollinger sent an email to his school’s community Friday, writing:
The public response by universities, including my statement earlier this week, uniformly objected to the government monitoring of students purely based on race, nationality, or, as was the case here, religion. While we appreciate the daunting responsibility of keeping New York safe, law enforcement officials should not be conducting such surveillance of a particular group of students or citizens without any cause to suspect criminal conduct.
We should all be able to appreciate the deeply personal concerns of the Muslim members of our community in learning that their activities were being monitored–and the chilling effect such governmental efforts have on any of us in a university devoted to the foundational values of free speech and association.
He said further meetings to discuss “the personal concerns and important questions” that the issue of the surveillance raised will be announced. University presidents have been active in speaking out against the NYPD’s tactics. On Tuesday, Bloomberg took aim at comments made by Yale University President Richard Levin.
But, as we reported yesterday, Bloomberg has held to his stance that the surveillance was in the right.
Meanwhile, CBS 2 reported Friday that additional Jewish-owned businesses on Long Island also were watched because many Jewish residents in Great Neck have roots in Iran.