Muslim Patrol car in New York City
Concerns quickly spread about how closely the patrol cars resemble regular NYPD vehicles.

When Maeen Ali first read about the “Punish a Muslim Day” letter campaign that rocked England last spring, the 38-year-old Yemeni immigrant’s thoughts quickly turned to the safety of his own four children living in his Brooklyn neighborhood.

For Ali, the idea that anyone would reward hate crimes – ranging from pulling off a woman’s head scarf to actually bombing mosques – with “points” was downright frightening. “That’s when I said to myself that it was really important to come out and protect Muslims in the community,” he explained.

Nearly a year on from that revelation, Ali has now joined 29 other members of the country’s first all-Muslim, all-volunteer community police force.

Hitting the Streets

Trained in part by off-duty officers, members of the unarmed and self-funded Muslim Community Patrol & Services work in shifts to patrol schools, mosques and bus stops in Brooklyn in an effort to keep streets safe for Muslims. Eventually the plan is to expand to all of New York City. Although the group has their own squad cars, they will work in conjunction with traditional police – be it reporting suspicious activity or offering on-the-scene translation services – and seek to link residents to food pantries and counseling services.

“It’s like a neighborhood watch but on steroids,” explains Noor Rabah, the group’s 31-year-old vice president. “We know our place: We are not cops. We are simply patrollers for the community that also serve as the eyes and ears for the N.Y.P.D.”

But not everyone sees it that way.

Fears Arise

When a photo of the Muslim squad’s patrol car turned up on Facebook in late December, concerns quickly spread about how similar the cars look to regular NYPD vehicles:

Critics say these patrol cars – and the very idea of an all-Muslim police force – is troubling. We wouldn’t want any normal police force to be comprised entirely of one single religious group, they say. So why should a community policing group be any different? They worry that volunteers may bring their own views and biases to the position, and, despite meaning well, might end up causing more issues than they prevent.

Of course, not all the negative reactions have been as level-headed. Some conspiracy theorists are convinced that Muslim community policing is the first step toward an Islamic takeover. Particularly nasty messages have been circulated online alleging that the patrol is some kind of prelude to a full-blown imposition of Shariah law.

Should the Group Be Allowed to Exist?

Nevertheless, it’s easy to understand why the Muslim community feels a need to look out for each other. New York City is home to roughly 22 percent of America’s Muslim population, and authorities recorded 32 hate crime incidents in the city during the 2018 calendar year alone.

However, even some in the Muslim community have their doubts about the efficacy of a patrol force out on the streets. They worry it will only exacerbate an “us vs. them” cultural divide that many Muslims living in Western countries report experiencing. Some also expressed concern that a single misstep on the part of police volunteers could damage the reputation of the city’s entire Muslim community.

What do you think? Should NYC’s Muslims be given the green light to operate their own police force, or do critics raise legitimate concerns?

40 comments

  1. Don says:

    “For Ali, the idea that anyone would reward hate crimes…was downright frightening”

    So, does he protest the Muslims in Yemen and Gaza for rewarding hate crimes against Jewish people?

    Or is he a hypocrite?

    1. Minister Post says:

      They should disband immediately. Its bad enough we a terrorist in Congress. Omar is as deceitful as they come.

  2. HSW says:

    The truth about our police forces is that they have little power to prevent crime, other than by their presence, and most forces are woefully undermanned. I don’t see a substantial difference between this and any other neighborhood watch group. They’re eyes and ears when the police aren’t always there.

  3. Kirk says:

    I read that there are Asian, Jewish and other patrol groups operating as well. Why can’t those groups pool resources and work like a regular volunteer unsegregated force? Seems like an al-whatever force will make divides greater.

  4. ET says:

    They have a right to defend their community. Police cannot be everywhere. The Muslim’s can be the extended eyes and ears of the regular police. (Disclaimer: I’m not a Muslim nor a Christian. I support our Constitution.)

  5. Rev. Roy Wilson says:

    Viewing their website they call themselves a “community patrol”, not a police force. I do think they made a mistake in having a patrol car that resembles a police car. Although I tend to be against vigilantes they do seem to be well intentioned and I would imagine that they will be under very close scrutiny and may have to spend a lot of time, in today’s atmosphere, fending off unwarranted criticism and attack. I doubt they could ever be as agressive as the Guardian Angels. I believe they will be a positive force in the community.

    1. Tom says:

      Rev….I agree; if they dispense with the NYCPD patrol car look-a-likes, let them function as a community patrol…it is just unfortunate it is all Muslim, instead of everyone protecting a community…Peace…Tom

  6. Freddy Guerra says:

    This needs to stop no cause that look like NYPD police cars should be used they should have their own symbols and they should be monitored One Security force of one religion is not good go back to the brown shirts of Nazi Germany that worked out good didn’t it

  7. Lionheart says:

    I suspect from what I’ve heard from other countries that have these patrols, that there are underlying intentions to slowly get an Islamic foothold within certain communities, so that they can become stronger and stronger. Some patrols are already chastising none Islamic females for not adhering to muslin dress codes in their muslim neighborhood. I’ve seen videos of these females saying “This is the United States and we can dress how we want”, and the reply was “No you can’t, this is an Islamic neighborhood” Someone needs the testicles to clamp down on this behavior before it gets out of hand, but I doubt it will happen as they would be classed as an Islamophobe.

  8. Roger Hittle says:

    Well this is just like the maga church tgat started their own police but as a neighborhood watch unit it shows that the community saw a need and filled it other areas in NYC have their watch units lets see how this works before we condemn them do not pre judge

  9. Angel says:

    It’s no different then hiring a security company to provide security. They have the right to make civil arrests and to protect their community so long as they don’t break any laws doing so. If the vehicles they use look to much like local LE, then their needs to be a compromise. But what you people don’t get is that Security companies do the same thing! So unless you are against your local security company, then you literally have no leg to stand on and stop your whining. Oh, and I have yet to see them present themselves as local LE, so you need to stop writing your articles to imply something that is simply not true. Now your looking more the the Liberal Lies at CNN!!

  10. Rev. Rene says:

    My thoughts are this: If they have the intention to be a force for good, and are willing to spend the time and money to be a responsible patrol force, then be one by all means!!! Become legal police officers, secure funding from the Muslim community to fund uniforms, patrol cars, and kit such as tasers, guns, radio’s, etc. and make an agreement with the police leadership and city council to be patrolling in predominantly Muslim neighborhoods (if that is the intention.) Personally, I would feel as comfortable with a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or whoever is qualified as a trained police officer. Just do not be another “quasi vigilante force”.

  11. Philip Ryan says:

    That supposed letter did not ‘rock’ England, the BBC can be relied upon to have made such a letter national news, yet there was no mention of it. Whilst there are certain exceptions, Great Britain is one of the most tolerant countries in the world when it comes to race relations, to the extent that some Asian criminals were allowed to break laws that were very serious – all due to political correctness. Just look up Kriss Donald in Wikipedia and you will see how racially motivated attacks against whites by a Pakistani gang are ignored by the BBC.
    These Muslim community patrols can be one step away from vigilante action, or imposing Sharia Law against Muslims who are seen not to be following it. It is as much for the protection of the Liberal Muslims that these patrols are stopped.
    However well meaning the intention, Muslims and non Muslims alike are right to be concerned about the potential harm that may arise from the patrols, or what they will lead to. If there is a problem with policing it is the job of the police commissioner to resolve the issue.
    What is going to happen if women, gays, transgender, Hindis, the Mormons, or 7th Day Adventists decide that they want a patrol to protect them? No. It is the duty of police officers to provide protection jot self-appointed groups, no matter how well trained they may be, otherwise its the beginning of the end and it will result in segregation not assimilation

  12. tom says:

    This should simply be a neighborhood watch where citizens of whatever religion or no religion is paying attention in the neighborhood and when something odd is happening, or someone is clearly in danger or something clearly illegal is happening they are witnesses, help if they can but also call law enforcement.

  13. Jim D says:

    If they are not breaking any laws, then there is no problem. Simple as that.

    1. Lionheart says:

      That’s exactly what people thought in Sweden, and Belgium, (and Germany before WW2). It’s too late now, those countries are lost to Islam.

      1. Jim D says:

        True, but that’s because when those groups started breaking the law, authorities were slow and/or reluctant to act, probably because they do not want to be seen as insensitive to a select group of the population and be perceived as racially or culturally motivated in their law enforcement. The leadership in those countries has proven to be weak and allowed this sub-culture to run roughshod over its citizens.

        A good and careful leader will protect a country like he/she protects a household. For example, if you have a guest staying at your house for an unspecified period of time (until this guest gets back on their feet after a life-altering event), you explain the rules of the house, and then do what you can to make your guest comfortable. If your guest breaks a rule of the house (e.g. smoking indoors), you waste no time in reminding them of the rules. If your guest does it again, you pack them up and drop them off at the bus station. An effective leader will do the same with guests in their country.

        1. John Owens says:

          …as in our present commander-in-chief, although he meets with a lot of obstruction.

    2. Philip Ryan says:

      Quiz custodiet ipsos custodes? Who is to know whether they are or are not, breaking laws? In the UK some Muslim communities are following Sharia law and not British law and it has seen many outrages, which were ignored in the ‘interests’ of political correctness . Even Baroness Warsi announced that there were counter cultures that were developing in parallel to the British way of life. This is insidious and dangerous. Allowing intolerant cultures to flourish, unchecked, will see the British way of life lost within a few generations, aided and abetted by the very politicians who are meant to protect it.

      1. Tom says:

        Philip Ryan…what you state is exactly what is happening in France, city by city…life should be governed by ethics; not by organized religions…Peace…Tom

        1. Reve Dr Philip Ryan says:

          It is happening in Germany too. There must be curbs placed upon all intolerant religions. Unfortunately, the intolerant factions use the freedoms bestowed upon them by liberal, democratic nations to impose their intolerant views. We just have to look to Middle Eastern Muslim countries to see what our future may become. Enslaving women, throwing gays off tall buildings, to their deaths, cutting hands off minor criminals are not hallmarks of advanced cultures and civilisations; these are the practices of barbaric and primitive societies, ruled under the dictatorship of mullahs who twist the words of their religion to justify what no decent person could accept as the true word of any god.
          Many reasonable Muslims abhor this, but fear speaking out, lest they find themselves being tortured and killed by the religious police. Yet to stand up to this risks you being branded a racist, or Islamophobic. As true Christians, we have a moral duty to stand up against hatred and intolerance, wherever we find it. If we don’t, we face losing the right to practice our religion on pain of death.
          Demography is against us and we need to preserve the right of future generations to practice Christianity. In the UK a Muslim girl who ran away to join Isis and become a child bride to a 24 year old Dutch convert jihadist, now wants to return to the UK, to give birth to a baby, as a previous child died owing to the barbaric conditions of Isis.
          She is totally unrepentant and, from the short interview that she gave to the BBC (who have become anti-British in attitude) it is clear that she still believes in Isis and, no doubt, bring up her child as a terrorist. It’s unbelievable that we are even considering this to happen when Britons have died, in their own country (7/7, the Manchester bombings, etc.) as a result of fundamentalist Muslims, some home-grown and some refugees from their war-torn countries deciding that we should be punished for not following their versions of Islam.
          If she is not denied access to return and stripped of her citizenships, then the UK will have signed its own death warrant. It won’t have been because the average Briton has some kind of death wish, it will be because the liberal, middle-class pc element are blind to the evil that results from refusing to accept that immigrants should follow, and adhere to, the British way of life, justice and tolerance but encourages them to follow ways of life that are an existentialist threat to Great Britain and Her Majesty the Queen’s subjects.

          This not some hypothetical danger, it is very real and we ignore it at our peril.

      2. Jim D says:

        Philip, there is a world of difference between not breaking laws and ignoring the breaking of laws. To answer your Latin question of “who watches the watchers”, it should be our regular law enforcement community. I have no doubt that there are sub-cultures that want to establish there own way of life. That’s fine as long as it does not run contrary to our laws. If it is determined members of these cultures are breaking our laws, the ones on the books, then it is the obligation of law enforcement and the court system to do their duty, which does not include pandering for the purposes of political correctness.

        My views on this subject are not specific to the Muslim community. They apply equally to all cultures that want to come to America, hopefully for the purpose of making a better life for themselves in a free society. Abiding by the law is not an option. Crying racism when you are arrested for committing an illegal act in America that is accepted in whichever country you come from is not an option. Isolating yourselves in your own little community and thinking you can do whatever you want is not an option. I’m not suggesting you have to abandon your culture completely, but you do have to assimilate a little, at least enough to function in our society. If you can’t do that, then I think it best you go back the the country from which you emigrated.

        1. Rev Dr Philip Ryan says:

          Jim. for decades now, Pakistani Muslims have been breaking the law and the police, local authorities etc, have turned a blind eye to gangs of Pakistanis grooming and raping underage girls, all for political correctness. Baroness Warsi ( ennobled by a government wishing to prove their pc credentials) stated as a matter of fact that Muslim counter cultures were established in the UK and followed Sharia law. From Tony Blair onwards, both Labour and Conservative governments did nothing about flourishing Muslim cultures, based upon the norms of their countries of origin, indeed, they encouraged it and refused to insist that immigrants assimilated. What is more, any person who challenged this were called racists and dinosaurs and intolerant. Nowadays, to call yourself English is to risk being automatically racist, with no tolerance shown to their viewpoint; in fact, no-one even wants to listen to their views.
          It is interesting to note that the Irish have moved to Great Britain for centuries and they assimilate immediately; within a generation, their accents are lost and only their name gives a clue to their heritage. That is what true assimilation looks like and they don’t have to be asked to do so, they do it naturally. Governments refused to insist that all immigrants to so and decided that we should become multicultural, without the consent of native citizens, and what has been the result? In London, some areas have graffiti such as Whites Out, Whites Not Allowed, This is a Yemeni area.
          In Scotland, Pakistani gangs murdered white Scots, yet this was not mentioned on the BBC for fear of causing a backlash. This is where multiculturalism ends up. Just read about Shamima Begum, a British national who ran away to join Isis and now wants to return to give birth, as her two previous babies died because of the primitive conditions that Isis provided. Now Muslims insist that we should allow her return to protect her human rights, although she is now fully radicalised and firmly believes in Isis still. This is madness, but no-one dares to question it. No-one is prepared to make a stand and double standards now prevail at the expense of our way of life.
          I do not object to other races, or religions, but when we have areas of the country where Diwali is celebrated, but not Christmas, I am very concerned. In my childhood, you would hear the church bells ringing to call the faithful to prayer; those bells have now fallen silent. I do not want to wake up one day and hear a Muslim call to prayer from one of the many mosques now springing up throughout the country. Yet I am made to feel guilty about wanting to remain a Christian in a Christian country and risk being branded racist and Islamophobic.
          Please answer me this; am I racist for wanting to keep the culture in which I was brought up?

          1. Don says:

            Just one issue with your comment (the rest was spot on):

            “wanting to remain a Christian in a Christian country”

            A Christian country? Where do you reside? I ask because the U.S. is most definitively NOT a Christian nation. We are a secular Democratic Republic, our Founders made certain of that.

          2. Jim D says:

            Philip, I think you are making my argument for me. I will go back to my very first post on this subject: If they are not breaking any laws, then there is no problem.

            All the examples you gave involve sub-cultures breaking the law, and law enforcement and government ignoring it. That’s a huge problem.

            People of all religions and cultures must be treated equally under the law. It is also true that law-breakers must be treated equally under the law. All citizens are entitled to due process.

            We must never be afraid to enforce the law and prosecute the offenders. There are no exceptions.

          3. Phil Ryan says:

            Don,
            I live in the UK. From Anglo-Saxon times, it has been a Christian country and from Henry VIII’s reign onwards the monarch has held the title Defender of the Faith; something that the monarchs took seriously. Religious Education was a mandatory lesson, which was purely Christian and at the start of school, assemblies were held daily that commenced with the singing of a hymn.

            The majority of pupils were not interested in religion, nor were their parents, but it was an accepted tradition; no-one saw it as indoctrination and no-one objected, although parents could withdraw their children from religious education, it was unheard of. Nobody was at all bothered by it, least of all atheists.

            With a progressive secularisation of Christian schools and relaxation of educational laws, the UK has seen madrassa schools and gurdwara schools being set up, which strictly enforce their respective religious laws and cultural norms and religious education in mainstream schools covers all religions, with Christianity as almost an afterthought.

            There is a positive encouragement of counter-cultures, who do not hold these liberal views and the politically-correct call themselves progressive because they see multi-culturalism as so important, whilst denigrating traditional values and norms of the UK.

            The upshot of giving other cultures free reign has been to see further racial tensions as the divergence between these various groups develops and their intolerance of British values and way of life seems to be the only unifying factor between them. The more freedoms they are given, the more demanding and intolerant they become, to the stage that to walk around some parts of this country is to feel as if you are in another country, where your presence is not wanted.

          4. Don says:

            “from Anglo-Saxon times”
            Not quite – the original Anglo-Saxons were pagans, and many died rather than convert.

            “no-one saw it as indoctrination”
            Sure, and slavery wasn’t considered wrong at one time.
            But it is, and what you described is a classic definition of indoctrination.

            “Nobody was at all bothered by it, least of all atheists.”
            Oh PLEASE! If you really believe that, I have some beachfront property in Arizona to sell you. Atheists are beaten and killed TODAY for speaking out. You really think any of them were stupid enough to paint a target on themselves and their families?

            And lastly, don’t blame the influx of other cultures on “secularization”, as history shows us the opposite. Sorry the tyrannical Christian stranglehold on your country no longer exists. As the old saying goes – evolve or die.

        2. Phil says:

          Jim
          The trouble is that exceptions have been made consistently and regularly, with Muslims being particularly deferred to. Despite Pakistani Muslim taxi drivers having raped schoolgirls for over a decade, with knowledge of these activities having been known of by the police and other authorities, no action was taken in the interests of racial harmony. These are not one-off incidents, it has been a recognised pattern, but the victims came from broken homes and nobody cared about them.
          You are right, there should be no exceptions; the reality is that allowances keep getting made because of their ‘cultural’ differences. Rather than being encouraged to assimilate, UK citizens are told to accept their cultures, or risk getting convicted for a race hate crime. The result is that we have had terrorist bombings at the hands of homegrown radicalised terrorists and no-one will admit to how we got to this state of affairs.

  14. Gerardo Salazar says:

    Let’s create, then, the White People Patrol, the Atheist Americans Police, The Black Citizens Vigilates, etc.
    This is absurd and the beginning of bad things to come. As Americans everyone is equal under the law and this custom-made griups have no reason to be.
    What are their functions pray tell. To verify that women wear a hijab or that little Abdullah is not having an ice cream during Ramadan?
    I worked for many years in the Middle East and know First hand the abuses and bigotry of the Mutawwa, the religious police. Let’s keep America free. No to these vigilantes!

  15. Ralph J Miller says:

    They come to this country,start their own police force to protect themselves from who? Other Muslims or Americans?

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      Many Muslims are Americans, and many of their families and ancestors have been Americans for generations. There’s no them versus us with this group of concerned American citizens. They are us. Many different religions are represented in this country by Americans, both native of this land, and not. And there have always been neighborhood communities within our communities made up primarily of people of the same ethnicity, and social and religious groups, who would probably feel safer being watched or policed by there own kind, than by outsiders.

      1. Tom says:

        Based on EEOC guidelines it is illegal to hire or refuse to hire based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender… And so on. They are in violation plain and simple. NYC is facing a hefty lawsuit as soon as someone is rejected or worse someone gets hurt and they can articulate that the harm was a result of religious/ethics differences. It’s just a morally and legally dumb idea. They already have muslims in the legit NYPD anyway.

  16. Tom says:

    That’s so cool. I guess now I can finally start up my all Caucasian Community Patrol… What’s that? That would be racist? Hmmmm… Double standard

    1. lionheart2020 says:

      That’s an excellent idea Tom, I like how you think.

      Taking your idea, and knowing atheists could be persecuted in Muslim and other religious communities, an Atheist Community Patrol could be established to safeguard their welfare.

    2. Carl Elfstrom says:

      Some Caucasians already tried that,Tom. I think they call it the KKK. It hasn’t worked out like it was originally planned. Outside of the additional assistance needed in ethnic and religious ghettos, it seems better that we all come together as one, and identify simply as Americans. I hope that doesn’t sound too Republican for you.

      1. Tom says:

        Thank you Carl for making my point for me. And it doesn’t sound Republican at all to me. I can’t even think of how that sounds political one way or the other but maybe you’re a genious or something.

  17. Travis Wilbur says:

    Not sure I can fully support this.

    While I can agree with a group acting as a PROTECTIVE force, defending people of a particular ethnicity or theo-political group from violence or predation, the big problem lies in an organized “police” force made up of people from only one demographic. You risk them going from merely defending people to utilizing your perceived “authority” to enforce and impose the tenets of your religion on other people. This bears the mark of a religion being supported by government, a clear violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    If anyone starts getting harassed by these self-imposed “police officers” for owning a dog, not wearing the right clothes, eating certain foods, or not declaring a belief in a specific deity, then we’re gonna have a real problem.

    This is why we have normal police and the Second Amendment. An organized group like this should be made up of equal parts of people from a wide variety of genders, ethic groups, and religions (or lack thereof), and not relegated to patrons of one specific creed..

    A Muslim Police Force is just as viable as a Christian Police Force, an Atheist Police Force, or a Satanist Police Force.

    A Muslim Police Force is a recipe for disaster, waiting to happen.

  18. Carl Elfstrom says:

    I’m glad we have concerned U.S. citizens, from wherever they and their ancestors came from, and regardless of their religious beliefs, who care enough about the welfare of others to take an active part in assisting the police, however they can. That shows a lot more than good citizenship, and also is quite an expression of American Patriotism. We don’t know the future, and the failures of similar groups in other countries has nothing to do with what’s going on with this group, in the present moment. Hopefully, they are aware of those groups who failed in such endeavors, and will seek to avoid making such mistakes. Only time will tell. For now, my hat’s off to them, and I wish them well.

  19. Tom says:

    Respectfully; when the “laws” of “organized religions” conflict with secular laws, the secular laws should control; 100% of the time…Peace…Tom

  20. John Owens says:

    The Muslims seem to be receiving a lot more open-mindedness over this than Briarwood Presbyterian did when they started their own security patrols in a previous article.

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