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Muslims rally in support of NYPD program

Seth Wenig/Associated Press

About three dozen people attended the rally Monday. It was held by the American Islamic Leadership Coalition.

NEW YORK - Qazi Qayyoom, an imam in Queens, says he believes the New York Police Department is keeping his community safe, and if that means some Muslims are monitored, so be it.

Qayyoom and about three dozen other people attended a rally Monday held by Muslims in support of the NYPD after a series of Associated Press stories detailing the department’s secret surveillance of mosques, Muslim-owned businesses, and college campuses across the Northeast since Muslim extremists attacked the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, killing thousands of people.

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The rally, held by the American Islamic Leadership Coalition outside police headquarters, illustrated a division even among the faith’s adherents about how far authorities should go in seeking to protect the nation’s largest city from terrorists.

Among the speakers was Dr. Zudhi Jasser, the narrator of “The Third Jihad,’’ a documentary about the dangers of radical Islam that the NYPD showed in the lobby of a police training area and has since disavowed.

Jasser and others said the danger is clearly coming from within the Muslim community and that it is up to other Muslims to help law enforcement stop the threat.

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