#myNYPDfile: Responding to injustice with humour
It was a shock and an outrage when Muslims discovered on 18th February 2012 that the NYPD had been monitoring Muslim students all over the northeast including at the Ivy League colleges, Yale and University of Pennsylvania. The monitoring included sending undercover agents to Muslim gatherings, recording the number of times students prayed, and tracking Muslim student websites, according to the AP report. Many college administrators, Muslim students, chaplains and others argue that is it a violation of civil rights. Richard Levin, the President of Yale, released a public statement condemning the surveillance on his students. The statement reads:[quote]To the Yale Community,
The Associated Press has released a document showing that the New York Police Department monitored the web sites of many Muslim Students Associations, including our association here at Yale, and may have conducted improper surveillance of Muslim students at other institutions. I am writing to state, in the strongest possible terms, that police surveillance based on religion, nationality, or peacefully expressed political opinions is antithetical to the values of Yale, the academic community, and the United States. Also I want to make sure our community knows that the Yale Police Department has not participated in any monitoring by the NYPD and was entirely unaware of NYPD activities until the recent news reports.
The Yale Muslim Students Association has been an important source of support for Yale students during a period when Muslims and Islam itself have too often been the target of thoughtless stereotyping, misplaced fear, and bigotry. Now, in the wake of these disturbing news reports, I want to assure the members of the Yale Muslim Students Association that they can count on the full support of Yale University.
Richard C. Levin[/quote]
Despite the outrage, many others responded with good humour by tweeting with the hashtag #myNYPDfile. Linda Sarsour tweeted, “I know y’all think we r crazy but if we don’t find humor in some of these dark injustices we will then really become crazy. #myNYPDfile”
Here are some of our favorites:
- @WajahatAli: “Sir, the students seem obsessed with ‘Al Quds’. Probably a falafel joint or an Arab DJ. Will investigate.” #myNYPDfile
- @WajahatAli: “Sir, investigate “kuch kuch hota hai” as potential terrorist manual. The girls are reciting songs from it – yet again” #myNYPDfile
- @WajahatAli: “Sir, all the muslim students are related! They keep calling each other ‘brother’ and ‘sister.'” #myNYPDfile
- @WajahatAli: “Sir, the Muslims seem to be just confused as us. They keep replaying a South Asian song asking, ‘Allah Who, Allah Who?”#myNYPDfile
- @WajahatAli: “Sir, he emerges from the bathroom drenched with water – always. Plumbing terrorist? death by flushing? Must investigate” #myNYPDfile
- @Naqeeb: Playing Angry Birds! Alert: Possible training exercise #mynypdfile
- @ElSayedAyman: No officer, I swear I said Hummus, not Hamas.#myNYPDfile”
- @mintchocolilo: She put her foot in the sink. Some form of acrobatic training #myNYPDfile”
- @BonsaiSky: “Sir, he said he was going to the bathroom to make “voodoo”. Hurry, before he casts a spell on all of us non-Muslims! #myNYPDFile