An all-volunteer Muslim Community Patrol & Services team is getting ready to patrol the streets of Brooklyn. With 30 members at present, its stated goal is to protect mosques and expand to five cars in the coming week, and eventually go citywide.
The organization, which recently underwent training by officers from the Police Department’s 72nd Precinct, was described in an interview in the New York Times by Noor Rabah, its vice president and a resident of Sunset Park, as being “like a neighborhood watch but on steroids.”
“As word of the new patrol has begun to spread, the backlash has been swift, even among some members of the Muslim community who have criticized the lack of information, and even questioned the need for the patrol,” noted The New York Times. “Organizers said they were prepared for skeptics. But they did not expect the vitriol unleashed when a photo of their new, double-parked patrol cars on Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge turned up Dec. 21 on Facebook, and later on Instagram. The hostility spread after a far-right Canadian website, Rebel Media, posted a snippet on YouTube. The ugly online comments included accusations that the group was a stalking horse for Shariah law, and worse.”
On its web site, muslimcps.org, the group explains itself as being “a civilian patrol organization established to patrol neighboring communities in order to protect members of the local community from escalating quality-of-life nuisance crimes. The organization’s vision is to promote the safety and well‐being of all residents of the neighboring communities. MCP acts as a liaison between the local police as well as the local community, bridging gaps, community services, providing safety education and patrol tips for all. The visible presence of the Muslim Community Patrol will act as a deterrent to neighborhood crime. Acting as an extra set of eyes for the NYPD, neighborhoods will be safer than ever.”
Acting as a common ground to bridge the gap between NYPD and locals, MCPS will, according to information on its web site, “not only serve as watchmen but, serviceman aiding the youth in our communities by enabling them with resources such as mentorship and career training. Mentors will work side by side, and keep them under their wing to ensure a growing success. Educational programs en route a more disciplined youth. For kids and young adults who need a dose of “real life”, trips will be coordinated to jail cells, hospitals, morgues, funeral homes, cemeteries, etc.”
By: Charles Beinenberg