Islamic groups hold rally in support of NYPD

COLLEEN LONG Associated Press Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- A coalition of Islamic groups is defending the New York City Police Department's monitoring of Muslim groups across the Northeast. They say the department is simply doing everything it can to protect the city.

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser (ZOO'-dee JAH'-suhr) said Monday that he wasn't in New York to criticize the department, but rather to thank them for monitoring extremists -- a job that Muslims should be doing. A group of about three dozen supporters cheered and clapped.

The department has been criticized by many other Muslim groups and politicians after The Associated Press reported the NYPD secretly monitored Muslims across the Northeast in the years following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Jasser narrated the documentary "The Third Jihad," which uses dramatic footage to warn against the dangers of radical Islam.

U.S. Rep. Peter King says the department deserves a medal for its work and should not be criticized.