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NYPD shuts down controversial Muslim spying unit, SoCal Muslims respond

Muslims participate in the Eid al-Fitr p

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Muslims participate in the Eid al-Fitr prayers on September 10, 2010 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles.

In the wake of 9/11, the New York Police Department launched a program known as the Demographics Unit.

The controversial unit tracked Muslims as part of an effort to stop terrorism threats, relying on databases which looked at where Muslims lived, shopped, worked and prayed.

Informants were placed in mosques and authorities monitored Muslims living in New York who adopted American surnames. Critics opposing the operation said it infringed on civil rights and privacy.

This week NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton announced they've disbanded the Demographics Unit.

For more on this decision and what it could mean for Muslims here in southern California we turn to Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations for the Greater Los Angeles area.


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