Brooklyn residents are a little miffed.
The Muslim Community Patrol is an unarmed civilian patrol which it says it will offer translation services, explain cultural nuances, report suspicious activity, respond to traffic accidents and even help in searches for the missing.
Despite claiming to serve the entire community, it is clear where the focus of its activity will be:
Volunteers plan to work in shifts, watching over arrival and dismissal times at three Islamic schools in Brooklyn and conducting patrols from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., mostly near mosques and bus and subway stops in Bay Ridge and Sunset Park, where there are large Muslim populations.
New York City is home to an estimated 769,000 Muslims which makes up 9% of the city’s population and roughly 22% of all Muslims living in the United States.
Skepticism about the new, police-backed and trained patrols, however, cuts across community divides:
“Somia Elrowmeim, the adult education and women’s empowerment manager at the Arab American Association of New York, based in Bay Ridge, said a single misstep from the patrol could reflect poorly on the city’s entire Muslim community. She said more outreach to community leaders was essential before patrols began operating.
Until then, Ms. Elrowmeim, 34, offered this message: “We don’t want you near our community.”
Katie Hopkins fairly asks where this latest development will lead:
Brooklyn is about to launch Muslim Community Patrols – in cars badged just like the NYPD. In uniforms that look just like police.
They are masquerading as authority. Just how far is America from religious patrols? pic.twitter.com/XzJFvjZfg2
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) February 3, 2019
It sets a dangerous precedent when one community is given special dispensation to act with quasi-legal authority and establish its own distinct presence from the Police.