Five years ago, the NYPD was doing a weekly report on Muslim student associations when one post caught their eye. The Muslim Student Association at Buffalo posted an upcoming conference in Toronto, which featured renowned Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan, someone who the NYPD considered to have links to terrorism.
In the secret police report was the name of the UB student who forwarded that link.
News 4's George Richert asked Professor Faizan Haq, "Is she a terrorist?" Professor Haq replied with a laugh and then said, "Adeela Khan was my student, she was great student."
UB Professor Faizan Haq says she was like any other student who joins a Muslim Student Association to fit in with students of the same interests. The NYPD says some known terrorists have joined student groups, so that's why the department gains intelligence from them, but local Muslims feel stereotyped .
Fatima Lodhi of WNY Muslims said, "I know now like a lot of MSA students around the country they're going be somewhat frightened to even join these organizations for no reason."
"I'm very hurt by this because I think this is basically profiling and it's discrimination against the Muslims," added Amber Shaikh, a local Muslim.
The NYPD monitored students at several colleges in the northeast and even sent an undercover agent to upstate NY to follow students on a canoe trip.
Some News 4 viewers commented on our webpage "To all those who are going to pipe up about stepping on peoples rights, I say better step on the obvious than ignore the reality."
Another writes, "The government is spying on non-Arab Americans too...big deal..get over it."
"What's really disturbing for me is the undermining of American values because once a government gets a taste of it, it's very hard to turn it back," added Professor Haq.
Professor Haq added, "They shouldn't be doing it for anyone."
You can visit www.wnymuslims.org for more information on the Muslim community in our area.