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ADC Welcomes LAPD Decision to Shelve “Mapping” of Muslim Community

Washington, DC | November 15, 2007 | www.adc.org | The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) today welcomed a decision by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to shelve a plan to “map” the Muslim community in the Los Angeles area. Last week ADC joined a united effort which included Muslim and civil liberties organizations in expressing deep concerns over the intelligence-guided plan. This effort included coordination meetings in San Francisco and Los Angeles with representatives of the ACLU of Southern California, the ADC-Los Angeles Chapter, the National Association of Muslim Lawyers (NAML), and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) whose Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati played a pivotal role in working with the LAPD to highlight the community’s concerns.
LAPD spokeswoman Mary Grady said, “There was a clear message from the Muslim community that they were not comfortable with it. So we listened.” ADC National Executive Director Kareem Shora said, “We commend the LAPD for listening to the community and acting in such a rapid and constructive fashion to address the concerns expressed about this ill-thought plan,” Shora continued, “We welcome all efforts at constructive outreach and open communication with law enforcement and congratulate the LAPD and the Los Angeles Muslim community for reaching a positive resolution on this issue.”
Background
The plan was first announced publicly by LAPD Commander Michael P. Downing during an October 30 testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. It was scheduled to be carried out in conjunction with the University of Southern California’s National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events. According to Downing’s written testimony, once the Muslims in the Los Angeles area are identified, the LAPD would, “take a deeper look at their history, demographics, language, culture, ethnic background, socio-economic status, and social interactions.” In an interview a day later with the Congressional Quarterly (November 1), Downing said he hopes to complete the community mapping plan by this Spring and, “if its successful, he believes it could be transmittable, at least in part, to other major U.S. cities.”
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NOTE TO EDITORS: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is non sectarian and non partisan, is the largest Arab-American civil rights organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980, by former Senator James Abourezk to protect the civil rights of people of Arab descent in the United States and to promote the cultural heritage of the Arabs. ADC has 38 chapters nationwide with chapters in every major city in the country, and members in all 50 states.
The ADC Research Institute (ADC-RI), which was founded in 1981, is a Section 501(c)(3) educational organization that sponsors a wide range of programs on behalf of Arab Americans and of importance to all Americans. ADC-RI programs include: research studies, seminars, conferences and publications that document and analyze the discrimination faced by Arab Americans in the workplace, schools, media, and governmental agencies and institutions. ADC-RI also celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the Arabs.
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Contact: Laila Al-Qatami | ADC Communications Director
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee | www.adc.org
1732 Wisconsin Ave., NW | Washington, DC | 20007 Tel: 202-244-2990 | Fax: 202-244-7968 | E-mail: media@adc.org