New York, Nov 20: Hundreds of Muslims prayed in a lower Manhattan park and marched to New York police headquarters on Friday to protest a decade of police infiltrating mosques and spying on Muslim neighborhoods .
Bundled in winter clothes, men and women knelt as the call to prayer echoed off the cold stone of government buildings.
“Being Muslim does not negate our nationality,” Imam Talib Abdur-Rashid told the crowd of about 500 gathered in Foley Square, not far from City Hall and local courthouses.
“We are unapologetically Muslim and uncompromisingly American.”
The demonstration was smaller and more subdued than the Occupy Wall Street protests that led to clashes with police and made headlines worldwide.
Police wore windbreakers, not riot gear, and protesters called for improved relations with police.
“We want for you to respect us,” Abdur-Rashid said, “and we will respect you.”
It was the first organized opposition to the NYPD's intelligence tactics since investigation revealed widespread spying programs that documented every aspect of Muslim life in New York.