Here is an example of what the NYPD felt the need to track “as a daily routine” for Police Commissioner Ray Kelly:
There was a Muslim students convention in Toronto in December 2006.
Among its speakers were a guy who founded an institute studying “the core Islamic scientists.”
NYU has a Muslim Students Association. It seeks to explore the study of science in the Koran. It also hosts religious study sessions.
The author of the NYPD study Googled twelve other Muslim student associations, mostly in the tri-state area — including the one at my alma mater and the one where my mother teaches — and “did not find significant information.”
This was policework to the NYPD, until 2007, as revealed by the AP. The casual “daily” surveillance by police forces of constitutionally protected behavior. If you were a Muslim and interacted in groups with other Muslims, even outside the United States, a police officer was keeping tabs on you.
I think it was my friend Adam Serwer who said the reason the Transportation Security Administration attracts so much outrage is that it’s the only institution in this country that gives white people a small sample of what it’s like to be Muslim in post-9/11 America. If you care about liberty in this country, this either bothers you or you think liberty is just another word for how the rich ought not to pay taxes.