Poll Shows Strong Support for NYPD Surveillance of Muslims

“In an ideal world you would not profile," George Whittman told the Epoch Times. "But we are not in an ideal world, and if most of the terrorism or our enemies are in one sector, we have to profile that sector." (Photo by Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Despite outrage from Muslim groups, a new poll indicates that revelations about the New York City Police Department’s surveillance of Muslims has not hurt the approval ratings of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly or of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, DNAinfo reported. Indeed, it seems to have increased support for the two men, who have both defended the surveillance program.

Of those polled by Quinnipiac University, 59 percent said that the NYPD has “acted appropriately” in dealing with Muslims, and 63 percent approve of the way police are doing their jobs.

News of the surveillance program targeting business owners, students and other Muslims — revealed in a series of articles by the Associated Press — seem to have given Kelly and Bloomberg a boost:

Sixty-four percent of those polled said they approve of Kelly’s performance as commissioner, while Bloomberg’s approval rating shot to 54 percent, up from 46 percent last month, and the highest since his spike from Hurricane Irene.

And when it came to his handling of crime, nearly 70 percent give Bloomberg a thumbs-up.

“New Yorkers brush aside the gripes about police surveillance of the Muslim community,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“Voter approval of the way police are handling terrorism is through the roof and overall approval for police in general and for Commissioner Ray Kelly is undented by criticism.”

In light of the polling data, The Epoch Times took to the streets to ask New Yorkers their views on the police treatment of Muslims.  Answers ranged from one man who said, “I think profiling that is definitely something that has to be done and if not then we are kidding ourselves,” to another who argued against profiling. “Just because there are a couple of rotten apples in the bunch, you can’t blame them all,” he told the Epoch Times.

* In other news from the Quinnipiac University poll, Comptroller John Liu’s support seems to be holding reasonably strong, despite the allegations of campaign finance irregularities:

Despite the recent arrest of his campaign treasurer for alleged campaign finance fraud, Liu’s approval held steady at 40 percent, with 44 percent of those polled saying he should not resign, versus 33 percent who said he should.

“After the drum-beat of negative news, Comptroller John Liu’s job approval numbers are tepid, but New Yorkers don’t think he should quit,” Carroll said.

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