State Senator Marty Golden. Source: NYSenate.gov

According to a report in Vos Is Neias, New York State Senator Marty Golden reversed his stance on the NYPD’s controversial “spying program,” which allegedly targets mosques and other Muslim gathering points in a citywide counter-terrorism effort.

Golden, a Republican, who had previously provided his signature to a letter praising Police Chief Ray Kelly and the NYPD in their efforts for “going to precisely the source of the problem,” now has stated the opposite at a forum hosted by the Arab-American Association of New York.

“Anybody that would spy on any religious institution is absolutely wrong. I do not stand by anybody who would do that,” said Golden in response to a question wondering if Kelly should apologize. “If [Commissioner Kelly] has, he should apologize – but it hasn’t been proven that he has.”

The spying program, which, according to the AP, targeted “Muslim student groups, put informants in mosques, monitored sermons and cataloged every Muslim in New York who adopted new, Americanized surnames.” It has led to no leads, cases, or arrests.

Golden’s call for an apology was not overlooked by Democratic challenger Andrew Gounardes, also present at the forum, who reminded voters of Golden’s previous support for the initiative.

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  • ShadowLock

    Everyone is a Terrorist! Soon everyone will need pat downs on the street.

  • levp

    Must be that elections are coming and someone feels vulnerable…

  • Andrew Kent

    The wholesale surveillance of religious institutions and observances of any faith is just plain wrong, but the infiltration of groups and organizations with a radical and potentially violent agenda is a proper use of police power. The litmus tests in these kinds of law enforcement activities, as with the controversial stop and frisk program, should be reasonable suspicion and probable cause. Remove these safeguards, and we end up with a slippery slope that threatens everyone’s basic freedoms, and a chilling effect on the free exercise of religion that undermines the separation of church and state.

    • http://kibblesbits.wordpress.com/ Ann

      I know outside of NYC, us Quakers were infiltrated and spied on. Why? Because we are pacifists. You can’t make this stuff up.