Despite Newsday’s “presentation/analysis/conclusions” of this article Congressman King thought this still should be shared with his constituents
King questions mosques' cooperation with authoritiesby Bart Jones
August 24, 2009
Last month, authorities announced they had arrested Bryant Vinas, a 26-year-old Patchogue man who had traveled to Pakistan to train with terrorists, then participated in an attack on U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) says he'd like to know why no one at the man's mosque, in Selden, contacted authorities.
It's not the first time King has suggested that Long Island's Muslims are not doing enough to fight terrorism, allegations that rankle local people of the Islamic faith.
King says he was initially angry that in his view Muslims on Long Island did not sufficiently condemn the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
In subsequent years, he said, law enforcement officials have told him "they do not receive sufficient cooperation from the Muslim community" in providing information about suspicious activities or persons that could be linked to terrorism.
Nayyar Imam, president of the Selden mosque, said Vinas never did or said anything suspicious at the mosque, and was not a full-fledged member. Like other Muslim leaders, he said he would be the first to inform authorities of anything amiss.
Richard Dormer, chief of the Suffolk County Police Department, said police there have an "excellent" relationship with the Muslim community. "That's a myth they don't cooperate with the police," he said. "They will call if they notice anything" suspicious.
Lawrence W. Mulvey, chief of Nassau police, also said police there have a good relationship with local Muslims, though he said to date they have not provided him with information about suspicious activity. He said he could not tell if that is the case because of a reluctance to report such activity, or simply because there hasn't been any.
Daniel Varisco, head of the anthropology department at Hofstra University and a scholar on Islam, said, "I have never heard anything" in Long Island mosques supporting terrorism. "You're not hearing sermons saying outrageous things."