It is difficult to overstate just how invasive, stigmatizing, and ineffective the NYPD's surveillance of Muslim New Yorkers has been. It not only alienates people from police, but it sows mistrust and fear among community members themselves.
We register on the American imagination in three phases. First we are ignored. Then we are vilified. Finally, we are accepted -- but only as a consumer group. We are hardly ever thought of as intellectuals. That has to change.