Fordham University Statement | NYPD Surveillance of Muslim Student Associations
March 1, 2012
Though Fordham University was apparently not one of the institutions whose Muslim students came under surveillance by the New York City Police Department, the University understands, and is deeply concerned about, the chilling effect such surveillance could have on academic freedom, and on freedom of speech and association.
The University likewise acknowledges the enormous responsibility placed in the hands of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly to safeguard the city and all of its citizens, while at the same time preserving civil liberties. We trust that the mayor and commissioner understand the importance of preserving those liberties, especially in times of heightened danger.
This year Commissioner Kelly is addressing the Fordham Law Alumni Association’s Annual Luncheon, a choice that has come under scrutiny because of recent events. The commissioner is the featured speaker (an invitation that was extended in July of 2011); the honoree is Chief Judge Arthur J. Gonzalez, alumnus of the Gabelli School of Business, class of 1969, and the Law School, class of 1982.
The Law School alumni have always invited speakers who can shine light on various aspects of the law and its application. District attorneys, lawyers and judges have all spoken at the law luncheon. The speakers are chosen with the intention of sparking conversation, discussion and debate–as is common and right in a university setting. The law alumni’s invitation of Commissioner Kelly should not be construed as a University endorsement of his policies, as is the case with any speaker.
Fordham takes seriously its sacred duty to honor the religious beliefs of all citizens. It is the University’s position that there is no place for discrimination in a civilized society. Indeed, the University has created forums for the discussion of religious beliefs throughout its history and will continue to do so in the future.