Calls grow for Bloomberg to apologise for surveillance of Muslims

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Protesters participate in a rally for Muslim rights in New Jersey [File: L Charles Mostoller/Reuters]

When activist and organiser Sarah Pearson approached Michael Bloomberg last year, she knew she wanted to press him on the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) surveillance of Muslims during his tenure as mayor there. 

What she did not expect, however, is that he would give her a “demonstrably false” answer when she asked how he was defending Muslims’ rights when their communities were surveilled.

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“The police only went in when the mosque, when the imam asked us to go in,” Bloomberg told her at the opening of his 2020 presidential campaign offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in December.

“Period. End of story,” he can be heard saying on a video recording of the encounter.

“We went into mosques when they asked us to come in,” he also said.