First, there was “Flying While Muslim.” This expression summed up the extra challenges of being an American Muslim when flying on commercial airlines.

This situation has become almost accepted as part of the American Muslim experience. In fact, I have even comically offered advice to people in my community on how to avoid extra problems when they fly: “Dress white, make your flight. Dress brown, never leave town.”

But now there is something new: “Studying While Muslim.” And there is nothing funny about it.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press reveal that for the past few years, the New York Police Department has been engaged in the weekly surveillance of American Muslim college groups at 16 schools across the Northeast, including New York University, Yale, Rutgers and the University of Pennsylvania. (The NYPD has neither commented on the number of years that this surveillance was conducted nor if it’s still happening.)

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