Voicing another side to the NYPD's controversial surveillance program, Rep. Peter King joined with Muslim activists outside police headquarters Monday in support of the department.
"We are not here to criticize the NYPD, but rather thank them for monitoring extremists -- a job that Muslims should be doing," said speaker Dr. Zudhi Jasser, who narrated the documentary "The Third Jihad."
The film -- criticized for being inflammatory against Muslims -- caused a stir in January, when it was revealed that an NYPD sergeant showed it at training seminars in Brooklyn from October through December 2010.
Some Muslim-American groups called for the resignation of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who was interviewed in the film and later apologized for its use.
The Associated Press has since reported that the NYPD has monitored student university websites in the Northeast and convened secret surveillance of Muslims in New Jersey, which drew sharp criticism from Gov. Chris Christie last week.
King (R-Seaford), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the NYPD has become an unfair target.
He told the crowd that "it's the job of the police department not to pick up the bodies after the attacks have been launched and carried out, but to stop those attacks from happening."