FIU's Muslim Students Say They Found a Listening Device in a Campus Prayer Room

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The evening was sliding toward midnight, but the students were still hanging out. It was February 9, 2013, and the five members of Florida International University's Muslim Student Association had finished their evening prayers in the room they used daily at the Graham Center, the student union on the school's Modesto Maidique Campus.

They were lounging like any group of college kids, prayer mats spread out on the room's ugly blue-green-brown industrial shag, when one noticed a bump in the weave. It was just smaller than the volume button on an iPhone, with three holes in the top. As the group gathered around, the student pulled it up. A wire was attached to the bump. It looked like a listening device, they decided.

"We were just shocked," one of the students, who like the others in the room asked to remain anonymous, tells New Times. "I knew that the same thing happened in New York, but we were just surprised it was here."

Surveillance operations on Muslim students at American college campuses have been an unfortunate byproduct of the War on Terror. A 2012 investigation by the Associated Press revealed the NYPD had monitored campus Muslim groups across the Northeast.

But now, FIU students were possibly holding evidence that they too were being watched.

"We've learned about many, many stories of students being picked up at colleges and spied on," says Aman Muqeet, a former FIU graduate student who is familiar with the situation. "We really don't know how many other Muslim students are being tracked. This could be related."

The students quickly contacted Nezar Hamze, the regional operations director for the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Hamze says he contacted the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Department of Justice, and FIU's campus police. He also says he took the device to a spy store, where a clerk confirmed the gadget was the kind of expensive surveillance device used by the government.

When Hamze met with school officials, he laid out his concern. "If someone put in this equipment, someone had to know about it," he says. "They promised they had no idea what was going on." The device was turned over to the FIU Police Department, according to Hamze.

Now, a year later, the students still have no answers or explanation for why the device was in their prayer space. Muqeet speculates the surveillance might be linked to the Flagler Mosque, the closest mosque to the FIU campus. In 2011, federal authorities arrested the center's imam, Hafiz Khan, and two of his sons for funneling money to the Pakistani Taliban.

Charges were dropped against the latter two, but in August 2013 the elder Khan was convicted and sentenced to 25 years. A handful of FIU Muslims worshiped at the mosque. "After the arrests, there were FBI agents on campus trying to talk to FIU students," CAIR's Hamze says.

Neither FIU President Mark Rosenberg nor the FIU police department returned calls to comment on the case.

That radio silence on the issue -- now going on more than a year -- is what troubles the students. "I guess spying on Muslims is acceptable today," Hamze says.

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49 comments
formerFIUstudent
formerFIUstudent

I would like to know the following: Why has it taken one year for the FIU administration to respond to the discovery of this listening device?  Why did it take a media report?  Did FIU president Rosenberg ever address FIU's Muslim students about this in the past year?  If not, why not?  Does the administration consider it so unimportant that it doesn't need to be addressed?

magus8990
magus8990

After all the deaths radical muslims have caused due to "jihad" in america and around the world is only natural and logical to have an eye on the followers of that religion.Due to their religion beliefs people die everyday in the middle east.  And yes, people will say all religions have radicals and extremist but the percentage of those killers and terrorist compared to all of the other religions doesn't even come close. These are facts no one can deny.


People should be glad FIU and other institutions are taking the necessary precautions to protect the lives of it's students. After all the deaths caused by radical islam, it would be irresponsible not to do so. It always better to be ready for the worst scenario.

doozie921
doozie921

Tsk tsk I just can't get too excited over someone spying on members of a cult

Rafasa
Rafasa

Spying is evil, but Islam...?

nawazfat
nawazfat

horrible. they should be able to pray without being spied on. Its their right to practice their faith. Anyway, I hope that whoever WAS spying on them or continue to spy on Muslim students or students of different faiths learn that these students are just like other students: they are working hard, want to be successful in university, and additionally, prefer to get a boost of spirituality in their daily routine by coming to the prayer room and praying. My university also has a prayer space. Its a beautiful blessing, but to have spying devices in there would be disgusting.

Derrick Lang
Derrick Lang

It was Modesto Madique spying on them, wondering if they miss him, too.

Exiliado
Exiliado

The NSA is spying on ALL Americans. 


What's so special about these cats?

Their feelings got hurt?


historyrepeating
historyrepeating

Looking at the all the comments here pretty much answers the question, "Were ordinary Germans just as guilty as the Nazis?".  The answer is an uncomfortable yes.  I feel sorry for the feeble minds cause they are so easily manipulated.

cogitarus
cogitarus

Bogus story, it was most likely planted by their own just to gain attention.

Vanessa Phelps
Vanessa Phelps

Hmmm I bet many people are being spied on . Im probably being watched too....feel sorry for the ones having to watch me probably needing lots of cafe con leche.

moosemyfrnds
moosemyfrnds

Muslims want what White Christians have made off this country and they have failed in their own country , but they hate whites and Christians

moosemyfrnds
moosemyfrnds

the people of Islam are calling Americans anti Muslims for reporting facts, go figure. I am amazed that these fine Muslims and CAIR are worried about Muslims arrested in the United States in making sue that they are eating Islamic approved foods while in prison. All in the name of their religion.  But this was not an issues when the Vietnamese came to this country 20 something years ago. The Vietnamese saw a chance to work and build a life in this country and they worked for it unlike the Muslims who are migrating here and living off our government while to have the money to build mosque and sue anyone who does not agree with their thinking.

moosemyfrnds
moosemyfrnds

The Islamic attack on 9/11 killed over 3,000 American. We though this was over. Then Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s went on a Islamic  rampage and shot our Troops in the back. Then the attack in Benghazi, killing 4 Americans there to help. Americans were shocked  again, but the Boston Bombing attack killed more Americans.  Leaving Real Americans to confirm that you cannot trust any Muslims.

azernie
azernie

" He also says he took the device to a spy store, where a clerk confirmed the gadget was the kind of expensive surveillance device used by the government."

Like a clerk knows what the 'government' uses. I don't doubt that someone was 'spying', but most likely local police if not a 'private' person. IF the 'government' was spying, I doubt that the device wold be found.

Lenny Lebowitz
Lenny Lebowitz

Everybody is being spied on so dont feel special

Barbara Salazar
Barbara Salazar

Wow how disgusting that anyone would think this is ok!!! bigots are like ghost Scary time to be different in this country we no longer value the freedom of individuality if we do this to people , students or not. Who is next ?

HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman topcommenter

"the closet mosque"

Whoa!  Tell us more about this closet mosque!

Michael del Vice
Michael del Vice

Yes they're being spied on because some of it's members were involved with Muslims funneling money to Taliban...why wouldn't we spy on them?

Chgo Dave
Chgo Dave

probably not that makes too much sense !

Hugo Romero
Hugo Romero

Eugenio do you say the same thing about black people?

Eugenio A. Alonso
Eugenio A. Alonso

When 90% of terrorist acts are committed by Muslim Men, we have the right to surveillance. They can take their Sharia and go home.

Al Uno
Al Uno

If they are born here how is this not home smh. Some people are ignorant in there 50s and have kids. What a shame

Tony Prieto
Tony Prieto

9/11 began from right here in South Florida. Yes, I'm fully aware most Muslims are not terrorists, but whenever young men meet you have to be careful.

MiamiFolksBeDumb
MiamiFolksBeDumb

oh, ok... so the government was spying on a group of muslim students that were connected to an imam funneling money to taliban.... oops 

magus8990
magus8990

@formerFIUstudent  Correct, after all the objective evidence and the violence Islam instigates around the world, it's only natural to pay close attention to this group of people. We simply have no choice. We can't just ignore the problem it would be irresponsible.So the listening device doesn't need an explanation, because everybody knows the reason why.

Zenmaster
Zenmaster

@magus8990  The religious beliefs aren't causing the deaths. The extremists want to spread their agenda and hide behind the veil of "jihad." Jihad is even suppose to be what it means today. They word has been twisted around by people to support their agenda. As for radicals in other religion, please do not forget the years of oppression caused by christianity and judaism. Our history is filled with it, but do we blame the religion, no. The people back then were using religion as means to attain personal goals, whether be economical or personal. Just cause you belong to a certain religion, doesn't mean that institutions should have right to spy on you. Islam doesn't create terrorist or any religion for that matter. It is the social and political circumstances. The conflict we are in with the islamic world goes before 911. It is caused by our presence in middle east post WW2/cold war. Religion is not to blame, its politics. I don't understand why people don't get that. They listen to things on fox news and treat it as scripture. Damn people. Use your brains and then maybe one day everyone will realize that the imaginary being doesn't exist.

frank.castle
frank.castle

There was no Islamic attack on 9/11. You are implying that Islam allows the killing of innocent people, which is false. You may claim thag Muslims were involved and that may be true, but Muhammad Atta and Bin Laden were CIA assets.

thatmentalkid
thatmentalkid

Because the United States itself has funded Taliban and Al Qaeda, more than any other organization.

bubbly
bubbly

"We"? Who do you represent? There have been more attempted and actual acts of terrorism on US soil by Caucasian Christians than by Muslims. By your logic, the likes of Timothy McViegh should be under survielance too. But they are "we" and Muslims are "them", so "we" are OK when "them" are under survielance, but get their panties in a wad at X-ray machines at the airport.

shinakuma135
shinakuma135

care to cite a source for that statistic?

facebook78237
facebook78237

Okay, let me put a listening device in your house. If you don't like it go back to Europe.

formerFIUstudent
formerFIUstudent

@magus8990 @formerFIUstudent  I disagree. Freedom of Religion is a right protected by the U. S. Constitution. Tolerance is part of who we are as Americans. Further, if someone of your religious or cultural affiliation were to commit an atrocity, does that allow your government to keep you under constant surveillance, making you a suspect for your entire life? This surveillance is profiling, it is a violation of the 4th amendment right to privacy, and it is un-American. 

magus8990
magus8990

@Zenmaster @magus8990  "BBSS" has it right. According to zenmaster it'a a coincidence that all those extremists that go around blowing themselves up not only to foreigners, but to people from their same culture, just a different sec are Muslims. The US gets involve all over the world not just in the middle east yet the muslims are the only ones to react with such extremel violence, it;s inhumane. All over the world these radical are killing people. It;s a twisted religion that should be extinct.

BBSS
BBSS

@Zenmaster @magus8990  The religions has an extremely high influence on the behavior of it's followers. The same way culture molds you, religion molds you. On present times, I repeat on present time only muslims act and behave like savages, committing suicide every single day in the name of their beliefs. Only Muslims routinely torture people like is a normal thing and in the name of blasphemy are allowed to kill a person. it is a primordial and savage religion that shouldn't exist for the sake of humanity.

moosemyfrnds
moosemyfrnds

@frank.castle  what a strange comment, but I understand why a Muslims would say this. The fact that Bin Laden was on the FBI's Americas Most Wanted for more than 23 years is proof that your statement is false

Exiliado
Exiliado

@frank.castle  

Yes, the 9/11 attacks were conducted by Islamic extremists, as in....Islamic....extremists.


Get it?

Islamic extremists.

Islamic.

There were followers of Islam, so we call them Islamic, see?


Still don't get it?

magus8990
magus8990

@formerFIUstudent @magus8990  So if a religion instigates and promotes violence, if a religion commits atrocities and tortures individuals. If suicide bombers die everyday thinking they are doing a "good" thing in name of their God, after all this, your saying that we should treat Islam like a normal peaceful religion and just ignore the facts? The responsible way to act is to have an eye on the followers of this religion. I'm sorry but a way of life that promotes killers is not TOLERABLE. 

moosemyfrnds
moosemyfrnds

@Exiliado @frank.castle  What does Islam and Radical Islam have in common? 

1. they share the same mosque. 

2. they share the same Iman. 

3. they share the same Quran. 

4. everything is based on their religious beliefs. 

5. they seek to control. 

6.The people of Islam dont condemn what the people of Radical Islam do or vice versa. 

7. Islam and Radical Islam are racist. 

8. Islam and Radical Islam dislike Jews. 

9. The Iman get richer from both Islam and Radical Islam. 

10. Their mosque are used as sleeping quarters for both Islam and Radical Islam and they don’t pay any Lodging Taxes that Motel/Hotels are required to pay. 

11. They share the same God, Allah. 

12. Islam and Radical Islam commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide.

13. The more Islam and Radical Islam grows, so does the display of the Swastika and in Hate Material.

14. Islam and Radical Islam love Allah and there is no room for the love of their spouse, children, family members or friends.

15. 1,570,000,000 (Muslims population) x .10 (10% are terrorist) = 157,000,000 Muslims terrorist


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