A group of Muslims from New Jersey is appealing a federal judge's ruling that the New York City Police Department's surveillance of Muslims didn't violate their civil rights.

Attorneys with Muslim Advocates and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a notice of appeal Friday over the dismissal of a 2012 lawsuit brought by Muslim individuals and groups. They alleged the NYPD's surveillance of their activities was unconstitutional because it was based on religion, national origin and race.

U.S. District Judge William Martini ruled last month that the NYPD's activities were part of a lawful effort to prevent terrorism. He says the suit had been filed in reaction to Associated Press stories revealing the NYPD's secret activities.

The plaintiffs argue the ruling gives legal sanction to religious discrimination by law enforcement.

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