With talented translators and other cultural liaisons always needed you would think the NYPD would welcome earnest recruits from the Muslim world -- and they generally have.
Said Hajem, 39, took the police exam in February 2006 and scored 85.6, which is much higher than passing, according to the NY Times. In June of the same year he received a letter of congratulations from Commissioner Kelly and began prepared to enter the force.
"I started dreaming of becoming one of the Finest," Hajem told the Times. "As an important person who is going to save lives and stop terrorism."
But in the four years since Hajem first started having those blue dreams, his application seems to have been stalled in a black hole.
Hajem, who has filed a lawsuit against the city, says that in July 2006 an officer reviewing his paperwork told him that he disapproved of people from "other countries" joining the NYPD, according tot he Times.
That officer, Ricardo Ramkissoon, allegedly also didn't accept references from people with Middle Eastern names.
"He told me, 'I need American names,'" Hajem told the Times. "He said, 'You may be a terrorist."
The city and police department for their part content that they have "successfully recruited native speakers of Urdu, Farsi, Arabic, Pashto and other languages," said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne. "Our linguist program is the envy of law enforcement worldwide."
Lawyers for the city filed a motion asking that Hajem's claim be thrown out, but U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Sullivan ruled on Jan 29. that there was enough evidence for the suit to go forward.