NEW YORK - Several Muslim and interfaith groups on Friday staged a rally outside New York police headquarters to call for more police oversight and protest against discriminatory practices in the department.

“Ray Kelly (police commissioner) must go!” chanted hundreds of protesters as they marched to the Police Plaza in lower Manhattan.

Leaders of Muslim groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and four city council members called for oversight of the NYPD, saying they know their communities have been under surveillance for years. Many said they suspected this had been going on, and an internal NYPD report released this week confirmed their worst fears.

The confidential 2006 police document, obtained by the Associated Press, the American news agency, and released this week, shows the police department recommended increasing surveillance of thousands of Muslims and their mosques based solely on their religion.

The protesters demanded commissioner Kelly step down because of his participation in a film depicting all Muslims as terrorists.

"Due to the fact that the police commissioner and Mayor (Michael) Bloomberg both refuse to accept the severity of their actions, or meet with local Islamic leaders in an attempt to mend the situation, we as a community with full force must stand up to the mistreatment and dismissal of our community at large," the CAIR website said.

"Silence and lack of reaction to this pressing issue will only allow this type systematic persecution of a minority community to continue and escalate without any reprimand."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the NYPD never considers religion when policing and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly echoed the mayor, saying police only follow where leads take them.

Linda Sarsour, who works for the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition, said she wants the NYPD to track immanent terrorist threats, but not target communities based on ethnicity. “To know that your mosque and the place you find sanctuary and the place that you go to be closer to God is being surveilled and the people there are being looked at as suspects makes me really scared,” she said.

Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, who represents East Harlem and parts of the Bronx spoke at the rally and called the NYPD “out of control,” and asked for more accountability when it comes to surveillance as well as the policy of stop-and-frisk. She says NYPD spokesman Paul Browne should step down and that if there is no accountability from Police Commissioner Kelly for false statements he should also resign.

"They were not telling the truth about their involvement in the propaganda film against Muslims," said Nihad Awad, CAIR's executive director, adding that New York "deserves people they trust who do not discriminate against people."