The goodwill that Mayor Michael Bloomberg built among the city’s Muslims with his support of the “ground zero mosque” was threatened this week as Islamic leaders decried a recently disclosed police effort to gather intelligence on Muslim neighborhoods.

Fifteen Muslim clerics and community leaders said they will boycott the mayor’s annual interfaith breakfast Friday over the surveillance program, whose existence was revealed in a series of Associated Press articles.

The breakfast, traditionally held at the historic New York Public Library building on 42nd Street, has long served as a way to showcase the city’s diversity during the overlapping winter holidays.

“We felt uncomfortable going to have coffee and doughnuts with the mayor knowing that this civil liberties crisis that’s affecting all New Yorkers is not going to be addressed,” said Imam Al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid, president of the Islamic Leadership Council of New York, a group of 35 clerics and their congregations.

Continue Reading on