NEW YORK - Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) today defended the NYPD's controversial surveillance of Muslims across the tri-state area. The congressman was joined by several Muslim groups at a rally in New York City to defend the monitoring. Some of the participants say the department's efforts are an important part of tracking down violent extremists.Other Muslims, however, have expressed outrage at the revelation that the NYPD kept close tabs on Muslim groups and individuals. The department's diligent records on its surveillance practices were released in February by the Associated Press.Records: NYPD monitored Muslims across LIAP: Records show NYPD monitored Muslim Stony Brook students