Tuesday, September 5, 2006


I have noticed that, across the internet, many Muslims are outraged, outraged that there is talk of profiling at airports. Well, um, gee, it was not 19 Irish American hijackers on 9/11. No, the profile was 19 Arab-American single men, in their early 20s. And that is not the first, nor last, incident like that. The fact remains that the vast, vast majority of terrorists fit a certain profile. This in no way means that all Arab Americans are terrorists, yet I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge this clear and obvious FACT. So, what should be done about this? Well, we are not going to be "safe" by merely screening these people, because the bastards will find a way to commit terror, regardless of the best screening mechanism out there. However, the chance of terror on a plane, subway, or bus (etc), is greatly lessoned by screening procedures. The current (American) method of screening is sort of a combo of profiling and randomness. It combines random checks with 'suspicion' based checks for people who are out of sequence of the randomness. This does, de facto, result in disproportionate numbers of young Arab Americans being screened, but it is not actual racial profiling. I have a mixed opinions about racial profiling. I worry about the civil liberties, but more than that, I worry that if only a certain group is screened, then the terrorists will recruit those who look different in order to carry out their dastardly plots. So that is why I think the American system is generally a good one. However, any argument about how traumatizing or horrible it is to be screened at airports that Muslim Americans or British Muslims make are generally hypocritical to say the least. If there is such a general upsetness over being screened at airports, then why not actually DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?? Namely, why not organize rallies for peace? Why not show that Islam does not equal terror? Why not protest against the suicide bomb bastards? One post I read on a blog was particularly ironic. This dude over at "suspectpaki.com" goes by the name shahid, and then has the nerve to be offended by being screened at airports!!! Well, uh, gee, I would think that a guy like him is EXACTLY THE SORT OF PERSON WHO SHOULD BE SCREENED!!! The bottom line is that if Muslim Americans and British Muslims spent half the time they do being offended at the supposed "civil rights violations" they have on protesting terror and showing they are NOT like the terrorists, then there would be absolutely no blurring of the line between Islam and terror. If you are so upset about the state of the world, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! This is a free society. There is the right to protest and right to assemble - so why not assemble and protest for something positive? And this of course does not even begin to scratch the surface of how poorly nonMuslims are treated in Muslim countries - something that Muslim Americans and British Muslims never speak of or seem to care about. Or, for that matter, how Sunni Muslims are treated in Shia nations, and vice versa. That's a different story altogether. It's easy to be offended. It's harder to take a critical look at why the world is the way it is. And I am just rather sick of this.


Jason said...

"""" I worry that if only a certain group is screened, then the terrorists will recruit those who look different in order to carry out their dastardly plots.""""

As has been said many times, the 9-11 hijackers visited strip clubs, shaved, and did not wear turbans. By all outward appearances, they tried to seem like people who had integrated in to the west and did not act like fundamentalist muslims. Thats why profiling is going to be very limited in how much it works, but you already said it above. If they KNOW a certain group or certain traits are being profiled then they will do everything they can not to fit those cirteria.

shlemazl said...

I am with Jason. Several bombers have been anglosaxons converted into Islam. Everyone should be screened in the airports.

However Mosques and Islamic "charities" for sure deserver some attention. It would be silly looking for Islamic terrorists in bookstores in Little Italy.

In the end this issue should be left to police not up to politicians.

Red Tulips said...

Jason and shlemazl:

Yup, I advocate the American system. I am just saying that if there is racial profiling, Muslim Americans and Muslims around the world in general would be a lot better off preaching against terror rather than being offended by a natural consequence of the terror of their breathren. (racial profiling)